Expediting in regard to the supply chain or procurement is a strategy to ensure that goods and items which are purchased arrive in a timely fashion and meet quality control standards.

Sometimes expediting is done by an external ‘expediter’ or it can be done within the procurement department.

The expediting role is simple; goods will be checked as to their progress and opportunity to achieve the programmed delivery date. Typically the expediter has to ensure that they meet all targets, including quality, safe packaging, arrival times and are exactly to the specification that was agreed between the supplier and the customer.

Use Of Expediting

Expediting can be time intensive and this can produce a drain in resources. However despite this it’s a common process and is symptomatic of various issues within the supply chain.

Despite expediting being time intensive the costs of using an expediter can be typically absorbed against the cost of late delivery – often the cost of the expediter is insignificant when compared to penalty clauses bestowed by customer contracts.

Different Types of Expediting

While all companies will treat their expediting processes in subtly different ways (including the control of the expeditor that can range from being a procurement to an operational role) the basic task remains the same.
Expediting is typically a form of project management with the most intensive form of expediting effectively ensuring that the supplier carries out all tasks and activities and that the supply of goods meets the required timescales. This form of producing “day plans” can be very intensive and requires both close collaboration with the supplier and timely communication.

Whilst many forms of expediting may just be in practice a routine phone call to the supplier to verify that deliveries are still on track – day planning, whilst intensive can be extremely useful in complex programmes where timely delivery is crucial (either from a financial perspective of other) and that advanced knowledge of supplier issues (in order that they can be mitigated) can become a key management tool.

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