Let’s face it: with the proliferation of Amazon Prime, we are addicted to getting our products fast regardless of the complexity or lead times. We want to be able to order something and have it show up two days later.
In our last post, we discussed reliability. In this post, we will talk about another customer-facing characteristic, Supply Chain Responsiveness. At a top level, responsiveness is measured in Customer Order Fulfillment Cycle Times (the amount of time an order is placed until accepted by the customer). Most people are familiar with fulfillment cycle times with Amazon Prime... from the time an order is placed to the time it is delivered is typically two days.
In the case of our windows, the fulfillment cycle was about 4 weeks because of the fact that every time something wasn’t right, it would take 4 weeks to get the replacement windows ordered, manufactured, shipped, delivered and installed.
A faster or slower fulfillment cycle is neither right nor wrong, it just depends on what the strategy is for the customer and product segment. What may work for Amazon won’t work for every industry. For example, buying from Amazon is very different than purchasing and installing a commercial HVAC system on new construction. Medical devices would likely have a different strategy than used cell phones.
Question: do you think your customers would prefer accurate orders or fast fulfillment cycles?