This study estimated the possibilities of reducing costs and improving input use in a sample of Swedish farms specialising in beef production. The contribution of selected structural, capital and regional farm characteristics to improving input management was also examined. Data from the Swedish Farm Accounting Data Network covering the period 2008-2011 were used. Input use efficiency was measured in a multi-output, multi-input function distance function analysis. For comparison, both the classical radial and the generalised non-parametric approach were used. The results revealed that on average, costs could be decreased by 25% (classical radial approach) or 18% (generalised approach). Both models constructed frontiers where: i) the rankings of farms according to efficiency were positively and highly correlated and ii) the size and the significance of the parameter estimates were similar. Input-saving technologies were found to be positively influenced by livestock density, pasture availability and the use of coupled income support. Larger farms, farms with higher specialisation in beef cattle, farms with a larger number of animals older than 2 years, farms converting to organic production, farms located in less favoured areas and farms located in regions with a shorter grazing period were found be less efficient.