Target Cost Management : The Ladder to Global Survival and Success book cover
1st Edition

Target Cost Management
The Ladder to Global Survival and Success

ISBN 9781439835593
Published August 12, 2010 by CRC Press
229 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

With a proven track record for helping companies achieve critical cost reductions without sacrificing customer satisfaction, target costing provides managers and executives with the tools to survive and prosper in today’s increasingly competitive market—without raising prices on customers.

Target Cost Management: The Ladder to Global Survival and Success details the preliminary steps required for a company to institutionalize target costing and the two necessary ingredients of target costing—proper organizational structure and cost tables. It describes and illustrates the interrelationships of the major techniques, tools, and methodologies needed to achieve the ultimate success.

Jim Rains shares powerful insights harvested during his two decades of studying and benchmarking target costing for leading Japanese corporations including Toyota, Nissan, and Canon. Supplying the understanding and the tools to achieve critical cost reductions while maintaining and even improving customer satisfaction, this book explains the steps needed to reap the rewards of constant, consistent, acceptable, and predictable levels of profitability.

Table of Contents

The Ladder
Rung 1
Rung 2
Rung 3
Rung 4
Rung 5
Rung 6
Rung 7
Rungs 8 to 10

The Rails of the Ladder
Corporate Strategy
Focus on Long-Term Profit Goals and Objectives
Customer Focus
Respect for Humanity/Employees
Respect for the Environment

Basic Concept of Target Costing
What Are the Characteristics of Strong Enterprises?
Roots of Target Costing
Target Costing Becomes Comprehensive Target Costing
Profit vs. Profit Margin
Cost Management
Cost Visibility
Engineering Change Requests
Survival Triplet
Cultural Differences

Does Your Firm Really Need to Do Target Costing?
Is Target Costing for My Company?

Getting Started on the Target Costing Journey
Myths of Target Costing
Organizational Breadth
Steps to Begin Target Costing
Knowing What to Do
Form Cost Planning Group
Conduct Current State Assessment
Mission and Vision Statement
Employee Training
The Process of Team Building
Team Performance

The Cost Planning/Cost Management Group

What Is the Cost Planning Group?
Mission of Cost Planning Group

What Costs Should You Establish Targets For?
What Is Most Important: Quality, Function, or Price?
Cost Management for Purchased Parts
Where to Begin Collecting Cost Information

The Development of Cost Tables
Shift in Financial Thinking
Three Major Requirements for Cost Tables
Cost Table Sophistication
Material Cost Table Development
Direct Conversion Cost Tables
Product Development Cost Tables
Cost Tables by Process

How to Set the Target Cost
Subtraction Method
Addition Method
Setting Target Costs by Function
Contingency Cost Allocation
Special Situations
Exceeding the Target Cost
Allocation of the Target Cost
Advanced Applications of Target Costing Concepts

Alpha Brain
Alpha Brain Background
The Alpha Brain System: An Example
The Model Factory
Metal-Forming Factory

Benchmarking Japanese Companies

Isuzu (1999, 2003, 2008)
Zexel Corporation (1999)
General Information
Machining Center
Cost and Value Engineering Discussion
Toyota Motomachi Vehicle Assembly Plant (1999, 2005)
Manufacturing Philosophy
Assembly Process
Material Delivery
Quality Andon
Toyota (2005)
Aisen Seiki (1999)
Hitachi Machinery Construction Company (2003)
Society of Japanese Value Engineering (SJVE)
Omron (2005)
Denso (2005)
Nissan (2006)
Canon (2006, 2008)

Each chapter concludes with a Summary

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Mr. Rains has over 30 years of value engineering (VE) experience. During this time he has facilitated over 750 teams in VE, lean manufacturing, lean  engineering, and competitive teardown workshops. For the past 15 years he has studied target costing from Japanese experts and believes this vital management philosophy leads to constant and consistent levels of corporate profitability. Mr. Rains is a certified value specialist (CVS) and has led numerous international corporations, architectural/engineering firms, and U.S. government DOD installations to successful results. VE studies have included product design, process improvement, procedures, weight reduction, quality improvement, organization effectiveness improvement, product development, process lead time, productivity, and throughput improvements. He has worked in many types of industries, including oil and gas companies, and with A/E firms to improve building designs and associated expenses. His VE and lean efforts have been exposed to a global network, including workshops in Austria, Australia, China, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Techniques and tools used in his workshops include the value engineering job plan, quality function deployment, voice of the customer, design for manufacturability/design for assembly (DFM/DFA), function analysis, creativity techniques, paired comparison, idea selection matrix, synchronous thinking, elimination of waste, and team building. Many of these workshops are SAVE International Certified Module I Workshops that just in the past four years have led to over 300 people becoming associate value specialists (AVSs) certified in value engineering. During this time he has been an advisor to three certified value specialists (CVSs). Since 1999 Jim has written and presented 13 papers that relate to VE at conferences around the globe. Jim’s lean manufacturing workshops have led to process improvements of over 20% in productivity, 30% in floor space, 40% in lead time, and a reduction of 40% in inventory. Often these lean improvements were implemented during the one-week workshop. Mr. Rains has extensive expertise in studying, analyzing, and improving material handling systems for large and small manufacturing facilities. These studies result in significant reduction of material handling labor and the associated equipment. Jim organizes an annual benchmarking trip to Japan that includes visits to companies that excel in value engineering and target costing.

