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What is OTIF in the Supply Chain and How to Measure it?

Posted On: Jan 17, 2024
What is OTIF in the Supply Chain and How to Measure it?

On-Time In-Full, or OTIF, is an important supply chain management performance indicator. This is a measure that plays an integral role in the lives of firms interested to satisfy their customers and improve efficiency. This blog will take a closer look at OTIF, its importance in supply chain management, the challenges in achieving OTIF and discuss the practical approaches to achieve it. 


What is OTIF?

OTIF also represents On-Time In-Full and acts as a barometer of how well suppliers meet consumer demand. In other words, it evaluates the fidelity of vendors in timely delivery or OTD (On Time Delivery) as well as with each ordered item reconciled or IFD (In Full Delivery). OTIF does not only consider the timeliness or completeness of deliveries; it blends them, ensuring exactly when products are needed, and nothing is left out from an order. 

OTIF in Supply Chain

The scope of OTIF is particularly relevant in industries where precise timing and full order fulfilment are critical, such as retail, manufacturing, and other sectors with stringent supply chain requirements.  

The benefits of implementing OTIF:

  1. Customer Satisfaction: OTIF helps ensure that orders are delivered on time and, in their entirety leading to increased customer satisfaction, trust, and loyalty. 
  1. Cost Reduction: By helping minimize last-minute orders and fast shipping, OTIF facilitates to reduction of transportation costs and penalties for late deliveries. 
  1. Streamlined Inventory Management: Implementing OTIF as a metric allows for maintaining optimum stock levels preventing both overstocking and understocking. This improves capital utilization and storage space efficiency. 
  1. Production Forecasting: Precise production forecasting facilitated by OTIF ensures proper resource allocation and efficient production planning. This enhances overall operational efficiency. 

The final objective of the high OTIF level is to ensure that customers receive their orders in an exemplary manner. This provides not only happy and satisfied customers to the companies but also avoids costs arising from delayed deliveries or incomplete orders such as rush charges and stock outages. 

Challenges in Achieving OTIF

  • Demand Forecasting Accuracy: The accurate prediction of consumer demand is a big task for companies as inaccuracies in predicting may lead to overstocking or understocking leading to a negative influence on OTIF. Despite sophisticated technology, volatility in markets and consumer behaviors make forecasting tough. 
  • Supply Chain Complexity: Coordination is difficult in contemporary supply chains, which are global and complex networks of several entities. Making sure that all parts of the chain work in harmony to achieve OTIF may be a challenging task. 
  • Variability in Lead Times: Vendors often must cope with the variability of lead times that is caused by production delays, transportation issues or customs clearance. These inconsistencies make high OTIF levels difficult to achieve. 
  • Dependency on Third-Party Logistics: Many suppliers use 3PL providers in their transportation and warehousing operations. Although this might be efficient, it also implies losing some control potentially affecting the OTIF levels. 
  • Quality Control: It is vital to ensure that product quality remains constant at all levels of the supply chain. Not meeting the quality standards can cause returns or replacements that will negatively affect OTIF. 
  • External Factors: Natural disasters, political instability or global pandemic occurs so suddenly that usually end up disrupting the efficient running of supply chains. There can be several factors outside the vendors’ control that significantly affect OTIF performance. 

How to Achieve OTIF?

Achieving high OTIF rates is the aspiration of every vendor, but it's no simple feat. Here are some strategies to consider: 

Leverage Technology

Technologies have a tremendous impact on high OTIF rates. Modern technological solutions, such as Partner Portal, a platform that automates and optimizes the vendor management cycle consisting of onboarding, and qualification covering procurement tracking with EDI capability to billing & accounting. Partner Portal provides a complete solution to the procure-to-pay process, avoiding supply chain disruptions and offering complete visibility with real-time data insights. Partner Portal helps in vendor selection, good products and deals for customers and streamlining the supply chain. Partner Portal can significantly contribute to achieve high OTIF rates by: 

  • Automating data collection: This increases the efficiency of record keeping on inventory levels, shipments and order processing. 
  • Implementing real-time tracking: Through real-time tracking capabilities of Partner Portal, visibility can be increased across the whole chain and rapid reactions to any possible disruptions are enabled. 
  • Utilizing advanced forecasting tools: Data analytics, can assist in perfecting demand forecasting to allow for effective inventory management and planning.

