oboloo FAQ's

What Is The Importance Of Opportunity Cost?

What Is The Importance Of Opportunity Cost?

When it comes to procurement, there’s more than meets the eye. One of the most important concepts to understand is opportunity cost. This may sound like a complicated economic term, but don’t worry – we’re here to break it down for you! In this blog post, we’ll explain what opportunity cost really means and why it matters in the world of procurement. We’ll also give you some examples to help illustrate how opportunity cost works in practice. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn about one of the most crucial ideas in procurement!

What is opportunity cost?

Opportunity cost is a fundamental concept in economics that refers to the value of the next best alternative forgone when making a decision. In other words, opportunity cost represents what you could have done with your resources if you had chosen a different course of action.

There are many types of opportunity costs, including explicit and implicit costs. Explicit costs are those that involve actual monetary payments, such as salaries or rent. Implicit costs, on the other hand, are more difficult to measure because they represent non-monetary sacrifices like time and effort.

Calculating opportunity cost requires some careful consideration of all possible options available at any given moment. It involves weighing up the pros and cons of each choice and estimating the potential benefits or losses associated with each one.

Understanding opportunity cost is crucial for procurement professionals because it allows them to make smarter decisions about how to allocate their resources effectively. By considering all possible options before making a choice, procurement experts can evaluate which option provides the most value while minimizing risks and drawbacks.

In summary, opportunity cost is an essential aspect of economic decision-making that should not be overlooked by procurement professionals who want to optimize their resource allocation strategies.

The different types of opportunity cost

Opportunity cost can be divided into two main types: explicit and implicit. Explicit opportunity costs are those that involve a direct monetary expense or investment, such as purchasing equipment for a business. This type of cost is easy to measure and quantify since it involves an actual money transaction.

On the other hand, implicit opportunity costs are more difficult to measure since they do not involve a direct monetary exchange. These could include things like lost time or potential profits from choosing one option over another. For example, if you choose to study for an exam instead of working at your job, the implicit opportunity cost would be the wages you would have earned during that time.

Another way to categorize opportunity cost is based on its relevance in decision-making. Relevant opportunity cost refers to the benefits forgone by making one choice over another while irrelevant costs do not affect the decision being made.

Understanding these different types of opportunity cost can help individuals and businesses make informed decisions when faced with various options and trade-offs. By considering both explicit and implicit costs as well as relevant factors in their decision-making process, they can minimize their losses while maximizing their gains in any given situation.

How to calculate opportunity cost

Calculating opportunity cost is an important step to make informed decisions. To calculate the opportunity cost, you need to consider the benefits and costs of each alternative option.

Firstly, you need to identify the potential options available to you. Then, determine the benefits and costs associated with each option. The next step is to compare these alternatives and calculate their respective opportunity costs.

To do this, subtract the benefit of one option from that of another option while dividing it by the cost difference between them. This will give you a ratio that reflects how much more value one choice has over another in terms of its opportunity cost.

It’s essential not only to consider financial costs but also non-financial factors such as time or effort required for each choice because everything has a price tag attached – even if it isn’t always monetary!

By calculating opportunity cost effectively, individuals can make better decisions based on what they stand to lose or gain by choosing one path over another.

The importance of opportunity cost

The concept of opportunity cost is crucial in decision-making, especially in business and economics. It refers to the value of the next-best alternative that must be given up when a choice is made. In simpler terms, it’s what you sacrifice when you choose one option over another.

Opportunity cost helps individuals and businesses make more informed decisions by considering all available options before choosing one. By doing this, they can determine whether the benefits of their chosen option outweigh its costs or if there are better alternatives available.

For instance, in procurement, understanding opportunity cost enables companies to evaluate supplier offers more effectively by factoring not only price but also other variables such as product quality and shipping time.

Additionally, opportunity cost allows for better resource allocation since it forces individuals and organizations to consider trade-offs between different options carefully. This means that resources are used efficiently without wasting valuable time or money.

In summary, opportunity cost provides essential insights into decision-making processes as well as resource allocation strategies. Understanding this concept enables businesses to make informed choices while utilizing resources optimally for maximum benefit.

Examples of opportunity cost

Examples of opportunity cost are numerous and can be found in various aspects of life. One common example is the decision to spend money on one thing instead of another. For instance, if you decide to purchase a new car with your savings, the opportunity cost would be giving up the chance to invest that money into something else such as stocks or real estate.

Another example is when a business decides whether to produce goods domestically or outsource production overseas. The opportunity cost could be lost revenue from domestic sales due to increased costs associated with producing goods locally versus cheaper labor costs abroad.

Opportunity cost also applies in personal relationships. If you choose to attend an event with friends, you forego the opportunity to spend time with family members who may have planned something for the same day.

In education, choosing one major over another comes at an opportunity cost. A student who chooses engineering over medicine gives up the chance to pursue a career in healthcare.

Understanding opportunity cost helps us make better decisions by considering all possible outcomes and trade-offs before making choices.


Opportunity cost is a crucial concept that affects decision-making in our personal and professional lives. Understanding the importance of opportunity cost can help us make better choices by weighing the benefits and drawbacks of different options based on their potential returns.

Opportunity costs exist in every aspect of procurement, from selecting suppliers to choosing which products or services to invest in. By considering not just what we gain, but also what we give up when making these decisions, we can ensure that we are maximizing value for our organization.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, where resources are limited and competition is fierce, understanding and calculating opportunity cost can be a valuable tool for organizations seeking to stay ahead. With this knowledge at hand, procurement professionals can make informed decisions that benefit both their companies’ bottom line and their own careers as well.

Want to find out more about procurement?

Access more blogs, articles and FAQ's relating to procurement

Oboloo transparent

The smarter way to have full visibility & control of your suppliers


Feel free to contact us here. Our support team will get back to you as soon as possible

Oboloo transparent

The smarter way to have full visibility & control of your suppliers


Feel free to contact us here. Our support team will get back to you as soon as possible

© 2024 oboloo Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of oboloo content, including by framing or similar means, is prohibited without the prior written consent of oboloo Limited. oboloo, Be Supplier Smart and the oboloo logo are registered trademarks of oboloo Limited and its affiliated companies. Trademark numbers: UK00003466421 & UK00003575938 Company Number 12420854. ICO Reference Number: ZA764971