Want FREE Templates on Strategy & Transformation? Download our FREE compilation of 50+ slides. This is an exclusive promotion being run on LinkedIn.







Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Product Costing Revamp for Biotech Firm in Regulatory Environment


There are countless scenarios that require Product Costing. Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Product Costing to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

Reading time: 9 minutes

Consider this scenario: A biotech firm based in North America is grappling with the complexity of Product Costing in a stringent regulatory environment.

Despite a robust product pipeline and increased market demand, the company's profit margins are not improving at the expected rate. The organization's legacy costing system is unable to accommodate the nuanced costing requirements of its diverse product range, leading to inaccurate cost allocation and decision-making challenges. The leadership seeks to refine the Product Costing process to align with industry standards and enhance financial performance.



Given the situation, the initial hypothesis could center around the organization's outdated Product Costing system being insufficiently detailed for the complexities of the biotechnology industry. Another hypothesis might be that there is a lack of integration between the costing system and other business functions, leading to misaligned incentives and inefficiencies. Finally, it could be that the organization's rapid growth has outpaced the scalability of its existing processes, necessitating a more sophisticated approach to maintain competitive margins.

Strategic Analysis and Execution Methodology

The biotech firm can benefit from a comprehensive 5-phase Product Costing methodology that will enable detailed cost tracking and better decision-making. This established process, often followed by top consulting firms, ensures that every aspect of Product Costing is scrutinized and optimized.

  1. Current State Assessment: Review existing Product Costing processes, systems, and data accuracy. Key questions include: How are costs currently allocated? What are the limitations of the current system? This phase involves detailed data analysis to identify gaps and inefficiencies.
  2. Costing Model Redesign: Develop a new costing model that accurately reflects the complex nature of biotech products. Activities include benchmarking against industry standards and defining a model that aligns with regulatory requirements.
  3. Process Re-engineering: Streamline the Product Costing process by incorporating best practices. Focus on reducing manual interventions, improving data flow, and ensuring that cost information is timely and reliable.
  4. System Implementation: Select and implement a Product Costing system that supports the redesigned model and processes. This phase includes system configuration, testing, and training to ensure user adoption.
  5. Continuous Improvement: Establish a framework for ongoing review and enhancement of the Product Costing system to adapt to changes in the regulatory landscape and business growth.

Learn more about Data Analysis Best Practices Product Costing

For effective implementation, take a look at these Product Costing best practices:

Generic Cost Benefit Analysis Excel Model Template (Excel workbook)
Strategic Account Management (101-slide PowerPoint deck)
Cost Drivers Analysis (18-slide PowerPoint deck)
Target Costing (23-slide PowerPoint deck)
Cost-Benefit-Analysis (CBA) Toolkit (168-slide PowerPoint deck)
View additional Product Costing best practices

Are you familiar with Flevy? We are you shortcut to immediate value.
Flevy provides business best practices—the same as those produced by top-tier consulting firms and used by Fortune 100 companies. Our best practice business frameworks, financial models, and templates are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience.

Trusted by over 10,000+ Client Organizations
Since 2012, we have provided best practices to over 10,000 businesses and organizations of all sizes, from startups and small businesses to the Fortune 100, in over 130 countries.
AT&T GE Cisco Intel IBM Coke Dell Toyota HP Nike Samsung Microsoft Astrazeneca JP Morgan KPMG Walgreens Walmart 3M Kaiser Oracle SAP Google E&Y Volvo Bosch Merck Fedex Shell Amgen Eli Lilly Roche AIG Abbott Amazon PwC T-Mobile Broadcom Bayer Pearson Titleist ConEd Pfizer NTT Data Schwab

Product Costing Implementation Challenges & Considerations

Executives may question the integration of the new costing model with existing financial systems. Seamless integration is essential for real-time data analysis and accurate reporting, which is why the chosen system must be compatible with the existing IT infrastructure and capable of evolving with future technological advancements.

Another consideration is the scalability of the new Product Costing system. As the biotech firm continues to grow and diversify its product portfolio, the system must be able to accommodate increasing complexity without compromising accuracy or efficiency.

The cultural shift required for the adoption of a new Product Costing system cannot be underestimated. Training and change management activities must be rigorous to ensure that all stakeholders understand the benefits and adhere to the new processes.

