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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Donald R. Deis, Helmut Schneider, Chester G. Wilmot and Charles H. Coates

The purpose of this project was to compare the cost of transportation engineering design services provided by private contractors versus services provided by state…

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to compare the cost of transportation engineering design services provided by private contractors versus services provided by state transportation agency staff for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD). Due to shrinking budgets, staff cuts, and a trend toward privatization, state transportation agencies now outsource the majority of the services they provide. The merits of doing so, however, have been difficult to discern for lack of “apples-to-apples” comparisons. For engineering design services, this problem is particularly acute due to the uniqueness of many projects (e.g., a bridge over the Mississippi river). A simulation approach was used in this study to make “apples-to-apples” comparisons for 39 design projects, 22 in-house projects and 17 consultant projects. For each in-house design project, the cost was estimated had the work been done by a consulting firm. Similarly, for each consultant design project, the cost was estimated had the work been done by in-house staff. The result of the study was that in-house design costs were cheaper by an average of 17 to 19 percent.

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Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1980

David Ray, John Gattorna and Mike Allen

Preface The functions of business divide into several areas and the general focus of this book is on one of the most important although least understood of…

Abstract

Preface The functions of business divide into several areas and the general focus of this book is on one of the most important although least understood of these—DISTRIBUTION. The particular focus is on reviewing current practice in distribution costing and on attempting to push the frontiers back a little by suggesting some new approaches to overcome previously defined shortcomings.

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International Journal of Physical Distribution & Materials Management, vol. 10 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0269-8218

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Christian Stoy

Today, the occupancy cost of owner‐operated property is the second or third largest cost factor for many companies. Benchmarking projects that focus on occupancy cost

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Abstract

Purpose

Today, the occupancy cost of owner‐operated property is the second or third largest cost factor for many companies. Benchmarking projects that focus on occupancy cost comparisons are, therefore, becoming increasingly important. Such projects must contrast comparable properties since the comparison otherwise cannot produce meaningful results. The paper aims to focus on the issues involved.

Design/methodology/approach

An occupancy cost benchmarking concept is explained using the example of a Swiss portfolio of office buildings used for own operations. The chosen approach works primarily with known cost drivers that are used in the selection of suitable benchmarking properties.

Findings

The benchmarking concept enables the benchmarking of comparable properties. In addition to a pure benchmarking, it also allows the reasons for cost differences between the properties under consideration and the specific benchmarks to be identified. Recommended actions can be derived from the comparison.

Practical implications

In support of future benchmarking projects, it will be necessary to expand the existing database and to analyse it with the aim of identifying additional cost drivers.

Originality/value

The concept discussed in the paper can be translated to other areas of application (for instance area benchmarking).

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1982

M.S. Silver

The theoretical base for cost‐of‐living comparisons between geographical areas is examined and developed. The interpretation of bilateral comparisons is discussed within a…

Abstract

The theoretical base for cost‐of‐living comparisons between geographical areas is examined and developed. The interpretation of bilateral comparisons is discussed within a framework of a matrix of cost‐of‐living comparisons with all countries being listed in both columns and rows. The use of multilateral comparisons is questioned.

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Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Andreas Jede and Frank Teuteberg

Information technology (IT) expenses constitute an important factor when choosing efficient IT systems. Especially with regard to cloud computing (CC), decision-makers…

Abstract

Purpose

Information technology (IT) expenses constitute an important factor when choosing efficient IT systems. Especially with regard to cloud computing (CC), decision-makers tend to associate cost benefits. In this context, cloud providers present often undifferentiated sample calculations which aim to verify the financial favorability of their IT solutions. However, the scientific literature tries to encounter this by means of various total costs of ownership approaches. But science mostly neglects essential factors and does not provide an integrated approach involving factors, such as cost of capital, taxation effects, use intensity or duration of use. Hence, the purpose of this study is to involve these factors accordingly.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a multi-method approach. First, existing literature is analyzed by a systematic literature review. Afterwards, the initial model is developed by means of a formal notation. Finally, the suitability of the formal model is evaluated by a real-life case study, where simulation software is used for investigating various scenarios.

Findings

The underlying paper discusses a formal model which integrates the four stated factors and enables decision-makers to compare cloud-based IT services on a comprehensive financial basis. Thus, the rational cost comparisons with traditional IT systems such as on-premise (OP) increase the transparency of the CC field significantly.

Originality/value

This paper shows impressively the importance of the four mentioned factors and their influence on the decision whether to implement cloud services or OP services. Herein, to the best of our knowledge and for the first time, a cash-flow-based comparison model is created for comparing cloud services and OP solutions.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2013

Carlos Rodríguez Verjan, Vincent Augusto, Xiaolan Xie and Valérie Buthion

Hospital at Home (HAH) is a concept slowly expanding over time. At first this type of organization was used to accomplish low‐technical tasks. The main objective was to…

Abstract

Purpose

Hospital at Home (HAH) is a concept slowly expanding over time. At first this type of organization was used to accomplish low‐technical tasks. The main objective was to increase bed availability in hospitals for new patients. Nowadays, HAH structures are able to undertake more technical complex care such as (but not limited to) end‐of‐life care, chemotherapy and rehabilitation. The purpose of this paper is to propose a new methodology to make an unbiased economic comparison between HAH structures and traditional hospitalization.

Design/methodology/approach

This article accomplishes two main objectives: in the first part the authors propose a comprehensive literature review dealing with the comparison between traditional hospital and home care structures from an economic standpoint, showing that results are highly dependent on initial conditions of the study (patient health state, territory settings, bio‐medical parameters); in the second part the authors propose an unbiased economic comparison approach between health care provided in traditional hospital and home care network using formal modelling with Petri nets and discrete event simulation. As an example for the comparison a multi‐session treatment is proposed. Various scenarios are tested to ensure that results will be maintained even if initial conditions change. Relevant performance indicators used for comparison are economic costs from the point of view of the insurance and economic costs related to the consumption of resources.

