Achieving Customer Focused On-Time Delivery
Receiving products “on time” is usually measured against a date promised by the supplier. Unfortunately, the promise date is often after the date the customer needs the product. In many industrial applications, including paper mills and corrugated packaging plants, parts are needed on short notice. With today’s just-in-time manufacturing, production slowdowns or project delays directly impact profitability. Customers demand products be delivered when they need them, not after.
Improving on-time delivery (OTD) starts with the right metric because “What gets measured, gets improved." Tracking OTD against the customers’ requested delivery date is a better indicator of customer satisfaction than tracking deliveries against the suppliers’ promise date. In a typical month, Kadant Johnson meets our customers’ requested delivery date on over 96% of shipments. This means customers receive the products ordered when they need them, even if the requested delivery date is tomorrow.
Like other industrial component manufacturers, Kadant Johnson has a low volume, high mix business. Building every product, in every order, on-time, across thousands of orders is complex. Kadant Johnson has achieved world-class OTD with a focus on lean processes and continuous improvement. Products are built in small batches, 5S is applied to work areas, Gemba walks occur regularly, maintenance is planned, workflow is constantly improved, and suppliers are developed. When an order does ship late, the “5 Whys” process is used to identify root cause issues and improve the process. Quite simply, the organization never stops improving.
In addition to continuous improvement, Kadant Johnson is structured and geographically located to maximize responsiveness. Customer service, engineering, supply chain, and manufacturing are all located in the Three Rivers, Mich. headquarters. Orders can be received and processed in the same day and technical support provided immediately. When manufacturing completes an order, it can be shipped quickly across North America, arriving the next day if needed.
Metrics, tools, and location all serve to maximize OTD, but a high-performance culture is the driving force behind world-class OTD. As Alan Ives, vice president, operations recently summarized, “Our customers rely on us to respond quickly with short lead times and excellent service, and we consistently meet this expectation.” He continued, “Every month we improve, and every month we strive to deliver every customers’ order on their requested date.”
In the end, it’s the people of Kadant Johnson that drive a culture of continuous improvement. They work to meet every customers’ requested delivery date, regardless of timing. Even though they achieve the customers’ requested delivery date on over 96% of deliveries, they never stop pursuing perfection.