DETROIT -- Spend a lot, get a lot. It's a tactic the best-performing auto parts makers use to separate themselves from the also-rans, according to a study of global suppliers.
The consulting firm Accenture found that top suppliers were willing to invest in production and innovation at a higher rate than their peers.
High performers, says Accenture partner Umar Riaz, spent 5.3 percent of revenue on capital spending in 2002 and 2003.
That compares with the average 4.7 percent spent by the 31 publicly held suppliers that Accenture studied during the same period.
Capital expenditure is the outlay of money to acquire or improve things such as buildings and machinery. Top players had what Riaz calls a "blueprint for success." That includes excellence in inventory turnover, postmerger integration, best use of assets and control over overhead costs.
Accenture declined to identify the top performers it analyzed.
But over five years, the best companies spent an average of 6 percent of their revenue annually for capital expenditures. That compared with just 1.7 percent by their peers from 1998 through 2003, according to the study.
The best companies, the study found, also generated superior revenue growth. They posted an average of 14 percent a year during the five years. That compared with the average of 4.2 percent a year over the same period.
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