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  1. #1
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    Default shop is billing for partially filled orders

    I have been working with a local fabricator shop. Some lasered parts, a lot of rolled tubing. I send an email with a drawing, qty, and due date. The salesman replies back with a quote. It has the qty I requested, total amount, and he also breaks it down for amount per part. I reply back to authorize starting the work. So for example I order QTY 18 of something but they miss the date and only have 6 ready to pick up days after I need them. I've got to get started so I pick up what they have, but then the next day I get an invoice for the 6. Then they have some more. I get those and I get another bill for just those.

    I don't like this. The way I see it, each time I pick up a partial order the incentive for completing that last one gets less and less for them. What if they order 18 pcs of material and screw one up. I pick up 17, they bill for 17, but they drag their feet getting the last one done cause its only one $70 part. I would never send an invoice to a customer until the order was completely delivered. I don't want to be billed until the order we agreed on is completely filled. Not my fault they can't deliver on time. I can't bill my customer until I get all 18 why should they. I would not worry about it much but they have been screwing up a lot on me. Wrong material, wrong diameter, wrong qty. I'm not a big fish or anything so loosing my work to them is not a big deal I'm sure, but all I have holding them to finishing my order is that they cant bill until its done. Otherwise the incentive for them to finish is based on future orders. I have one but don't feel good about them any more.

    School me please. Is this common, should I have a chat with them about it?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmipacman View Post
    ...should I have a chat with them about it?
    Of course you should! I've said this before and I'll say it again. Your suppliers and your customers are not enemies; the first thing you should do if there is an issue is talk to them. How you can even run a business without talking to your customers or suppliers is beyond me. A good open dialogue will solve a lot of problems and head off a lot more...

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  4. #3
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    No, that's not normal vendor behavior unless sporadic delivery has been agreed to ahead of time. They're costing you time and money for the additional trips and delayed delivery to your customers, either convince them to deliver full lots only, or find another service company.

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    Cash flow is the biggest reason for small business failure.

    If you want to see the outfit go out of business, Hold your position on the partials.

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    It could be that it is down to their office system, when they generate a delivery note for the completed items an invoice is automatically produced at the same time.

    Both of the tool vendors that I have used for years do it this way and it drives me nuts, I try to put a decent sized order together for them so it is worth bringing over ,they then dribble it in over a few days ,even if the first delivery is only worth a couple of pounds.

    I have told them to hold everything until they have it all and just have one invoice but the say it is just there system and it would cause them problems to do it differently.

  9. #6
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    Im with sable, just ignore the bills till delivery is completed, you purchased 18 of, just consider it screwy paper work on there part,

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    I have customers that allow billing on partial deliveries, but I NEVER do it. If an order has 20 line items and different qtys....I do not have time to keep up with umpteen invoices all against the same order. I bet it is part of the system they use. Talk with them, for sure!

  12. #8
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    Imo, the parts are billable as soon as signed for and removed from the shop regardless if it is a full or partial shipment.

    It's a big waste of time(money) making multiple trips to pick up partials.

    If it were me I would either wait till everything on the p.o. is complete, or find another source, if they are putting you behind and screwing up your delivery dates to your customer.

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  14. #9
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    If you're having a problem with quality as your post says why do you even want to continue with them? My opinion is quality is way more important than how they are billing the parts out.

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  16. #10
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    The $100,000 question is why are you still doing business with them? You don't like their delivery or quality, are you tolerating them because they are low priced? I know sourcing supplies in the state of Virginia and a few other things related to business are a pain here, is finding a decent fad shop one of them? I would think a member here could give you someone else to try. I don't think they are worth talking to, but that is my opinion, just move on.

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    The beauty of a free market is competition. You don't like something about your supplier, go elsewhere.

    That being said....If otherwise happy with their service and this being the only hitch, I would talk to them first as advised above and give them the chance to rectify the situation.

    I never deliver short on orders. My business consists of short run production(100-5000 pcs), and if anything I usually make a few extra. I would expect customer complaints/lost customers if I filled orders in 3rds unless requested to do so on POs.

  18. #12
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    Did not mean to rant on them. To clear it up, their quality is fine. When they get the communication right and bother to read the drawing the parts are fine. Yes yes I know if I am not happy I will switch etc. I like these folks, and the price is good, and they are local, and I have worked with them before etc.

