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In business administration, a shortage refers to the part of an order or order quantity that can not be delivered immediately due to warehouse exhaustion . These goods can only be delivered to the customer after a storage-related delivery time ( precautions ). The opposite is the excess .

A shortage occurs when the material required in a company at a certain point in time is not available on time or in the required quality. Shortages can occur in relation to the customer in the area of ​​distribution or in relation to production in the supply by procurement.


Causes are, for example, delivery delays by suppliers or acceptance or planning, if the advantages of order cost optimization are greater than the disadvantages of a delay in delivery.

According to Schmid, the occurrence of shortages can be attributed to the following causes:

  • Overtime not to be covered by the supplier or insufficient delivery capacity
  • Production error
  • Unpredictable production interruptions or transport disruptions at suppliers upstream in the supply chain
  • Errors or lack of information in the disposition of stocks

Shortage costs

Shortage costs are delivery-related price reductions or costs of delayed delivery that arise for each shortage unit.

As a result of shortages, costs for shortages arise if products cannot be manufactured and delivered to the customer as planned or the production process has to be interrupted or modified.

Shortage costs are z. B. caused by lost contribution margins from sales, business interruption costs for machine shutdowns, fixed costs that are not offset by services, or expenses for anticipating material bottlenecks (e.g. rescheduling of orders, material search).

According to Francois, shortage costs can be divided into direct and indirect shortage costs. Direct shortage costs arise directly from a shortage event in production (e.g. from the costs of an interruption in operations due to shortages). Indirect shortage costs, on the other hand, result from measures to remedy or cushion material shortages (e.g. urgent procurement of the missing material).

According to Kottke, the amount of the shortage costs depends on both the shortage and the duration of the shortage. Individual components of the shortage costs can be divided into time-dependent (e.g. contractual penalties in the event of a delay in delivery), quantity-dependent (e.g. loss of orders to competing companies) or simultaneously time and quantity-dependent costs (e.g. urgent procurement of missing material).

Shortage costs classification scheme (according to Gärtner et al. 2010)

Shortage costs can be quantified by determining the opportunity costs caused by shortages (e.g. capital tie-up costs for material lying on the ground) or the costs for cushioning the effects of shortages (e.g. urgent procurement).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c P. François: Flexible lot size planning in production and procurement. Physica-Verlag, Heidelberg 2000, p. 51 ff.
  2. a b J. Alscher, H. Schneider: For the discussion of shortage costs and service level. Operations Research Department. Universität Berlin 3 (1981), pp. 1-4.
  3. ^ R. Melzer-Ridinger: Materials management. 3. Edition. Oldenbourg-Verlag, Munich a. a. 1994, pp. 13 f., 138 f.
  4. R. Krüger: The just-in-time concept for global logistics processes. Deutscher Universitätsverlag, Wiesbaden 2004, p. 118.
  5. a b H. Gärtner, P. Nyhuis, P. Prüssing: Shortage costs in production. In: ZWF - magazine for economical factory operation. Carl-Hanser-Verlag, Munich, 105th volume (2010), no. 5, pp. 444-449.
  6. H. Gärtner: Shortage costs as a basis for determining the service level of stock items. Dissertation Leibniz University Hannover. PZH-Verlag, Garbsen 2011.
  7. O. Schmid: Models for the quantification of the shortage costs as the basis for optimal delivery service strategies in the event of temporary inability to deliver. Verlag Harri Deutsch, Frankfurt am Main 1977, pp. 16, 25 f., 42 ff.
  8. ^ T. Reichmann: Controlling with key figures and management tools. 7th edition. Verlag Franz Vahlen, Munich 2006, pp. 383-396, 431.
  9. H. Arnolds, F. Heege, W. Tussing: Materials management and purchase: practice-oriented textbook. 10th edition. Gabler-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2001, p. 27 f.
  10. E. Kottke: The optimal procurement amount. Duncker & Humblot Verlag, Berlin 1966, p. 70 f.