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COSTING AS AN ESSENTIAL INSTRUMENT IN MATERIALS MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL

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COSTING AS AN ESSENTIAL INSTRUMENT IN MATERIALS MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL (A CASE STUDY OF EMENITE PLC ENUGU)

 

ABSTRACT

The major objective of this research project is to examine the role which costing plays in materials control and management with a view to project the need of cost department in every industrial organization.  In order to highlight the foregoing objective, the survey method of research was employed in the study. Both primary and secondary sources of were utilized in gathering relevant information. The primary sources consists of the questionnaire and oral interview while the secondary sources were gathered from existing literature on the subject matter of the study.  The method data analysis used were simple percentages and chi-square (x2).  The study has proved that costing is a veritable instrument for materials management in any industry.  This study recommends the recognition of a cost department, and of course, the creation of good working environment to enable the department function effectively.  Finally, the study also made a case for the development of the study of costing beyond the existing level in all our tertiary institutions.  Industrial operators should liase with Government to ensure that the curriculum of various institutions are developed to incorporate the increased importance of costing, and at the same time, see to the adequate funding of the programme.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

This chapter deals with the Background of the study; Statement of Problems; Objectives of the study; Significance of the study; Research Questions; Delimitations of the study, Limitation of the study and Definition of terms.

1.1  BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The aim of this research work is to identify the role, which costing can play in ensuring effective materials management. Materials management is an essential factor in the manufacturing industry, given the fact that materials are the principal substance for any manufacturing or production process. Materials management and control involves the tedious process of organizing, planning and controlling all activities involved in the procurement, reception, issuance and storage of all material inventories.  This process of organizing, planning and control embraces the technique of costing, hence, the topic “Costing As An Essential Instrument In Materials Management and Control”.

Planning and control are all functions of management and the application of accounting and costing principles is cost Accounting.  Consequently, since the aim of control is to ensure good management, it goes without saying that the terms “costing” and “Cost Accounting” will be used interchangeably as well as “materials management” and “materials control” for the purpose of this research. Since this is an important topic to the sustenance and growth of an manufacturing industry, the researcher has chosen a gigantic manufacturing outfit whose performance over the years is a success story as a study in this work.

Emenite Plc is a successful Building material manufacturing company based here in Enugu.  It is situated at No. 7 Old Abakaliki Road, Emene Enugu, in Enugu State of Nigeria. The company is an affiliate of Eternity Group in Belgium. It was established in Nigeria on 6th October, 1961 as Turners Asbestors Industries Ltd. It started operations in 1963 after being commissioned by the Premier of then Eastern Region of Nigeria, the Late Dr. Michael Iheoaukara Okpara. The name of the company was changed in 1976 from Turners Asbestors Industries Ltd. to Turners Building Products (Emene) Ltd. to reflect the diversification of its production line from Asbestors roofing sheets to include a variety of other building materials.  Furthermore, the name of the company was changed from Turners Building Products (Emene) Ltd to Emenite Plc in 1989 when the company went public. The study of a company like Emenite Plc in a research work on materials management will provide a very reliable insight into the techniques of effective materials management judging from its enviable performance over the years.

Costing as a subject of study over the years; ever since the use of money replaced barter, people have been cost conscious. However, it was the concentration of manufacturing facilities into factories, which gave impetus to the development of recognizable costing systems.  Today, costing has grown in importance that it is widely used beyond manufacturing industries.  Costing aims at providing management with information relating to costs with a view to assisting them in prudent management. Management efficiency is measured from overall objective of the organization. This underscores the importance of efficient materials management in any organization.

The application of costing in the materials handling of any organization will ensure that materials meant for production are optimally utilized for the purpose.  When this is done, the production cost per unit of output will be affordable, thus, enhancing profitability.  This is in contrast to a situation when materials are not handled with any control procedure.  The resultant effect will be lack of adequate control, lack of accountability, losses occasioned by material pilferage, material wastage, material stock-out situation, idle time and inadequate utilization of installed capacity.

 

With the ever increasing growth in business and level of competition, business organizations are developing modern methods of operation in order to keep afloat.  It will be equivalent to operating in the dark ages if a business organization does not operate with such reliable data as; minimum stock level, maximum stock level, re-order level, and economic ordering quantity.  At the same time, production cost cannot be controlled if at any point in time management is uniformed about the quantity and cost of materials issued to production, as well as the quantity and value of material inventory in stock at any given time.  In addition, it would be difficult to price the product of such organization.

Costing provides an indispensable tool in this all important aspect of planning and control procedures needed to ensure a continuous progress in the existence and operations of any manufacturing concern. Materials management therefore embraces all those techniques aimed at instituting controls in all aspects of materials handling.  It involves the procedure, which aims to ensure effective and efficient accounting for materials inventory with the aid of relevant source documents like purchase order, issue voucher, etc.  It includes materials costing and valuation, which employs such tools as stock taking and stock valuation.

1.2  Statement of Problem

It has been observed that though most manufacturing companies have adopted various measures aimed at accounting for their material stock, adequate costing techniques have not been employed in this direction.  There is a great difference between record keeping and accounting.  Record keeping involves noting down in the books every bit of transaction that occurred in organization, but without any guiding principle. On the other hand, accounting involves the recording of every business transaction with strict adherence to lay down principles.  Consequently, records only provide information from which end results could be calculated by a skilled person and can be kept by any body, but accounting on the other hand can only be kept by someone trained in the field of accounting in which case accounting records will embrace ab-initio all the guiding principles necessary to ensure that results are disclosed at any given time, and are capable of being understood by interest users of accounting information.

With the growth of industrial activities within the manufacturing sector, it has been proved that mere records such as obtainable in a sole proprietorship falls short of providing solution towards the attainment of organizational objectives.  The sole proprietorship is a self subsistence type of business, and may have no further objectives as long as the returns is enough to sustain family upkeep expenses.  But in contrast, management efficiency in corporate organizations is measured by its level of performance towards the attainment of corporate objectives.  Such objectives must above all, ensure adequate return on invested fund, which will be enough to meet the claims on the assets of the company.  With these challenges, in view, there is the need to set up an organized structure in order to ensure effective operations, hence a cost accounting department charged with responsibility of materials control and management must be put in place.

Furthermore, since materials are the principal substance to any production process, it implies that materials form the basis of organizations continuous existence.  This goes to suggest that large volume of capital is committed to material procurement necessitating adequate controls in order to forestall any ugly incidence that may jeopardize the company’s operations.  Materials control measures capable of achieving results must ensure at all times that the incidence of over-stocking or under-stocking of materials at any given time is eliminated.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of this study:

i.  To make a case for the application of costing systems in the control and management of materials.

ii.  To highlight various methods available to organizations in costing and valuing materials, among which are:

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