Technical Note: Options-Based Costing and the Volatility Portfolio
Journal of Operations Management, Forthcoming
16 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2016 Last revised: 25 Jan 2017
Date Written: December 7, 2016
It has been clearly established that a cost premium for responsiveness may be justified for profitable time-sensitive products, and that this cost premium may suffice to render production in a high-cost environment competitive. Time-insensitive products considered in isolation seldom justify a cost premium, leading many decision makers to conclude that their production does not belong in a high-cost environment. This leads to a manufacturing-location decision in which profitable and time-sensitive products are produced in a high-cost environment and time-insensitive products are transferred to a low-cost environment. Responsiveness, however, requires a capacity buffer that provides the option to meet a demand peak for a profitable, time-sensitive product. Leftover capacity can then be ideally deployed to manufacture time-insensitive products to stock. We propose that the cost of the capacity buffer be considered as an option cost and assigned to the time-sensitive product: “option-based costing”. We then demonstrate use of demand volatility to create a portfolio of products that are time sensitive and insensitive to generate profit and increase competitiveness. Option-based costing combined with a volatility portfolio reveals opportunities to produce competitively in a high-cost environment that have typically been considered unfeasible.
Keywords: Responsive Manufacturing, Product Costing, Capacity Planning, Time-Based Competition
JEL Classification: D24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation