# What is a linear cost function? (with photo)

A linear cost function is a mathematical method used by companies to determine the total costs associated with a specific amount of production.

A linear cost function is a mathematical method used by companies to determine the total costs associated with a specific amount of production. This cost estimation method can be done whenever the cost of each unit produced remains the same, no matter how many units are produced. When this is the case, the linear cost function can be calculated by adding the variable cost, which is the cost per unit multiplied by the units produced, to the fixed costs. Running this equation will give you the total cost for a production order, thus allowing companies to budget accordingly and make decisions about production values.

Business managers who focus on some type of production or manufacturing must be aware of costs at all times. Simply counting all costs after production is complete can lead to big problems if costs exceed expectations. For this reason, managers must develop cost estimation methods that are both accurate and reliable. A simple cost estimation method involves the use of a linear cost function.

Using a linear cost function requires a basic understanding of how the functions work. A function is a mathematical equation performed on any set of values ​​which then produces a corresponding set of values. These values ​​can be plotted to study the relationship between them when the function is executed. If the function produces a straight line on the graph when values ​​are entered, it is known as a linear function.

For an example of how a linear cost function is used to estimate production costs, imagine that a company decides to fill an order for 1,000 widgets that cost \$50 US dollars (USD) each to produce. Multiplying these two numbers produces the variable costs in this function, which turn out to be \$50,000 USD. On top of that total, it takes \$3,000 to simply get the factory up and running for any type of production. These costs, which are the fixed costs in this equation, are added to the variable costs to leave a total of \$53,000 USD for this particular order.