Supply Chain Management

The Real Cost Of WISMO

How costly it really is to work with spreadsheets in SCM

Where is my order (WISMO)?

Supply chain managers require transparency and visibility into their inbound shipments to stay on top of things and answer the all-encompassing question: Where is my order (WISMO)?

Once an order leaves the ERP system, supply chain managers lack a digital system to track the shipments and updates from partners, and often resort to manual tracking using spreadsheets. Tracking updates arrive in the form of emails or spreadsheets, which then need to be manually copied to keep track of order and shipment statuses. Additionally, tracking information must be sought manually from various websites.

Does this process sound familiar? Unfortunately, it is a costly one and poses the risk of failure during times of crisis. In this blog, we will examine the actual costs of running supply chain execution on a spreadsheet, and the risks involved in relying on a single sheet to manage everything.

The Tracking Sheet

This list of orders, which is generated mostly from the ERP or manually created, serves as the basis for tracking the status of goods from their origin to their final destination and receipt. The order is sent to the supplier, and then updates from various partners along the supply chain (such as suppliers, forwarders, and booking agents) start to trickle in step-by-step. Each update is manually entered into a central spreadsheet.

Once the cargo is en route, the supply chain manager manually tracks the estimated time of arrival (ETA) through online websites and updates the spreadsheet accordingly. This becomes increasingly challenging when orders are distributed across multiple shipments and visibility needs to be maintained at the SKU level.

The Cost of WISMO (Where is my order?)

According to limbiq research, a smooth voyage will result in this happening 8-10 times. So, when we factor in all of this manual work, how much will it cost you?

By adding up the number of checks and updates, and assuming an average of 3-5 minutes per check and update, one can easily estimate that the supply chain manager spends about one hour per shipment just for updating. This includes the time needed to update the spreadsheet with information and research tracking websites.

The second step is answering WISMO requests from other teams such as sales, project managers, and the production floor. Assuming an average of 3 minutes per call, and various touchpoints over the course of the shipment from port to port, we can add another 20 minutes per shipment to this task.

That is a total of 80 minutes per shipment.

In times of crises

When things go wrong, the effort required explodes. We estimate that, when supply chains are disrupted, such as during the pandemic, it takes 5-8 communication relations and 5-10 touchpoints per file to clarify issues. This doubles the time required.

That will be 160 minutes per shipment.

Some supply chain managers spend 25% of their time on non-value adding work and manual tracking. During times of crisis, this amount doubles to over 50%.

Other Hidden Costs of Using Spreadsheets

Companies face various issues when managing spreadsheets. One common problem is missing updates and changes to estimated time of arrival, leading to countermeasures being taken too late. This results in production delays, revenue loss, and lower customer satisfaction.

To prevent such issues, companies allocate more capital to raise stock levels, which is becoming increasingly expensive due to rising interest rates.

Furthermore, attracting supply chain talent is difficult, especially when the workplace is unattractive. Modern tools with a great user experience can help companies attract talented employees.

How limbiq Helps Supply Chain Managers Reduce Their Manual Workload - No More Spreadsheets Needed

  • limbiq can automatically import existing information (spreadsheets) from partners into the platform.
  • The progress of shipments is automatically tracked through third-party integrations.
  • Partners can work directly in the platform and update information.
  • In case of emergencies, all parties can communicate at the line-item level.
  • limbiq provides visibility at the line-item and SKU level.
  • limbiq provides alerts and automatic notifications in cases of ETA deviations or any other alerts set by the customer.

Want to learn more about limbiq and what the solution can do for you? Book your free consultation today - link.

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