Brainstorming Ideas: Reduce Unique Intermediate Cost Drivers in Process

Reduce unique ICDs by redesigning the product or the process. The objective of this activity is to reduce the number of ICDs by reducing the occurrence of an ICD in producing a unit of Output, or by reducing the number of separate ICDs used in the Output. A unique ICD is one of the key activities in the work center’s contribution to the final product (O). It is separate and distinct from any other activity in the work center. For example, the fastening of a part onto a subassembly and a quality control check of the subassembly would be unique ICDs.

B. Redesign the process of producing the ICD or Output

Change the process used to produce the ICD or Output to eliminate activities.

1. Warnings and advice

2. Shift ICD to others outside the company with no payment for their assistance

3. Automate an ICD

4. Reduce movement of an Input (People,Purchases or Capital)


  1. Warnings and advice Advisories>>
  2. Improve the diagnosis of the situation
    1. Use an expert to diagnose problem
      1. Function specialist Examples>>
      2. Customer advocate Examples>>
      3. Product expert Examples>>
    2. Train employee to spot emerging problem Examples>>
    3. Provide information to impending limits and outages Examples>>
    4. Segment customers with specific buying patterns to focus marketing efforts
      1. Use historical company sales data Examples>>
      2. Use internet visit experience Examples>>
      3. Use third party sales data Examples>>
      4. Use current company data Examples>>
    5. Conduct small tests Examples>>
    6. Other Examples>>
  3. Clarify instructions
    1. Make specific match between work in process and instructions Examples>>
    2. Simplify instructions or set up Examples>>
    3. Other Example>>
  4. Remove sources of error
    1. Employee distractions Examples>>
    2. Poor instructions Examples>>
    3. Poor supplier procedures Examples>>
    4. Too much speed Examples>>
  5. Reduce later repairs
    1. Fix component to prevent subsequent repairs Examples>>
    2. Change packing and shipping procedures Examples>>
    3. Other Examples>>

6. Reduce use of Purchases and Capital ICDs

7. Standardize ICDs

8. Accept risk of lower profits

9. Other

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