KEYWORD: lead time
Due to the constant changes in customer/consumer behavior, businesses have to align and embrace themselves with changes in supply chains, procurement, sales, and delivery strategies to future proof themselves. They have to be watchful to make on-time delivery every time. And this implies lead time has to be managed well. While reducing costs could be on your radar that alone does not suffice as if the reduction in the costs does not bring value to the customer, the outcome would not be either useful or long-lasting.
This article focuses on reducing the delivery time in your business operations by spelling out 5 ways to reduce it by keeping in mind the delivery times.
Identifying your suppliers who apply ‘lean productions’ methods would be of immense utility. As they would have planned their delivery schedules in such a manner that would take care of lead time as well. Depending upon the nature of your business. Your relationship with the suppliers can be in any one or combination of the following forms:
- One supplier exclusively supplying to you,
- The same supplier who suppliers to multiple clients but who are somewhat identical to your products or a mix of them.
- Multiple suppliers tied to your business.
- Multiple suppliers catering to multiple clients.
The most effective structure ultimately would depend on what you derive value for your business. For instance, if your requirements are for customized solutions, it would be advantageous to rely on that supplier who specializes relevant to your business. Alternately, if you can identify a domestic supplier as good as a foreign one, it can significantly reduce the lead time.
Use the data
It is of paramount importance that you need to let your supplier(s) know when to refurbish your orders. Towards this, a systematic analysis of the data would help you to anticipate your needs, communicating them with the suppliers. Which would take care of the lead time by enabling an orderly fulfillment process.
Automate the report processes
Conventional methods of relying on pen and paper by your team may still be relevant. But, would not take you farther when you have to scale up your operations due to their inherent limitations. They are fraught with interruptions resulting in downtime, disagreements, and at times into disputes.
It is not practicable for the project team to manually check and verify whether all the activities have been addressed in a manner they should be.
This can be overcome by automating the processes. Wherein the daily reports are filled in with minimal scope for errors so that there is a smooth flow of communication. Which can be referred back in case legal disputes and or liability issues crop up later.
With the right tools in place, the project teams would have the information on their tips. Which would facilitate their overcoming bottlenecks in lead time and take decisions swiftly
Incentivize the supplier(s)
If you know that reducing the lead time, say from a period of 10 weeks to 8 may offer you a competitive edge, you consider offering your vendors a structured bonus payment based on their performance of delivering you early.
On the other hand, do not take lightly the delivery delays. Seek an explanation and if you are not convinced, consider penalizing such suppliers so that they would not at least repeat it.
Maintaining your warehouse tidy not only confers your business the advantage of not wasting time on tracking down the inventory. But, also makes it safer as a disorganized one can turn out to be a safety hazard. An appropriately designed layout, that labels the inventory would offer you the opportunity to get rid of obsolete stock. Which all would go towards a better lead time.
The key takeaway of this article is adopting ways and methods to reduce delivery times. It should form an integral part of your strategy. As it builds into your business the ability to effect timely delivery. Which would not only result in a positive customer experience but also translate into revenues and profits in monetary terms.
Other Keywords: SUPPLIER, DELIVERY, LEAD, BUSINESS, MULTIPLE, reduce your Delivery time, CUSTOMER, PROCESS, TEAM, METHOD