    I just meant to ask if billing for a partial delivery, especially when they are late on the total, is common and acceptable, or whether a reasonable shop would see it my way and hold their invoicing until the order is complete.

    And no I can't afford to wait an extra week for them to get all the parts done. Better to inconvenience myself by starting on a few than be late myself on my order. I hate excuses and blaming it on a supplier problem is not a good answer. There is also the benefit of discovering a problem with the parts or processes sooner rather then later if you or they are doing something wrong.

    Imo, the parts are billable as soon as signed for and removed from the shop regardless if it is a full or partial shipment.
    I don't agree. The parts are billable once the PO has been satisfied. Unless specified otherwise in the quote or PO.

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    I don't intentionally ship partials, but I have several customers that will place an order and ask for the first X amount that come off the machine. When it leaves the building they get an invoice.

    I have other customers whose policy is no partial shipments. When the entire PO is filled, whether it is one line item or ten, it gets shipped (hopefully on time) and billed. Their reasoning is it cuts down on paperwork and shipping costs.

    Seems you need to talk to them and tell them no partials. If they deliver too late for you to make your due date, find another supplier.

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  22. #14
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    Shipping partial orders lets them bring money in the door faster. Also, some customers would rather have the parts as they become available instead of all at once. It's like Amazon, you can have the books sent to as soon as possible partially, or everything in one box on the date that the LAST item becomes available.

    If you do not want to pay multiple invoices, then tell them not to ship the order until it is complete.

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    There's a big difference between the vendor shipping partials because that's what you requested and the vendor shipping partials because they've missed their due date and are holding up progress. In the former case, the vendor should invoice for each shipment. In the latter case, I agree that the invoicing may be automatic in their system. I would be inclined to hold the invoices and drop them an e-mail saying that you'll pay them all at once when the final invoice is issued. It's a lot more of a pain for me to cut five checks than one check.

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  25. #16
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    As its been said, speak to them about it.

    I'd say just hold invoices til order in complete...consider them a statement. I get net/15 from some customers, I told them I pay net/30, they agreed. So I pay net/30 and disregard the net/15.

    Some of my customers put on orders paid net/30 after completion.


    Me, I bill jobs as they are completed. For one customer its on pickup...I do that as we never complete jobs for him. Its 1000pcs Rush, need 100 soon as possible, next job is same as is the third...he bumps his own jobs and after the 1st hundred, he's no longer looking for the balance ties up alot of my cash...so he gets billed. Like it or not...But I have had that talk with him and we have an arrangement that kinda works.

    In short...talk to them. If they are hand to mouth...and I really liked working with them and I had the funds...I'd pay entire bill before picking up or hand them a check at completion. Funny how you can get to the front of a line doing that, plus it builds customer relations.

    Everyone around here complains about a certain chrome plater...only guy around. I pickup parts with a check. Where others can't get their job done in several weeks, I have had mine shipped out UPS before I got back to the shop as I asked him to UPS soon as done. I asked for invoice and mailed it that day. Two very happy people.

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  27. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmipacman View Post

    School me please. Is this common, should I have a chat with them about it?

    Thanks
    No- put it in writing. Last time I checked terms are to be agreed to by both parties. Save what you feel for non-profit work where you exchange time and money for a good feeling. If these guys ain't a non-profit house I suggest you establish terms that allow both houses to profit.

    And get a second source WTH

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    its most likely just a function of how their accounting system works. IQMS for plastics worked like this as well. if you shippped 500k parts on a 2mil peice order, then it billed for the shipments for the month at the 2mil peice price. I wouldnt be to concerned about it, unless they are charging you a different unit price. No reason not to give them a call and see whats up though.

  29. #19
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    Lower their remuneration if they partial the order. Let them know ahead. Maybe they'll

    wake up!

    Stanley Dornfeld

  30. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    Cash flow is the biggest reason for small business failure.

    If you want to see the outfit go out of business, hold your position on the partials.
    Cal, I hear your point ... but the same point goes both ways. It may be, if the OP wants to see his OWN outfit go out of business, keep on accepting the partials. As I understand it, the dribble of parts, past the due date, is affecting his ability to bill his customer.

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