Lockitt, Inc., a small manufacturing company, produces a specialized sealant lock for hazardous
chemical containers. It was founded by an innovative entrepreneur, Brett Lockden. Prior to starting
Lockitt, Inc., Lockden had a long career in the petroleum industry. He had firsthand knowledge and
experience working with hazardous chemicals and understood the need for safe handling, storage,
and transportation of these materials. After retiring from his position with one of the largest petroleum
processing companies in the country, Lockden spent a few years experimenting to create a spill- and
leak-proof lock that is safe, efficient, and cost effective and fits commercial chemical containers.
In 2015, his efforts paid off when he was granted a patent for his invention, Duralock. Duralock is a
specialized, single-use sealant lock for commercial chemical containers that prevents liquid chemicals
from spilling and fumes from escaping. After receiving the patent, Lockden started his company,
Lockitt, Inc. Ted Contador, a trusted former colleague, joined Lockden as his business partner. Being
a former chemical industry insider, Lockden had enough connections to spread word-of-mouth about
his product. Additionally, his patented product met an unfilled demand that existed across many
chemical industries, including petroleum processing, chemical manufacturing, and metal production
and fabrication. Therefore, from its inception, Lockitt, Inc., was on a steady growth trajectory.
As do most small, privately held manufacturing companies, Lockitt, Inc., focused on its core operations
and outsourced some of its other value-chain functions like human resources, IT, and sales and
marketing. Lockden managed the manufacturing aspects of the business as well as the continuous
improvement efforts. Contador handled the financial aspects and customer service. They jointly
handled strategic planning and governance.
PLANNING FOR 2020
Today is November 1, 2019. A month ago, soon after he started working on the 2020 operating budgets,
Contador had a medical emergency and has since been on long-term disability leave. He is expected
to return to work in February 2020. Before Contador fell ill, he had prepared the sales forecast for the
first six months of 2020. During the past summer, Contador attended an Excel for Business workshop.
IMA EDUCATIONAL CASE JOURNAL VOL. 14 , NO. 1 , ART. 3 , MARCH 2021 1
Duralock: Budgeting for Decision-Making
Harshini P. Siriwardane, CMA, PhD*
Farmer School of Business
Miami University, Ohio
Karen De Meyst, PhD
Farmer School of Business
Miami University, Ohio
Based on what he learned, Contador intended to create a dynamic operating budget, which can be
used for sensitivity analysis and decision-making purposes. He had just started the Excel template for
the operating budget when he fell ill.
You have been working as a business co-op student at Lockitt, Inc. since September, and you have
done projects for both Lockden and Contador. Today, Lockden called you to his office and asked
about your understanding of operating budgets and Excel. Based on your answers, he was convinced
that you are competent to create an operating budget for the first quarter of 2020.
Lockden gave you the Excel template that Contador created and the following information:
• Expected sales in units for December 2019 and the first six months of 2020 are as follows:
December January February March April May June
15,200 15,800 16,500 16,600 17,800 17,700 17,800
• The company expects to sell each Duralock for US$88.1
• Duralock requires two types of direct materials—LD-paste and Chem-glue. Two pounds of LD-
paste and 350 ml of Chem-glue are required to produce one Duralock.
• At the end of each month, ending inventory of Duralock must be equal to 10% of the following
month’s budgeted sales, or 1,600 (whichever is greater). Lockden is strict on this safety-stock
policy; if any of his regular customers has an unexpected need for Duralock, Lockden wants to
fulfill that need.
• The inventory policy for raw materials is to maintain the monthly ending inventory at 5% of the
production needs for the next month. Chem-glue tends to dry up over time. Therefore, the monthly
ending inventory of Chem-glue should not exceed 300 liters.
• Lockitt, Inc. expects all inventories at the end of December to be within these guidelines.
• The cost of LD-paste and Chem-glue are $10.25 per pound and $50 per liter, respectively.
• The production process requires two types of direct labor—LB075 and LH075. LB075 represents
machinists who operate the molding machines. Molding is done in batches; each batch contains
50 Duralocks. One hour of LB075 labor is required to process one batch of Duralock. LH075
represents manual finishing labor. Each Duralock requires one-tenth of an hour of LH075 labor.
Hourly wage rates for LB075 and LH075 are $30 and $15 per hour, respectively. Both groups of
employees are paid on an hourly basis.
• Variable manufacturing overhead is caused by batch-level and unit-level activities. The
predetermined variable overhead rate at the batch level is $1,000 per batch; at the unit level, it is
$50 per direct labor hour (based on total labor hours). Fixed factory overhead is $40,000 per month.
Contador had been applying fixed factory overhead based on the budgeted production volume,
and Lockden instructed you to do the same.
IMA EDUCATIONAL CASE JOURNAL VOL. 14 , NO. 1 , ART. 3 , MARCH 2021 2
1 All monetary values are in U.S. dollars.
• The budgeted fixed selling and administrative expenses for the year are $600,000; this amount is
to be uniformly divided across 12 months. Variable selling expenses for 2020 are expected to be 3%
of the revenue.
• Lockitt, Inc. uses the first-in-first-out (FIFO) cost-flow assumption.
Lockden explained that the company’s product differentiation strategy had worked well in the past,
and further growth can be expected if the macroeconomic conditions stay stable. But he is concerned
about a predicted slowdown in the U.S. economy and potential turmoil in the oil markets. These
uncertainties were not factored in the sales forecast that Contador prepared but could negatively
impact the company’s sales volume. There are also reports of a viral epidemic in other parts of the
world. Some health experts say it might spread in this country soon.
