Editor’s Choice: The Journey to Perfect Delivery

perfect deliveryNote: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Choice” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide supply chain insights and advice. Today’s article is by Jim D’Addario, Director of Product Marketing SCM at Oracle, and highlights where to get started on the journey to the perfect delivery,

How do you get started on the road to Perfect Delivery – that ability to consistently deliver a complete order to the right customer, with the right products, in perfect condition, and on time? There’s no single formula or guide because every company is different, but here are a few strategies that have proven successful for companies across a range of industries.

If your mission is to always deliver a perfect order – or even doing it, let’s say, 98% of the time – start by looking for those areas where you are falling short and identify what’s preventing you from delivering flawlessly. Is it your current order management or warehousing processes that are standing in the way? Or are you having difficulty planning and securing your transportation options efficiently and fast enough?  Focus on the areas that are causing the greatest pain – or that offer the biggest wins.

Reviewing key delivery performance indicators will help in this assessment. This would include metrics like order-fill rates – that is, how many orders you’re able to fill in full and on time. Track how well you’re able to deliver on the perfect order. Is it 92% of the time or 98% of the time?

Total Visibility

Ensuring perfect delivery requires knowing the status of your inventory. That means you’ll want to gain visibility into your inventory across all of your warehouses, distribution centers, and other stocking locations. If you’re a manufacturer who builds products to order, you’ll also need to ensure visibility into your manufacturing planning systems, allowing you to know when the next production run is going to kick off and when your customer’s product will be ready to ship. This is crucial to your ability to promise the customer a reliable delivery date.

Customer-Centric Mindset

Companies may have once lived in a world where the competition was scarce, but that was long ago – and your customers know it. Today, buyers are just a few clicks away from switching vendors, and everything matters: price and quality of course, and increasingly, delivery performance and even sustainability. The situation isn’t any better in the brick-and-mortar world where stock-outs and empty shelves are a golden opportunity for your competitors. To quote one of my favorite analysts: “Customer service lives and dies in the supply chain.”

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