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Amazzzing Beds - February Pre-Seen Analysis


IBTC lecturer, Pilisa Matyholo, has broken down the Operational Case Study Pre-Seen and highlighted exactly what you NEED to know when preparing for the February Case Study exam. 


Here is what he had to say,  


So, it has been a couple of months since the Operational pre-seen material hit the streets. This time around, CIMA refers us to ‘The Science of Sleeping’. This is something we do not spend much time thinking about, apart from when on our quest to get the recommended eight hours daily. There are so many questions around this topic, considering it has a direct effect on the quality of our health. However, as much as your bed is ‘Amazzzing’, now is not the time to hit your snooze button. 


Before we go further, let us once again be reminded of the purpose of the pre-seen material. CIMA provides this document as background information about a fictitious organisation upon which the Case Study exam will be based. It is intended to immerse you into this organisation by telling you about its history, products, industry, performance and more. 


CIMA describes the Case Study exam as a ‘role simulation’. It requires candidates to “respond to authentic work-based activities presented during the examination, drawing together learning from each of the three subjects to provide solutions to the issues and challenges presented.” 


It is therefore crucial that you familiarize yourself with the pre-seen material well before you attempt the examination.  


Amazzzing Beds – Analysis 




  • Amazzzing Beds is a market leader in Eastland, manufacturing and selling a range of mattresses and beds in 120 ‘showroom-like’ stores and via its own website. 
  • The company is 100% owned through a private equity investor and employs 1160 employees throughout its head office, stores, research & development, manufacturing and distribution departments. 
  • The company aims to maintain its number one position through its product range and customer service. 
  • Sales for the year were $174m (+3%), made up of 64% mattresses and 36% beds. 
  • Gross profit was $80m, of which 67% was related to mattresses and 33% to beds. 
  • The company has a highly experienced board of directors. 
  • The manufacturing process is relatively labour intensive, the company uses absorption costing method as well as a participative incremental budgeting approach. 
  • Amazzzing Beds stores inventory in its warehouses and distributes customer orders through its own fleet. 
  • The business makes use of single and multiple supplier strategies for components selected based on cost and speed of delivery. It sources branded mattresses and beds directly from manufactures. 
  •  The industry is made up of 300 different companies with the majority being small independent businesses. 
  • Trends include suppressed growth, sustainability measures (recycling), use of novel technologies (Internet of Things, mobile technologies). 


Key P1 Topics 


  • Costing techniques - Amazzzing Beds currently uses absorption costing. Candidates will need to be able to appraise this method, understand alternative costing methods such as ABC and marginal costing, as well as the appraisal of these models. 
  • Candidates are also encouraged to revise the different budgeting approaches. Amazzzing Beds currently uses participative incremental budgeting. Candidates will need to know other budgeting approaches such as rolling budgets, zero-based budgets as well as beyond budgeting. The ability to appraise these approaches will be key. 
  • Other major areas within P1 include relevant costing, short-term decision-making techniques (i.e. Break-even analysis, limiting factor analysis and Linear programing) and forecasting techniques (i.e. Time Series, Linear regression). 
  • Risk management techniques such as expected values will be crucial. 


Key F1 topics 


  • Candidates are encouraged to revise all relevant IAS/IFRS 
  •  IAS 16 PPE 
  •  IFRS 16 Leases 
  •  IAS 36 Impairment  
  •  IFRS 5 Non-current assets held for sale and discontinued operations 
  •  IAS 2 Inventories 
  •  IAS 10 Events after the reporting period 
  •  IAS 7 Statement of cash flows 
  • Working capital management (hints are provided in the pre-seen around trade payables, inventory as well as receivables). 
  • Although a bit out of place, please have a basic understanding of what a private equity investor is. 

Key E1 topics 


  • Revision of environmental analysis tools. (i.e. PESTEL, SWOT and Porters Five Forces) 
  • Novel technologies, specifically Robotic Process Automation, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Data Visualization, 3-D Printing and Mobile Technologies. 
  • Digital sources of information as well as costs associated with digital technologies. 
  • Understanding of Finance business partnering and interactions with Sales & Marketing, Information Technology and Operations. Candidates need to be able to recommend critical KPI’s across these functions. 
  • Operations management, especially techniques such as Porters Value Chain, TQM, JIT and Quality Management tools. 
  • Sales and Marketing topics include Ansoff’s matrix, BCG model, Porters generic strategies, 4P’s and Product Lifecycle. 
  • Human resource management. Focus on recruitment, selection, training and development. 
  • Information technology, including different systems, cyber security risks and security controls. 
  • Corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and CIMA’s code of ethics must always be revised. 


Exam Preparation Material 


  • Candidates are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the CIMA OCS Blueprints and revise underpinning content from all pillars as recommended through the ‘I CAN’ statements available here.  
  •  Candidates need to immerse themselves in the pre-seen and conduct basic industry review. Pre-seen is available here.
  • Candidates are encouraged to at least attempt the CIMA OCS Tutorial Exam available here.
  • Candidates are advised to make use of past papers and get as much real exam question practice as possible. We recommend self-testing and performing past papers under simulated exam conditions. CIMA has provided a host of resources to ensure that students are adequately prepared. The May/Aug pack is available here


 During the Exam 


  • Ensure you READ and UNDERSTAND the requirement.  
  • Convert every requirement into a HEADING on your answer screen. 
  • Jot down BULLETED POINTS AS YOUR SUBHEADINGS taking into consideration the possible marks available. 
  • START TYPING IN FULL SENTENCES under each sub-heading, with proper explanations, pre-seen/un-seen related exams, remember the markers mark what they see and not what you were thinking. 
  • MAKE A RECOMMENDATION where applicable with reasonable justification. 
  • Ensure you manage your time effectively. 


From all of us at IBTC, Good luck!’ – Pilisa Matyholo, IBTC Lecturer.