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Activity-based costing in the food industry: an international comparison of American and Dutch food producing companies


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  • Groot, Tom L. C. M.

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

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    This study focuses on the experiences of ABC users and non-ABC users within the food and beverage industry in the Netherlands and in the US. Unlike other surveys we chose to study a specific sector, expecting to find more similarities between companies in terms of market and technological aspects. Both aspects give reason to expect that product costing is increasingly important. The food and beverage market is strongly competitive: large retail organizations stimulate price competition and frequent on time delivery, while consumers demand a larger array of differentiated products. Production technology provides food producers the means to offer a wider array of products and packing alternatives. This in turn leads to more complex production and distribution systems. Complexity of production and logistic systems, combined with a large number of differentiated products are considered suitable situations for the application of Activity-Based Costing. A US survey of 96 food producing companies and a Dutch survey of 117 food producing companies provide information on the use of ABC in the food sector, on the organizational and production related characteristics of ABC using food companies and on experiences with designing and implementing ABC systems. Given the specifics of the food sector, we try to draw some conclusions on the reasons behind successful or unsuccessful adoption of ABC. The availability of similar statistics from US and Dutch food companies also provides the opportunity to see if national circumstances have their influence on the acceptance of ABC, the process of ABC implementation and the use of ABC information.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0046.

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    Date of creation: 1997
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    Handle: RePEc:dgr:vuarem:1997-46

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