Given these uncertainties, Lockden is interested in actively pursuing cost-reduction strategies to protect
the company’s profit margin. He expressed the need to critically evaluate the current manufacturing
process against possible alternatives. Specifically, he raised concerns about the efficiency of the current
production schedule, labor utilization, inventory policy, and supply chain. While he has many ideas,
he needs assistance in evaluating their financial viability.
Lockden believes that a dynamic budget will be an effective tool to make informed decisions. It may
especially be helpful in the upcoming year, as it can be used to evaluate the financial impact of various
cost-reduction options. Given the uncertainties the company is facing, Lockden also wants to use it
to carry out sensitivity analyses. Further, Lockden expressed his intention to hire you as a full-time
financial analyst after graduation. He ended the meeting with this remark: “You may have considered
the operating budget merely as a planning tool. However, in addition to planning, I intend to use it
heavily for decision-making and risk analysis, especially given the uncertainties we have regarding
2020. You are the owner of this tool, and after you create the tool, please be prepared to answer any
‘what-if’ questions that I throw at you.”
IMA EDUCATIONAL CASE JOURNAL VOL. 14 , NO. 1 , ART. 3 , MARCH 2021 3
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Duralock: Budgeting for Decision-Making
Use the narrative presented in the case and the included Excel Spreadsheet template to complete the
Complete the Data worksheet in the Excel template using the information given in the case. Next,
complete the standard cost worksheet and all subcomponents of the operating budget (subsequent
worksheets) using your technical knowledge on operating budgets and your Excel skills. In preparing the
income statement, assume that the standard cost per unit for 2019 is the same as that calculated for the
first quarter of 2020. Every cell within the standard cost worksheet and budget subcomponents should
be formula-based and properly cell-referenced. Do not enter any numbers in the worksheets, except for
the Data worksheet. Use MIN, MAX, and ROUNDUP functions as needed when creating the direct
materials and direct labor budgets.
Assignment Questions (for both sections):
Provide answers to the questions below. You do not have to provide a formal report. You can simply
answer the questions in a Word document. Just make sure everyone's name is on the first page.
1. Since its inception, Lockitt, Inc. has operated at a batch size of 50 units. The number was set at 50,
based on the production volume at that time. Founder Brett Lockden is interested in knowing the
financial impact of increasing the batch size to 70, which is the maximum machine capacity at the
current machine settings. What would be the direct labor cost and variable overhead cost if Lockitt,
Inc. changes the batch size to 70 units? Given the management’s desire to lower costs, would you
recommend this change in batch size? Critically evaluate this decision considering both financial and
2. The government says that the viral pandemic is unlikely to impact the United States, but
nongovernmental sources are predicting that the viral pandemic will impact the United States toward
the end of the first quarter of 2020 and the economic impact will be visible in the second quarter of
2020. You realize that the sales projections that were given to you do not reflect the possible impact
of the viral pandemic. You spoke to your uncle who works for the World Economic Forum to
understand the impact of infectious diseases on the manufacturing sector. Based on the information
he provided, you assume that the monthly sales volume for the second quarter will be 15% lower than
the original projections if the virus spreads to the United States. Using the operating budget you
prepared, calculate the following, assuming that monthly sales volumes for quarter two are 15% lower
than initially projected:
a. Budgeted net income for the first quarter of 2020
b. Total cost of direct materials to be purchased for the first quarter
3. After seeing the answers to Question 2 (budgeted numbers based on your assumption that the
monthly sales volume in the second quarter would be 15% lower than the original projection), you
were eager to share this information with Lockden. Therefore, you scheduled a meeting with
Lockden. His first reaction was, “Well, I agree with the government. I do not think that the virus will
impact us. Even if it does, it will not be until the second quarter. So, how can the first quarter
numbers be impacted? Are you sure you did not make a mistake?” Explain why the budgeted net
income and cost of direct materials to be purchased for the first quarter would be impacted by a
change that is predicted to happen in the second quarter.
4. Since Lockden’s academic background is engineering, not accounting, he is not familiar with different
approaches to budgeting and the advantages and disadvantages associated with each approach. All
he knows is that, in the past, Ted Contador created the budgets on his own and handed the budgets
to the managers who are responsible for implementing them. Recently, Lockden read about top-
down and bottom-up budgets, and he asked you to educate him on the advantages and
disadvantages of each of these budgeting approaches.
Additional Assignment Question (for graduate section):
5. As December approached, it became clear that the virus was affecting global Chem-glue suppliers. In
response to this new threat, Lockden wants to change the inventory policy related to Chem-glue. For
2020, he wants to maintain the monthly ending inventory of Chem-glue equal to 10% of the following
month’s production needs. But the new policy does not allow month-end Chem-glue inventory to
exceed 600,000 milliliters.
a. What would be the net income for the first quarter under this assumption?
b. What would be the total cost of direct materials to be purchased for the first quarter under this
Deliverables to be uploaded to Canvas:
1. The answers to the required questions. You need to save your Word document as a PDF file
before uploading to Canvas. Be sure to include your group number in your file name.
2. Your Excel file in .xlsx or .xls format. Be sure to include your group number in your file name.
Note: I will not accept any late submissions, so make sure you allow enough time for slow Internet
connections or any other unexpected delays in the upload process.
Duralock Budgeting for Decision Making Case