WHAT IS ECONOMIES OF SCALE: Definition, Types, Examples & How Are They Used

Economies of Scale in Business
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The term “economies of scale” refers to the cost advantage a business experiences as a result of increasing its output level. A company can achieve this at any point during the production process. Production in this sense refers to the economic notion of production, which includes all activities associated with the good even if the final consumer is left out. Understanding this is essential because it can help businesses cut costs and gain a competitive advantage. This article explores the idea of economies of scale, discusses their importance, and uses examples to examine their types.

What Are Economies of Scale 

As companies get bigger, they can reduce their production costs and gain a competitive edge by either using cost savings to boost profits or by using them to lower the price of their products for customers. A business’s costs are reduced through economies of scale, which happen when it increases product production and improves efficiency. Costs per unit fall as a business expands. In other words, producing an extra good or service is less expensive. This is because the company begins to gain from various efficiencies, including technical, financial, government-influence, and infrastructure-related ones, among many others.

Because of the impact on a company’s production costs, it is crucial to comprehend economies of scale. Larger organizations benefit from this because they can produce more goods at a lower cost per unit, giving them a competitive edge. Businesses that increase production can lower the price of a product per unit by spreading out their variable and fixed costs over a greater volume of products. The cost of goods may drop as a result, which would be advantageous to consumers. 

Types of Economies of Scale

#1. Internal Economies of Scale

Internal cost-cutting measures taken by a company due to its size or internal choices made by managers and executive leadership are known as internal economies of scale. Such Internal factors like bulk purchasing, employing managers with greater efficiency and skill, and using new technology to reduce production costs all contribute to internal economies. These frequently have immediate effects on a company, which can grow more rapidly over the long term thanks to these effects. 

This typically occurs within a company and is influenced by things like increased specialization, better technology, and easier access to capital. 

#2. External Economies of Scale

External factors, such as the sector, region, and government, that are beyond the company’s control, lead to external economies of scale. This results in cost reduction for the entire sector, not just one particular business. Additionally, they frequently have long-term effects on the entire industry, which makes them more difficult to translate into short-term advantages. When infrastructure, labor force, or other resources are improved across the entire industry, they become external economies as a result. 

Over time, external rather than internal economies of scale have become more common. The entry of new businesses benefits all current rivals through external economies because it increases competition and lowers average costs for all businesses. Unlike internal economies, which can only be advantageous to a single firm. The industry’s expansion, which benefits the majority or all of the industry’s businesses, is one benefit that results from external economies of scale. 

Factors Influencing Economies of Scale

Businesses can gain a competitive edge, lower production costs, and higher profitability as a result of economies of scale. But several variables affect how much a company can benefit from it.

#1. Organization Size

One of the key elements that affect economies of scale is the size of the organization. They are typically more likely to be realized by larger organizations. This is because fixed expenses like rent, salaries, and utilities can be dispersed over a larger output, resulting in lower average costs. Additionally, larger businesses may have more negotiating leverage with lenders and suppliers, giving them the ability to get better deals. 

#2. Technology

Businesses can easily achieve economies of scale by using cutting-edge technology and production methods. Most businesses can increase productivity and cut waste by implementing new technology. For instance, a business might use software to automate inventory control or production planning, which can lower costs and boost overall performance. 

#3. Market Demand

The amount of economies of scale that a company can achieve can depend on the level of demand for a given good or service.

If there is a high demand, the company might find it easier to achieve economies of scale. This is because it can spread its fixed costs over a higher output by selling more goods or services.

However, the company might have trouble achieving this if demand is weak or erratic.

#4. Internal Factors

Businesses can reach economies of scale by managing internal or manageable factors. Such factors include:

  • Division of Labour and Specialization:

Each employee ought to be assigned a specific task. Individual employees perform more effectively when they specialize.

  • Marketing: 

An additional upscaling tactic is to spend a lot of money on advertising and promotion. Increased sales make it simple to recoup marketing expenses. The cost of marketing is extremely low per unit.

  • Technical:

 Businesses focused on technology frequently overspend on R&D. However, they recoup their investment when a popular good or service dominates the market.

#5. External Factors

  • Tax Reduction:

When the government eases the tax obligations on particular goods or services, demand may increase, leading to higher business profits. 

  • Government Subsidies: 

The government provides subsidies to manufacturers of specific goods and services, resulting in low production costs.

  • Skilled and Talented Labour:

 When labor markets are effective, businesses can hire skilled workers for low salaries.

  • Partnerships and Joint Ventures: 

Mergers and acquisitions are the quickest methods of scaling up.

What Are Economies of Scale Example 

Bulk purchases allow a large retail establishment to reduce its cost per unit. The company can then decide whether to keep the savings to boost sales or to use them to its advantage by passing the savings on to customers and undercutting rivals’ prices.