Jim first learned about target costing in 1993, when the original material written in English became available. As he continued to learn more about this technique he developed the mindset that companies that fully utilized target costing were special, that these companies are a step or more ahead of their competitors. He began a rigorous study of target costing beginning in 1998, reading books and developing a regular correspondence and personal meetings with Japanese target costing experts.

Mr. Rains holds a BSIE degree from Kettering University (formally General Motors Institute) and a master’s degree in industrial management from Central Michigan University. His experience includes 32 years with General Motors, having worked in manufacturing, manufacturing engineering, value analysis, industrial engineering, and product development engineering. He performed these assignments in Rochester, New York; Dayton, Ohio; Juarez, Mexico; and Warren, Michigan.

Various assignments at GM included responsibility for improving the processes within the vehicle engineering factory and improving lead time and productivity. Value analysis and lean techniques were applied to achieve these objectives. Mr. Rains worked with advanced purchasing buyers to obtain cost-effective, quality parts from GM suppliers for future vehicle programs. GM uses a technique called supplier cost engineering (SCE) to perform this objective. SCE blends in very nicely with the concepts of the value methodology. Jim worked in the indirect labor group of the GM corporate industrial engineering organization. Here he was responsible for developing and implementing tools for GM facilities to improve the material flow in assembly plants. Using his new labor measurement software, and by implementing material handling best practices, the corporation saved over $50 million annually.

From 1991 to 1994, Mr. Rains was manager of divisional industrial engineering for the worldwide operations of the Delco chassis division of GM (now part of Delphi), in Dayton, Ohio. His department was responsible for coordinating value analysis, design for assembly, employee suggestion program, budgets, measurements, and continuous improvement. During this time frame, Mr. Rains was handpicked to lead the charge in establishing, training, and proliferating synchronous implementation workshops. These workshops are designed to identify and reduce waste and make radical improvements in factory or office processes in a very short period of time.

Measured implemented results of productivity improvements in excess of 25%, floor space reduction in excess of 30%, and inventory and lead time reductions in excess of 40% were typical. Mr. Rains was considered a corporate expert in value analysis, a leading technique to improve cost and quality, having been a manager over that activity since 1985.

Mr. Rains is active in SAVE International, a professional society, which promotes the use of the value methodology. He served on its board of directors for 5 years, including as its president/CEO and chairman of the board. He is a certified value specialist. He is a member of the board of directors and chairman for the Lawrence D. Miles Value Foundation. He was the chairman of the General Motors Corporate Value Management Committee. Mr. Rains was on the faculty at Central Michigan University from 1998 to 2001 and taught an accredited course in value engineering.


This is the tool that links product development to lean manufacturing and supply chain management. Target costing is one of the hidden treasures of companies like Toyota and Honda. Cost is not something you get when you add up the parts, it is an intentional criterion for design. We are very fortunate that Jim Rains is bringing this precious information to us all.
—Jeffrey K. Liker, Ph.D., Author of The Toyota Way

For companies to be great they need target costing. Target costing is essential to understand and manage cost and to reap high levels of profit. It is used by most great companies in Japan. Target costing in conjunction with value engineering is necessary to maintain consistent levels of profitability. This book's concept of climbing a ladder to reach target costing and requiring all the elements on each rung to be in and remain in place during the climb is essential to success.
—Masayasu Tanaka, Ph.D., Professor, Graduate School of Business and Management, Mejiro University; Professor Emeritus, Tokyo University of Science; and Doctor of Cost & Profit Engineering, CVS, FSAVE

…a must read for every business executive interested in global success. His extensive knowledge of Japanese productivity processes including the relationship between value engineering and target costing is evident in the book. This book from a respected world leader in value engineering provides the inspiration and details on how to incorporate target costing in your organization.
—Don J. Gerhardt, Ph.D., Former Director of Value Engineering, Ingersoll-Rand; and President, Gerhardt Engineering