Cost Management in Plastics Processing - Third Edition

Up

Dr. R.J. Kent
Tangram Technology Limited

October 2012

A new book covering all aspects of plastics processing and relating these to cost management and survival in the future.

The book is NOT a text on 'cost cutting', it is a text on how intelligent cost management in plastics processing can reduce costs, improve competitiveness and make life easier for plastics processors.

The book looks at the process of making plastics and how the cost of the product is built up. Ranging from basic management cost accounting through to the treatment of overheads (and simple ways to reduce them) the book includes 'Key Tips' for cost management for each activity area.

Controversial in many areas, the book provides a tool kit for the future and a template for good cost management in the industry. In an age where companies are fighting for business the book provides a range of techniques for cost management.

Written in a clear and simple style, each topic is covered in a single A3 spread. This is not a book to be read from cover to cover but a tool to be referred to and used as a change management reference for all areas of plastics processing.

'Technology is not important. It is what we do with it that counts.'

 

Reviews

Modern Plastics - Markets & Business

Mar 1st, 2003

Book Offers Guidance On Processing Cost Management by Peter Mapleston

Robin Kent was talking with two processor company managers at the Interplas trade fair in Birmingham, England, last October, when he told them about a book that he had written, “Cost Management in Plastics Processing.” The managers almost fell over themselves with surprise — they were using it as a bible to run their company.

It was not exactly the level of feedback Kent anticipated when he wrote his 150-page book, but the two managers could probably have done much worse. The soft-backed book does not go into a lot of detail, but it provides an excellent run-though of all aspects of keeping costs under control in any type of plastics processing business. 

Subtitled “Strategies, Target, Techniques and Tools,” Kent’s book discusses what can be a highly intimidating topic in simple language. Each section is laid out for photocopying ease, and there are anecdotes, palpable quotes (“If you need a new machine and don’t buy it then you will eventually find out that you paid for it anyway,” by Henry Ford, for example), tips (“Devolve the responsibility to the people who suffer if the component isn’t there. They will really care about it.”), and wit (“If you do not know where you are going, then it is unlikely you will end up there.”). There is even a section on “mind mapping,” a deceptively simple method of setting out ideas, which Kent used in writing the book and which he describes as “one of the best thinking tools of the last 50 years.” Indeed, the book is laid out in exemplary fashion. 

The book’s publisher, Rapra Technology Ltd., Shawbury, England, says processors need above all else effective cost management to survive, if not thrive. Kent examines topics from how costs are calculated by accountants, to the effective use of machines and labour, and the minimization of waste. He also discusses ways to calculate a project’s true cost, determine whether overheads are properly allocated, and how just-in-time manufacturing can be an option. 

The book begins with a look at traditional methods of accounting and costing and whether they are helpful or accurate for project management. Kent notes that when costs need to be reduced, the emphasis is normally put on direct labour, even though it accounts for only around 10% of total costs. “This misdirection of efforts continues to cost money and waste resources,” he notes. 

Design is critical to the cost of any project. Kent says too many design projects start long after they are scheduled because of approval delays. “Never give a completion date — only commit to a project duration from project approval,” Kent tells project managers. 

The advantages of working in cells and using smaller process machines are discussed. Finding where bottlenecks occur and solving the problems surrounding them are also topics, as is energy efficiency. 

Practical examples of cost management are included, along with flow charts and diagrams, to illustrate points of discussion. Several of these are designed to be photocopied and used in practice. 

Kent has been involved in plastics processing for over 30 years, in a variety of sectors. He has many years of experience in product design as the technical director for several major processors in Europe. His book costs $150 and can be ordered from Rapra’s Web site, www.rapra.com.

 

Polymer Engineering - June 2002

'Cost Management in Plastics Processing' by Robin Kent, published by Rapra Technology, is a really worthwhile book for those involved in plastics processing. It should prove a real eye-opener for those running processing businesses who have to keep costs under control but have little real knowledge of the best approach. Kent has been around the industry for many years and takes a lateral view of the way processors should approach their business and the whole question of cost control. The book, according to Kent, is an attempt to 'summarise some of the current thinking in cost management as it relates to plastics processing; to provide guidance and signposts to actions that processors can take to manage costs and improve profits; and to act as a route map towards improved margins and profitability.'

Each topic within the sectors is no more than two pages in length, so they can be easily digested or copied by the reader. On each spread there are diagrams or tables broken out, or tables of tips, hints or help suggestions on the topics covered.

