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Perfect Order Isn’t So Perfect

The challenge of the “perfect order” (an order that is shipped complete, on time, damage-free, to the correct destination) is something that most supply chain managers face every day – but is that really what we should be aiming for? According to this article by Robert J. Bowman, the concept of perfect order isn’t quite as effective to measure success as we once thought. Using Proctor & Gamble’s new measurement of success, it turns out that perfect order is a bit too simplistic. As Dale S. Rogers (professor of logistics and supply chain management at Rutgers Business School) puts it: Rogers pointed out while the perfect order might offer the advantage of simplicity, it’s ill-equipped to deal with the complexities of most global supply chains today. The trend toward outsourcing has created a network of independent partners, each of whom plays a critical role in getting a shipment to its destination. By limiting its performance assessment to what goes on within its own plant or distribution center, a company like P&G fails to get the big picture. What looks like a smooth-running operation could easily be considered a failure by the end customer. For instance: if you count a perfect order as one that arrives at the customer’s business on time, but they don’t count it as received until they scan it in (a process that may take a day), then you are both using different measurements of success. By having an agreed upon definition of perfect order – one that takes into account activities outside of your own supply chain – you can better understand whether you are meeting the requirements for perfect order or not.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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