Helner Cell Phones (HCP) is developing a new touch screen

Helner Cell Phones (HCP) is developing a new touch screen smartphone to compete in the cellular phone industry. The phones will be sold at wholesale prices to cell phone companies, which will in turn sell them in retail stores to the final customer. HCP has undertaken the following activities in its value chain to bring its product to market:

Identify customer needs (What do smartphone users want?)

Perform market research on competing brands

Design a prototype of the HCP smartphone

Market the new design to cell phone companies

Manufacture the HCP smartphone

Process orders from cell phone companies

Package the HCP smartphones

Deliver the HCP smartphones to the cell phone companies

Provide online assistance to cell phone users for use of the HCP smartphone

Make design changes to the smartphone based on customer feedback

During the process of product development, production, marketing, distribution, and customer service, HCP has kept track of the following cost drivers:

Number of smartphones shipped by HCP

Number of design changes

Number of deliveries made to cell phone companies

Engineering hours spent on initial product design

Hours spent researching competing market brands

Customer-service hours

Number of smartphone orders processed

Number of cell phone companies purchasing the HCP smartphone

Machine hours required to run the production equipment

Number of surveys returned and processed from competing smartphone users


1. Identify each value chain activity listed at the beginning of the exercise with one of the following value- chain categories:

a. Design of products and processes

b. Production

c. Marketing

d. Distribution

e. Customer Service

2. Use the list of preceding cost drivers to find one or more reasonable cost drivers for each of the activities in HCP’s value chain.


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