Order fulfilment process improvement

A UK site of a multi-national pharmaceutical company needed to update its order fulfilment (OFM) processes. The existing processes did not support customer service targets and involved a high level of manual activity. Having successfully completed previous supply chain improvements for the company, 3Peaks was invited back to establish an effective and robust order fulfilment process.

The challenge

After a period of restructuring, the site was dependent on legacy processes that involved high maintenance and were heavily reliant on individual knowledge. Due to a recent merger, a changing product range and growing demand the existing processes were coming under increasing pressure and customer service was below target.

The solution

Audit the short and medium term planning processes, perform gap analysis and develop a more comprehensive OFM process with supporting systems and documentation.

The new processes had to support:

  • MRPII ways of working
  • Customer service targets
  • Cost control targets
  • Warehousing constraints

3Peaks worked closely with teams from each functional area within the site to map the new OFM process flows. The existing OFM process and meeting cycles were audited to assess their effectiveness and opportunities for improvement were identified.

This data was then used in conjunction with information on supply chain best practice and lean thinking to produce a revised process. Detailed definitions and process maps were prepared showing inputs, outputs, agendas and attendees.

The team documented the new process and developed an implementation plan. Training was given to all staff involved in the process as well as the site management team. 3Peaks provided support through the initial planning cycles to ensure the processes were fully understood. A training package and an audit tool were developed for internal use so that the team could sustain the process after the end of the project.

The benefits

The implementation of the new OFM cycle produced a more robust process that was able to move away from fire fighting to pro-active risk and issue management.

Immediate benefits were seen in customer service levels due to improvements in:

  • Accuracy of forecasts
  • Schedule adherence and stability
  • Materials availability
  • Communication between functions
  • Planning & control systems

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