Detailed cost modelling: A case study in warehouse logistics

Mikko Varila, Marko Seppänen, Petri Suomala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to examine the applicability of different drivers for assigning activity costs to products in warehouse logistics environment. An action research case study in the warehouse logistics of an electronics wholesaler. Data were collected from a single activity which was analysed in depth. The study illustrates that there may be significant variation in activity costs that cannot be traced with any single transaction-based driver. Automatic data collection methods can be used to support cost accounting in such a situation. It was clearly demonstrated that in certain environments it is possible to significantly increase the accuracy and versatility of accounting by measuring the actual durations together with other variables. The results are derived from a single company and activity. Gives accountants in environments where data is rich and plentiful examples of methods for analysing the data for obtaining a deeper understanding of the cost behaviour of activities and products. Complements the discussion on activity cost drivers and logistics costing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-200
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Automation
  • Cost accounting
  • Data collection
  • Distribution management
  • Regression analysis
  • Warehousing

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