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Compact case
Case
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Reference no. 9-102-021
Authors: Robert S Kaplan
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Originally published in: 2001
Version: 18 February 2005
Length: 5 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

The senior management team of Dakota, an office products distributor, is concerned about the company's first loss in history. Explores the role for activity based costing and customer profitability measurement in a distribution company. Dakota's customers are increasingly demanding more specialized services, such as desktop delivery. Also, whereas some customers have switched to electronic ordering, others continue to place their orders manually. Pricing is based on a fixed markup of the cost of the purchased item. The managers feel that the fixed markup may not be compensating them for the higher costs of manual order processing and desktop delivery. The financial manager initiates an effort to estimate the costs of handling the different types of orders so that she can estimate the profitability of individual customers based on their actual order pattern.
Industry:
Size:
USD40 million revenues
Other setting(s):
2000

About

Abstract

The senior management team of Dakota, an office products distributor, is concerned about the company's first loss in history. Explores the role for activity based costing and customer profitability measurement in a distribution company. Dakota's customers are increasingly demanding more specialized services, such as desktop delivery. Also, whereas some customers have switched to electronic ordering, others continue to place their orders manually. Pricing is based on a fixed markup of the cost of the purchased item. The managers feel that the fixed markup may not be compensating them for the higher costs of manual order processing and desktop delivery. The financial manager initiates an effort to estimate the costs of handling the different types of orders so that she can estimate the profitability of individual customers based on their actual order pattern.

Settings

Industry:
Size:
USD40 million revenues
Other setting(s):
2000

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