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When should I break down costs as Fixed and Variable as opposed to over the value chain?

I want to understand in which situations I should break down costs into fixed and variable and when to use the value chain breakdown.

I want to understand in which situations I should break down costs into fixed and variable and when to use the value chain breakdown.

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It's not necessarily an and/or. When thinking about FC and VC you should also be thinking about the value chain.

For example:Raw Mats (VC) and R&D (FC) are at the beginning of the chain. Labour (FC or VC), electricity (VC), and rent (Generally FC) are in the middle (production/manufacturing). Transport/shipping/delivery (can be FC or VC) is at the end.

That being said, if you clearly have an operational prompt (i.e. we're seeing bottlenecks that have cause an increae in our costs), then go value-chain. Likewise, if you hear "We've seen costs rising over the past 3 years", and you can generally go FC/VC. However, if you get the same question and you're a vertically integrated company (perhaps Oil&Gas), you may want to talk about both simultaneously (keep it structured though).

Make sense?

It's not necessarily an and/or. When thinking about FC and VC you should also be thinking about the value chain.

For example:Raw Mats (VC) and R&D (FC) are at the beginning of the chain. Labour (FC or VC), electricity (VC), and rent (Generally FC) are in the middle (production/manufacturing). Transport/shipping/delivery (can be FC or VC) is at the end.

That being said, if you clearly have an operational prompt (i.e. we're seeing bottlenecks that have cause an increae in our costs), then go value-chain. Likewise, if you hear "We've seen costs rising over the past 3 years", and you can generally go FC/VC. However, if you get the same question and you're a vertically integrated company (perhaps Oil&Gas), you may want to talk about both simultaneously (keep it structured though).

Make sense?

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Hello,

You can use both. In my opinion it's better to use the split Fixed/variable because it helps you to identify what varies with volume and what is an invariant. More over, there are some similarities in the ways to decrease variable costs, that are completely different from the methods to reduce incidence of fixed costs.

Best,
Luca

Hello,

You can use both. In my opinion it's better to use the split Fixed/variable because it helps you to identify what varies with volume and what is an invariant. More over, there are some similarities in the ways to decrease variable costs, that are completely different from the methods to reduce incidence of fixed costs.

Best,
Luca

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It might be helpful to do both. Start with FC/VC and then go down deeper into the value chain breakdown

It might be helpful to do both. Start with FC/VC and then go down deeper into the value chain breakdown

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Hello!

This is one of the questions for which there is not a "categoric" question, because both breakdowns can be perfectly fine if they are well argumented.

I would say that in most cases, Fixed vs. Variable is an easier way to tackle down these kind of problems. However, keep your eyes open for hints that point you towards a value-chain approach (e.g., issues in the process, total costs of revenues going down in time, etc.)

Hope it helps.

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

This is one of the questions for which there is not a "categoric" question, because both breakdowns can be perfectly fine if they are well argumented.

I would say that in most cases, Fixed vs. Variable is an easier way to tackle down these kind of problems. However, keep your eyes open for hints that point you towards a value-chain approach (e.g., issues in the process, total costs of revenues going down in time, etc.)

Hope it helps.

Cheers,

Clara

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Hi Anonymous,

they are both fine as a division. Personally I recommend to divide in fix and variable as a first level of your analysis, and use the value chain to then brainstorm costs in each of the two components.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

they are both fine as a division. Personally I recommend to divide in fix and variable as a first level of your analysis, and use the value chain to then brainstorm costs in each of the two components.

Best,

Francesco

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Hi,

It depends on the objective. If you are trying to calculate the synergies between the two companies - it's more clear when you go through the value chain rather than FC / VC split. Also In some complex business, it's easier to draw the value chain and then define the costs in each part (e.g. if the business has mining, production, distribution)

Best

Hi,

It depends on the objective. If you are trying to calculate the synergies between the two companies - it's more clear when you go through the value chain rather than FC / VC split. Also In some complex business, it's easier to draw the value chain and then define the costs in each part (e.g. if the business has mining, production, distribution)

Best

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I confirm it depends on the specific case. Generally speaking, FC/VC is always good, and then you can deep dive - depending on the case - with a value chain breakdown

I confirm it depends on the specific case. Generally speaking, FC/VC is always good, and then you can deep dive - depending on the case - with a value chain breakdown

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Hey A,

it is alwoys a case-by-case decision.

Your business judgement and intuitition develops with the amount of cases you have sold.

So more cases your practice the better feeleing you get, when you should apply any specific case structuring.

Hope it helps.

Best,

André

Hey A,

it is alwoys a case-by-case decision.

Your business judgement and intuitition develops with the amount of cases you have sold.

So more cases your practice the better feeleing you get, when you should apply any specific case structuring.

Hope it helps.

Best,

André

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