COVID-19 has challenged the traditional model of window and door supply and we want to know what you think. Pre-Covid-19, Emplas operated on a 10-day lead time model on standard product. We want to know, should we go back to it, or should we adopt a different approach, one which we believe would allow us to deliver a better service to our customers.
What’s On The Table for Discussion?
We want to be clear. We haven’t made any decisions about what we’re going to do. But we see this as an opportunity to deliver a better service to our customers by switching to a ‘first come, first served’ model of delivery. We’ve done our homework and it will allow us in many cases to reduce lead times on standard product to as little as five-days, but guarantee delivery within 10.
How Would Switching to a ‘First Come, First Served’ Model Do This?
It’s about visibility. If we have improved visibility of what we need to make and when, we can schedule and plan more effectively. We can set daily targets for production, dispatch runs more smoothly, and we can get deliveries to you on time. If we hit capacity on any given day, jobs are carried out to the next and so on, but our factory is optimised to maximise efficiency and quality each day.
If we receive orders beyond that daily capacity, we can turn on additional resources because our model includes ‘breathing space’ or ‘a buffer’ to accommodate peaks in demand within the 10-day lead-time guarantee. What it also means if capacity is there, we’ll bring forward your order and deliver it to you more quickly. The ‘worst-case scenario’ is that you’ll wait for 10-days, our pre-COVID lead time on standard product, but it means you could get things much sooner.
Putting Our Customers in the Driving Seat
We’ve invested in our management systems so we have 360° visibility of our production schedule and real time outputs against it. This means that our customer services team can see exactly how long any individual job is going to take to complete immediately before it is ordered. We’re in the process of developing this software further and creating an integration with EVA, the Emplas Virtual Assistant. This would allow you to login, see lead times ranging from five to a maximum 10-days and then decide to place the order bringing complete transparency to lead times, putting you in the driving seat.
In summary, a move to a first-come, first-serve system would put you in control, you would see live lead times before you place your order. These would range from five-days to a guaranteed maximum of 10.
We want to be crystal clear, we haven’t and won’t make a decision until we have collated your feedback. We are committed to working in partnership with our suppliers and critically our customers so your views are really important to us.
Once we have a measure of opinions, we’ll issue an update, which we expect to be able to make by the end of January.
Thank you for your continued support.