BUS-A576 Strategic Cost Management
- 7 weeks
- 1.5 credits
- Prerequisite(s): MBA Core
This course provides students with the knowledge and analytical skills necessary to use accounting cost information as a basis for formulating and evaluating corporate strategies. A central theme of the course is that one of the primary functions of accounting information is to facilitate the development of corporate strategies. A superior accounting system provides an important tool for developing a sustainable competitive advantage by enabling a deep understanding of a company’s cost structure.
The case-based course focuses on principal tools in strategic cost analysis and students use data sets to formulate and solve business problems, with a focus on developing data visualization skills. Using regression analysis, students are asked to analyze data to identify cost drivers, better understand cost behavior (e.g., fixed, variable), perform forecasts based on these analyses, and suggest strategies and actions to improve firm performance. Finally, students must summarize the results of their analyses in presentations and executive reports. Tableau is used as software to facilitate data visualization. The overall focus of the learnings from the assigned cases is transforming data into actionable insights.
Many MBA students will accept positions in which they make decisions affecting the profitability of products, services, and customers, or provide consulting services to companies on how to improve profitability. Thus, the materials covered in this course will be highly relevant to students planning careers in corporate finance, marketing, operations management, and management consulting.
- Data analysis – Using regression analysis and analytical tools (including data visualization software) to aid in decision making
- Value chain analysis - identifying opportunities for cost management or revenue enhancement across the industry-wide value chain
- Strategic positioning - determining information needed to support firm strategy
- Internal Cost Management
- Cost-driver analysis
- Activity-based management
- Target costing - role of competitors, customers, suppliers, and firm processes
- Managing Customer Profitability
Background readings and course notes discuss concepts, while cases and problems supply the foundation for class discussion about specific topics. Grading for the course will be based on class participation, written case assignments, and a final examination.