Expediting in a business context typically refers to the process of speeding up the delivery or execution of a plan, process, or project. It’s often used in relation to supply chains and project management.
In supply chain management, expediting can refer to taking steps to speed up the delivery of goods or services. This might involve anything from arranging for faster shipping, closely monitoring the production process to eliminate bottlenecks, or working with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of components or raw materials.
For example, if a manufacturer of electronic devices realizes that they are running low on a specific component, they may decide to expedite the delivery of that component from their supplier to avoid any disruption in their manufacturing process.
In project management, expediting refers to actions taken to ensure that a project is completed more quickly to meet a deadline. This could involve reallocating resources, increasing working hours, or revising the project schedule to focus on critical tasks.
However, it’s important to note that while expediting can help meet deadlines or prevent operational disruptions, it often comes with increased costs, such as overtime wages or higher shipping fees, and can potentially impact the quality of work or products. Therefore, it should be used judiciously.
Example of Expediting
Let’s consider an example related to supply chain management.
Imagine that Company A is a manufacturer of high-end bicycles, and they source their bicycle gears from Supplier B. Company A has an important contract to deliver 500 bicycles to a large retail customer in two weeks.
Due to higher than expected demand, Company A realizes that they will run out of bicycle gears in one week. If they place a normal order with Supplier B, it will take three weeks for the gears to arrive, which would mean they would fail to meet the delivery deadline for their retail customer.
To avoid this, Company A decides to expedite their order with Supplier B. They contact Supplier B and agree to pay extra to have the production and delivery of the bicycle gears expedited. Supplier B arranges for overtime work to produce the gears quicker and uses a faster (but more expensive) shipping method to get the gears to Company A in just one week.
As a result, Company A is able to complete the production of the bicycles on time and fulfills their contract with their retail customer.
This example illustrates the concept of expediting in the context of supply chain management. It highlights how expediting can be used to manage unexpected situations and meet important deadlines, but at an additional cost.