Findings

It is found that HAHS can be used to control and improve patients flow on hospitals. Decisions about offering a multi‐session treatments at home must be taken, not only because of economic impacts on hospitals, but also because it follows strategic goals of the organization. This decision must be issued following a strategic analysis. Some important questions are: How should newly available beds be used in the hospital? Which territories will be covered? What is the best logistic strategy for delivering the medicines?

Originality/value

Comparing HAH with traditional hospitalization can provide useful information to healthcare authorities when deciding to create, or not, new HAH structures.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 26 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1994

Robert J. Bennett

Addresses the question of how TECs′ outputs can be accurately estimatedand analysed so that a balanced evaluation of the effectiveness andcost‐efficiency of their…

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488

Abstract

Addresses the question of how TECs′ outputs can be accurately estimated and analysed so that a balanced evaluation of the effectiveness and cost‐efficiency of their programmes can be made. Proposes an approach involving comparisons between “model TECs”, “unreformed TECs” and private‐sector providers of similar programmes and services, which overcomes the dearth of official data on TEC management costs. Contends that TECs at their best are in need of further reform in the direction of private‐sector disciplines, and that the majority of TECs are under‐performing, overstaffed and overpriced compared with other providers of training, enterprise and consultancy services. Concludes by explaining how a potential annual saving of £255 million could be made by reforming the TEC system nationally.

Details

Management Development Review, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0962-2519

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1990

Pirkko Eskola and Eero Sormunen

The total costs of online searching in four hosts — Data‐Star, Dialog, ESA‐IRS, and STN International — were evaluated in a study conducted at the Information Service of…

Abstract

The total costs of online searching in four hosts — Data‐Star, Dialog, ESA‐IRS, and STN International — were evaluated in a study conducted at the Information Service of the Technical Research Centre of Finland. To make the comparison as comprehensive as possible, six databases were used, all of which are available in the four hosts. The databases were BIOSIS, Chemical Abstracts, COMPENDEX, FSTA, INSPEC, and NTIS. The costs were analysed separately for the searching phase and for the output phase. For the searching phase, the costs were calculated as a function of the connect time. For the output phase, the cost per displayed record were estimated. The estimates were based on measured output time. The telecommunication costs were included, but their share is shown separately. The effect of transmission rate on the connect time and telecommunication costs was also studied by using two different speeds, 1200 baud and 2400 baud. The results of the study are presented in graphs and in tables. The graphs show the conducted values of the various cost components (connect time, output, telecommunication) for the four hosts and six databases. The comparisons of total costs for various types of online searches are presented in tables. At 1200 baud, the most economic searches are usually made in ESA‐IRS. Data‐Star, Dialog and STN are competitive only in very short searches, and at rather high levels of output. At 2400 baud, the competitiveness of Data‐Star, Dialog and STN is much better, especially if a medium‐length format is used for output. Data‐Star and STN which do not have a data network of their own suffer from higher telecommunication costs.

Details

Online Review, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-314X

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Book part
Publication date: 22 September 2009

Todd R. Zenger and Jeffrey Xiaofei Huang

A widespread consensus in strategy literature argues that firms acquire positions of advantage and competitive capability by assembling or “organizing” sets of uniquely…

Abstract

A widespread consensus in strategy literature argues that firms acquire positions of advantage and competitive capability by assembling or “organizing” sets of uniquely complementary resources, activities, or assets. In this regard, value is created not only in identifying unique and valuable combinations of existing resources, but also in seeing unique and valuable ways to modify or cospecialize these assets. With the envisioned strategic bundle defined, the manager must then determine how to form, organize, and create this bundle. In particular, the manager must decide which assets, activities, and resources must be “owned” and which can be accessed contractually. We argue that although integration does have certain advantages over market transactions, it does not necessarily lead to the expansion of the scale and scope of the firm, because firms would also fail, particularly as they become larger in size. While established theories articulate this organizational failure puzzle in terms of incentive explanations and measurement difficulties, recent advancement in organizational economics and business strategy sees this as a result of influence activities, and social comparison and social attachment processes. These elements can serve as new building blocks for a more comprehensive theory of the nature and the boundary of the firm. Three future research trajectories – both theoretical and empirical in this realm – are suggested.

Details

Economic Institutions of Strategy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-487-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Kenneth D. Walsh, Anil Sawhney and Michelle A. Vachris

The purpose of this paper is to compare construction costs between nations, which is an important part of international economic statistics. Methods employed for these…

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1015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare construction costs between nations, which is an important part of international economic statistics. Methods employed for these comparisons to date have yielded questionable results. The paper presents a summary of the problem and the results of proof‐of‐concept testing for a new method.

Design/methodology/approach

Prices were estimated for a simple basket of two construction components using cost‐estimating guides for several nations. Both developed and developing nations were included. The prices were obtained for the components installed in the field, including labor, equipment, and materials. Purchasing power parities (PPPs) were calculated from the baskets.

Findings

The results indicate that the basket of construction components approach provides construction sector results much more in keeping with the overall consumption PPPs for the countries tested. This result suggests that the values obtained from this method provide a reasonable measure of construction price differentials. The method also requires substantially fewer resources than previous project‐based approaches.

Originality/value

Because the construction sector represents a significant fraction of global economic activity, it is important to incorporate this sector into the overall process accurately. The construction sector is difficult to compare, but ironically is often a large share of economic activity in developing countries, where comparison is most important. This paper presents a potential solution to a vexing problem in construction econometrics.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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