Accurate costing information is required to support decision making in modern manufacturing enterprises in order to compete in a global market. It is widely
accepted that costing information may be supplied by using distributed costing
systems based on a number of emerging cost accounting philosophies. However, the
full benefits of incorporating these costing systems have yet to be realised because of
difficulties in accessing distributed information and limitations in current practices in the design and building of costing systems. These limitations include difficulty in
integrat ing costing with manufacturing systems, a lack of flexibility and an inability to
adapt to change.
The thesis focuses on the derivation of a methodology to enable the realisation
of a new generation of integrated and distributed costing systems which overcomes the
above limitations. (A schematic representation outlining the issues around which the
research work is structured is shown overleaf). The research examines two broad
fields; cost accounting (indicated by part [a]) and advanced manUffiCtUring technology
(shown by part [b]). Examination of current practice in the design and operation of
costing systems in manufacturing industry (shown by part [c]) led to the identification
of life-cycle requirements (embracing the design, build, operation and change phases)
of a new generation of distributed costing systems.
Structured design and analysis methodologies, computer communication,
information management mechanisms and integration methods (including the use of
an integrating infrastructure) were incorporated to assist the design, build and operate
phases of the life-cycle (shown by part [d]). A novel feature of the work involves
designing mechanisms which enable cost models created at the design phase to be
formally associated with the operation phase. The life-cycle methodology was
demonstrated by designing and building a proof-of-concept prototype activity-based
costing software system (shown by part [e]) which was implemented in a case-study
(shown by part [f]). The case-study demonstrates the benefits of the methodology by
showing how results of cost analysis may be utilised by other distributed applications
on a run-time basis (shown by part [g]). The thesis Concludes that distributed costing
systems of the future, based on appropriate costing philosophy, must be designed and
built as integrated components of manufacturing systems.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.