Executing the Perfect Order

Last week we discussed how on-time deliveries are an important part of the supplier-customer relationship. Much of the conversation revolved around data from a study by the WERC (Warehousing Education and Research Council) that also mentioned three other important facets of “the perfect order.”

POI Index

Let’s consider how to solve problems that may be associated with each facet.

On Time – We reviewed the importance of on time deliveries in a post last week.

Complete – A properly complete order will be contain 100% of the items on the purchase order. Many retailers have a “fill or kill” requirement meaning that all orders must be filled complete and on time, or the order should not be delivered at all. Check your contractual obligations with your customer for your order fulfillment criteria.  While we may allow blame to fall on transportation providers for failing the deliver on time, the buck stops with the supplier for correct packing. Seamless packing logistics are necessary to ensure that small businesses do not fail in this area.

Damage Free – Damage free deliveries should be the standard for all suppliers, big or small. If you have problems in this area, dissect your entire process from manufacturing to distribution, including your mode of transportation. All customers should and will expect damage free deliveries.

Accurate EDI – Lastly, a perfect order must have accurate EDI documentation. Without properly coordinating and sending appropriate documents like the Advance Ship Notice, delivery problems will arise. Many small businesses turn to third party EDI providers like CovalentWorks for turnkey solutions to this issue.

Your path to achieving perfect orders and the solution for problems you may have can come from within your business.  What metrics are you using to track these criteria? What does that information tell you about your problem areas? I encourage you to read through the entire WERC study here if these issues seem pertinent to your business.

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