Larger businesses are typically seen by banks as being more creditworthy and less risky financially. Larger businesses now have access to more affordable financing options. This implies that a larger company can reduce its production costs more because it has access to more capital at a lower cost due to better financing terms.

Diseconomies of scale

As production rises, diseconomies of scale lead to higher production costs. When a business grows too big and tries to take full advantage of economies of scale, it may end up creating inefficiencies that drive up production costs. Diseconomies of scale can also be brought on by internal factors like an underqualified workforce, poor management and leadership choices, and an unmotivating workplace environment. A company must weigh the effects of economies of scale and diseconomies of scale when deciding whether to expand to make decisions that will result in lower production costs and overall greater efficiency.

 What Are Economies of Scale in Economics 

The benefits that occasionally result from a business’s size expansion are called economies of scale. Additionally, it can refer to the cost benefits an organization experiences as a result of an increase in production. 

What Are Economies of Scale Business 

Economies of scale in business are financial benefits businesses experience when production becomes effective because costs can be distributed over a larger quantity of products. 

What Are Economies of Scale in Microeconomics

Economies of scale are the cost advantages that businesses obtain as a result of their size of operation in the business. They are typically quantified by the amount of output produced in a given amount of time. Scale expansion is made possible by falling unit production costs. This can be applied to a wide range of organizational and commercial situations and at different levels, such as production, plant, or an entire company. It takes place once average costs start to decrease as output rises. 

Benefits of Economies of Scale

#1. Reduced Production Costs

As was already mentioned, it can assist companies in lowering their production costs per unit, which may result in increased profits or lower prices for clients.

#2. Boost Profitability

It can further assist companies in generating higher profits over the long run by lowering costs and boosting efficiency.

#3. Offer Lower Prices to Customers

Businesses that can take advantage of this are better able to compete in the market by offering lower prices to customers as a result of cost savings.

#4. Provide a Competitive Advantage 

Businesses that are successful in achieving economies of scale may be able to provide a wider variety of goods or services at lower costs than their rivals, which can give them a competitive advantage.

#5. A Larger Scale of Operations 

A company becomes more stable as it expands, making it less susceptible to outside dangers like hostile takeover offers. One of the key advantages for businesses is the increase in stock price and ease of raising additional capital.

Drawbacks of Economies of Scale

While there are several advantages, there are also some disadvantages that businesses should take into account before expanding. These include:

#1. Reduced Flexibility 

Businesses may become less adaptable and more bureaucratic as they grow bigger, making it more difficult to respond to shifting market conditions or customer demands.

#2. Increase Bureaucracy

Businesses may need to add more processes and procedures as they expand to handle the complexity that has arisen. This can result in a rise in bureaucracy and a decrease in productivity.

#3. Risk of Diseconomies of Scale

Businesses occasionally encounter diseconomies of scale, which happen when production costs per unit start to rise as output rises.

#4. Lost of Control 

As a company expands, it gets harder to keep track of the output and caliber of thousands of employees, which results in ineffective production methods.

What Are Economies of Scale in Simple Terms? 

They are cost benefits that organizations can realize as they boost production and broaden their operations.

What Are the 3 Economies of Scale? 

#1. Technical Economies of Scale

This is attained through technology. As a result, larger companies can more easily afford to invest in cutting-edge technology, giving them a cost advantage that smaller companies would not otherwise be able to enjoy. 

#2. Purchasing Economies of Scale

The term “buying economies of scale” also refers to this type of internal economy of scale. They are scale economies attained through wholesale purchases.

#3. Financial Economies of Scale

Because of this, businesses can borrow money at more affordable rates. That is, because of their size, lenders are more likely to grant credit to larger businesses while requiring higher interest rates for smaller ones. 

Are Economies of Scale Good or Bad? 

Cost reduction increases the likelihood that businesses will lower their pricing to increase sales. Having economies of scale primarily helps with this. On the other hand, a business may become complacent as a result of expanding operations, which could result in the loss of its innovative spirit. In conclusion, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, so businesses should control their expansion to prevent scale-related inequities. 

What Causes Economies of Scale?

When a good or service can be produced in greater quantities while using (on average) fewer input costs, this phenomenon is known as an economy of scale. It is also possible to achieve external economies of scale, whereby a single industry gains from a change like better infrastructure.


Utilizing economies of scale can be very advantageous for a business aiming for long-term success and profitability.

Businesses can choose how to scale up and save money by knowing the various types of economies of scale, their advantages and disadvantages, and the factors that affect them. By striking the right balance, businesses can succeed over the long term and grow sustainably. 

Before making any significant alterations to the organization, it is crucial to carefully consider the potential negative effects, such as reduced flexibility and more bureaucracy.

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