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Flevy Management Insights Q&A
What impact do emerging global supply chain challenges have on product costing accuracy and methodology?


This article provides a detailed response to: What impact do emerging global supply chain challenges have on product costing accuracy and methodology? For a comprehensive understanding of Product Costing, we also include relevant case studies for further reading and links to Product Costing best practice resources.

TLDR Emerging global supply chain challenges necessitate a shift towards more dynamic, informed, and resilient Product Costing methodologies to maintain accuracy, profitability, and a Competitive Edge in a volatile market.

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Emerging global supply chain challenges have significantly impacted product costing accuracy and methodology, requiring organizations to adapt and rethink their strategies. The volatility in supply chains caused by factors such as geopolitical tensions, pandemics, and climate change has made the traditional models of product costing less reliable. Organizations are now faced with the need to incorporate more dynamic and resilient approaches to maintain competitiveness and profitability.

Impact on Product Costing Accuracy

The accuracy of product costing is paramount for organizations to set competitive prices, manage margins, and make informed strategic decisions. However, the unpredictability of supply chain costs, including raw materials, labor, and logistics, has made it increasingly difficult to estimate product costs accurately. For instance, a sudden increase in shipping rates due to container shortages can significantly affect the landed cost of goods, rendering initial cost estimations obsolete. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, supply chain disruptions can lead to cost increases of up to 45% for affected products, highlighting the magnitude of impact on costing accuracy.

Moreover, fluctuating currency exchange rates further complicate the accuracy of international product costing. Organizations importing goods or components must now factor in potential currency risk into their product costing models. This adds another layer of complexity and uncertainty, making it challenging to maintain stable pricing strategies. The dynamic nature of global trade agreements and tariffs also plays a crucial role in this context, as sudden changes can alter cost structures overnight.

To counter these challenges, organizations are increasingly turning to advanced analytics and real-time data monitoring to enhance the accuracy of their product costing. By leveraging technologies such as AI and machine learning, companies can predict potential cost fluctuations more effectively and adjust their pricing strategies accordingly. This shift towards more agile and informed costing methodologies is critical for maintaining profitability in a volatile market environment.

Learn more about Supply Chain Machine Learning Agile Product Costing Disruption

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Changes in Product Costing Methodology

The methodology of product costing is evolving in response to global supply chain challenges. Traditional costing models, which often rely on historical data and static assumptions, are proving inadequate in the face of supply chain volatility. Organizations are now adopting more flexible and dynamic costing models that can accommodate rapid changes in cost inputs. For example, activity-based costing (ABC) is gaining popularity as it provides a more accurate reflection of the costs associated with specific activities and processes, enabling organizations to identify cost-saving opportunities more effectively.

Another significant change in methodology is the increased emphasis on scenario planning and stress testing. By modeling various supply chain disruption scenarios and their potential impact on product costs, organizations can better prepare for unexpected changes. This approach not only enhances the resilience of costing models but also supports more strategic decision-making processes. According to a survey by Deloitte, companies that regularly perform scenario planning were better positioned to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their supply chains.

Furthermore, there is a growing trend towards integrating sustainability considerations into product costing. As consumers and regulators increasingly demand environmentally responsible practices, organizations must factor in the costs associated with sustainable supply chain management. This includes the costs of sourcing eco-friendly materials, investing in renewable energy, and ensuring fair labor practices. Incorporating these elements into product costing not only aligns with ethical and regulatory standards but also addresses the growing market demand for sustainable products.

Learn more about Supply Chain Management Scenario Planning

Real-World Examples

Several leading organizations have successfully navigated the challenges of global supply chain disruptions by adapting their product costing methodologies. For instance, a major electronics manufacturer implemented a real-time costing system that dynamically adjusts for fluctuations in raw material prices and currency exchange rates. This system allowed the company to maintain competitive pricing and protect its margins despite volatile market conditions.

In the automotive industry, a global car manufacturer has integrated scenario planning into its product costing process. By analyzing various disruption scenarios, including tariff changes and supply chain bottlenecks, the company has been able to proactively adjust its sourcing strategies and mitigate cost impacts.

