Author Eric Jerome Dickey penned the phrase, “early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.” According to Mr. Dickey’s definition, how many of your shipment times are considered unacceptable? If you are like others, that answer might be many. Too many, in fact. But can you overcome the challenges of “on-time delivery” communication when manufacturing offshore? Yes and no.
What you can’t change is a global supply chain that’s constantly in flux. Occasionally containers arrive earlier than expected. Other times, they arrive at the last minute, which can typically cause two-week delays. Until chassis, trucks, drivers, and container availability are back to ‘normal,’ you are at the mercy of the system. But what you can change as a vendor is knowing the arrival date of your shipments and any issues. See how below.
Weekly Updates Provide Shipment Visibility, Certainty, and Predictability
Tracking arrival dates – as early as possible – can improve internal planning and enable proactive communication with your customers. And to help vendors do just that, ITI Manufacturing created a real-time communication program for our customers to receive notifications about the status of their shipments (LCL and full container) on a weekly basis.
This weekly update lets our customers know the facts about their shipment, whether it’s on time, late, or early. This communication gives vendors visibility, certainty, and predictability of their shipments, leading to proactive production planning, inventory management, and shipment scheduling.
Intentional and Quick Responses to Resolve Shipping Issues
Managing shipment times isn’t the only challenge of offshore manufacturing. During the shipping process, any number of issues can also arise from manufacturing, logistics, testing, inspection, or even after delivery. (Yes, in the real world, problems are occasionally discovered after delivery).
To handle these issues, ITI Manufacturing created a program to:
- Immediately and intentionally acknowledge the problem
- Work to resolve that issue to our customer’s satisfaction
- Keep our customers informed about that resolution a minimum of once a week
Take Back Control of Your Offshore Manufacturing
Offshore manufacturing should be a rewarding and profitable experience. But the truth is that it can be complicated and cost-prohibitive, if you don’t have the right processes in place.
By working with our ITI customers over the last 45 years, we’ve learned that these are the two most important areas for improving the experience.
- Frequent and regular communication about shipment deliveries and delays
- Intentional and quick issue resolution
ITI developed the two programs mentioned above to help our customers take advantage of offshore manufacturing. Through weekly updates and issue resolutions, our customers remark that their businesses are now ‘proactive, rather than reactive.’
Real-time visibility, certainty, and predictability in uncertain times are what ITI Manufacturing strives to provide. We would appreciate the opportunity to provide your company with the same high level of service.