In a nutshell: Total Cost of Ownership 

Prof. Dr. Andreas Kemmner

Total Cost of Ownership

The term Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is closely related to the term Life Cycle Costing. In both cases, the aim is to take into account direct and indirect costs over the entire life cycle of the procured goods or the investment made when calculating and comparing goods procurements or investment alternatives. A detailed calculation of TCO is very time-consuming, as the impacts of a procurement or investment can be very far-reaching. These impacts must be identified and quantified in monetary terms.

Nevertheless, considering TCO in supply chain management is very important to counter the danger of being too focused on the purchase price when making procurement and investment decisions.

Our tip:

Create a TCO model for your company that is accepted by all parties directly or indirectly involved in the value chain. This model should contain the cost variables to be considered and mechanisms for its estimation. A scientifically precise determination of the TCO is not necessary. Even a rough calculation can protect against wrong decisions.


Prof. Dr. Andreas Kemmner

Autor | Author

Prof. Dr Kemmner has carried out well over 150 national and international projects in over 25 years of consultancy work in supply chain management and reorganisation.

In 2012, he was appointed honorary professor for logistics and supply chain management by the WHZ.

The results of his projects have already received several awards.

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