Dear Customer, As you know we’ve struggled achieving on time delivery. Let me assure you that this has not been due to lack of interest, or because we don’t value you, our customer. It was a systemic problem that we’ve only just recently figured out. The purpose of this letter is NOT to provide you with excuses as to why we were late but to share our story of how we’ve figured out — how to get on time! We are excited about it and even a little confident that you’re going to notice the difference.
Improving On Time Delivery …
There all kinds of variables and things that can go wrong for us, or any of your vendors, that can make it difficult for you to make YOUR due dates. But then we asked ourselves …. What does it do to our customers (to YOU) when we deliver late? The answer was disturbing. We felt bad (and you weren’t happy either), but no matter how bad we felt, how much you conveyed your dismay and how hard we tried, it didn’t really seem to matter. We were still late. And it was little consolation that all of our competitors also suffered from poor due date performance. We decided that even though our competitors were just as bad, that did not mean it was okay. It’s not okay for our customers and it’s not okay for us.
But how do we fix our on time delivery performance?
We didn’t choose to have poor due date performance. We didn’t put programs in place to enhance our poor DDP, so how are we going to reverse it when it’s not really clear how we got here? We tried a lot of different “improvements” that are recommended by “experts”. I was quickly reminded that not all change is improvement. So now what? How do we re-focus ourselves to gain the competencies that we hold dear and that our customers want? How do we SIMULTANEOUSLY deliver the highest possible product quality, at a competitive price and when promised? Doing 2 of the 3 we’ve always been good at. But that’s not good enough! We want to consistently deliver on all 3, but how?
The answer to poor on time delivery started to emerge …
I was sitting in the audience at the National Tooling and Machining Association Fall Conference and heard an interesting presentation. This speaker was different. She had experience with machine shops but wasn’t saying any of the usual stuff. In fact she explained that the traditional way of running our shops was actually the cause of longer lead-times, poor on time delivery and much of the chaos we experience. She explained the problems with conventional wisdom. And she introduced us to the solution – the
Velocity Scheduling System.
This made sense, but was unlike anything I’d ever heard. So I was skeptical and didn’t respond immediately. After returning from the conference, I got an email announcing the “Velocity Scheduling System Coaching Program” and in that email was a report “The 9 Challenges to Scheduling Your Job Shop and Why Your Schedule is Dead on Arrival”. Reading this thing, I felt like she must have been secretly hanging out in our shop. She definitely understood our environment. I still wasn’t sold on the solution or that it would work for us. At the same time, we’ve tried everything else. We’ve been doing it our way for over 20 years and it’s not working! I finally decided to watch the overview webinar and then sign up for the free strategy session to see if we were a good fit. We’re a complicated shop with lots of job shop scheduling problems. I wasn’t sure it would work for us. But, as it turns out, it’s designed for high mix low volume, complicated shops. So I took the leap of faith and we successfully completed the program! You’re probably thinking … so what? … what are your results? We have more to do, but I’m so encouraged that I sending you this letter. In a short period of time our on time delivery has dramatically improved to over 98% and I think we’ll get to 100% with only an occasional blip. Our productivity has increased by 27.3% Chaos has reduced and communication has improved ….. and we can tell there is more come. If you haven’t noticed the difference yet … hang on, you will! Sincerely, Xxxxxxxxxx P.S. If you have any questions about what we’re up to, please feel free to give me a call. Xxx-xxx-xxxx
This letter was sent by a Velocity Scheduling System client to some of their customers. Their name and phone number have been removed. Here’s their current on time delivery graph: They heard me speak at an NTMA conference and about 5 years later they followed up. Yes, it took a while! VSS is a job shop scheduling program designed for highly custom job shops and machine shops focused on reducing lead-times and improving on time delivery with less chaos. One of our KPIs is On Time Delivery. How you measure matters. To learn more about on time delivery and how to measure due date performance (<– click to read more) so you can improve it check out the linked post. If you’d like similar results 1) download the 9 Challenges to Scheduling Your Job Shop and Why Your Schedule is Dead on Arrival ebook; 2) watch the How to Get More Jobs Done Faster webinar; then 3) let’s determine if YOUR shop is a good fit. Or, if you’re looking to purchase from an on time shop, feel free to contact me for a VSS client that’s a good fit.