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Abrams Co. | Return On Investment | Inventory

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Abrams Company Q.1 ) The Abrams case is about using profitability measures to evaluate profit centers. The case also reflects a long academic debate in the US-literature about ROI problems. In EU companies it is more common to evaluate PCs with Income measures like RI and EVA. This case covers the tree main problems in controlling profit centers: 1. The ROI behavior 2. Transfer pricing disputes 3. Operational trouble shouting It is very difficult to find a relevant and fair capital base for the
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  Abrams Company Q.1 )The Abrams case is about using profitability measures to evaluate profit centers. The case alsoreflects a long academic debate in the US-literature about ROI problems. In EU companies it ismore common to evaluate PCs with Income measures like RI and EVA. This case covers thetree main problems in controlling profit centers:1.   The ROI behavior2.   Transfer pricing disputes3.   Operational trouble shoutingIt is very difficult to find a relevant and fair capital base for the ROI measure. Abrams use book value for fixed assets which inflate the ROI measure as the assets age. The age and mix of assetsalso differs among divisions which give unfair measures. It is also easy for the divisions tomanipulate the capital base at the end of the year. ROI based bonus may rob the future, who wantto invest in assets if that reduce the bonus.I recommend this company to use RI or EVA instead of ROI and to control the investmentsseparately using NPV and capital turnover measures. The bonus should be based on the budgetedincome level, the RI target.The current transfer price system seems to work well with few disputes. Nevertheless I wouldrecommend a change to cost based TPs. This is perhaps a cultural aspect. In US and GB the useof market based TP were very common some decades ago. In EU, and nowadays also in the US,cost based TP are more frequent. Market prices are more used as a top-level for the TP. Anadvantage with cost base TP is that it will give all internal partners full information about the cost structure and you will avoid “upstream fixed costs”  TP= fullcost+capital cost communicated in approved and well known TP lists. Specicial (nonstd) deliveries must be negotiated under trust, open book, first bid and freedom of source.The problem with the inventory level can not be controlled with ROI management. If thecompany change to RI/EVA it will be possible to to negotiate relevant inventory levels in thebudget process. High inventory levels can also be managed with differentiated capital chargesthat will create high interest costs. The best way to control operational tasks is to us non financialmeasures such as inventory turnover.  Use non financial measures to control the inventory levels. If it is an strategic issue you canconnect this measure to the bonus system.Q.2) In general, Abrams Company adopts the lowest cost, differentiation, market focus and ROI strategies to accomplish the organization’s goal. Furthermore, In order to implement the strategies the firm establishes its own management control systems. ➢ Suggestions to performance measurement system:1) ROI can be used combination with other performance measures to avoid the limitations of ROI. Thecompany can establish a non-financial performance measurement system such as the balancedscorecard .With a good performance measurement system, the incentive compensation plan will beimproved.(2) EVA ( Economic value added) can be used instead of ROISuggestions to transfer pricing : a transfer price fixed by the top management in compliance with theAM division and the other divisions involved which could be revised when it is out of date. This fixedprice could be adjusted due to inflation. There should be an internal policy on it. Therefore, topmanagement should implement a cost-based transfer prices because when competitive prices are notavailable, transfer prices may be set on the basis of cost plus a profit markup.  
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