 Inventory Management 

  • Maintain optimal inventory levels: Inventory management is walking that tightrope. Stocking more than necessary will increase costs, but stocking too little creates delays and incomplete deliveries. 
  • Accurate demand prediction: Correct forecasts of customer demand are necessary for a good inventory management practice. Suppliers benefit from more accurate predictions with the use of sophisticated analytical tools. 
  • Align production and supply: Integrate production plans with stock levels to maintain the optimal movement of products through the supply chain. 

Inventory management is much more effective through Partner Portal due to real-time inventory insights. 

Transportation Logistics 

  • Plan routes and schedules: Traffic, poor weather conditions or other unforeseen delays can spoil even the most carefully planned transport schedule. Successful route planning and scheduling are very important. Partner Portal helps to follow and adjust to these schedules in real-time.

Consider cost-effectiveness 

  • Although promptness is necessary, suppliers must also pay attention to the economic feasibility of their shipping methods. How to strike the balance between cost and speed is a key challenge that needs to be figured out. 

Communication is Key 

  • Within the organization: Establishing good internal communication ensures that all orders are handled properly, and everyone understands the delivery dates. 
  • With vendors: It is essential to collaborate with transportation firms, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. In a transparent communication setting, misunderstandings do not occur, and the risk of missing deadlines is reduced.

Proactive Approach

  • Continuously monitor inventory: Keep reviewing inventory levels frequently to spot any problems or trends. Modify the inventory management strategies wherever relevant. 
  • Strategic investments: Invest in technological solutions and process improvements that increase supply chain transparency and efficacy. 
  • Build strong partnerships: Build a network of trustworthy shipping partners who are as concerned about timely deliveries. 

In recap, OTIF is one of the most important metrics in supply chain management as it affects customer satisfaction and operational performance. Because we live in a fiercely competitive market, customers want to receive their orders on time and complete with no delays or missing items. If the expectations are not met, it can lead to customer dissatisfaction, loss of business and ultimately damage to reputation. 

OTIF levels should be monitored continuously so that suppliers can determine where to improve and ensure they are meeting customer requirements efficiently. These include the analysis of figures regarding delivery times, availability of products and transportation plans to identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies that may be present. Adopting a proactive approach to dealing with these challenges, the suppliers can enhance their integral supply chain activities and hold on to high OTIF levels. 

It is needless to mention that achieving OTIF rates requires the collective efforts of all stakeholders in supply chain networks. This also includes more than just the suppliers but manufacturers, distributors as well transportation companies and retailers. Good communication amongst these parties is necessary to ensure timely deliveries with no errors. 

In addition, ongoing advancement is integral for proper OTIF achievement. As the demands of customers change over time with changes in market trends and technologies, it is essential for suppliers to continually evaluate their performance and adjust similarly. It could include investing in updated technology systems or improving operations within the organization. 

OTIF directly impacts customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Attaining good OTIF rates involves many challenges such as inventory management and adjusting to market changes. In this regard, Partner Portal stands as the major instrument enabling automation features, real-time tracking, advanced forecasting and better communication. 

The integration of Partner Portal into the supply chain allows businesses to achieve enhanced workflows, informed decision-making and optimal OTIF performance. This also contributes to not only meeting customer expectations consistently but also enhancing operational effectiveness and challenges in a competitive market. The path to achieving high OTIF rates, facilitated by Partner Portal, is a way to improve the customer satisfaction level as well as reduce costs and increase chances for success, strengthening a company's position in the supply chain landscape. 


  1. What is OTIF? 

On-Time in Full (OTIF) is a supply chain performance indicator, which shows how well the orders are delivered on time and as per the full quantity desired by clients, reflecting the efficiency of a supplier's entire supply chain process

  1. What can be considered as challenges of OTIF? 

Major Challenges include accurate demand forecasting, difficulty in managing complex supply chains, variability in lead times, dependence on third-party logistics, maintaining good quality control, and external disruptions, that are out of vendors’ control. 

  1. What are the advantages of OTIF? 

Major benefits include enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced operational costs, streamlined inventory management, and better production planning thus resulting in improved operational efficiency.  

  1. How to implement OTIF? 
  • Define clear OTIF targets. 
  • Improve supply chain visibility in the organization. 
  • Streamline production, shipping, and delivery processes. 
  • Collaborate with suppliers and logistics partners. 
  • Use technology for the monitoring and inventory control. 
  • OTIF performance should be monitored and analyzed regularly. 
  • Train staff on why a good OTIF performance matters and what needs to be done. 
  • Continuously identify and address areas of improvement.