Every endeavor large in scope with extremely tight deadlines has its full array of challenges. The challenges become more complex when a number of details must be coordinated simultaneously from a number of different vendors each with their own specific agenda.
The following are common issues we often see in projects, and identify various bottlenecks that can affect the overall performance of a project from our perspective. Our objective is to identify general issues and propose positive recommendations to ensure common missteps of the past are not repeated by others in the future.
The following is a list of steps Fastrans Logistics takes to deal with issues identified:
We will stress carton/roll/bundle with every communication verbal and written with the vendors.
We will communicate every vendor non-compliance issue back to the Client.
We will provide the warehouse with a list of incoming product/actual vendors at the project’s inception.
We will provide the warehouse with a PDF file and hard copy product guide for identification purposes.
We will require the warehouse to attach our Inventory Control Reports to each item received for future identification.
We will train the GC/Installers on how to use the on-line system to simplify their operations.
We will train the warehouse how to use our delivery receipts as a “pick ticket” for staging inventory as well as checking off items at the time of delivery.
We will train the GC/Installer how to receive goods and communicate shortages/overages at the time of delivery so immediate corrective action can be taken.
We will respond to the needs of the PM’s/GC/Installer in a timely manner by furnishing multiple contacts.
We will continue to seek better, faster methods of improving performance for the client.
We will ask for support in the following areas.
- We need to receive timely Purchase Orders / Change Orders in both hard copy and in an electronic format that can be uploaded into our system.
- We need client support making vendor identification by part number and PO number mandatory on all cartons / packages being shipped.
- We need client support for advance notification of vendor direct shipments including carrier, bill of lading number, quantity and arrival date.
- We need one-week advance notice of installer general delivery requirements and 48 hours notification on specific deliveries.
- We need the GC/Installer to limit their delivery requests and schedule requirements directly to Fastrans and not the warehouse.
- We need GC/Installer to verify delivery overages, shortages and damages at the time of delivery with the Fastrans PM.
- We need GC/Installer to refuse any items that were not called for on their delivery request and notify Fastrans of their action.
- We need the GC/Installer to identify and document all returns or transfers of product including PO and part number to the Fastrans PM.
Creation of PO’s/Vendor Issues
- Product identification can often be a significant issue throughout a project. We find it helpful for clients to notify all vendors that it is their responsibility to mark each and every carton/roll/skid with the PO number and the part number.
- PO’s should specify quantity packaging. All too frequently, a vendor’s packaging is conducive to safe passage or realistic handling at the jobsite.
- PO’s should include specific reference to items such as headboard cleats. These items are often not identified on the original PO and have to be added after the fact with no proper carton identification. These items should either be included in the packaging or delivered in one lot to the jobsite.
- Vendor direct shipments must require the vendor to properly identify their shipment to the warehouse by indicating the clients name and project on the carrier’s bill of lading. All items shipped must have the PO reference number and part number clearly identified on each package.
- All vendor direct shipments must notify Fastrans Logistics in advance of shipment and provide detailed shipping information, to include carrier name, bill of lading, quantity, and estimated arrival date.
- Often, vendors do not feel it is their responsibility to communicate directly with Fastrans. In these cases, vendor direct shipments arrive at the warehouses without any prior knowledge creating massive inventory issues. Fastrans generates all receiving reports for our warehouses. Without notice from vendors on incoming vendor direct shipments, it can be a challenge for a warehouse to properly receive items to a specific project. Proactive communication is essential to eliminate items arriving without any preliminary knowledge.
- Drop shipments ordered from one vendor and shipped from a different manufacturer must show the original PO, part number, client’s name and project number.
- Again, prior knowledge of incoming shipments is absolutely essential. Good warehouses handle a substantial amount of business simply because they are good at what they do. Oftentimes we are not their only hotel project and clear identification must occur.
Installers can have a drastic effect on the systems on-hand inventory report by either signing for a complete delivery and actually missing items or accepting more items than they should have and not notifying Fastrans. Both mistakes will cause the on hand inventory to be either overstated or understated. While the warehouse and the installer really like to work together, all too frequently the combination takes the easy way out and doesn’t create the documents necessary to protect the client’s best interest with an auditable trail. This must not be allowed. The warehouse must never be contacted directly requesting a delivery item or time.
- The installer is the final line of defense on inventory control checks and balances. It is the installer responsibility to ensure they receive the right item and count at the time of delivery. Items not on the delivery receipt or incorrect items should NEVER be accepted. Both issues must be reported to the Fastrans Logistics Project Managers at the time of delivery. Accepting delivery with the intent of checking carton count later creates major issues affecting inventory and damage responsibility. It is not the legal way to acknowledge receipt of goods. Most inventory issues are created when the warehouse delivers wrong items/quantities and the installers accept the incorrect material or takes on responsibility by signing for something they didn’t receive.
- Identification of the client, project, PO and part number starts with the manufacturer on packaging and creates major issues throughout the process when not done properly.
- Warehouses will also receive a tentative installation schedule that should be updated to Fastrans by the GC/Installer a week prior to anticipate delivery. This needs to be a general list so the warehouse can start pulling or staging inventory in advance.
- Warehouses must understand the absolute importance of delivering the correct quantity of item requested. Drivers must be responsible for verifying each and every item delivered.
- Incorrect items should be returned. Missing items must be delivered back to the job site on the same day.