Category Archives: CIMA Nov 2021 Case Studies

CIMA Feb 2022 MCS: Frinta

The CIMA MCS pre seen materials were released by CIMA – you can find them here.

I normally analyse the pre seen materials in the form of a SWOT analysis, but I thought I would pick a theme from the materials and look to piece together a story as to how you can plan your answer on exam day.

Maximising Profit Margins

It’s clear that the trend of the industry is moving towards smart devices.

This is inferred by the news articles at the back of the pre-seen and the shift in revenue from 2019 to 2020 – the demand for Smart Speakers is defintely on the rise.

The issue that Frinta will now be facing is the fact their Smart Devices “Frinta Friends” are not as profitable as the more traditional heating and ventilation controllers.

If we look at the costings of their products, we can calculate the profit margins and it’s evident that the increase in sales and demand for the Smart Devices will lower the groups overall profit margins.

To combat this, Frinta can either;

  • Increase selling prices of smart speakers
  • Decrease cost of production

We are told in the pre seen materials that Frinta’s products are marketed on “quality and functionality” and “feedback from consumers indicate that Frinta’s products inspire confidence because of their high build quality.”

So looking to cut costs of production could be a risk to their quality which would hurt their brand.

What’s more, we are told that;

Frinta’s only major competitor in the smart speaker market is Ypburn. The retail prices for both company’s products are comparable. Neither company actively aims to compete with the other on the basis of price.

This leads me to think that Frinta has room to increase prices if they can market it to the customer that their product is head and shoulders above Ypburn. Which many of their customers already believe based on the quotes in the preseen.

New Product Opportunity

Another point that seemed glaringly obvious in the pre seen materials were the customer reviews of the Ypburn Home Alarm systems – a product that Frinta doesn’t yet produce.

The home alarm system itself seems to be a great hit with the customers and feels like a natrual area of the market Frinta can move towards.

Although there was a modest 3 thumb review that caught my eye.

I am awarding this product three thumbs. It would have been five, but I am annoyed that I had to pay for two door/window sensors when I only need one and for a siren that I wouldn’t have purchased if I’d had a choice.

The Ypburn home alarm kit comes in a standard size kit with two door/window sensors and three indoor sensors but nothing smaller.

There is an opportunity here for Frinta to enter this area of the market and cater for customers who have smaller needs, perhaps looking at a “build your own” alarm package so customers can buy single pieces of the alarm kit.

The CIMA Student Conclusion

Hopefully this has given you some ideas on how you can analyse the pre-seen materials, find a theme and build a story around it.

If you can build up this kind of knowledge on the Frinta case study scenario, then you can natrually begin to tie this information together in your answers on exam day.

Good Luck!

CIMA MCS Frinta Astranti Case Study Course

The full Astranti MCS case study course has recently been revamped and contains more resources than ever to help your pass the MCS exam first time.

  • Pre seen materials pack (analysis, top 10 issues, industry examples & 30 questions)
  • 5 x mock exams with feedback
  • Syllabus theory revision series
  • Exam technique series
  • Ethics and questions packs
  • Tutor feedback
  • Pass guarantee & money back guarantee

Good Luck with your studies.

CIMA Feb 2022 OCS:TreadCushy

The February 2022 CIMA OCS pre seen materials were released by CIMA, so I’ve had time to go through them and make a few observations and pointers that will help you prepare for exam day.

You can find the official pre seen materials from CIMA here.

Costing Methods

It’s a staple of the CIMA operational case study, as it’s a highly examinable topic as well as a fundamental topic with the operational level. The TreadCushy pre-seen materials tell us that;

The company operates a standard absorption costing system using departmental overhead absorption rates based on either direct labour hours or machine hours for both variable and fixed production overheads. Standard cost cards are produced for each shoe design and are updated annually.

As a reminder, the traditional methods of costing are variable costing, absorption costing and activity based costing (ABC). CIMA have also introduced digital costing into the mix, so it’s important you are comfortable with the principles behind these and the advantages and disadvantages.

The issues TreadCushy are likely to face in the OCS exam is the fact their method of costing is fairly inaccruate. Not too mention the standard cost cards are only updated on an annual basis

A switch to ABC activity based costing could see a more reliable and accruate picture of how much their products cost and will lead to better management decision making. They might discover that one of their products is significantly more expensive to produce than imagined, so they can focus their attention elsewhere on more profitable products.


There are no set right or wrong answers for the case study exam, it’s important that you use the pre-seen and “unseen” information you are provided with in the exam to justify your recommendations.

There is a useful article from CIMA here on the subject of activity based costing.

Budgeting Methods

In a similar vein, budgeting is an easy area for their examiner to bring up on exam day and it feels like the scene could already be set when we look at the pre seen materials.

Budgets are prepared annually on an incremental basis. Managers have limited involvement in budget setting and limited budget responsibility for their respective areas. 

TreadCushy use a fairly outdated method of budgeting. While incremental budgets that are “top down” are quick to produce, they can lead to demotivation among managers and employees due to the lack of involvement they have in the process and the unrealistic targets they could have imposed on them.

Incremental budgeting also fails to look at the bigger picture of the business and factor in real life events and strategic decisions. Adding 5% or 10% on last years spend for the current year can lead to departments wasting money so not to have their budget cut the following year.

You should be comfortable with the different types of budgeting methods, the pro’s and con’s and being able to relate them to the TreadCushy scenario.

Outsourcing and Offshoring

The subject of offshoring and outsourcing appear in the CIMA E1 syllabus and there were a couple of references in the pre seen materials that caught my attention.

The vast majority of athletic shoes are manufactured in Asia.

All four of the major brands outsource production as a means of keeping cost down.

However, over the past 10 years there have been a number of small companies proving that manufacturing in-house can be profitable. One such example is TreadCushy.

A few snippets from the pre seen tell us that the industry generally sees alot of outsourcing of production to Asia. That said, it’s clear that TreadCushy is successful without having the need to outsource production to Asia.

What’s more, part of it’s competitive advantage are the materials and eco-friendly production they use to produce thier trainers so would outsourcing really be an option for them? It wouldn’t seem to fit with their profile.

Nevertheless, their could be a scenario that comes up in the exam where TreadCushy are looking at offshoring or outsourcing. So I would suggest to cover this area of the E1 syallabus and think how you can relate to TreadCushy.

CIMA OCS: Astranti Case Study Course

The full Astranti OCS case study course contains more resources than ever to help your pass the OCS exam first time.

  • Pre seen materials pack (analysis, top 10 issues, industry examples & 30 questions)
  • 5 x mock exams with feedback
  • Syllabus theory revision series
  • Exam technique series
  • Ethics and questions packs
  • Tutor feedback
  • Pass guarantee & money back guarantee