5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2011 9:08 PM by Cberklich

    How do you deal with material delays that impact order dates?

    Apprentice

      I've seen variations on this topic in several spots on discussion boards around the web lately, and I thought we'd see what kind of answers we can generate here on the community. It seems to be a widespread and familiar problem to a great number of supply chain folks.

       

      So, how do you deal with material delays that affect order dates? Do the actions that you take also work to minimize the risk of more problems in the future?

       

      Looking forward to hearing how people are handling this, and what they are learning in the process.

        • Re: How do you deal with material delays that impact order dates?
          KevinDennis Novice

          The biggest issue for my group in dealing with material shortages is to communicate proactively with customer service when we determine the issue and what date we can provide before it becomes a larger issue going further past due. The problem is that sometimes there are so many things to track down that we cannot get to it in a timely manner and if we do get to it and our second commitment doesn't happen then it obviously becomes a larger issue.

          We have worked on and continued to work on improving the communication internally amongst the cross functional groups like production, mfg, purchasing, production scheduling, customer service, etc. We meet three times a week and review the priorities and what issues we are having so that we can focus on the same things. Seems pretty simply but it is actually more difficult in practice although we've it now for the past year and some things have improved and other things have not. The other side is to chase purchase orders before they go past due, identify bottlenecks in mfg on job orders before they go past due and openly discuss the issues so we can be as proactive as possible.

            • Re: How do you deal with material delays that impact order dates?
              Apprentice

              Thanks for the feedback, Kevin. I've heard similar stories from others about multiple meetings per week. I'm curious; do you find that those meetings streamline processes and communications, or do they tie up too much time when you could be productive on other tasks?

                • Re: How do you deal with material delays that impact order dates?
                  KevinDennis Novice

                  It's the proverbial catch 22, without the meetings we spend time chasing down the same things that we would talk about and respond to during those meetings.  However, it does take up a considerable amount of time that we could spend improving our scheduling and planning processes. There is really no right answer to the issue except that if everything was on schedule and the problems were minimized then we would not need to track down or expedite anything.  I have yet to see that in any organization or industry that I have been a part of related to the Supply chain.

                   

                  Kevin Dennis

              • Re: How do you deal with material delays that impact order dates?
                Benson.Bradley Newbie

                Mrs. Bossers,

                I experienced those kinds of problems while working in the semiconductor industry a few years ago. We decided to go with the 'meetings method'. Like most things, while we were paying attention to the problem, it went fine. The second we stopped paying attention, the problems returned. I learned from that experience and so the last time I encountered this obsticle - I had a new answer. The last company that performed the same services for me had a stipulation written into their contract... nice and simple: Meet your deadlines, or don't get paid. This solution won't work for internal services but does work GREAT for contract services or suppliers. I know it seems a little harsh. Just remember; It is their job to provide these services. The work doesn't stop there, it's also their job to find ways to provide better service and keep me as a customer.

                • Re: How do you deal with material delays that impact order dates?
                  Cberklich Novice

                  Lauren,

                   

                  I would agree with both Kevin and Bradley, however, in the automobile OEM environment, we would also station a Quality Engineer at the supplier with a Design Engineer on standby with supply chain and procurement facilitating, followed by updates at the start and end of the day. 

                   

                  We had delays but they were not significant because through out the tooling process the Quality Engineers were frequently onsite with the supplier to verify on time delivery. If international we had conference calls and relied on the local Quality Engineer to determine if there were issues during the tooling process that would cause delays.

                   

                  There are issues, such as the one brought up by Bill Dubois in his discussion post, Sympathy for the Supplier, caused by catastrophes.  But let’s say in the case of a supplier who’s fly wheel on a stamping press breaks and they have no back up.  Then all bets are off and we spend time calling Service Parts to find inventory shipped premium, followed by brushing off the previous suppliers tooling, renegotiating the agreement and getting them moving on producing the required parts.

                   

                   

                  Cheryl B.