Kirsten Malon has found a way to profitably exploit her computer know-how. She has started a firm that offers consulting services for computer and software repair and analysis. Most of her customers have purchased computers or software systems with little vendor support and need help in installing and using the systems effectively. Kirsten has expanded her business recently to include 25 technicians besides herself, and her client base has grown to over 1,900. Many of these clients are on a retainer arrangement (a fixed fee per month which guarantees access to a certain number of hours of technician time) to stabilize her cash flow. With the success of the business, Kirsten is now thinking about beginning a related business which would publish books and newsletters on computer and software issues.
What are the critical success factors likely to be for Kirsten's business, now and into the future and what cost management information is she likely to need: management planning and decision making, management and operational control, or product and service costing, and why?