How I Control the Expediting Activities for Great Results

Hands up if you feel identified with any of the following situations:

  • I send daily emails and make several calls but my supplier delivers the goods late anyway.
  • I ask many times but I can`t get real information about the situation of my purchase order.
  • I request the inspection notifications 2 weeks in advance but my supplier still send them a few days in advance.

I bet you’ve seen yourself in a similar situation more than once.

A situation in which you have spent months dedicating time and effort to maintain the delivery of a project as scheduled, and yet it`s delayed.

Normally, at this point it`s hard to put things back on schedule or avoid further postponements even if you consider an expediting visit to your supplier.

However, in 99% of cases the problem is not that your emails and calls were worthless, but that you are committing an execution error in which we all fall (me first).

In this post, I want to tell you how to control the execution to get better results.


Desk Expediting Fundamental Actions and Their Impact on Your Results

The fundamental actions are the emails and calls you make that leads you to learn the manufacturing processes of each supply:

For example:

  • Do they buy the raw material from a sub-supplier or they have their own foundry?
  • The machining, assembly or welding will be done in their workshop?
  • How many test benches are at their workshop?
  • They have their own painting workshop or they have to paint the valves/strainers/etc. at an external workshop?
  • Do they have available boxes for packing as per project requirements or they have to buy them once manufacturing is finished?

If something goes wrong, it is easier to get things back on schedule with manufacturing processes that your supplier directly controls.

For example:

Your supplier has to buy the raw material to a sub-supplier, but they assemble and machine the valves at their workshop.

If the raw material delivery is delayed, you can push them to machine and assemble in a shortest time because they directly control this processes in their workshop.

This way you solve the problem with a clear purpose: reduce machining and assembly time.

Up-to-date Order Progress Information

Once the drawings are approved ask your supplier for a basic manufacturing schedule:

For example, you can ask them to fill in the following chart:

Bought out of raw material Receipt of raw material Machining Assembly Hydrostatic Tests Inspection Painting Inspection Packing Transport (Except if it`s EXWORKS)
Start date Finish date Start date Finish date Start date Finish date Start date Finish date Start date Finish date Start date Finish date Start date Finish date Start date Finish date


Keep in mind that your goal is to be informed with quick and real information so you can follow up with individual emails with one question each and ask if they started each activity at the scheduled time.

For example: Have you started the machining on date: xx/xx/xxxx as scheduled?

Once you receive the first basic manufacturing schedule you can ask for further requirements related to format or presentation of the schedule that aren`t so urgent.


Receive Inspection Notifications on Time

If you want to receive the inspection notification 2 weeks in advance of the scheduled inspection date, send an email to your supplier at least 3 weeks in advance to remind them that you expect to receive the inspection notification within 1 week.

You should follow up your email with more reminders of your request and with phone calls until they send the inspection notification.


If you want to upgrade the templates you use to complete your expediting activities, download our free work toolbox with the following templates:

  • Manufacturing schedule, Progress report, Expediting & Inspection planning, Inspection Notification.

Download Free


Hope this was helpful!