An options approach to valuing expansion flexibility in flexible manufacturing system investments

KARSAK E. E., Özogul C. O.

Engineering Economist, vol.47, no.2, pp.169-193, 2002 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 47 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00137910208965031
  • Journal Name: Engineering Economist
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.169-193
  • Galatasaray University Affiliated: Yes


Flexibility in manufacturing processes provides an ability to change or even reverse the decisions made in earlier periods. The traditional economic evaluation methods of investments in flexible manufacturing systems ignore the value of flexibility, which should be one of the key issues in the justification process. Options approach appears as a means of overcoming the limitations of conventional discounted cash flow methods. In this work, a methodology for valuing expansion flexibility of flexible manufacturing systems is presented. Expansion flexibility in a phased manufacturing investment can be valued by viewing an initial investment as being analogous to purchasing an option to exchange one risky asset for another risky asset within a time period from the initial investment. While keeping the option to expand is of value, a thorough analysis requires that the opportunity cost of delaying expansion be taken into account. In this paper, an analytic approximation methodology for valuing sequential American exchange options on dividend paying stocks is employed for valuing expansion flexibility. A comprehensive numerical example is presented to illustrate the approach, and sensitivity analyses are performed.