Learn more about Change Management

Product Costing KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


In God we trust. All others must bring data.
     – W. Edwards Deming

  • Cost Variance: Measures the accuracy of cost estimates compared to actual costs, highlighting areas for refinement.
  • Profit Margin Per Product: Tracks improvement in profit margins at the individual product level.
  • Time to Close Books: Monitors the efficiency of the closing process, which should be reduced with a more streamlined costing system.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

Learn more about Flevy KPI Library KPI Management Performance Management Balanced Scorecard

Implementation Insights

Throughout the implementation, it was observed that companies which align their Product Costing systems with Strategic Planning often see a 15-20% improvement in cost accuracy, as reported by McKinsey & Company. This alignment ensures that the cost data feeds into broader business decisions, enhancing overall financial performance.

Another insight is the importance of Regulatory Compliance in the biotech industry. Companies that proactively incorporate regulatory considerations into their Product Costing systems can reduce the risk of non-compliance and associated financial penalties.

It's also crucial to have a multidisciplinary team overseeing the implementation. Including members from finance, IT, and operations ensures that the Product Costing system is holistic and reflects the realities of each department.

Learn more about Strategic Planning

Product Costing Deliverables

  • Costing Model Blueprint (Document)
  • Process Efficiency Report (PowerPoint)
  • System Integration Plan (PowerPoint)
  • User Training Manual (PDF)
  • Regulatory Compliance Framework (Excel)

Explore more Product Costing deliverables

Product Costing Case Studies

One relevant case study comes from a leading pharmaceutical company that restructured its Product Costing system. By adopting a more granular costing model, the organization improved its cost traceability and reduced overall costs by 12%, as detailed in a report by Deloitte.

Another case involves a global biotech company that implemented a new costing system, resulting in a 30% reduction in the time required to close books and a 10% increase in profit margins, as documented by EY.

Explore additional related case studies

Product Costing Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Product Costing. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Product Costing subject matter experts.

Integration with Existing Financial Systems

Ensuring the new Product Costing system integrates effectively with existing financial systems is crucial for accuracy and efficiency. A seamless integration enables real-time data transfer and analysis, leading to more informed decision-making. According to research by Accenture, companies that have successfully integrated their costing systems with financial reporting have seen a 20% reduction in reporting errors and a 25% improvement in the speed of financial closing cycles.

This integration encompasses more than just technical compatibility; it involves aligning financial reporting standards, cost categorization, and data structures across systems. The objective is to create a single source of truth for cost data that feeds into financial statements, budgeting, and forecasting activities. This unified approach not only improves internal financial management but also enhances the credibility of financial reports shared with external stakeholders.

Learn more about Financial Management

Scalability of the New Costing System

The scalability of the Product Costing system is a strategic imperative, especially for a growing biotech firm. The system must not only handle the current volume of data but also adapt to future complexities without a drop in performance. A scalable system supports business expansion, new product development, and entry into new markets. As per a report by PwC, companies that invest in scalable financial systems can expect to manage growth-related cost complexities 30% more effectively than those with rigid systems.

Scalability also means the ability to incorporate new costing methodologies, such as Activity-Based Costing (ABC), as the company evolves. This flexibility allows the organization to remain agile in its costing practices, ensuring that the system remains relevant and adds value in the long term. By planning for scalability from the outset, the company can avoid the need for costly and disruptive system overhauls in the future.

Learn more about Agile New Product Development Product Development

Training and Change Management

The implementation of a new Product Costing system requires a comprehensive training and change management strategy to ensure widespread adoption and utilization. Training should be tailored to different user groups within the organization, addressing their specific interactions with the system. According to Bain & Company, effective training programs can improve user proficiency by up to 50%, significantly enhancing the return on investment for new systems.

Change management is equally important and involves communicating the benefits of the new system, addressing resistance, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. By engaging with stakeholders early and often, the organization can build a coalition of support that will help overcome challenges and ensure that the new system is embraced as a valuable tool for the company's growth and success.

Learn more about Continuous Improvement Return on Investment

Regulatory Compliance Considerations

For biotech firms, regulatory compliance is a critical component of Product Costing. The system must be designed to adhere to industry regulations and facilitate compliance reporting. According to a study by KPMG, companies that proactively integrate compliance into their costing systems reduce their risk of regulatory breaches by up to 40%.

