Bridgeton Industries: Automotive Component and Fabrication Plant

In 1985, Bridgeton Industries, a major supplier to Big-Three domestic automobile producers, is facing a competitive environment with arrival of foreign competitors and rising gas rates, resulting in shrinking swimming pool of production contracts. Bridgeton reacts by closing ACF diesel engine plant and employing strategic consulting firm to categorize their products on competitive position.

Based on analysis, Bridgeton outsourced oil pans and muffler exhaust (categorized as Class 3) and introduced programs, such as lowering time needed to change dies, to improve product, quality and efficiency.

Nevertheless, despite of these steps, manifolds were downgraded from Class II to Class III in 1990 model year budget. Now, Bridgeton deals with the challenge to choose if manifolds be outsourced and, more notably, what more to do (in terms of method) to keep business?

Bridgeton's Company:

Expense System: It makes up of materials, direct labor and overhead. Per Exhibit 2, during duration 1987-90, the overhead rates have increased as revealed listed below; particularly after contracting out in 1988. With outsourcing, the overhead cost have actually not reduced at exact same rate as labor expense, resulting in greater expenses for the staying products such as manifolds.

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Therefore, contracting out manifolds will result in greater expense for the staying items such as fuel tanks and doors and shall push them down to Class III.

Revenue and Revenue: Outsourcing manifolds will lower cost; however, the sales will be minimized much more, given that Bridgeton's highest revenue is from Manifolds, which represent 41% ($93,120/$226,542) of their total sales in 1990, causing lower earnings.

Business Market: With higher effectiveness requirements, demand for stainless steel manifolds such as those produced at ACF might be increased considerably therefore, most likely, would their asking price.

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This will lead higher income and benefit from sales of manifolds (if not contracted out); presuming no significant increase in the expense (material).

Therefore, outsourcing Class III manifolds (per Consulting Company's recommendation) shall not be benefit for the ACF plant. Plainly, reduction in plant production volume and high overhead expense has actually triggered ACF plant to be less cost competitive.

Recommendations: Following are the recommendation to utilize ACF plant resources efficiently and thus, improve overhead rates for existing products:

  • Increase technology capability, thereby, increasing production of existing products
  • Use Activity Based Costing (ABC) to actually analyze the individual cost incurred for these products and opportunity for its reduction
  • Initiate reforms in manufacturing and admin process
  • Sell un-used outdated machinery that are causing big depreciation and insurance cost
  • Promote cost-cutting but preserving quality
  • Set budgets and review them on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

Through this we can utilize overhead expenses more efficiently and allocate it amongst current products to be cost competitive and keep the pricing within reasonable limits, helping us to maintain our profitability and market shares.

Updated: Jul 07, 2022
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Bridgeton Industries: Automotive Component and Fabrication Plant. (2016, Sep 16). Retrieved from

Bridgeton Industries: Automotive Component and Fabrication Plant essay
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