In many industries there will be a competitor who will be a low cost producer and will have greater sales volume in that sector. This is partly due to economies of scale, which enable fixed costs to spread over a greater volume but more particularly to the impact of the experience curve.

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It is possible to identify and predict improvements in the rate of output of workers as they become more skilled in the processes and tasks on which they work. Bruce Henderson extended this concept by demonstrating that all costs, not just production costs, would decline at a given rate as volume increased. This cost decline applies only to value added, i.e. costs other than bought in supplies. Traditionally it has been suggested that the main route to cost reduction was by gaining greater sales volume and there can be no doubt about the close linkage between relative market share and relative costs. However it must also be recognized that logistics management can provide a multitude of ways to increase efficiency and productivity and hence contribute significantly to reduced unit costs.

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