Columbus Based Distributor Fill-Rate Exceeds 99% in 2012
Columbus, OH – Providing truly superior service to their wide-ranging MRO customers is a never-ending expectation for Columbus, Ohio-based Distributor Kimball Midwest. Even while enjoying impressive sales growth thus far in 2012, the company continues to maintain a keen focus on its service levels. One area they track meticulously as a prime measure of their success is order fill-rate, a percentage that reflects the number of order lines the family-owned business is able to ship completely at the moment an order is placed.
“Other companies may have as their prime measurable days of supply or maintaining very high inventory turns. That’s not the case with Kimball Midwest,” explains Director of Purchasing, Anchell Waks. “The most important thing to us is being able to fulfill orders to our customers. If they can’t get the products they need from us when they need them, then they’re going to incur downtime associated with not being able to do their jobs. Or worse, they might go somewhere else for their products.”
Kimball Midwest’s staunch focus on order fill rate has produced some lofty results they feel are the envy of the industry. In 2011, the company’s actual result in this area at their three warehouse locations (Columbus, OH, Dallas, TX, Reno, NV) was an astounding 99.1%, meaning that 991 of every 1,000 order lines could be completely filled at the time the order was placed. In 2012 the result has been even more impressive.
“Our fill rate this year is at 99.3%,” Waks notes. “Other companies might be satisfied with fill rates in the low to mid 90’s. If our fill rate was as low as 98%, it would be a horrible thing for us.”
Kimball Midwest has steadily improved their already impressive order fill rate over the past several years, a result they attribute to process improvements that have culminated in more advanced inventory methods and a heightened accountability level by their purchasing team.
Kimball Midwest President Pat McCurdy knows customers appreciate the extra effort the company employs. “Everything we do here is geared toward providing our customers with superior products, customer services, and product availability,” he affirms. “We pride ourselves on the fact that we continue to improve an order fill rate we feel is the highest in the country.”