As a supply chain professional, with a high volume of various tasks, being organized is exactly what you need.
If you don’t, orders will get lost, the material won’t arrive on time, you’ll waste hours of your week, and your operations total material costs will begin to rise.
If you’re in a situation where you’re sourcing aircraft material and processing purchase orders daily, here are some quick tips to help you get organized.
Start with the end in mind.
What are your objectives? Your goals?
Simply saying, finding the “cheapest” aircraft part isn’t a good strategy. You’ll notice flaws in that strategy.
Poor quality assurance.
These all play into a single-minded low price mentality.
Know your single objective and reverse engineer purchasing success.
A place for everything, and everything in its place.
There are two specific areas in aircraft part procurement that waste time — sourcing material and chasing (following-up) purchase orders.
Sourcing one or two parts is easy. It’s when you have five, ten, fifteen a day when it’s complicated.
It pulls you away from your core activities.
You have to send RFQs, review quotes, and make decisions. You have to enter the data in your ERP system (if you have one), compile results, and coordinate the early stages of your purchase order processing, like getting approvals.
Being organized, you have to simplify this process. Streamline your activities. Optimize your efficiency.
Depending on your operation, this means something different for everyone.
One way to simplify this process is to have a place for everything and keep everything in its place.
What the heck does that mean?
It means to remove redundant activities and have a single place for everything.
Think of it as lean six sigma for procurement.
For example, you’ll compile a single RFQ list for your daily material needs. As you get non-urgent material requests from your team throughout the day, you’ll organize this into a multiline RFQ.
You’ll then send this to a select few of your strategic material partners to quote.
Some will quote everything, while others will only quote one or two line items.
You’ll then enter this data into your ERP system or lines on an Excel sheet.
Doing it this way, you have a more straightforward way to process your quotes, fewer quotes to review, and a quicker way to handle your purchase orders.
Reminders are a simple hack.
Chasing orders is time-consuming, but it has to get done. If you’re not chasing, you’re assuming vendors will ship or update you about your order status before you have to ask and that’s living in a dream.
The problem is you have multiple vendors, with various incentives, that have their own operational procedures and goals.
They’re all different.
You have to follow up on your orders. Ask for status. Get AWBs. And make sure everything is going okay.
To do this, you can’t rely on your brain to remember it all. The functionality could be in your ordering software or in your Google Calendar.
Set yourself reminders to follow up on your orders. The more orders you process, the more reminders you’ll have.
An easy way to reduce the volume is to consolidate as much of your material on one order. It reduces the number of orders you have to follow-up on.
If you have a supplier who updates you before you have to ask --- that’s a good sign of a trusted, strategic partner.
Consolidate, simplify, and optimize your ordering process.
One of the most significant restraints you face is when you work with another team, vendor, or partner.
This is where most of the bottlenecks and issues occur.
You have to wait for a purchase order to be approved.
You have to chase five vendors for AWBs, but three of them are closed for the day.
You have to process multiple purchase orders, send them, and wait for order confirmations.
Think about your day-to-day tasks.
What're the areas that slow you down the most?
Once you know, find ways to simplify those areas.
Simplifying and consolidating your orders will free up hours of your time each week. It’ll help you get back to your core activities.