Ensuring On-Time, In-Full (OTIF) deliveries was a top priority for companies in 2017 and has continued to be the number one objective for 2018, with retailers requiring suppliers to meet lofty goals to deliver orders 100% in-full and on time 95% of the time.
Businesses will need to get serious about the way they communicate and resolve issues regardless of whether they are the supplier, carrier or retailer. Visibility of their supply chains will be critical in order to ensure communication across all parties involved. Current methods such as: email, fax, phone and EDI have failed to ensure communication across multiple parties to deliver the required OTIF mandate.The source of much poor performance in meeting on-time, in-full targets is due to poor communication. - James Curtis @JJ_The3rd | #grocery #supplychain Click To Tweet
The source of the problem is that these current methods lead to data latency. In other words communications are either lost or not communicated to all the parties involved.
So what is the solution? The question is really: How can we communicate with all stakeholders of the order in real time?
To be able to communicate with multiple parties in real time companies will need to enable Control Towers allowing for all parties to communicate their data in real time instantaneously with all parties involved. For example if a truck has a flat tire or is delayed due to weather conditions this information needs to be communicated instantly so that everyone can work towards a quick resolution.
If no one is aware of a problem, it is impossible to fix it. By having all stakeholders aware of possible minor issues, actions can be taken to ensure that they do not become major ones.
If the carrier suspects that bad weather might delay a shipment, the carrier needs to communicate the possibility of a delay to the supplier. Then the carrier will need to make an earlier appointment to make up for lost time from potential weather threats. This in turn needs to be instantly communicated to the retailer so that they are aware of the situation and can take the proper actions. Otherwise the threat of delays may lead to variability in supplies and possible stock outs of the brand.
Supply variability is the number one threat to the supply chain, as stock outs mean that the needs of the consumer are not met, which is the reason supply chains exist in the first place.
When suppliers do not meet On-Time, In-Full performance, they are not only hurting their customer and the retailer, they are also hurting themselves. When a brand is stocked out the consumer will be forced to try another brand resulting in a lost customer and possibly tarnishing your brand in the process.
Ensuring the implementation of control towers for full awareness to all trading partners involved in the order will be a win win win for all parties involved resulting in massive benefits to the supplier, carrier, retailer and most importantly the end consumer.
If you’re interested in learning more about how retailers and suppliers can work together to boost On-Time, In-Full performance, I recommend reading Achieving On-Time, In-Full Performance