The Logistical Lowdown

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The Critical Impact of On-Time Deliveries

Posted by Julie Wanstedt on 1/18/17 9:30 AM
Julie Wanstedt


Pallets stacked with shrink wrapped product in a warehouse

On-time delivery is one of the biggest concerns for today’s supply and logistics businesses. Many factors contribute to delays, some of which are outside of the control of the logistics provider. From the more obvious, such as weather, traffic and delays on loading docks meeting on-time deliveries, or not meeting them, can have a critical impact on shippers and the entire supply chain.

At a higher level, there are problems that could start even before the shipment leaves, such as poor communication, lack of real-time notifications and inaccurate data entry or bills of lading. The end result is the same: delays are costly and disruptive to the supply chain as a whole and ultimately lead to unhappy customers. Consequently, the relationship with the customer suffers. And given how competitive the market is predicted to be in 2017, all 3PLs should strive to provide the best level of service possible or risk losing the relationship.

So what are some best practices when it comes to on-time delivery? An article from Spend Matters, Strategic Supplier Relationships and On-Time Deliveries, found in their cross-industry data that top-performing organizations have 13 percent more of their supplier orders received by the original request date. This can mean two things: they have developed a proactive strategy to ensure on-time delivery by improving internal operations or higher performers have established greater trust with their customers and are preferred over others. In either case, building a reputation on the foundation of good communication and service excellence

And what about for the customer? The criteria for selecting a 3PL and evaluating their on-time delivery results should include measurements for success. Here are a few we suggest that if monitored regularly, can provide insight in the shipping process and uncover problems before they become unwieldy:

  1. On-time delivery data. How many deliveries were made on time?
  2. Days late. How long did it actually take for the goods to arrive? Did this cause a delay for the shipper’s customer? What were the monetary implications?
  3. Quality of delivery. How were the goods when received?
  4. Were the goods received the exactly what was expected?

There are many more places where 3PLs can be more innovative in solving operational challenges to increase on-time delivery. From adoption of technology to creating effective, collaborative communication practices with their valuable customers, there is much suppliers can focus on that will increase success in this vital performance area.

 If you are interested in reading more about how on-time deliveries can impact suppliers, read this case study from the Institute for Supply Management.

Learn more about how Keller Logistics Group works to meet our on-time delivery promises to our customers.

Topics: Transportation, 3PL, Logistics

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