ACC544 Decision Support Tools Assignment

Question 1 – Inventory control methods (15 marks)

Pork Bellies is considering manufacturing ready-made meals in the new processing plant.  The company is planning on working 250 working days per year and has devised the following estimates on sales of the new product:

Daily Sales Probability
400 0.5
500 0.3
600 0.1
700 0.1
  • The annual carrying cost per unit is $0.40
  • Set-up time to manufacture the meals is 20 minutes for each of the 5 machines involved in preparing the meals and it costs $24.50 per hour for operators to set the machines up.
  • Manufacturing overhead is charged out at a rate of $12.50 per machine hour.
  • The ready-made meals are packaged in recyclable containers and cost $3.00 per 10 pack.  The containers are sourced from Western Australia and can take anywhere between 15 to 20 days to arrive and have the following probability estimates:
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Days to fill the order Probability
15 0.30
16 0.15
17 0.15
18 0.15
19 0.15
20 0.10


  1. Calculate the economic size for each production run (3 marks)
  2. When should order for more containers be placed, based on expected values? (3 marks)
  3. How can order be handled to eliminate stock-outs 9 out of 10 times without holding large amounts of containers? (4 marks)
  4. Explain the differences in the basic philosophies underlying the JIT and EOQ approaches to inventory management (5 marks)

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Question 2 – Linear programming (15 marks)

Pork Bellies has been approached by Hopewell Hospital, which coordinates meals for regional and city hospitals.  Hopewell hospital has devised a meal plan that wants Pork Bellies to supply them with ready-made meals.  Pork Bellies in consultation with Hopewell Hospital have devised a meal plan where 5 types of meals will be supplied based on calories and common allergies.  The meals are:

1800C, 1500C, 800C, Gluten Free (GF), and Gluten and Dairy Free (GDF)

All meals go through the steps of food preparation, cooking, and snap freezing.   The time requirements per box of 20 meals is below as well as the available time, all in hours.

1800C 1500C 800C GF GDF
Selling Price ($) 15 14.5 13 15 13
Direct material 7 6.5 4 3 2
Direct labor 2 2 1.5 4 2
Variable overhead 1 0.5 1.5 0.5 0.5
Fixed overhead  2 2 2 2 2
Constraints: 1800C 1500C 800C GF PDF Available (hours)
Mixing 1 0.5 0.5 1 1              1,500
Spreading 1 1 1 1 0.5              5,000
Cooking 0.5 1.5 2 0.5 0.5              2,300
Packaging 1 1 1 1 1              2,000

Due to the limits in the number of workers who may have access to the building at any one time because of COVID-19, a maximum of 100 1800C meals and a minimum of 50 GF meals for the month can be made.


  1. Formulate a linear program to determine the expected mix of conference rooms to ensure the maximum profit will be created.  Show all supporting calculations and solve using a computer package (eg solver in Excel) to derive the optimum solution. (5 marks)
  2. Formulate second linear programming taking into consideration the COVID-19 limitations. (3 marks)
  3. State the optimal mix and resulting profit. Discuss your results (7 marks)

Question 3 – Correlation and regression (20 marks)

Pork Bellies is continuing to re-evaluate all aspects of the business and would like you to look into staffing costs.  Below is a summary of the monthly costs.

Staff number Number of meals Staff cost ($)
January 20 700 27800
February 22 250 14000
March 10 200 12000
April 20 500 20000
May 24 650 23800
June 28 450 18400
July 16 50 20400
August 14 150 8200
September 24 350 18800
October 24 600 22200
November 16 300 16600
December 32 750 32200

The Pork Bellies’ relevant range has been estimated to be between 300 and 600 meals.


  1. Draw a scatter diagram of Pork Bellies meals and staff costs and mark the relevant range (3 marks)
  2. Use the high-low method to estimate the behavior of Pork Bellies staff costs based on meal numbers within the relevant range.   Use an equation to express the results of this estimation method. (3 marks)
  3. Using excel or a similar program construct a regression analysis to estimate:
    1. The equation to predict staff costs based on the number of meals within the relevant range (3 marks)
    2. Based on the equation in 3 a) what would the staff cost be with 400 meals per month (2 marks)
    3. Using both activities – the number of meals and staff numbers, determine what the staff cost, within the relevant range, would be. (3 marks)
  4. Does the inclusion of the additional cost driver (staff number) improve the model? Explain your answer (6 marks)
    Question 4 (10 marks)
    The Board of Directors would like your opinion on what strategic position Pork Bellies should now take reflecting on Case Study Part 1 and Case Study part 2.  In your response consider short-term and long-term strategies the business may adopt.   Include in your answer at least 2 options explaining how the strategy would be implemented and the likely outcome. (Maximum 500 words) (10 marks)

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This assessment task will assess the following learning outcome/s:

  • be able to apply decision theory to business situations.
  • be able to explain the use of simulation in complex decisions.
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the application of statistical hypothesis testing to decisions, with particular emphasis on quality control and interpreting the significance of regression coefficients in cost estimation.
  • be able to apply cost-volume-profit analysis and linear programming to product mix decisions.

