Our Quest to Improve On-Time Delivery to 95%

Most of our blogs in Tiki Talk discuss subjects of general interest in manufacturing and frequently metal fabrication in particular. In recent posts, we’ve discussed the economy, technology, tariffs’ and a host of other topics. In this blog, we are going to turn our attention a bit more inward. We want to address the subject of OTD (on-time delivery) and how we have been working diligently to improve our results within the walls of Wiley Metal.

We hope that our current, past and even future clients find this interesting, in that it is an honest introspective of where we’ve been, where we are and how we got there. It’s not always easy to admit you can do things better, but until that admission comes, it is hard to improve.

Before getting into our specifics, let’s take a broader look at OTD and the important role it plays in manufacturing.

What is On-Time Delivery?

There are a variety of definitions for on-time delivery. We like this one from LeanManufacturer.net:

“On time delivery is a measure of process and supply chain efficiency which measures the amount of finish goods or services delivered to customers on time and in full. It helps determine how efficiently we are meeting our customer’s or agreed deadlines.”

We like this definition, in part, because it places a priority on customer needs and expectations. More simply put, OTD it is the percentage of shipments delivered correctly and on-time versus all shipments sent. Now, obviously, there are a variety of factors that can impact OTD, but to some degree, it is an organization’s batting average when it comes to full, on-time delivery. Like a batting average, keeping track can be an important step to improvement.

Why is OTD an important KPI in Metal Fabrication?

OTD is an important Key Performance Indicator in metal fabrication because when we can get things done is such a critical component of why a manufacturer may choose us as an OEM or vendor. Being able to meet expectations and deadlines is not just an added value or benefit, but a key component in their choice of a supplier. Capability, quality, and even price become much less meaningful if a metal fabrication company can’t deliver fully and on time.

How Wiley Metal Analyzed and Then Put Into Action an OTD Plan

In the Fall of 2018 when we hired Joe Weimer as our new Quality Control Manager, we did so in part, to create a culture focused on process management and root cause analysis.

Within months plans were implemented to take an honest look at and improve upon, some strategic areas. A plan to reduce the quoting process by 70% took shape. Bottlenecks were eliminated to improve capacity. Employee efficiency was reviewed and our overall proactive vs reactive attitude intensified. We began to shift focus to grow with our current customers before seeking new ones, improving their satisfaction and OTD rates. We even reviewed our own supplier warranties and quality levels. Our goals were ambitious, significant, and measurable.

  • Reduce the quoting process by 70%
  • Improve Quality
  • Increase OTD from 65% to 95%
  • Accomplish the above without negatively impacting sales

Our OTD Improvement Success

Here we are facing the fourth quarter of 2019 and we are so pleased with our progress and the efforts of our quality control team and production staff.

We have, in fact, reduced quoting time 70%, now returning accurate quotes in an average of just 5 days or less.

Quality ratings that were 2.0 are now 5.9

Our OTD rates have risen from 65% to nearly 95%

We have improved all of the above with a zero reduction in sales

There are so many lessons to learn here. Achieving is believing. Measurement creates success. You can always do better. Reach higher to achieve more. The list goes on and on.

Pardon us if this seems a little self-serving. Perhaps sharing the results is. Our reasons for reaching higher though, are customer-focused. It is in an effort to be more and do more for our partners who place their faith in us. It is to demonstrate our commitment to those who continue to stand beside us. We share not because of pride (OK, maybe a little) but because it allows us to better serve.

Where We Go From Here…

While we’ll take a minute to look back, celebrate and enjoy our results in improving our OTD, we also understand that this is a race that doesn’t have a finish line. Our goals change as technology and competition increases and improves. We adjust with a changing economy and a younger workforce. We just wanted to take a few minutes to let you know we are on it.

We will continue to be proactive in improving our quality and management. If you are a current client of Wiley Metal, thank you. You are deeply appreciated and play such a vital role in our success and desire to achieve more. If you were a previous customer, contact us and let’s talk again. If you are in search of a proactive metal fabrication company with solid Midwestern values and work ethics, let’s discuss your upcoming projects. We look forward to talking with you.