Expediter, in manufacturing that is job title that is all but extinct. If you’re too young to remember the Expediter was the person responsible to keep shit moving, I mean the one employed to ensure efficient movement of goods or supplies in a business.
This role was typically assigned to the production and inventory control department. You’re probably saying to yourself we have people that do that heck I do that but I’m not call an Expediter. The role was eliminated in the 80’s during the total quality management boon. No self-respecting lean, agile, world class, Toyota wannabe, Malcolm Baldridge award seeking company would ever need to employ an Expediter! That would simply be admitting your production system wasn’t robust enough to provide steady linkage and flow. So poof the job of Expediter was eliminated.
But of course we all know the job title gone but after three decades lean activities the job continues. Ask any procurement or material control employee how much time they spend expediting. If chasing delinquent orders wasn’t enough they’re now budgets, sales and inventory goals to consider (oftentimes conflicting). For these individuals work revolves around end of week, end of month, end of quarter and end of year.
I know every reader of this post is in an organization that is going to eliminate the need to expedite by implementing world class systems leveraging the latest technologies and attracting the most talented and motivated individuals to carry out the vision. However in the meantime for the small group of people that still performs this function under an assumed title here are the rules of “Expediter Club A.K.A Flight Club”!
Rules of Flight Club
- You do not talk about being in Flight Club; you’re a Supervisor, Purchasing Agent who happens to Expedite. Not a Expediter they no longer exist in world class organizations.
- You DO NOT talk about being a Flight Club; you’re a Supervisor, Purchasing Agent who happens to Expedite. Not a Expediter they no longer exist in world class organizations.
- If someone says stop or taps out don’t stress out just escalate issue to management. Never stress above your pay grade.
- Only ask for assistance or information twice before escalating issue to someone’s superior. Your job is to get things done not to nag.
- You can only have one allegiance and that’s to your company. Be fair, ethical and honest.
- No suits or ties Flight Club are for office soldiers only. Dockers are cool.
- Campaign shall continue until parts are delivered, goal has been met and customers both internal and external are satisfied.
- If this is your first job in supply management or procurement you MUST expedite. Don’t be fooled by the lofty job description and high level of required education much of your job will consist of pushing and pulling.
So there you have it Lean Soldier the rules of Flight Club!
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