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“Define the item to be costed”- can be a product, a service, any work activity, also known as “cost objective” establishes the scope of the analysis
Identification of cost components and the calculation of costs “other steps provide context and ensure results are accurate, explainable, repeatable, and achieve desired result”
“Understand the purpose of the costing exercise” – clarify the question cost analysis should answer and how information will be used
“Determine the cost basis” – what data is available for the activity to be costed. Should you use actual costs or projected costs (estimates and can be based on historical data)
“Gather information on the activity or work process” – define work involved in detail, step by step description of the work, detail how it will be performed and list resources needed to accomplish the work
“Identify and quantify the major cost components” – “costs fall into one of the following categories: supplies and equipment, services, labor, or indirect costs” (Calvi 3)
Expenses can be either direct (those clearly associated with a specific cost object) or indirect (also known as overhead- “common to more than one cost object and are not directly traceable to a specific product” (Calvi 7)
Supplies – “any materials that are consumed in the process of carrying out a particular activity” (Calvi 8) don’t forget to include shipping, staff time in ordering
Equipment – “is used over and over again without being substantively consumed” (Calvi 8) “can be incorporated into a cost analysis by amortizing the expenditure over a certain time span and assigning a portion of the equipment’s cost to each item produced during that time”(Calvi 9) “total equipment cost divided by quantity of items produced during its life span = unit cost of equipment” (Calvi 10) exclude multipurpose equipment
Service – meaning outsourcing (vendor charges + shipping, insurance, labor costs, supply and equipment costs, working with vendor, selecting, processing, packing, unpacking, performing quality control (calvi 11)
Labor – If staff performs only the activity being costed and productivity rates are known (divide the staff’s total compensation (salary plus benefits) by quantity of items produced during that time period. In adjusted labor rate method – workers divide their time among a variety of activities – measure time spent on an activity, multiply that time by staff’s compensation rate. To do this first define the activity listing all tasks, determine average completion time
“Document your assumptions”
“Perform reasonableness tests” – assess the validity of a cost analysis
Does not measure
Equipment: purchase and maintenance of computers, telephones, fax machines, copiers, staplers, tape etc
Staff: interviewing and hiring, training, consultation, non-productive time, mistakes, absenteeism staff development, other assignments
Acquisitions processes: ordering (pre-order searching, order creation payment – invoices, statement reconciliation, processing payment, library business office, university business office shipment errors, returns retaining and maintaining records
Integrated online system - Implementation, initial purchase cost, maintenance and ongoing costs, personnel loading records, orders, invoices.
Processing for payment – create electronic copy in ILS, library business office, university business office cuts check, library business office verifies and mails.
What we did measure
Time (from the time the box was opened until book sent to circulation to be put on shelves
Process (followed book through its Technical Service pathway)
Have 7 sub-accounts depending on the way books are sent and the level of processing