There’s nothing worse than late parts.

Even one missing part can grind your entire assembly line to a halt. Every minute wasted is a dollar down the drain. And meanwhile you move closer and closer to missing your product delivery targets.

This situation is preventable. But first you have to understand why suppliers miss delivery targets.

Why do suppliers deliver parts late?

There are three basic reasons.

  1. The order size is too small. Some suppliers prioritize high-volume production runs and as a result your project could get sidelined. When suppliers spend longer than they anticipated on other projects, your delivery date gets pushed back.
  2. Misjudged tooling capacity. Some suppliers underestimate the tooling cycle time required to maintain part quality. It helps to choose a supplier with experience producing parts similar to yours.
  3. THEIR suppliers were late. This happens when suppliers either fail to hold adequate safety stocks of materials OR aren’t experienced with just-in-time (JIT) delivery and lean manufacturing methods.

Is your current supplier keeping you waiting?

Here’s what you can do to fix the problem.

First, be aware of the reasons suppliers deliver parts late (listed above). Then take steps to prevent these from happening.

The best way to prevent late deliveries is to communicate early and often. Give suppliers advanced notice of future orders so they can stock up on the right materials and reserve enough resources for production. Check in with your supplier often to make sure they’re on schedule.

And always be clear about your requirements, including expected delivery date.

If you have to test samples, make sure you do so quickly and get the results back to your supplier. They may need to run their own tests, which could add time to production. Even better, try to do all testing in the sampling stage before full production kicks off.

If you want to learn about more strategies, check out our blog post on this topic.

Need to change suppliers?

If you’ve tried the steps above and still aren’t satisfied, it might be time to switch suppliers.

Look for a supplier that does both JIT and regular/repeat production runs. Asking an unproven supplier to speed up production could lead to disappointment.

Find a supplier that can deliver based on your production schedule, not theirs.

I hope this information will help you end late deliveries forever. If you have any questions about on-time delivery, or how we would work to ensure on time delivery of quality parts then fill out our form or give us a call.