Every once in a while, late deliveries happen. There are just too many variables in place to be on time 100 percent of the time. It's probably happened to you from your vendors, and it's likely even happened from you to your customers. However, if one of your vendors has begun consistently delivering your metal late, you may have a larger problem on your hands.
Dealing with Late Deliveries
In an industry where everyone works within tight deadlines, consistently late delivery of metal can toss a wrench into even the best-laid plans. Maintaining poor delivery timelines can be signs of a larger problem your vendor is facing.
They may be experiencing staffing issues, equipment breakdowns, or financial problems. It's also possible they've experienced a turnover in management or gained a high priority client whose orders are addressed before yours. Regardless of the situation at hand, late deliveries take their toll.
When you find yourself stuck between a late supplier and a time-sensitive customer, here are a few strategies to keep things calm and moving along.
Anyone who has spent time in the procurement business knows quality communication is one of the most important factors to success. Managing relationships can be difficult, but remember, the most disruptive problems are the ones that people refuse to talk about.
Even if you aren't technically at fault, it's important to own the part you played in a late delivery. Is there a way you can take corrective action or prevent this issue from happening in the future?
Consider Your Options
If late delivery of product is taking a toll on operations, whether it's through customers needing to slow, modify, or postpone production, consider what options you have to correct the issue. It could be anything from opening a line of dialogue with your supplier to searching for a new supplier, and everything in between.
Present a Realistic Solution
If the late delivery of metal has become a problem, that means it's worthy of a solution. After you've considered your options, put the best one into action. Try to avoid saying phrases like, "Don't worry, this won't happen again" to your customers unless you really can guarantee it. Otherwise, you risk harming a relationship you've worked hard to develop.
When one of your suppliers consistently delivers metal product late, follow the above tips to correct and prevent the issue. By doing this, you'll be better prepared to manage late deliveries with your customers and your suppliers.