What is Activity Capacity?

Activity Capacity

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Activity Capacity

Activity capacity, in the context of Activity-Based Costing (ABC) and management, refers to the maximum volume or output that a specific activity or process can achieve within a given period of time while utilizing the available resources efficiently. It is an essential metric to understand the constraints and limitations of a company’s operations and to identify potential bottlenecks that may hinder productivity or scalability.

Example of an Activity Capacity

Let’s consider a fictional bakery called “Sweet Treats” that specializes in producing three types of pastries: croissants, muffins, and cookies. The bakery has an oven with a limited capacity that can bake:

  • 100 croissants per hour
  • 200 muffins per hour
  • 300 cookies per hour

Sweet Treats wants to understand the activity capacity for each type of pastry to optimize its production and maximize profits.


Sweet Treats receives an order for 500 croissants, 1,000 muffins, and 1,500 cookies. The bakery needs to determine the time required to complete this order based on the activity capacity of each pastry.

  • Croissants: The bakery can produce 100 croissants per hour. To complete the order of 500 croissants, they will need 5 hours (500 croissants / 100 croissants per hour).
  • Muffins: The bakery can produce 200 muffins per hour. To complete the order of 1,000 muffins, they will need 5 hours (1,000 muffins / 200 muffins per hour).
  • Cookies: The bakery can produce 300 cookies per hour. To complete the order of 1,500 cookies, they will need 5 hours (1,500 cookies / 300 cookies per hour).

By understanding the activity capacity for each type of pastry, Sweet Treats can allocate its resources efficiently and estimate the time required to fulfill the order. This information can help the bakery optimize its production process, minimize waste, and identify potential bottlenecks or capacity constraints that might require further investment or process improvement.

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