In reply to Joe Martin’s letter “Easy as LCC” (7 March, page 39), I thoroughly endorse his exhortation to do life-cycle costing (LCC).

Is LCC complicated or not? There is no doubt the concept of LCC is simple: you just have to consider costs-in-use, as well as capital costs. However, there may be differences of opinion about how to do this. The equation E = mc2 may be simplicity in itself, but LCC equations are more complicated. Not that I’m suggesting LCC is on a par with the theory of relativity; it’s just that simple concepts do not necessarily have a simple execution.

The current state of LCC modelling is simplistic and based on assumptions that provide a calculable and idealised LCC.

When we start to model LCC more realistically, we enter the world of probability. Here we have to grapple with uncertainty; if you like, the LCC

equivalents of the Heisenberg principle and Schrödinger’s cat paradox. The good news is that doing LCC and using feedback from actual maintenance and costs-in-use, we have the opportunity to validate and improve our initial forecasts.

LCC need not be complicated – let’s do it, certainly, but let’s also be realistic about the answers and grasp opportunities to improve LCC. The forthcoming UK LCC guidance will be very helpful.

Peter Mayer, Research and Development Manager, BLP