DEFINITION of 'Terotechnology'

A word derived from the Greek root word "tero" or "I care", that is now used with the term "technology" to refer to the study of the costs associated with an asset throughout its life cycle - from acquisition to disposal. The goals of this approach are to reduce the different costs incurred at the various stages of the asset's life and to develop methods that will help extend the asset's life span.

Terotechnology uses tools such as net present value, internal rate of return and discounted cash flow in an attempt to minimize the costs associated with the asset in the future. These costs can include engineering, maintenance, wages payable to operate the equipment, operating costs and even disposal costs.

Also known as "life-cycle costing".

BREAKING DOWN 'Terotechnology'

For example, let's say an oil company is attempting to map out the costs of an offshore oil platform. They would use terotechnology to map out the exact costs associated with assembly, transportation, maintenance and dismantling of the platform, and finally a calculation of salvage value.

This study is not an exact science: there are many different variables that need to be estimated and approximated. However, a company that does not use this kind of study may be worse off than one that approaches an asset's life cycle in a more ad hoc manner.

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