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How to Build a Reliable Delivery Process

Building a System That Delivers Orders On Time, In Less Time

Despite the advances in information technology and systems, most plants manage the process of prioritizing and managing the production of customer orders as if it were an art, approaching the task as a craftsman would, rather than treating order fulfillment systemically, using a robust process to manage and control production.

Rarely is the order fulfillment process treated as a process unto itself, with sequential steps and appropriate controls.  Instead, order fulfillment is treated as an independent group of production steps, delegated to the resource owners (the plant) who do the work.  Typically, they have little incentive to deliver on time, but rather, their incentive is to be “efficient”.  As a result, the important task of improving on time delivery is an afterthought in process improvement efforts.  In the end, orders are thrown over the “wall” from the sales function to the production function, like hand grenades that might explode into a product that satisfies the customer.  The result is chaotic efforts, late deliveries and unhappy customers.

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