This case study deals with a manufacturing subsidiary of a large national chain of home improvement stores. The focus is on tools such as time-driven activity-based costing, break-even analyses, evaluation of budgets, and assessing departmental performance. The case can serve as both a discussion basis in class as well as an exam for students in management, operations, strategy, and accounting. The case illustrates how managers can optimize their manufacturing process using the internet of things for customer orders and product development. The open questions at the end of the case study allow for an adjustment to the level of knowledge of the students. They also serve the purpose of raising students’ awareness of the limits of absorption costing as product variety increases. Students will need to reflect on the short-term trade-offs between increasing digitalization and operating leverage.
Time-driven activity-based costing; absorption costing; cost-volume-profit analysis; break-even; digitalization; internet of things; process performance; performance evaluation; budgeting; variance analysis; department cost allocation; profitability; consultants; case study; teaching notes.