Maximising capex value and reducing opex: strategy for value generation

Navigating the intricate landscape of business and industry requires a keen understanding of two key financial metrics: Capital Expenditure (capex) and Operating Expenditure (opex). Both of these elements play a vital role in determining a company's financial health and sustainability, demanding careful management and strategic planning.
CapEx and OpEx strategy, digital transformation in business, investment consultant, balancing CapEx and OpEx

In this blog post, we delve into the importance of capex and opex, their impact on a company's profitability and growth, and the role of digital transformation in optimising these expenditures. We had the opportunity to talk to Lynn Hoendevanger, an Investment Consultant FMCG at Royal HaskoningDHV, whose insights have greatly enriched this post.

Drawing on data from Europe's diverse industrial sector, as well as Lynn's expert input, we will explore how businesses can maximise capex value and reduce opex to generate future value.

Understanding capex and opex

Capex refers to the funds utilised by a company to purchase, upgrade, and maintain physical assets such as property, buildings, industrial plants, or equipment. On the other hand, opex represents the expenses incurred during regular business operations. Striking an optimal balance between the two can pose a significant challenge, but it is crucial for a company's financial success.
Lynn Hoendervanger

Balancing capex and opex is vital for financial success, requiring an understanding of their long-term implications on company reporting and external perceptions.

Lynn HoendervangerBusiness Case Consultant

A glimpse into the European scenario

With its diverse and robust industrial sector, Europe provides a wealth of data on capex and opex. An analysis of 683 companies, representing 40% of European market capitalisation, revealed that the average share of company revenue aligned with the EU Taxonomy, a classification system for environmentally sustainable economic activities, was 8%. At the same time, for capex, it stood at 13%. This figure constitutes a significant portion of the region's GDP and spans across many industries, including manufacturing, energy, food and beverages, technology, and healthcare. Furthermore, the European insurance industry, a major contributor to the economy, pays out over €1,000 billion in claims annually, demonstrating the scale of investment and expenditure in European companies.

The value generation potential of capex

Capex is a critical factor in a company's growth and expansion strategy. Investing in new machinery or equipment translates into investing in future productivity and profitability. For instance, a manufacturing company that invests in a new production line can increase output, enhance product quality, and reduce production costs, leading to higher sales, improved market share, and increased profitability.

The impact of capex investments across industries

Historically, significant market growth has been backed by substantial capex investments. For example, companies like Uber experienced exponential growth due to significant investments in their IT infrastructure. In growing markets such as energy transition and artificial meat production, capex investments are also on the rise, signalling potential value generation and long-term growth.

The influence of opex on profit margins

While capex investments contribute to long-term growth and profitability, opex plays a more immediate role in a company's financial performance. High operating costs can significantly reduce profits and make a company less competitive. Thus, businesses continually seek ways to reduce opex while maintaining product or service quality.

High operating expenses (opex) can erode profits and competitiveness, while strategic cost reduction can boost profitability without compromising quality.

Lynn HoendervangerBusiness Case Consultant

Prioritising cost-saving initiatives to reduce opex

Identifying and prioritising cost-saving initiatives to reduce opex without compromising quality is complex. It requires a deep understanding of the company's processes and potential outcomes of any changes made. Companies must consider all possibilities and develop solutions proactively to mitigate potential problems.

Fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement

To generate value for tomorrow, businesses must foster a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. Encouraging employees to contribute ideas, embrace new technologies, and challenge existing processes can lead to breakthrough innovations and cost-saving initiatives. Creating an environment that promotes creativity and risk-taking allows businesses to adapt to changing market dynamics and seize emerging opportunities.

Measuring the success of capex and opex strategies

To ensure the effectiveness of strategic investments, companies must measure and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs). Regularly assessing the impact of capex and opex strategies on overall performance allows for data-driven decisions and adjustments to strategies accordingly. KPIs may include efficiency, volume, downtime, automation, safety, product quality, cost per product, and the impact of capex investments on reducing opex.
impact of CapEx investments, OpEx and profit margins, measuring CapEx and OpEx strategies, strategic approach to CapEx and OpEx

The pivotal role of digital transformation

In the context of capex and opex optimisation, digital transformation can involve adopting technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics. These technologies can help companies make more accurate forecasts about customer demands, streamline their supply chains, and adjust operations to meet consumer needs.

Digital transformation optimises capex and opex by automating tasks, enabling data-driven decisions, and fostering innovation for potential new revenue streams.

Lynn HoendervangerBusiness Case Consultant

Navigating the path forward

In the face of increasing competition and changing market dynamics, companies must adopt a more strategic approach to capex and opex. This involves making intelligent investment decisions and finding innovative ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency. By doing so, businesses can generate more value for their stakeholders and position themselves for long-term success.

Learn more

If you're interested in delving deeper into how to maximise your capex value and reduce your opex, we invite you to check our resources on our website and learn more.
Steven Tsirakos - Business Development Multinationals


Business Development Multinationals