Product Analysis

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1. Choose one of the company’s products, provide a description of that product and the
manufacturing process involved in producing it. (20%, max. 400 words)
Firstly, choose your product carefully – you will want a product where you are able to
demonstrate that you have a good understanding of the various cost concepts involved (for
part 2 of the assignment, which carries the most marks).
In order to pass the first part of the assignment, your answer should describe the product so
that the reader has a basic understanding of what it is and how it is made. In most cases you
will obtain information from some source (such as the company website) that must be
referenced accurately. Feel free to use diagrams or pictures to support your description.
Good answers will provide more detail – think about how the product and its manufacturing
process can be related to management accounting concepts that we are covering in this unit
(such as the choice of product costing system (job/process/operation)?).
2. Referring to the cost classifications provided in chapters 2 and 3 of your textbook,
provide a detailed description of the different types of costs involved in producing the
product and how those costs behave. (50%)
Start by reviewing File 2 and 3(see attachment), you may find the ‘key terms’ listed at the
end of each file useful as they provide a whole range of different cost concepts. Try and
apply as many as you can to your chosen product, and show that you understand what they
mean (using examples is always a good way of demonstrating your understanding!).
Note that answers need not be limited to manufacturing costs as it can be argued that costs
such as Design costs and R&D costs are also part of the cost of producing a product over its
life cycle. Also note that the question asks for a description of both the different types of
and of how they behave, so make sure that your answer covers both of these areas.
In order to pass, your answer should include the most common cost terms (such as, but not
limited to, DM, DL and overheads), some discussion of cost behaviour (such as variable,
semi-variable, fixed), and must show comprehension of these. Good answers will provide
more detail in application to the product or manufacturing process and use a greater range
of terms. Very good answers will have selected a product that enables a variety of these

terms to be applied, and extend the discussion of cost behaviour to include, for example,
aspects of activity-based costing.
3. Referring to chapter 1 of your textbook, indicate what strategy the company adopts to
obtain competitive advantage. Provide some recommendations for how management
accounting information can be used to achieve the business’ strategy. (20%, max. 400
Start by reviewing FIle 1 (see attachment) where the links between strategy and
management accounting are discussed and the different approaches to obtaining
competitive advantage are identified. In order to pass, your answer should identify the
strategy the chosen company adopts to achieve competitive advantage.

Good answers will identify several different ways (providing examples) in which
management accounting can assist in achieving the strategy, and these should correspond
to the specific strategy identified.
Presentation (referencing, English usage, formatting, 10%): You do have to reference
accurately and provide a reference list (not a bibliography).

Standardization process is the initial stage of cheese making, and it involves separation of milk fat and skim milk by centrifugal force. The cream and skim milk go through an infrared spectrometer where the fat and milk are mixed according to the desired ratio to make cheese. The next stage is pasteurization to kill all pathogenic bacteria. Pasteurization requires milk to be heated to a temperature of 72°C for about 15 seconds.

A lactic acid, making bacteria, is added to the cooled milk to produce the final distinct flavor of the cheese. Once the cheese-making vat is full, rennet, a coagulating enzyme, is added when the milk has become dormant. This stage is known as the coagulation stage, and it takes 30 to 40 minutes. The milk turns to curd which is then cut into small particles to release whey.

A rotating cutting knife cuts the cheese and stirs the curd in the vat. It takes 5 to 10 minutes depending on the required moisture content of the final cheese product. The curd is then allowed to develop a top membrane before the cooking phase (Anne, 2013). The cooking phase of the curds is achieved by continually applying heat through the vat surface using steam or hot water. It usually occurs over a 40-minute span where the curd temperature is raised from 31°C to 38°C. Moisture is expelled from curd particles, and the curd starts to harden. Stirring continues until the required pH level is attained. Once the right pH is attained, the vat is emptied into a machine known as an Alfomatic. The curd is drained to separate it from whey through a draining screen.


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