Methods to Avoid and Solve Supply Chain Backorder Problems

Feb 16,2024
Industry News
Supply and demand imbalances often occur in supply chains, causing demand for certain products or items to exceed current inventory levels. How to avoid backorder

Supply and demand imbalances often occur in supply chains, causing demand for certain products or items to exceed current inventory levels. Or a lack of supply chain transparency may make it difficult for companies to accurately predict future demand, leading to backorders on shipments.

what do backorder mean?

Backorder meaning refers to the status of merchants still accepting and recording orders when inventory is insufficient or order demand cannot be met immediately. In logistics and supply chain management, backorder usually occurs when demand exceeds available inventory, or delays occur in the supply chain, resulting in backorders or replenishments, indicating a need to wait for a period of time for delivery.

Backorder usually occurs in the following situations:

Demand exceeds inventory, inventory is insufficient

When there is insufficient inventory to satisfy all orders, some of the ordered items will be marked as backorder. That is, when demand for a product or item exceeds current inventory levels. This could be due to high sales, production issues, supply chain disruptions, or other reasons.

Merchant keeps order

Even if merchants don't currently have enough inventory to fulfill orders, they hold those orders on hold so they can be refilled at some point in the future without losing the order.

Production delays

If there are delays in the production process that prevent the goods from being completed on time, these goods will also be marked as backorder.

Logistics issues

Unforeseen circumstances may occur during transportation, resulting in the failure of some orders to be delivered on time, and these items will also be marked as backorder.

How to deal with and solve backorder problems?

Merchants typically keep in touch with customers to inform them that their orders are on backorder. This communication can include estimated shipping dates, plans for inventory replenishment, and other relevant information.

When an item is marked as backorder, the seller or logistics company usually notifies the buyer and provides an estimated delivery time. In this case, the buyer can choose to wait for a while, or cancel the order and get a refund.

How to avoid backorder?

In order to avoid backorder situations, sellers and logistics companies can take a series of measures, such as strengthening inventory management, optimizing production plans, and improving logistics efficiency. This problem can also be solved by speeding up production, increasing inventory, negotiating with suppliers, etc. to determine customer satisfaction and maintain the reputation of the merchant. At the same time, buyers can also choose to purchase alternative items or wait for a period of time to obtain the desired item.

Supply Chain Backorder

Backorder is a common challenge in supply chain management that requires careful planning and flexible responses to meet market demands and maintain customer satisfaction.

how long does backorder usually take?

The factors that affect shipment backordered generally include the following:

Supply chain complexity

If there are multiple links in the supply chain, including raw material supply, manufacturing, assembly, and distribution, backorders may be longer.

Production Process

The manufacturing and production process of a product can have a significant impact on delivery time. Some products may require longer manufacturing times or more complex processes.

Inventory Status

If the company faces inventory shortages or encounters problems during production, delivery times may be extended. Inventory management and real-time monitoring of inventory levels are critical to avoid backorders.

Supplier response time

The speed at which a supplier can provide required materials or components directly affects delivery time. Effective supplier management and collaboration are critical to reducing delivery delays.

Production Capacity

A company's production capacity is critical to how quickly orders can be filled. Production line efficiency, equipment utilization, and employee proficiency can all affect delivery times.

Demand Fluctuation

Instability and volatility in demand can also lead to variations in delivery times. If companies struggle to adjust production capacity during periods of peak demand, it could lead to backorders.

Logistics and shipping time

The time required for the logistics and shipping process is also a factor that affects backorders. International shipping and complex logistics networks may cause additional delays.

Company strategies and responses

The strategies a company adopts, how it responds to backorders, and how it communicates with customers all have an impact on final delivery times.

The backorder time is the result of a combination of multiple factors, so it is difficult to provide a specific standard time. Companies typically do their best to take steps to shorten delays while maintaining transparency and communicating with customers in a timely manner to ensure the fastest delivery possible.

backorder vs out of stock

"Backorder" and "Out of Stock" are two inventory statuses that describe the availability and supply chain status of an item, but the specifics involved are slightly different. Both indicate that an item is temporarily unavailable, but there are some important differences.


Backorder refers to a product that is currently unavailable for immediate delivery due to insufficient inventory, but new orders can still be accepted. In this case, the company will typically continue to accept orders, and the items that have been ordered will be recorded as "in stock." The merchant may accept the customer's order and inform the customer of the estimated delivery time. Backorder is usually used when the production cycle is long, demand exceeds expectations, or the supply chain is temporarily disrupted.

Out of Stock

Out of Stock means that the product is no longer produced or can no longer be supplied. This situation usually occurs when demand for goods exceeds inventory, or there are problems in the supply chain, such as supplier bankruptcy, natural disasters, etc. Out of Stock usually means that customer demand cannot be met unless inventory is replenished or substitutes are available.

The main difference between backorder and out of stock

Although Backorder and Out of Stock are both states of a product being temporarily unavailable, Backorder means that the supplier or manufacturer plans to provide the product again, while Out of Stock means that the product is no longer produced or can no longer be supplied. Merchants need to adopt different strategies when dealing with these two situations, such as negotiating with suppliers, finding substitutes, or offering refunds to customers.