Rationalization investment

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Rationalization investment in the business administration investments in tangible assets and / or organizational measures that the rationalization serve.


Fixed investments can be divided into foundation , expansion , replacement or rationalization investments according to their purpose . Of these investment purposes, the rationalization investment is the most risk-free next to the replacement investment , because both do not change the size of the company and are not associated with an increase in the capital commitment .

The reason for investment is rationalization, which has inconsistent terminology in the specialist literature . As rationalization generally considered to be any increase in the profitability of the company . In many cases, rationalization is also understood to mean the replacement of personnel with machines ( automation up to industrial robots ). Due to the constant technological progress , the replacement of technically obsolete investment objects with economically more efficient ones should be sought. Therefore, rationalization and replacement investments cannot always be precisely delimited from one another, even if the same machine of the same type is purchased, but which has a higher degree of efficiency or better productivity . Rationalization is also present when production factors are ideally combined up to the Pareto optimum .


Rationalization investments can operationally to-use land , land rights , buildings , technical equipment and machinery , equipment or office furniture and equipment relate. Non-depreciable fixed assets such as land are subject to the concept of rationalization insofar as the purchase of land for investment objects that are cheaper or better located in terms of location can be more economical. Considerations of leasing assets instead of property can also mean rationalization. Concern rationalization investments

This means that investments in rationalization are not one-sidedly focused on property, plant and equipment, but can also be based on organizational measures.


All rationalization measures are ultimately aimed at reducing costs . Investments in rationalization are necessary to achieve cost advantages that restore or improve the competitiveness of a company. This means that even older, still usable devices have to be eliminated from the production process at an early stage so that more cost-effective devices can be used. If the primary goal here is rationalization, it is not a replacement investment. Organizational deficiencies (operational bottlenecks , undesirable idle phases with unnecessary idle costs ) can also be a reason for rationalization measures.


A certain amount of production ( output ) can be achieved through rationalization investments with less effort ( input ). The real rationalization investment leads to acquisition costs , which burden the income statement with depreciation and contribute to a balance sheet extension in the balance sheet because the new investment object is to be capitalized with its acquisition costs. If an identical machine with improved technology is purchased as a replacement, the capacity remains constant and the production costs per piece decrease (shorter throughput times, lower material and energy consumption ). A replacement investment can therefore also be a rationalization investment, and expansion investments can also have rationalization effects.

Individual evidence

  1. Josef Zechner, Rationalisierung im Industriebetrieb , in: Wolfgang Lück, Lexikon der Betriebswirtschaft, 1983, p. 973
  2. Christian Hofstadler, Productivity in Construction Operations , 2014, p. 30 ff.
  3. Armin Töpfer, Business Administration: Application and Process Oriented Basics , 2005, p. 979