“Well, I thought our team did pretty well, given the circumstances,” Valerie continued to protest.
“Yes, they did,” I replied. “And those circumstances should never have existed. To come down to the wire and find you are missing 500 critical parts on an order should never have happened.”
Valerie shifted in her chair. “But stuff happens.”
“Yes, stuff happens all the time and that’s why your system should detect these conditions. When did you find out that your supplier had shipped 500 defective parts?”
Valerie looked to the left. “Three weeks ago.”
“What difference would it have made if your system had delivered a report three weeks ago that showed 500 rejected parts along with replacement lead time, a list of alternate parts vendors and their lead times, along with all orders pending that required that part?”
Valerie’s head was nodding. “We would have had three weeks to work on the problem instead of three days.”