Process cost management

The alignment of companies with operational processes is one of the most important topics in modern organizational theory. After that, the mastery of the critical processes decides the success of a company. In a process-oriented company, however, the operational events can no longer be mapped using traditional cost accounting.
Nur wenn die Kostenrechnung den veränderten Strukturen und Steuerungsmechanismen Rechnung trägt, kann sie weiterhin ihre Abbildungs- und Steuerungsfunktion erfüllen. Zur Ermittlung des neben seiner Zeit und Qualität charakterisierenden Merkmals der Kosten eines Prozesses ist deshalb eine Process cost accounting erforderlich. Die Ermittlung der Prozesskosten ist in der Praxis jedoch nicht ausreichend. Es ist vielmehr notwendig, die hinter den Prozesskosten stehenden Strukturen zu gestalten. Diese Analyse und Gestaltung der Kostentreiber und Kostenfunktionen der Prozesse der indirekten Bereiche bezeichnet man als Prozesskostenmanagement.

The starting points for process (cost) design are:

Process structure: By designing and influencing the process structure, ie the process composition and the types of process involved, both a change in the course of process costs and the absolute level of process costs can be achieved. The reduction of complexity is of particular importance. In addition, it is important to eliminate activities or sub-processes that do not add value and to increase process transparency. The figure shows an example of the possible reduction in cumulative process costs by linking sub-processes one to three.

Process volume: By influencing the process volume, process costs can be reduced in the long term. If, for example, customers can be persuaded to only place larger collective orders instead of a large number of small individual orders, a significant reduction in the number of orders (as a cost driver of the "order acceptance" process) is (with unchanged order volume in terms of quantity and value) and thus also a Reduction of the process effort possible.

Process efficiency: Measures to optimize the process efficiency are aimed at the behavior of the process costs depending on the cost driver quantity. By reducing the resource consumption per process implementation (or per cost driver), the unit process costs, ie the costs per process implementation, are to be reduced. This is expressed in a flatter course of the process cost curve. While rationalization measures were previously aimed at direct production to increase manufacturing efficiency, efforts are now increasingly being made to improve process efficiency in the indirect areas. While the potential for rationalization is now only low due to the high degree of automation in the direct areas, the indirect area of a company offers enormous potential for savings. The proportion of non-value-adding activities in administrative processes is estimated at 80-90%.
Process cost management is increasingly developing into an integrated process management that takes time and quality into account. The effectiveness and efficiency of the operational processes are to be achieved in terms of cost, time and quality. The causes of defective and reactive performance that do not increase value added must be analyzed and eliminated. Which process dimension is in the foreground is derived from the respective objective of the project, the area or the company. However, it should be noted that the process costs are closely related to the dimensions of process time and quality, since almost all successful optimization measures ultimately result in lower relative costs.

Integrated process management is now considered to be the most promising approach to solving the problem of overhead planning and control. The focus is not only on optimizing process efficiency (“doing the processes right”), but especially concentrating on processes that increase value creation, ie increasing process effectiveness (“doing the right processes”). In this context, process cost management has the task of optimizing costs along the entire process.

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