Order fulfillment team focuses on customer service

April 6, 2018

Our goal is to provide unmatched service from order placement thru pickup or delivery. In September 2016, we created a new department, order fulfillment (OF), to facilitate the best possible service and provide a competitive advantage. The team works as a supporting partner to sales, engineering, reclamation, and operations. The department includes customer service, scheduling, purchasing, inventory management, and transportation.

Order fulfillment measures success through:

  • Measurement and proactive management of lead time
  • Order entry accuracy
  • Clear job instructions for the shop
  • Inventory record accuracy
  • Availability of parts and materials to complete scheduled orders
  • On-time completion of scheduled orders
  • On-time shipment and delivery to customers
  • Continuous process improvement

Cross-functional collaboration, proactive planning and process development, scheduling, inventory management, procurement, transportation solutions, flexibility, and problem-solving are all essential elements of OF.

In existence for 18 months, the team has worked with partners across the business to confirm order accuracy, reduce cycle time, lead time, and confirm on-time shipments.

 

Making fulfillment happen – two examples

 Finding the way

A customer’s transformer had to be replaced because of flooding in the area. The unit was rush-shipped on Thursday using a well-known expediting company. When the shipment reached the expediter’s dock near the customer’s location, it could not be delivered because of issues from the same flood affecting the customer. The local shipper, holding the order, called Solomon Corp late Friday afternoon to apologize, and say there was no solution. This would leave our customer without power three days longer than expected.

The OF team started working immediately to find a way get the unit moving. The first step was to find roads open between the expediter’s location and the customer. Once this was resolved, the next step was to find a trucking company with the ability to send a truck and driver in to pick the unit up. There was still another hurdle to clear. The national office for the expediter that had the unit needed to give its local depot instructions to release the shipment to another company. OF was able to make the arrangements. The unit was delivered around 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

Working against the clock

On a Friday night after the shop in Kansas closed, our sales department called with an emergency order. A customer in Georgia was down due to a lightning strike and needed three pole mount transformers as quickly as they could be processed and delivered. OF and operations worked with sales to confirm the shortest timeline possible. The customer gave us the order and a crew worked Saturday morning to get the order out. Sunday afternoon, less than 48 hours after the emergency call, the units arrived in Georgia. It gives our team great pride to help a customer with an outage.

The order fulfillment team exists to work with other departments, and do all we can proactively to provide the best inventory, information, schedules, processes, and transportation solutions to set Solomon Corp. apart from the competition. We call this the Diamond Standard; OF is proud to be part of the team that makes saying YES a reality for our customers.