In case you’ve just stumbled in here, read our full article that explains how the ABC costing method works by clicking here.
Let’s recapitulate some trivial points that underlie “Activity-Based Costing”.
- Control associated with direct and indirect costs;
- Allocation criteria respecting a cause-and-effect relationship
- Robust data analysis;
- Identify all activities related to services / products, customers and channels;
- Traceability of expenses;
- Accurate information for decision making;
- And much more.
If you are already familiar with the term, let’s go ahead and discuss why ABC (activity-based costing) has the power to increase your profitability.
What is the main objective of the ABC method?
Let’s get right to the point.
The focus of the ABC method is to have maximum control over the indirect costs (also called overhead) as well as the direct costs associated with a product, service, customer, or channel.
Through a costing system using drivers that respect a cause-and-effect relationship and aiming to bring an advanced analysis of the costs per activity within the operation.
And with this dense range of data, intelligently filter the numbers and transform them into strategic decisions.
Data-driven decision making
The first step comes from what we call “data-driven culture”.
This is the natural habit of ALWAYS making decisions based on collected data and not on a gut feeling.
It all starts by identifying the main KPIs (key performance indicators), which are our key performance indicators.
Do I need KPIs?
If you intend to make decisions based on data and not just intuition, yes.
Performance indicators make it possible to measure how much a strategy is generating the expected result or not.
It is important to mention that KPIs are always measurable and concrete.
My data is not conclusive, now what?
Analyzing data is something automatic in large companies, however, not always creating strategies and defining next steps is provided by a study on top of what has already been collected and digested.
The ABC costing method is useful for companies that already have this data-driven culture and are looking for optimizations through detailed data analysis.
The more knowledge you have about how much and where your resources are being spent, the more precise your improvements associated with cost management will be.
And that is what we at MyABCM offer.
The ABC method results in an advanced costing analysis based on each activity involved in producing some product, providing some service, or serving some customer or channel.
This is where pricing comes in.
One of the biggest challenges within a business can be made easier by applying the ABC method.
Keep in mind that failing to calculate your total costs can result in sub-optimal pricing, resulting in an unfavorable profit margin for the company.
With all the control of segmented expenses in the palm of your hand, pricing becomes clearer and effectively correct. The consequence of this is the real impact on negotiations with customers, discount policies and commissioning of salespeople, resulting in the end in greater profit for the company!
1. Reliable and accurate data throughout the value chain
The option of being able to precisely manage all the organization’s costs. This opens up the possibility of making more assertive decisions about where to act to reduce costs, invest, and even serve the best channels and customers from a profitability standpoint.
2. Associate overhead costs with the products, services, channels, and clients that actually consume it
Instead of associating the same cost to all products, services, customers, and channels, you can allocate the fair value consumed by each.
This also helps identify costs that apply to more than one segment, making this feature more valuable because it potentially eliminates distortions in cost calculations.
3. Evaluate production efficiency and apply improvements
The ABC method makes it possible to assign value to overhead costs by working the data as if it were direct costs. By breaking down overhead costs and assigning them by activity, we can look for breakthroughs with precision.
In the same way, we can make processes more efficient and correctly monitor the key KPIs for each activity in the organization.
4. Accurate data to obtain the desired profit margin
Having accurate data will directly impact a leader’s decision making. It opens up the possibility to reduce or shift production costs and apply effective pricing strategies to obtain an adequate profit margin.
5. Unique Benefits
Other methods cannot cover what the ABC costing method provides.
Directly related to the particularity of activity-based costing, it can measure expenses related to activities, however small they may be.
How do I know if I should use an ABC system?
All the questions below must be answered with a yes.
- Do you have a diversity of Products and Services?
- Diversity of Customers and Channels
- Diversity of Processes?
- Your overhead costs are high, and you have difficulty in allocating them correctly to products, services, customers, and channels?
- Do you notice that your margin has been falling in recent years, often even though you have higher revenues?
- Do you use data to make decisions?
- Do you have pricing problems?
Then you are prepared.
To be clear, there are not only advantages.
But it is the solution to a number of complex problems for those seeking cost optimization through a robust system.
After you have finished reading this post, you certainly have the clear answers as to how ABC cost management can increase your profits.