How to Successfully Expedite in Your Supply Chain

Expediting in supply chain management refers to recovering or improving the product delivery process, especially for time-sensitive deliveries. This involves collaboration with suppliers and their sub tiers to shorten turnaround times or eliminate bottlenecks by closely monitoring production.

It can be a complex, time-consuming process, so you must determine when your operations will benefit by identifying sticking points that can limit your supply chain capacity. Success means implementing procedures and partnering with monitoring and expediting service providers.

Advantages of Expediting Supply Chain Processes

Supply chain management’s strategic agenda is a dynamic balance of Cost, Schedule and Quality. On-time supplier deliveries is a significant factor in ensuring the final product is delivered on-time. Here are additional benefits of investing in steps to extend your supply chain’s capacity.

  • Reduced product schedule time: Expediting the supply chain can help suppliers deliver components or raw materials faster to reduce overall manufacturing scheduling.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: Faster supply chain processes drive shorter lead times and speed up deliveries, resulting in higher customer satisfaction as products are more readily available.
  • Streamlined inventory management: When processes run efficiently, manufacturers can optimize inventory levels for just-in-time delivery to reduce excess inventory costs and ensure more product availability.
  • Increased revenue: Shortening the supply chain cycle can bring products to market faster, increasing sales opportunities and revenue streams (shorter cash to cash cycles).
  • Cost savings: Increased efficiency can reduce lead times, streamline processes and optimize inventory levels, contributing to lower operational costs for businesses.
  • Increased visibility: Increased visibility in the supply chain reduces risk.

How to Improve Your Supplier On-Time Delivery Process

Being strategic with your supply chain management practices is the first step in a successful expedition process. Strategies include use of material resource planning (MRP) systems, improved communications, customer furnished raw material, improved payment net terms and regular supplier monitoring to ensure their production processes align with your organization’s needs.

Prioritize Purchase Order Line Items to Expedite

Review and prioritize purchase order line items, basing these choices on criticality to streamline essential products or components. Use this information to choose specific time-sensitive orders or technical products to expedite.

  • Use sales, inventory and operations planning (SIOP) tools to forecast demand and accurately plan procurement strategies.
  • Identify critical components that directly impact customer orders or production timelines (determination of critical path processes and materials).
  • Use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools to run Risk Management scenarios for material delinquency impacts.

Determine What Level of Expediting Suppliers Need

Spend time developing an in-depth understanding of each supplier’s capabilities and constraints. How much oversight is necessary? Review past performance history. This insight helps determine what level of supply chain management each supplier and specific part needs to ensure timely deliveries.

  • Critical recovery
  • Delivery improvement
  • Status and expediting
  • Delinquency prevention

Root Cause Analysis on the Manufacturing Bottlenecks

Determine the manufacturing bottlenecks that affect your ability to get orders delivered on time. These can start at order entry, material availability, labor constraints, capital equipment capability (or capacity) and can extend to sub tiers and special process suppliers. Then, collaborate with suppliers to methodically address these process inefficiencies and/or capacity constraints.  Lasting solution implementation should be driven through corrective actions and continuous improvement initiatives to prevent future delays.

Track Product Manufacturing Process via IoT Technology

The Internet of Things puts more capabilities at your fingertips — for example, technology lets you track stock levels in production. Expediting the delivery of specific raw materials can help avoid disruptions. Material resource planning with IoT can also track end-to-end manufacturing processes, allowing for real-time insight and decision-making to mitigate risks.

Additional technology and tools include the following.

  • Advanced analytics and predictive modeling: Forecasting potential risks allows for proactive preventive measures to minimize disruptions.
  • Cloud-based collaboration platforms: Cloud-based platforms provide a secure, accessible environment for data exchange and transparent communication. They offer real-time collaboration, centralized data storage and document storage for efficient vendor management.
  • Artificial intelligence: Process automation with AI streamlines routine tasks like manual data entry to optimize resource allocation.


Maintain Effective Communication

Keeping communication channels clear and open helps coordinate activities for faster execution and expedited processes by identifying potential bottlenecks, prioritizing tasks and resolving challenges promptly. Additional measures to ensure effective communication include:

  • Consistent supplier KPI Scorecard reporting sets clear objectives and expectations with suppliers and manufacturers.
  • Scheduling periodic meetings and progress reviews.
  • Flexible and adaptable processes continuously optimize the supply chain.
  • Central information sharing facilitates better coordination and informed decision-making.

Regularly Evaluate Your Suppliers

Use key performance indicators (KPI) like on-time delivery, quality and responsiveness to evaluate suppliers. Communicate these KPIs to ensure your organization only maintains working relationships with the most dependable partners. Set up an audit program to identify and address supplier-related issues more effectively, with expectations for how these parties can meet your organization’s KPIs.

Review Supplier Performance

Review historical data on supplier performance to identify trends and improvement opportunities. Evaluate potential and current service providers with supplier surveys. This information will help you plan more efficient production processes and schedule critical supply chain operations. Invite feedback to build trust and collaboration for continuous process optimization.

  • Collaboration and knowledge-sharing among stakeholders enhance efficiency and create a culture of learning from each other.
  • Performance benchmarking ensures the supply chain outperforms its competitors.
  • Adjust supplier surveillance rankings per performance ratings.
  • Recognize supplier performance with supplier excellence awards.

Choose a Reliable Supply Chain Management Provider

Partnering with a reputable supply chain management provider gives you and your partners access to expertise, resources and tools to optimize supplier relationships and streamline processes.

  • Logistics monitoring: Track supplier production and on-time using secure real-time technology, helps you make informed, proactive decisions to avoid potential delays or disruptions.
  • Compliance monitoring: An SCM service provider with national and global vendor monitoring can verify on-time delivery, signal production disruption and develop a plan for a methodical production schedule recovery.
  • Risk identification: A professional SCM service provider can assess the root cause impacting the schedule delivery and develop a plan to correct the issue for on-time delivery.


Expedite Your Supply Chain Processes With NTS Unitek Technical Services

Successful expediting processes will improve operations management and on-time delivery, reduce lead times, increase your organization’s competitive advantage and foster customer satisfaction. Ongoing, responsive communication between customer, SCM service provider and suppliers is necessary for effective supply chain risk mitigation.

Successfully improve your supply chain on-time delivery with NTS Unitek. With over 45 years of experience in supply chain management, our team streamlines production processes, accelerates supplier workflow while maintaining consistent product quality.

Contact us today for more information on these services and how we can reduce risk in your supply chain while enhancing its performance.