The requirements of this assignment cover up to and including Topic 8 of the Online Learning materials. The assignment is designed to develop your problem solving, spreadsheet (Excel) design, and written communication skills. The questions require you to apply the knowledge and tools covered in the subject topics in order to demonstrate your understanding of the subject content and also to illustrate your capacity for strategic thinking. The assignment will also test your ability to communicate and explain the impacts of your findings whether through quantitative or written reports. The ability to communicate effectively has been identified by the accounting professional bodies as being critical to your future role as an accountant.

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This task also contributes to the assessment of the following CSU Graduate Learning Outcome/s:

  • Academic Literacy and Numeracy (Application) – Charles Sturt Graduates consider the context, purpose, and audience when gathering, interpreting, constructing, and presenting the information.
  • Digital Literacies (Skill) – Charles Sturt Graduates use, create, communicate and share multimodal information in digital environments.
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Assessment Item 3

The criteria described below will not apply to all parts of all questions but describe the standards expected where the question requirements are appropriate. It is expected that all students will complete their own work with no collusion with other students.

Criteria High distinction Distinction Credit Pass
Apply probability concepts to decision making Completely correct application of rational-decision making techniques to business problems, including the ability to evaluate further information prior to decisions. Mostly correct application of rational-decision making techniques to business problems, including the correct evaluation of further information prior to decisions. Some difficulty incorrectly applying rational-decision making techniques to business problems including, somewhat correct evaluation of further information prior to decisions. Weakness in applying rational-decision making techniques to business problems and difficulty in evaluating further information prior to decisions.
Be able to use computer spreadsheets as an aid to effectively present mathematical problems. Level of technical proficiency in using spreadsheets to prepare management accounting reports.Ability to use Excel to solve management accounting problems. This includes the ability to use appropriate Excel (or similar) analysis tools and functions, construct appropriate spreadsheet formulae and to effectively and appropriately print and present your material and results.Ability to present your answers effectively, appropriately, and neatly, using computers. Use of appropriate formulae with no errors. Correct use of data input sections where appropriate. Excellent design allowing intuitive and easy comprehension of key data. High standard of formatting enhancing the logical presentation of the data output enhancing comprehension by report end-users. Consistent use of appropriate formulae with very few (if any) minor errors. Correct use of data input sections where appropriate. Well designed and logical data output presentation. Good formatting allowing easy and effective comprehension by report end-users. Use of appropriate formulae with few errors. Correct use of data input sections where appropriate. Logical data output presentation and formatting allowing easy and effective comprehension by report end-users.
Effectively and appropriately present your material and results and clearly convey your understanding of the results to the reader. All references and resources acknowledged and professionally presented using APA (6th or 7th ed) referencing. The business report is well presented, logically argued, and well written in a manner that very effectively conveys the key outcomes and recommendations to the end-user. All references and sources acknowledged and professionally presented. The business report is well written with references and sources acknowledged and output professionally presented. The business report is well written with references and sources acknowledged and professionally presented. The business report is clearly written with references and sources acknowledged and professionally presented.



Preparation and submission requirements

This assignment requires a Microsoft Word document as well as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet solution.  Both of these must be submitted online using Turnitin.

You must submit both a Word file AND an Excel file. Failure to submit both of the files by the due date constitutes non-submission and late penalties will apply.

Your spreadsheet solutions must be cut and pasted into the Word document. This Word document is what will be marked and returned to you. Remember that in the business world, the professional presentation of information is fundamental, and accordingly, marks will be deducted for poor presentation. An electronic version of your source spreadsheet is required to enable markers to open the file and test your efficient use of spreadsheet formula by, for example, changing the values of input variables. Marks will be awarded on the basis of correctness of answers, appropriate use of spreadsheet modeling, effective worksheet design, and level of professional presentation.

Your business report should include:

  1. a cover page addressed to your required audience;
  2. an executive summary (refer to the note below regarding an executive summary);
  3. a table of contents (linked to the headings in the report);
  4. headings and subheadings clearly identifying what is being discussed;
  5. brief explanation and purpose on what each question is addressing
  6. a conclusion; and
  7. referencing (using APA style).


A reference list is mandatory for this assessment item. It is important that you are aware of how to reference properly and a reference list must be provided, properly formatted using APA guidelines with a hanging indent. Please note that it is a submission requirement that you include a reference list and assignments which do not include a properly formatted reference list will incur up to a 5 mark penalty. 

Review the rules regarding plagiarism.  If you are not sure, contact your lecturer or Academic Skills advisor for advice. There is no excuse for presenting the work of others as your own; this includes cutting and pasting material from the web without properly referencing the source.

The CSU Library site provides an on-line guide to APA style referencing. This is the referencing style adopted by the School of Accounting and Finance. The guide can be found at

Any difficulties in submitting your assignments online electronically using Turnitin should be immediately reported to the Subject Coordinator by email. Include your name and student number in the header or footer of all documents submitted. Retain a copy of your assignment for your records.


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This assignment must be submitted through Turnitin.

It is recommended that your namestudent ID, and page number are included in the header or footer of every page of the assignment.

Further details about submission in Turnitin are provided in Online submission.



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