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Sunday, March 12, 2006

How Close Should You Get To Your Supplier?

During a tour of a large institutional kitchen, I asked the manager why the deli meat salesman was in the walkin cooler with a two wheel truck. He said the salesman is fantastic and saves the company loads of time.

In explaining the relationship, he described the entire process. After placing the delivery items in the walkin cooler, the salesman takes an inventory and compares stock levels to historic usage. He then completes an order form for the manager. The manager simply signs for the delivery and the new order.

Twice a week, this process takes place with minimal management involvement.

It seemed important to note how trustworthy this salesman is and how they would never allow ALL salesman to have the same access. OK?

NO. Regardless of the long term relationship involved with this particular salesman, I could not OK this style of ordering/receiving control. Generally, you should not allow delivery personnel in your storage areas. They should not be filling out purchase orders. This relationship represents a complete breakdown in the internal control system.

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