Lastly, a multinational consumer goods company has incorporated sustainability costs into its product pricing model. By calculating the costs associated with sustainable packaging and fair-trade sourcing, the company has not only enhanced its brand reputation but also tapped into a growing market segment of environmentally conscious consumers.

In conclusion, the emerging global supply chain challenges necessitate a reevaluation of product costing accuracy and methodology. Organizations that adopt more dynamic, informed, and resilient approaches to product costing will be better positioned to navigate the complexities of the current market landscape and maintain a competitive edge.

Best Practices in Product Costing

Here are best practices relevant to Product Costing from the Flevy Marketplace. View all our Product Costing materials here.

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Explore all of our best practices in: Product Costing

Product Costing Case Studies

For a practical understanding of Product Costing, take a look at these case studies.

Cost Reduction and Optimization Project for a Leading Manufacturing Firm

Scenario: A global manufacturing firm with a multimillion-dollar operation has been grappling with its skyrocketing production costs due to several factors, including raw material costs, labor costs, and operational inefficiencies.

Read Full Case Study

Cost Accounting Refinement for Biotech Firm in Life Sciences

Scenario: The organization, a mid-sized biotech company specializing in regenerative medicine, has been grappling with the intricacies of Cost Accounting amidst a rapidly evolving industry.

Read Full Case Study

Product Costing Strategy for D2C Electronics Firm in North America

Scenario: A North American direct-to-consumer electronics firm is grappling with escalating production costs that are eroding their market competitiveness.

Read Full Case Study

Cost Reduction Strategy for Defense Contractor in Competitive Market

Scenario: A mid-sized defense contractor is grappling with escalating product costs, threatening its position in a highly competitive market.

Read Full Case Study

Cost Analysis Revamp for D2C Cosmetic Brand in Competitive Landscape

Scenario: A direct-to-consumer (D2C) cosmetic brand faces the challenge of inflated operational costs in a highly competitive market.

Read Full Case Study

Telecom Expense Management for European Mobile Carrier

Scenario: The organization is a prominent mobile telecommunications service provider in the European market, grappling with soaring operational costs amidst fierce competition and market saturation.

Read Full Case Study

Explore all Flevy Management Case Studies

Related Questions

Here are our additional questions you may be interested in.

What role does product costing play in sustainability and environmental impact assessments?
Product costing is pivotal in sustainability and environmental impact assessments, enabling businesses to financially quantify production processes and materials, thereby identifying opportunities for waste reduction, resource optimization, and minimizing environmental footprint while maintaining profitability. [Read full explanation]
How can companies effectively allocate indirect costs to maintain transparency and accountability in cost analysis?
Effectively allocating indirect costs involves understanding their nature, employing strategic methods like Activity-Based Costing, leveraging technology for accuracy, and maintaining transparency and regular updates to ensure equitable distribution and enhance decision-making and financial reporting. [Read full explanation]
How can companies leverage data analytics and machine learning to enhance product costing models?
Data Analytics and Machine Learning enhance Product Costing Models by providing deeper insights into cost drivers, enabling dynamic pricing, and improving profitability through predictive analytics and operational optimizations. [Read full explanation]
How can companies ensure transparency and compliance in their cost accounting practices amid increasing regulatory scrutiny?
Companies can ensure transparency and compliance in cost accounting by understanding regulatory landscapes, implementing robust internal controls, and fostering a culture of transparency and accountability. [Read full explanation]
What strategies can be employed to ensure cost management practices are adaptable to global market volatility?
To adapt cost management practices to global market volatility, businesses should implement Agile Cost Structures, enhance Forecasting and Planning capabilities, and foster a Culture of Continuous Improvement, supported by Operational Excellence, Risk Management, and Performance Management. [Read full explanation]
How is the rise of artificial intelligence expected to transform cost analysis practices in the near future?
The integration of Artificial Intelligence in cost analysis is revolutionizing accuracy, efficiency, and strategic insight, enhancing Data Collection, Predictive Analytics, and Strategic Decision-Making for long-term competitiveness. [Read full explanation]

Source: Executive Q&A: Product Costing Questions, Flevy Management Insights, 2024


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