POOF! There goes your DIFOT

DIFOT (Delivery In Full On Time) is a common measure for customer service. It is notoriously known for getting you on the naughty list, and is ultimately a great lag indicator for understanding if a business is running well.

Retailers or customers often get caught short with this indicator as when it goes wrong the knock on effects are time-consuming and normally involve firefighting each day to resolve, eating into time spent for other priorities.

In the FMCG sector 98.5% is seen as a good number, yet is the make up of the 1.5% that is important? Is it 99 out of every 100 boxes arrive on time, in full, every day, or is it for 4 days each year no product arrives at all?

Whether we are talking about 98.5%, 85% or 0% for a day, the problem is the costs of response and the losses incurred. Consider root cause and the real reason comes back to the reactivity that will always exist using a lag indicator to drive a live decision. In other words, knowing ahead of time allows better decision making and optimisation.

Its time to throw DIFOT out and bring in POOF (Predicted Ontime Order Fulfilment). Smart analytics and planning systems should be providing you a predictive number, allow suppliers to flag potential risk ahead of time and manage the supply chain to optimise for all.

At Pollen we have been working with a number of clients in this space; the secret ingredient is a smart scheduling/planning system that can predict and plan the future in a live/connected environment.

This is done through a small number of critical insights running on a powerful platform;

  • Connected to live raw materials and inbound plan (with live delivery dates)
  • Production schedules running from live factory performance data (including major downtime events)
  • Live demand from customers consuming live stocks (super smart systems would be connect ed to downstream demand and stock levels – that is a whole other topic!)
  • Using risk-based models to show not single outcomes but the most probable range

The above is not using 1,000’s of data points, just a few critical control points to allow you to predict order fulfilment and therefore be on the front foot with customers to remove the pain point of looking back at Customer service.

Reach out to discuss more – it’s time you stopped surprising your customers without going POOF!


Paul Eastwood; CEO & Founder – Pollen Consulting Group