"The margin is high, so let's carry a lot of that product." "Our direct-store-delivery system seems to be operating efficiently." "Private label is boosting the bottom line." These and other seemingly fair statements that failed to raise an eyebrow as recently as last year are now undergoing scrutiny as retailers and wholesalers adopt a new way to determine the real cost of doing business. The strategy is activity-based costing, and manufacturers have used it as a decision-support tool for ...

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