Roger Lopez, president of Gulliver Corporation, evaluated the performance report of the company’s production department. Mr. Lopez was confused by some arguments presented by Abebe Reagin, the production manager. Some relevant data follow.
Variances AmountMaterials usage variance ...... $120,000 U
Materials price variance ............ 98,000 F
Labor price variance ............... 19,000 F
Labor usage variance .............. 69,000 U
Volume variance ............... 150,000 U
Ms. Reagin argued that she had done a great job, noting the favorable materials price variance and labor price variance. She argued that she had had no control over factors causing the unfavorable variances. For example, she argued that the unfavorable materials usage variance was caused by the purchasing department’s decision to buy substandard materials that resulted in a substantial amount of spoilage. Moreover, she argued that the unfavorable labor usage variance resulted from the substantial materials spoilage which in turn wasted many labor hours, as did the hiring of underqualified workers by the manager of the personnel department. Finally, she said that the sales department’s failure to obtain a sufficient number of customer orders really caused the unfavorable volume variance.
a. What would you do first if you were Roger Lopez?
b. Did Ms. Reagin deserve the credit she claimed for the favorable variances? Explain.
c. Was Ms. Reagin responsible for the unfavorable variances? Explain.
d. Explain how a balanced scorecard can be used to improve performance evaluation.