Line fill rate can be used as a practical metric for measuring the order fulfilment performance of a single delivery or for all deliveries during a given time period. The term “line” refers to a line on the order, since a typical delivery or shipment manifest will display the name of each ordered product or item, along with the ordered quantity, in its own line.
As an example, if a customer orders ten different products, the order (and the delivery manifest) will have ten lines, each line displaying one of the ten products and the ordered quantity of that product.
Calculating Line Fill Rate
Using the same example, let’s look at how the line-fill rate KPI works:
Assuming the customer placed the 10-line-order for tomorrow and, to keep it simple, the order is for 10 items on each line. If the delivery is received by the customer tomorrow with 100 items, all of which match the product name or description on each line, the line fill rate is 100%.
If one line is missing one item though, the line fill rate for that order falls to 90%. If that same line is delivered with only two of the 10 items on the line, the line fill rate will still be 90%, as only one line on the delivery fails to match the order. On the other hand, if three lines on the delivery are each missing just one item, the line fill rate will now be just 70%.
Measuring Line Fill Rate for a DC or Transport Operation
The line fill rate KPI can be used to measure overall fulfilment performance for a logistics operation. In order to do this you need to be able to calculate the total number of order lines for the time period measured and the total number of those order lines which were perfectly filled.
Dividing the number of perfectly filled lines by the overall number of ordered lines, then multiplying the result by 100, will give you the percentage line fill rate.
Therefore, if your operation is delivering 1000 orders tomorrow, amounting to a total of 10,000 lines and you end up with 7,500 perfectly filled lines, your line fill rate for the day will be 75%. While this might not sound so terrible, if every delivery failed on at least one line, your order fill would be an appalling 0%, since order fill counts a delivery simply as a hit or a miss when matched against the purchase order.
On the other hand, if the 2,500 failed lines were all due to orders that didn’t ship, depending on how many orders were made up of those 2,500 lines, your order fill might look better than your line fill rate. Let’s imagine that 180 orders failed to get dispatched from your DC. Your order fill rate for the day would now be 88%, while your line fill rate would still be only 70%.
Measure Only to Improve
Now I’m not suggesting for a moment that failing to ship 180 orders on the scheduled day or that messing up 2,500 order lines is acceptable. The figures used here are purely examples. Whether you use order fill rate or line fill rate KPIs, or even both, you should be very concerned if your figures aren’t somewhere in the range of 95% or above. Even if they are at that level, KPIs are meant to be bettered, so the magic 100% is the level which you and your team should continuously seek to attain.