Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Schmeisser, Lydia Clausen and Martina Lukowsky
Companies are increasingly attempting to replace or expound product-orientated strategies by customer-orientated strategies. For this reason, the quantification of customer relations within the scope of the balanced scorecard is increasingly achieving significance as an implementation instrument for strategies and as a supplement to classic product profitability analysis.
From product-to customer Profit contribution
The customer profit contribution accounting enables a more precise assignment of direct costs as well as indirect costs (distribution, marketing and order processing), which were -up to now- only broken down into percentages by the help of activity based costing, to the cost unit “customer” by means of additional allocation bases. By using this method, it is possible to evaluate the profitability of the customer. The knowledge of the profitability of individual customers offers both starting points for cost cutting measures, and an opportunity to conduct an improved customer and yield management, and so ultimately enhance the profitability of the entire company.
In the following, instead of the product profit contribution, the customer profit contribution is taken as a starting point and ultimately conveyed in a customer cash flow. The investment calculation of the customer value shall also be explored as well as its role in enhancing the company and/or the market value within the scope of the quantification of the balanced scorecard.
Product- versus customer-based calculation
A company management will not be able to forgo a product-based calculation, as the processes of planning, managing and controlling are initially fixed to the product or service to be performed. For company internal processes, the product costs are most relevant as long as no customer-specific order requests are taken into account, which are directly assigned to the product concerned. The following diagram is intended to provide a rough schematic overview of the process for determining the customer profit contribution amount, in which an initial product-based calculation is performed and through which the characteristics of the customer-based product calculation are revealed……