On-time delivery is a key indicator of your company’s ability to meet customer demand. It’s also the first impression you make on new customers. So it should be a priority, right? Achieving consistent on-time delivery requires full control of your supply chain and business processes. Here are five keys for on-time delivery:
1-Have the right level of stock
In order to maintain the right level of stock, you need a robust procurement process and inventory management system. There are several key factors to consider in determining optimum part inventories, including daily production requirements, supplier lead time, production efficiency, and supplier efficiency. These variables can have a significant impact on the quality of your finished product and your bottom line. Both shareholders and customers pay the price if they’re not under control!
An inventory management and visual control system is a simple and effective solution. The experts at Merkur can help you choose a system that meets your needs and guide you in implementing best practices.
2-Maintain a steady production rate
Identifying your plant’s production capacity and maintaining it over time is crucial. Keeping production steady gives the sales and marketing team visibility on production so they can make accurate projections. Consistent production also facilitates day-to-day management of the plant and stabilizes the supply chain.
Don’t overload the production line, and avoid making last-minute schedule changes at all costs. A minor change may seem beneficial in the short term, but the medium- and long-term effects are significant. Waste increases, production employees are put under added pressure, shipments are often delayed, and customers are likely to be dissatisfied.
3-Find your bottlenecks!
Every process has a bottleneck. A bottleneck is the production step, workstation, or piece of equipment that limits a plant’s overall performance. A plant’s capacity is dictated by its bottlenecks. A good production supervisor will identify bottlenecks and deploy all the tools, equipment, and support required to operate at full capacity. Such employees are highly prized.
Beware! Whenever a bottleneck is optimized, another one pops up elsewhere. And in a market where product customization is on the upswing, bottlenecks can also change places depending on the product.
4-Make quality a top priority
Even if it’s on time, no one likes buying a poor quality product. After on-time delivery, product quality is the number two factor on which your customers judge you.
In order to correct and prevent quality errors, you need rigorous monitoring and inspection mechanisms and a healthy dose of “poka-yokes.” We go beyond tools to teach employees best practices so they become stewards of quality. Mature companies create a corporate culture that enables employees to identify mistakes and, more importantly, encourages them to find ways to fix them.
Getting an external perspective really comes in handy when establishing this kind of culture. Make sure to seek out experienced professionals that can provide valuable guidance.
5-Build relationships with your suppliers
In order to build healthy relationships with your suppliers, you need to identify the indicators that are most meaningful for you (e.g., price, quality, service, lead time, etc.). Remember, it’s important to use multiple selection criteria. Once you’ve established them, it’s time to talk to your suppliers and start negotiating.
To deliver on time, you need to be in full control of your supply chain, production, and inventory levels. The devil’s in the details—and details can make a big dent in profits. So go ahead and sweat the small stuff!