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Delivery Time. The largest suppliers were about equal in terms of delivery performance. However, as a group they were not equal to the performance of...

Delivery Time.

The largest suppliers were about equal in terms of delivery performance.

However, as a group they were not equal to the performance of smaller competitors. ACME's

average times were considered to be acceptable, but their performance had slipped in terms of

reliability. Customers could not be sure when their orders would arrie. On a local basis, this

was caused by ACME's local delivery dispatching. At a national level, it was due to the

performance of the carriers that ACME was using.

Inventory Reliability.

ACME was again comparable in inventory reliability performance to its

major competitors, fulfilling about 80 percent of item demands form stock on hand. Smaller

competitors, with their restricted product lines, tended to do better. ACME's bac-order

performance was better than average. Customers recognized that bac-oders from ACME

would always be filled, even if it took a couple of months. When orders were picked there

would be occasional errors, which meant that items once shipped had to be returned. This

seemed to lead to considerable confusion on ACME's part.


Customers expressed considerable annoyance about ACME's order system. There

were frequent errors in recording/filling orders, and there was no confirmation when the order

was received. Orders were normally keyed in to the ordering system from purchase orders that

were telephoned or faxed in from customers or from sales representatives. Customers expected

confirmation of order receipt and compliance, which often took ACME several days to complete,

if it was completed at all. In the case of mass mechants, the confirmation was often received

after receipt of the actual order itself.

Packaging and Labeling.

Packaging was an important area but involved conflict. ACME's

policy had always been to pack well. Packages were always well labeled. However the mass

merchant buyers had begun to use laser bar code scanners and wanted suppliers to adapt their

packages to the new system of item identification, requiring preprinted bar codes on a n

reflective surface. This was extremely costly, and most comptitors had yet to achieve the

capability. ACME was currently complying, but was unsure if the cost was justified.

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