In any industry, there is one universal truth that exists: Customers do not like waiting. Regardless if that customer is wanting service in a restaurant or a manufacturer holding up production due to incomplete electrical or mechanical assemblies.
Waiting, more often than not, creates frustration, and in some instances may even cause added expense for some industries. In the manufacturing industry, the consequences of extended lead times goes beyond mere frustration and annoyance; assuredly, it ends up costing the organisation money.
The risk of running out of inventory or having to carry more to compensate for losses caused by unreliable suppliers. When this happens, speed to deliver is hampered, your competitors might beat you and grab your market share, and your market reputation gets threatened.
Check Your Supplier or Distributor
Before engaging the services or products of an entity, customers should check if the company does the delivery of their goods, if not, do check if they can arrange delivery of your purchased goods for you.
Here at Wholesale Safety Storage Australia (WSSA), we offer delivery all over Australia emanating from our warehouse locations in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. Additionally, we can also offer our clients free delivery on purchases over $750 in various metro areas of Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Sydney. Customers only need to make a forklift available on site to unload the delivery vehicle.
We pride ourselves that our business model allows us to deliver our goods promptly from the production line directly to our end user, giving us a highly competitive edge from our competitors and in our pricing model.
It is critical for any manufacturing operation to reduce and forecast lead times accurately. Take these steps to better manage your supply chain and decrease waiting times.
1. Choose a Domestic Supplier or Distributor.
Using a domestic supplier or distributor can greatly reduce lead times, significantly than when you order internationally. Normally, it takes two weeks or more if you order from foreign countries. Plus, you run the risk of potential delays due to customs regulations or weather conditions or even receiving the wrong items caused by language barriers that, more often than not, complicate communications.
We speak the same language here at Wholesale Safety Storage Australia (WSSA). So you’re spared of anything being lost in translation. Our products are 100% manufactured right here in Australia, for Australian conditions and meet Australian Standards. And we stand by that with a 100% guarantee.
2. Bump up Order Frequency.
If you think that placing bulk orders saves you money, think again. You might be right, but at what cost? Bulk orders from one supplier or distributor means longer lead times. You’ll soon discover when you factor in potential lost in sales or an increase in labour for inventory management, it boils down to costing you more in the long run.
One solution we can share is to order from one supplier or distributor in smaller quantities, but more frequently. This practice will not only help reduce your lead times but decrease your carrying costs as well.
What if you want to arrange for your own shipping, can you do it? It may not always be the case for others but here at WSSA, we say, absolutely! All you have to do is let us know if you already have arrangements with your choice carrier, and we will remove any freight charges from your purchase.
3. Furnish Sales Forecasts.
By letting your supplier know when to expect reorders based on your actual sales data can help them anticipate your needs that can significantly speed up their fulfilment process. This can cause them to assemble and set your order aside, ready to be shipped the moment you say to them, “go.”
If it is of prime import to you of a specific time and date required for delivery, here in WSSA we recommend our customers to make their own arrangements with a specialised carrier service. Have no worries, we will do our best to assist you all the way.
4. Consolidate Your Suppliers.
It takes more to manage lead times than just managing suppliers. Have you taken a step back to consider the amount of time you spend coordinating with multiple vendors?
It is a feat trying to keep them all straight having to handle multiple purchase orders, which also means that maintaining various relationships may lead to not getting your orders placed in a timely manner. This ultimately causes your lead times to suffer.
Though it may be prudent and is common practice to have at least one backup supplier or distributor to spare you from dependency on only one source, it is highly unlikely that you would have the need for more than two backup suppliers or distributors.
It would be advisable condensing your supply chain to reduce spent time in handling multiple accounts. Another would be to consider using vendor management software that can help in streamlining your processes and create efficiencies. Consolidating and/or changing suppliers can add value in many ways.
An internal process that you might consider adapting to improve lead times in reducing time spent collecting or gathering parts in your inventory is kitting. By grouping various components that are used frequently together into batches, your workers can stay more organised.
By various kitting components together, your workers can easily pick what they require from inventory for projects. The process increases efficiency since workers no longer have to spend time counting and gathering individual parts.
6. Shift to Standard Components.
Simple is, more often than not, better. The same falls true for a lot of things, including components that make up a safety storage unit that is subject to strict Australian Safety Standards and Regulations.
If you are a customer that requires a customised solution, it is prudent to rely on a specialised supplier in the industry who doesn’t require spending a significant amount of time learning-on-the-go. Not only will it save you time in designing, engineering and production, more than likely, it will save you a lot on costs too.
If, for instance, you require a fully compliant safety storage solution, there are a variety of ready and fully assembled storage solutions like what we at Wholesale Safety Storage Solutions offer.
You may check with your supplier if any tweaks can be made to the standard design or component without compromising the performance, quality or safety regulation of your product.
7. Provide for an Incentive.
Let’s say your supplier provided you a lead time of 3 weeks, but you want it in 2. You can stay ahead of your project completion or to make it possible to coordinate your production schedule in the works if your supplier can deliver based on your terms.
What you can consider, if you have provisions for it, is to offer your supply chain vendor a tiered bonus or an incentive if they can fulfil your order on time or ahead of schedule. Even better is if you can find a ready-made partner that can offer an expedited delivery to get your products to you in the least amount of time.
Staying in touch with your supplier from order to the delivery process helps ensure that expectations are being met. Additionally, any issues that may arise are promptly addressed.
Almost anyone, regardless if they are customers, manufacturers, suppliers, or distributors, cannot easily accept long or delayed lead times. Though it is also true that some simply accept it as a normal course of doing business, and sadly, just believe there is not much they can do about it. Well, we believe this isn’t so.
By adapting some, if not all, of these tips, it can help reduce production schedule interruptions resulting in lost revenue. By building a strong partnership with reputable suppliers and distributors who are as committed as you are for success, it may be the greatest factor that can reduce lead times.
To help you cut lead times for your safety storage deliveries, please see our Shipping Conditions page for guides to frequently asked questions regarding deliveries of our products.