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Root Cause Analysis – Error Notifications vs. Error Reporting

* The following information is based on The Retail Value Chain Federation (RVCF) Supply Chain Guidelines

Traditional error notifications consist of a description of the error and the identification number of the associated document (e.g., the ASN number). By aggregating additional ship notice and PO information, over time, it’s possible to analyze the data to determine root cause for the errors. This data can include:

  • Ship Notice Number
  • Bill of Lading
  • Serial Shipping Container Code
  • Ship to
  • Ship From
  • Ship Date
  • PO Number
  • Standard Carrier Alpha Code
  • Line Item data (GTIN, quantity, seasonal item, UoM)
  • The error description

Once compiled, we can use Business Intelligence (BI) tools such as pivot tables and data visualization to look for patterns in the information. Using twelve months of data we may see that labels that do not scan well seem to be coming from one of the supplier’s ship-from locations which may indicate label stock, printer maintenance or printer settings are at fault. Trends or patterns may show issues associated with specific retailer ship-to locations, seasonal products, product categories, factories, retailers, or carriers.

While the immediate focus is to fix the errors, so product can be received and on its way to the store or customer, long term analysis is an important component to preventing future errors.

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