Finding the Fit Between Engineering Design and Cost Information
Sandström, Jaana (1999)
Aineistoon ei liity tiedostoja.
This paper analyzes the possibilities of integrating cost information and engineering design. Special emphasis is put on finding the potential of using the activity-based costing (ABC) method. Today, the problem of cost estimation in engineering design is that there are two separate extremes of knowledge. On the one extreme, the engineers model the technical parametres behindcosts in great detail but do not get appropriate cost information to their elegant models. On the other extreme, the accounting professionals are stuck with traditional cost accounting methods driven by the procedures and cycles of financial accounting. Therefore, in many cases, the cost information needs of various decision making groups, for example design engineers, are not served satisfactorily. This paper studies if the activity-based costing (ABC) method could offer a compromise between the two extremes. Recognizing activities and activity chains as well as activity and cost drivers could be specially beneficial for design engineers. Also, recognizing the accurate and reliable product costs of existing products helps when doing variant design. However, ABC is not at its best if the cost system becomes too complicated. This is why a comprehensive ABC-cost information system with detailed cost information for the use of design engineers should be examined critically. ABC is at its best when considering such issues as which activities drive costs, the cost of product complexity, allocating indirect costs on the products, the relationships between processes and costs, and the cost of excess capacity.