Expediting is a concept in purchasing and project management for securing the quality and timely delivery of goods and components.

The client’s procurement department requires an external expeditor to control the progress of manufacturing at the supplier concerning quality, packing, conformity with standards and set timelines. Thus the expeditor makes sure that the required goods are delivered at the scheduled date meeting the agreed quality at the agreed location.

Expediting is required in large scale projects, for example, when a mine, power plant or a refinery is erected, as any delay caused by late delivery or inferior quality will get very expensive and could lead to unsatisfied clients, thus the loss to the project. To bar these unnecessary costs and minimize potential risks, the vendor and client may agree on the use of a third party expeditor.

These are experts from companies such as MTHUZIMELE QUALITY SERVICES specializing in this field who keep track of the deadlines, supervise progress at the manufacturer and check whether the goods are properly packed. They notify the client about their findings, if everything is as agreed the client will initiate payment of the goods to the supplier. In this way the supplier secures his liquidity as he is paid immediately when the goods leave his factory and the customer knows that the goods will be delivered correctly. Expediting is relevant for many industries, such as the oil and gas industry, the energy industry and the infrastructure industry.

Expediting exists in several levels:

Production Control

The expeditor inspects the factory whether the production is up to the standards of the country the goods are destined for. This is especially necessary for engineering equipment like power plant components. He/she controls as well whether the regular audits for ISO 9001 etc. have been made.

Quality Control

The components are tested whether they function as required and whether they are made to the measurements and standards of the client. A part of this quality control can be
the testing for compliance with standards of the destination country, e.g. ASME.

Packing / Transport Survey

This is the lowest and most used level of expediting; as the goods are only counted and the packing is controlled whether it will withstand the harsh conditions of transport (this is also called Pre Shipment Inspections).

Project Management

For large-scale project, not only goods are controlled. The expeditor also monitors the deadlines and milestones of the project and whether the supplier will be on time. He/she monitors the crucial procurement parts of the project. As the different levels of expediting require different skills, specialists and laboratories, many third party expeditors specialize in only one or several of these levels, while few offer expediting services on all levels. Larger companies normally have their own expeditors who can perform all four levels. Third parties then are only used when in-house capacity is overstretched or a neutral third party is needed.

Field Expediting

Field expediting means the inspection and control of the expeditor on site. This gives clients a comprehensive review of the exact current status of their order and an educated projection of the future planning and status. Also while being on site, experts for expediting can identify possible problems and bottlenecks that could lead to potential delays.

Desk Expediting

Desk expediting is also known as telephone expediting. It is an important tool and cheaper for monitoring order progress with manufacturers. Especially at milestone of a project, desk expediting can be helpful to check whether the project is still within the agreed schedule. Although desk expediting is a quick and easy way to be informed about the current status of a project, it should always be conducted in a combination with field expediting to securely verify the actual status.

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