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Eliminating Supply Chain Purchase (and Hot Dog) Order Headaches
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Eliminating Supply Chain Purchase (and Hot Dog) Order Headaches

Industrial Parts Purchase Order Success in 3 Easy Steps

Written by Charlie Tuozzolo, ATC Industrial Supply Chain

Get what you want, not what you ask for. In supply chain management, specificity is critical just as it can be at the luncheon counter.

Hungry? You know exactly what you want. A hot dog! You have no time to lose. You order one with the works, just like you did the last time, and guess what? You get what you asked for, but not what you wanted. Where are the onions?! They changed the "specs" and onions are no longer part of "the works."

But when it's a critical component you were hoping for and you don't get what you want, it can cost time, additional money, client satisfaction, shipment delays . . . you get the picture—the consequences can be dire.

Industrial Parts Purchase Order Success in 3 Easy Steps

1. Industrial Parts Specs Vary: Be Specific

You create a purchase order for a half-inch solenoid valve, and a half-inch solenoid valve arrives. You got what you asked for, right? Well, the valve has a steel body (you wanted bronze), it's 24V (you wanted 120V), and it's normally open (you wanted normally closed).

Lesson: Never assume. At one time, industrial parts had distinct specifications, but today they can vary tremendously.

2. Engineering, Customer & OEM Specs: Be Thorough

Engineering drawings are a common way to convey specific information. Other ways include customer specification sheets, OEM specification sheets, OEM part numbers, and detailed purchase order notes that describe part requirements in sufficient detail to ensure you get exactly what you want.

Lesson: Combine drawings with specifications and detailed notes to eliminate guesswork.

3. Revision Level Alert: Be Precise

Depending on the age of your part, it is possible that newer versions exist. Providing the revision level alerts customer support so they can help determine if the part will work for you, and if not, locate the one that will.

Lesson: Adding the revision level to your purchase order helps ensure you get the right part.

So, whether you're ordering hot dogs or industrial parts, being specific, thorough, and precise ensures that you will get exactly what you want.


About the author: Charlie Tuozzolo is VP of quality and business support for ATC Industrial Supply Chain. During his 14 years with ATC he has run the Quality Department as well as various customer service and warehouse operations activities. Mr. Tuozzolo has over 20 years of experience in operations, including management positions with Otis Elevator, Carrier Air Conditioning, JJI Lighting Group, and Pitney Bowes. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, he served several years as a nuclear submarine officer. He also holds a masters in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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