Tales from the Trenches: Basic E-Mail Elements for Logistics

We use text messages and emails on a daily basis.

We write to our friends and family using shortcuts and abbreviations like “LOL” and “OMG”.

In working with our “Millennial” material planners at our plants, that they are using these shortcuts for “business” correspondence as well.

In my opinion, business emails need to be more formal.

Here’s my tale from the trenches: recently, one of our plants had many new product launches.
Inevitably, this created the need for quite a few expedite shipments.
The material planners would send out emails to various logistics companies looking for quotes.

I noticed that there was an unusual back-and-forth messages between the material planner and these logistics companies in order to clarify the points of the request.

When I looked closer at each email exchange I noticed that our material planner was not specific and concise in their messages. This led to follow-up questions by the logistics companies and unnecessary emails and wasted time in the process.

I was surprised to find that many of the material planners did not even include a phone number in the signature block of their emails.

What if the logistics company wanted to clarify something on-the-fly by calling that person?

When one is dealing with expedite shipments each “missed” communication costs time and money.

In order to improve our process and turnaround time I conducted a education session with these material planners. During that session, I highlighted some critical elements or ingredients of a¬†succinct email. Here they are…
LWL0010 Basic E Mail Elements
Communication is the basis of what we do…a smooth communication process facilitates these moves from point A to point B.

Improve your upfront communication and you will have a successful shipment!

Good luck!

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About Lenny

Many years of experience in a Fortune 1000 companies, especially in the logistics and I.T. areas of manufacturing companies. Through process improvements and the use of many of the tools mentioned here, I have been able to identify and implement savings opportunities worth up to $10 million. I hope that some of these real-life stories, suggestions and tools can help you!
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