 

SPE Journal - Plastics Engineering - August 2002

How costs are calculated, the effective use of machines and labour, and the minimization of waste are some of the issues examined in this book. Traditional methods of accounting and costing and whether these are helpful or accurate for project management are examined. It is the author's assertion that the larger business costs (such as overhead), rather than smaller ones (such as cost of the labour force), should be addressed first, since these are the areas in which the greatest savings can potentially be realized.

The advantages of establishing work cells, using appropriately sized machines, and identifying and eliminating production bottlenecks are described, and energy efficiency is recommended as an additional area in which significant cost savings can be achieved. The author gives many practical examples of effective cost management in plastics processing, illustrated by accompanying flow charts and diagrams.

 

Materials World - August 2002

This book begins by looking at traditional methods of accounting and costings. It examines the issues from how costs are calculated, to the effective use of machines and labour, to minimisation of waste. Practical examples of cost management in plastics processing are included.

 

Chemtec Publishing

Above all else, plastics processing companies need effective cost management to survive. This book examines the issues from how costs are calculated by accountants, to the effective use of machines and labour, to the minimisation of waste.

What is the true cost of any project? Are the overheads properly allocated? When is investment in new technology required? Are your best customers nurtured or treated like the rest? Do you hold too much inventory using up cash? Is just-in-time manufacturing working or should we be looking at Colin New's concept 'the return of the Jedi' (just enough desirable inventory)? These are just a few of the subjects discussed in this provocative book.
The book begins by looking at traditional methods of accounting and costing and whether these are helpful or accurate for project management. When costs need to be reduced, why is it that the labour force is targeted first? In 1996 the direct labour cost of manufacturing operations was only 10% of the total costs, while the company overheads amounted to 35%. What about examining the overheads and finding ways to reduce them? The author argues that the largest costs should be tackled first, as these the areas where the biggest savings can potentially be made.

Design is critical to the cost of any project. Are components made using too much material? Are there too many unnecessary features and not enough that the customer really wants? Is the material in use over-specified (materials constitute one of the largest costs in any project)? The author takes readers back to first principles. 

The advantages of working in cells and using smaller machines are described. Finding out where bottlenecks occur and solving the problems surrounding them is discussed. Energy efficiency is another big area for improvement in many companies and the costs can be reduced significantly. 

Over the years many different methods have been developed for analysing and solving problems in manufacturing. A selection of these are described here. 

Practical examples of cost management in plastics processing are included, together with many useful flow charts and diagrams to illustrate the points under discussion. This is a book that will make you think about your current practices and how to go forward with effective cost management.

 

British Plastics Federation

Above all else, plastics processing companies need effective cost management to survive. This book examines the issues from how costs are calculated by accountants, to the effective use of machines and labour, to the minimisation of waste. What is the true cost of any project? Are the overheads properly allocated? When is investment in new technology required? Are your best customers nurtured or treated like the rest? Do you hold too much inventory using up cash? Is just-in-time manufacturing working or should we be looking at Colin New's concept 'the return of the Jedi' (just enough desirable inventory)? These are just a few of the subjects discussed in this provocative book. The book begins by looking at traditional methods of accounting and costing and whether these are helpful or accurate for project management. When costs need to be reduced, why is it that the labour force is targeted first? In 1996 the direct labour cost of manufacturing operations was only 10% of the total costs, while the company overheads amounted to 35%. What about examining the overheads and finding ways to reduce them? The author argues that the largest costs should be tackled first, as these the areas where the biggest savings can potentially be made. Design is critical to the cost of any project. Are components made using too much material? Are there too many unnecessary features and not enough that the customer really wants? Is the material in use over-specified (materials constitute one of the largest costs in any project)?

The author takes readers back to first principles. The advantages of working in cells and using smaller machines are described. Finding out where bottlenecks occur and solving the problems surrounding them is discussed. Energy efficiency is another big area for improvement in many companies and the costs can be reduced significantly.

Over the years many different methods have been developed for analysing and solving problems in manufacturing. A selection of these are described here. Practical examples of cost management in plastics processing are included, together with many useful flow charts and diagrams to illustrate the points under discussion.

This is a book that will make you think about your current practices and how to go forward with effective cost management.

KEY FEATURES... *Clear layout *Practical suggestions *Well illustrated *Thought provoking *Key tips at the end of each chapter.

 

Format: A4, perfect bound, soft backed, c 150 pages.

ISBN 1-85957-322-3

Last edited: 04/06/13

© Tangram Technology Ltd. 2007

Our standard disclaimer regarding Internet data applies.