Definition: A firm pursuing a cost-leadership strategy attempts to gain a competitive advantage primarily by reducing its economic costs below its competitors.
If cost-leadership strategies can be implemented by numerous firms in an industry, or if no firms face a cost disadvantage in imitating a cost-leadership strategy, then being a cost leader does not generate a sustained competitive advantage for a firm. The ability of a valuable cost-leadership competitive strategy to generate a sustained competitive advantage depends on that strategy being rare and costly to imitate.
Sources of cost advantageÃ¢ÂÂ¢Economies of scaleEconomies of scaleOne of the most cited sources of cost advantage for a firm is its SIZE. There is a relationship between firm size measured in terms of volume of production - and costs - measured in terms of average costs per unit of production. The optimal volume of production is reached when the average costs per unit of production is minimum.
Sources of economies of scale :volume of production and specialized machines : Accompany with a high level of production, it is able to purchase and use specialized manufacturing tools that cannot be kept in operation in small companies.
volume of production and cost of plant and equipment : A high volume of production may allow a firm to build larger manufacturing operations. Large-volume firms will be able to build lower per unit cost manufacturing operations and will have lower average costs of production.
volume of production and employees specialization : High volumes of production are also associated with high levels of employee specialization. Adam Smith first observed that cost advantages may be associated with the division of labor.
volume of production and overhead costs : A firm with high volumes of production can spread its overheads costs (accounting, control, R&D,..) over more unitsDiseconomies of scaleSources of diseconomies...