Case study : alberta gauge company, ltd

Alberta Gauge Company, Ltd., a small manufacturing company in Calgary, Alberta, manufactures three types of electrical gauges used in a variety of machinery. For many years the company has been profitable and has operated at capacity. However, in the last two years, prices on all gauges were reduced and selling expenses increased to meet competition and keep the plant operating at capacity. Second-quarter results for the current year, which follow, typify recent experience.

ALBERTA GAUGE COMPANY, LTD.

Income Statement

Second Quarter

(in thousands)

 

Q Gauge

E Gauge

R Gauge

Total

Sales

$1600

$900

$900

$3400

Cost of Goods Sold

$1048

$770

$50

$2768

Gross Margin

$552

$130

$-50

$632

Selling and Admin exp

$370

$185

$135

$690

Income before taxes

$182

$-55

$-185

$-58

Alice Carlo, the company’s president, is concerned about the results of the pricing, selling, and production prices. After reviewing the second-quarter results, she asked her management staff to consider the following three suggestions:

• Discontinue the R-gauge line immediately. R-gauges would not be returned to the product line unless the problems with the gauge can be identified and resolved.

• Increase quarterly sales promotion by $100,000 on the Q-gauge product line in order to increase sales volume by 15 percent.

• Cut production on the E-gauge line by 50 percent, and cut the traceable advertising and promotion for this line to $20,000 each quarter.

Jason Sperry, the controller, suggested a more careful study of the financial relationships to determine the possible effects on the company’s operating results of the president’s proposed course of action. The president agreed and assigned JoAnn Brower, the assistant controller, to prepare an analysis. Brower has gathered the following information.

• All three gauges are manufactured with common equipment and facilities.

• The selling and administrative expense is allocated to the three gauge lines based on average sales volume over the past three years.

• Special selling expenses (primarily advertising, promotion, and shipping) are incurred for each gauge as follows:

 

Quarterly Advertising

Promotion Shipping Exp

Q gauge

$210000

$10/unit

E gauge

$100000

$4/unit

R gauge

$40000

$10/unit

• The unit manufacturing costs for the three products are as follows:

 

Q gauge

E gauge

R gauge

Direct material

$31

$17

$50

Direct labor

$40

$20

$60

Variable manufacturing overhead

$45

$30

$60

Fixed manufacturing overhead

$15

$10

$20

Total

$131

$77

$190

• The unit sales prices for the three products are as follows:

Q-gauge …………………………………………………………………….. $200

E-gauge …………………………………………………………………….. 90

R-gauge …………………………………………………………………….. 180

• The company is manufacturing at capacity and is selling all the gauges it produces.