Expediting And Supply Chain Management: How To Speed Up Your Orders
During busy periods such as the winter holiday season or back-to-school season, you may need to expedite orders after they have been placed. Expediting is a common process in supply chain management, but it is difficult to do efficiently. Ideally, orders would always be delivered on time or even ahead of schedule, but there are a variety of factors that can interfere with this process.
Working with a 4PL provider speeds up the expedition process. 4PL providers handle every aspect of the supply chain management, including following up with suppliers and managing any expedited orders. This helps facilitate clear communication between suppliers, manufacturers, and other relevant parties. At Unilog, we use the latest technology to manage all client orders in one place. This allows us to identify orders that need to be expedited and take appropriate steps to manage the problem.
Although expediting orders is often a stressful process, there are things you can do to make it easier. Here’s how to make your expedition process more efficient to avoid order delays.
What is the expediting process in supply chain management?
In supply chain management, expedition can mean a few different things. In many cases, buyers or manufacturers will reach out to suppliers to expedite an order if they need the product before the original delivery date. The supplier and their shipping partners will then need to confirm whether or not expedition is possible. If so, the buyer or manufacturer may need to pay an additional fee to receive the product faster.
Expediting can also refer to the process of checking on a supplier to ensure that the order gets delivered on time. Unfortunately, many suppliers regularly experience delays, and expedition is often necessary to ensure your order is processed on time. Expediting requires very detailed and responsive communication to mitigate potential problems.
For example, many organizations will request to expedite their order if they aren’t given a specific lead time, or if previous shipments have been delayed. The expedition process allows them to be proactive and potentially prevent delays or other issues from happening again.
There are a variety of reasons why you might need to expedite an order from a supplier, and this process isn’t always cause for concern. However, if you’re frequently expediting orders and checking in on certain suppliers to ensure on-time delivery, this may be a sign that you need to find a better supply option.
How To Improve The Expedition Process
Expedition is sometimes necessary to keep your supply chain running smoothly. Ideally, suppliers, manufacturers, and end customers would all be able to maintain standard lead times and avoid delays, but unfortunately, there are many outside factors that often prevent this from happening.
Having defined expedition protocols in place makes it easier to check in with suppliers and potentially decrease your lead times when necessary. Here are some steps you can take to streamline your expedition process.
Decide When To Expedite Shipments
With the fast-paced nature of the global shipping market, it can be tempting to expedite your shipments frequently. Since expedition is a complex and time consuming process, you’ll need to determine when it’s most appropriate to expedite your shipments. It’s important for your entire supply chain to be on the same page about expediting shipments to avoid confusion.
Decisions about when to expedite shipments will vary depending on the type of products you make and your clients’ expectations. For example, time-sensitive health and technology shipments may need to be expedited due to current events, whereas more evergreen products may not have the same strict shipping timelines.
Additionally, you may need to expedite shipments as a result of delays or poor communication from your suppliers. It’s important to determine which events would trigger the expedition process and who is responsible for communication with your suppliers. For example, your organization might automatically trigger an expedition if the initial delivery estimate is unclear or if that suppliers has sent delayed shipments in the past. Having specific protocols in place will make the expedition process faster and much more effective.
Track Your Shipments
In the past, it was nearly impossible to monitor your supply chain entirely from end-to-end. However, modern technology has made it easier to stay on top of your products and determine when a shipment needs to be expedited.
IoT technology allows you to track shipments using sensors. Advanced software programs like Logivice show you when shipments are due to go out. Implementing these technologies makes it easier to determine when a shipment needs to be expedited.
Audit Your Suppliers Frequently
When you work with reliable suppliers, you won’t have to expedite your shipments as frequently. Auditing your suppliers regularly will ensure that they are up to your standards. It also gives you the opportunity to identify and correct any problems with your suppliers.
Work With A 4PL Provider
Expediting your shipments is often a stressful process for both you and the supplier. This stress can be compounded with many different parties communicating back and forth, making it difficult to get everyone on the same page.
Working with a 4PL provider like Unilog to develop your supply chain management strategy streamlines communication among your suppliers and manufacturers. Unilog handles the entire supply chain for you from end-to-end, which reduces any confusion about the expedition process.
Additionally, Unilog uses Logivice, our proprietary software product, to monitor all shipments and prevent potential delays before they happen. This often reduces the need to expedite shipments altogether, as we are in constant communication with our suppliers.
If you’re struggling to manage your supply chain or get your shipments in on time, Unilog is here to help. As a global 4PL provider, we take the most stressful parts of supply chain management off your plate, so you can focus on creating a great experience and reliable products for your customers. Contact Unilog today to learn more about our services and see how we can help you streamline your supply chain.