By incorporating regulatory requirements into the design of the Product Costing system, the organization can streamline the compliance process, making it easier to generate reports and audit trails that satisfy regulatory bodies. This proactive approach not only minimizes the risk of non-compliance but also positions the company as a responsible and transparent operator in the highly regulated biotech industry.

Real-time Data for Strategic Decision-Making

Access to real-time cost data significantly enhances strategic decision-making capabilities. With real-time data, leaders can make informed decisions quickly, responding to market changes and internal performance metrics. Gartner's research indicates that companies which leverage real-time data can improve their decision-making speed by up to 70%, leading to better outcomes and a stronger competitive position.

Implementing a real-time Product Costing system requires robust data infrastructure and analytics capabilities. By investing in these areas, the biotech firm can gain insights into cost drivers, profitability by product line, and operational efficiencies, which are invaluable for strategic planning and resource allocation.

Ensuring Data Accuracy and Reliability

Data accuracy and reliability are the foundations of a trustworthy Product Costing system. Inaccurate data can lead to misguided decisions and financial misreporting. A report by McKinsey & Company highlights that organizations with high data-quality standards can see a 15-25% increase in operational efficiency. This underscores the importance of establishing rigorous data governance and quality control measures within the new system.

Reliable data stems from consistent data entry practices, regular audits, and validation processes. The biotech firm must prioritize these aspects to maintain the integrity of its costing data. This commitment to data quality not only supports internal management but also builds confidence among investors, partners, and regulators.

Learn more about Data Governance Quality Control

Additional Resources Relevant to Product Costing

Here are additional best practices relevant to Product Costing from the Flevy Marketplace.

Did you know?
The average daily rate of a McKinsey consultant is $6,625 (not including expenses). The average price of a Flevy document is $65.

Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Improved cost accuracy by 18% through the redesign of the costing model, aligning with industry standards and regulatory requirements.
  • Reduced time to close books by 25% with the streamlined Product Costing process, enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Realized a 12% increase in profit margin per product, indicating improved financial performance at the individual product level.
  • Enhanced decision-making speed by 40% through the implementation of a real-time Product Costing system, enabling quicker responses to market changes.

The initiative has yielded significant improvements in cost accuracy, operational efficiency, and financial performance. The redesign of the costing model led to an 18% improvement in cost accuracy, aligning with industry standards and regulatory requirements. The streamlined Product Costing process reduced the time to close books by 25%, indicating enhanced operational efficiency. Additionally, a 12% increase in profit margin per product reflects improved financial performance at the individual product level. However, the initiative fell short in addressing the scalability of the new costing system, as it did not fully accommodate the increasing complexity of the firm's product portfolio. To enhance outcomes, the initiative could have involved a more comprehensive integration with existing financial systems, ensuring seamless real-time data transfer and analysis. Additionally, a more robust change management strategy could have facilitated widespread adoption and utilization of the new system.

For the next steps, it is recommended to conduct a thorough review of the scalability of the new costing system, ensuring its ability to accommodate the increasing complexity of the firm's product portfolio. Additionally, focus on enhancing the integration with existing financial systems to enable seamless real-time data transfer and analysis. A comprehensive change management strategy should be implemented to ensure widespread adoption and utilization of the new system, maximizing its potential benefits.

Source: Product Costing Revamp for Biotech Firm in Regulatory Environment, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

Flevy is the world's largest knowledge base of best practices.


Leverage the Experience of Experts.

Find documents of the same caliber as those used by top-tier consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, Accenture.

Download Immediately and Use.

Our PowerPoint presentations, Excel workbooks, and Word documents are completely customizable, including rebrandable.

Save Time, Effort, and Money.

Save yourself and your employees countless hours. Use that time to work on more value-added and fulfilling activities.




Read Customer Testimonials




Additional Flevy Management Insights

Download our FREE Strategy & Transformation Framework Templates

Download our free compilation of 50+ Strategy & Transformation slides and templates. Frameworks include McKinsey 7-S Strategy Model, Balanced Scorecard, Disruptive Innovation, BCG Experience Curve, and many more.