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The first priority in purchasing is to ensure delivery!
The basic obligation of the supplier is to guarantee delivery!
Suppliers who need to rush goods are not good suppliers, and purchases that do not rush goods are by no means good purchases! Purchasing those only urges goods is not a good purchase!
What I’m talking about today is that a good purchase must understand production management!
Maybe many people can’t agree with it. Why do purchases need to understand production management? If you do not understand production management, production scheduling and production planning, it is impossible to determine whether the delivery date given by the supplier is accurate and reliable. Anyone who has done sourcing of raw materials, outsourcing, etc. may feel deeply.
I believe that everyone who has done sourcing should have experienced rushing goods. Some people even say that purchasing without rushing goods cannot be regarded as a complete purchase.
So, why do purchases always have to rush goods? Why can’t the supplier consciously deliver the goods on time and in quantity?
According to common sense, since the supplier has confirmed the order, it should be conscious and must deliver the goods on time according to the delivery date of the order. Is there any doubt about this?
However, in China’s manufacturing industry, many things cannot be said by common sense.
That’s right, there are still a lot of suppliers who cannot deliver on the promised delivery date, and he will find a lot of reasons for you. For example, if the equipment is broken, the environmental protection is checked, there are not enough workers, or the difficulty of production is not anticipated, etc.
But the real reason may be:
1. The supplier does not have a production plan at all, and does not know how to schedule it.
2. The production plan is in vain, and the workers choose easy, skilled, and high-yield products (driven by piece rate).
3. Suppliers do not understand their own production capacity, and customer demand is higher than production capacity and cannot be satisfied.
4. Delayed due to too long time for supplier material purchase.
5. New orders are more profitable, or customers are more important, the supplier will insert other orders in front of you.
Except for the fourth issue of material procurement and the fifth issue of integrity, the others are all issues of production management and production planning.
If we do not understand production management, we cannot discover the supplier’s problems in time and find a solution. No matter how we complain about suppliers, we can’t solve the problem that they cannot deliver on time.
Whenever we ask for a quotation from a supplier, in addition to the price, we also have to confirm the delivery date with the supplier. Many customers like suppliers who can report delivery dates in one bite and this is often problematic. Because the sales staff of the supplier, even the boss, often don’t understand the production plan and the availability of materials, what they report to you is only an approximate and estimated date. The sales staff takes the order transaction as their responsibility, no matter what, the order will be followed by the order, and try to meet the customer’s requirements for the delivery time, and then think about a solution if there are problems later.
Many customers are more inclined to those suppliers who can immediately inform the delivery date. They usually trust the supplier’s promises and take the delivery date that the supplier gives without hesitation. We usually require the delivery time to be fixed and short, but we did not analyze the supplier’s production capacity, did not conduct on-site inspections of the supplier’s production process, and did not leave enough lead time for procurement, which resulted in delayed delivery by the supplier. period.
A few years ago, when working with Japanese suppliers, the supplier was a well-known multinational company, but the delivery date was a headache. The problem was not the delay in delivery, but the irregular delivery.
For each purchase, the supplier has to spend one to two days to confirm the delivery date. They have to confirm the time of material purchase with the company’s purchasing department, and the plan and schedule with the production department. It depends on how many production orders are currently planned and when they are scheduled. The delivery date calculated in this way is reliable. Once the supplier determines the delivery date and tells us what month and date it will be shipped, it will never delay a day, which is quite accurate.
I have always complained that the Japanese supplier cannot provide a fixed delivery date and asked them to provide a fixed delivery date according to our requirements, but the other party answered that it could not do it.
This is because the Japanese company’s production scheduling method is different from that of Chinese suppliers. They are forward scheduling. According to the current order status, they can calculate the date when the new order can be completed. It is very accurate. .
And Chinese suppliers usually use Backward Scheduling to estimate when to start production according to the delivery time required by the customer. At present, most manufacturing industries in China are backward scheduling. Backward scheduling is not bad. Whether the delivery date is accurate or not depends on the company’s production scheduling and planning ability and integrity.
Not only do we need to know the supplier’s production plan, we also need to go to the supplier’s site to observe how the on-site production process is and where there are problems, and to help the supplier put forward suggestions and methods for improvement.
In fact, the production time of each product in each process includes
1. Queuing time (the time to wait in line before starting to adjust the machine)
2. Adjusting time (time for mold change or the time required to adjust equipment parameters or procedures for the production of the product)
3. Running time (the actual time required for this batch of products to be processed in this process)
4. Waiting time (the time between waiting after processing is completed until being moved to the next process)
5. Transport time (transport time to move to the next process)
Among these times, only the third item is the real production time, and the others are the waiting time.
To improve the accuracy of the supplier’s delivery date and help the supplier shorten the production time, from the perspective of lean production, it is necessary to eliminate all waste and minimize the time of other items. But how can it be done? This requires the use of TOC (theory of constraints, also known as the bottleneck theory) tool. For example, if we find the most semi-finished products accumulated before a certain process on the spot, it is likely that this process is the bottleneck.
There are two kinds of bottlenecks. One is caused by insufficient physical performance, which is called physical bottleneck.
Whether it is capacity greater than sales capacity (market bottleneck), or insufficient capacity due to many orders that cannot be completed on time, it is a physical bottleneck.
The other is that the company’s policies and management methods prevent the company from achieving its ultimate goal, which is called a policy bottleneck.
As mentioned above, driven by piece-rate wages, workers give priority to the production of convenient orders with high output but not urgent delivery. This is a typical policy bottleneck.
According to TOC founder Dr. Goldratt’s five-step focus:
1. Identify the bottleneck of the system.
2. Decide how to tap the potential of the bottleneck.
3. Everything else accommodates the above decision.
4. Untie the bottleneck.
5. If step 4 breaks the original bottleneck, go back to the first step, and don’t let inertia cause system constraints.
Through this method, to help suppliers effectively solve the bottleneck problem of production management, it is bound to be of great help to purchasing professionals to control and track the supplier’s product delivery date.
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