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What information is relevant when deciding whether to laser tattoo fruits and vegetables instead of using paper or plastic stickers?

Every piece of fruit and vegetables sold in U.S. grocery stores has a small sticker on it. These stickers include food type, origin, and whether it was grown organically. Laser Food is a company based in Spain that makes laser marking machines. These Laser Mark machines tattoo every piece of fruit and vegetable with identifying […]

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What managerial accounting tools could be used by Giant Eagle to evaluate whether it should put refrigerator doors in its dairy section?

Giant Eagle is a grocery store chain with stores located in Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Recently, it installed refrigerator doors on the dairy section in many of its stores. Previously, the dairy section was refrigerated but had no doors. The refrigerator doors will reportedly use 78% less energy than the amount of […]

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What costs would be relevant when Amazon considers whether to operate its own cargo freight service?

Since its inception, Amazon has relied on third-party shippers, such as UPS and FedEx.  In 2013, Amazon experienced a wave of last-minute orders and bad weather left UPS and other shippers unable to deliver Amazon’s packages.  Amazon issued apologies and $20 gift cards to customers, but its reputation suffered from the unhappy customers who were […]

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What costs are relevant when pricing a cargo ship cruise?

Challenging economic conditions in several countries have pushed freight ship companies to look for additional sources of revenues in addition to the revenue generated by hauling freight across the ocean.  In recent years, one additional source of revenue for these freight companies has been to take on cruise passengers in addition to regular cargo. Generally […]

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What happens to the breakeven point when Sports Illustrated lays off all six staff photographers and uses freelancers instead?

Sports Illustrated announced in late January 2015 that it would be laying off all six of its staff photographers.  Instead, it will be using freelance photographers around the world.  Sports Illustrated is one of 90 magazines owned by Time Inc. (TIME).  Published 56 times a year, Sports Illustrated is read by over 23 million people […]

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Should the City of Ravenna outsource its income tax department?

The City of Ravenna in Ohio has an income tax on its residents of 2%.  For many years, the City had its own income tax department with two employees who processed all of the tax returns from residents.  The annual cost of that income tax department was most recently estimated to be $173,000 (“Ravenna will […]

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How should the French grocer, Intermarché, set prices for ugly produce?

At least one third of fresh produce is discarded, according to estimates from the United Nations Environment Programme (see “Students from France, Mexico and United Kingdom Recognized for Taking up Fight against Food Waste,” United Nations Environment Programme, December 16, 2014, http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2814&ArticleID=11110&l=en .) Some of the produce is discarded because it is less than perfect […]

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How does the change in selling price impact the break even point for Amazon’s Fire Phone?

In July of 2014, Amazon came out with a smartphone, the Amazon Fire phone.  The phone sports 3-D visuals and is tightly integrated into the Amazon ecosystem.  For example, the Firefly feature can scan and recognize over 70 million products that the consumer is able to purchase or look up immediately from his or her […]

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Should the original cost of the planes for Afghanistan’s air force purchased by the U.S. Air Force influence its decision to scrap those planes?

The U.S. Air Force recently destroyed 16 transport planes (refurbished G222 planes) that it had purchased for $486 million in 2011.  These transport planes were to be used by Afghanistan’s air force but were abandoned due to persistent high maintenance costs.  An Afghanistan company paid $0.06 per pound for the scrap, or a total of […]

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How will selling more trucks than cars affect automobile manufacturers’ profits?

According to a recent article in USA Today (“Crossovers, trucks beating cars in sales,” Alisa Priddle, Detroit Free Press, March 16, 2014), the sales mix for automobile manufacturers such as Ford and GM has shifted to a ratio of approximately 47% cars and 53% trucks.  “Trucks” includes light trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. In 1980, cars […]

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