Domino effect of delay within supply chain



n an ever-changing industrial supply chain environment, punctuality and reliability remain crucial pillars. However, delays are inevitable. The domino effect of such a delay can prove to be catastrophic, affecting not only operational performance but also profitability. To address this challenge, a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) such as “Depth of Delay” can be an effective solution.

The Domino Effect of Delays

Origin of the Delay

A delay can be initiated by a wide range of factors: climatic disruptions, mechanical malfunctions, human errors, or even delays from a supplier.


Once initiated, the delay can lead to line stoppages, shipment delays, and even affect employee scheduling. In a worst-case scenario, this can result in stockouts, exacerbating the cost of missed opportunities and even harming the relationship with customers.

Financial Consequences

Beyond the direct costs such as penalties and additional storage fees, delays result in indirect costs such as loss of customer trust and opportunity cost.

The KPI “Depth of Delay”


The “Depth of Delay” measures the degree of impact of a delay on the production flow, taking into account the duration and scope of the delay.


  1. Increased Visibility: Allows for rapid identification of bottlenecks.
  2. Prioritization: Helps to allocate resources where the impact will be most significant.
  3. Responsiveness: Facilitates a quick and targeted response to mitigate the impact of delays.

Case Studies

In a high-tech manufacturing environment, the adoption of “Depth of Delay” led to a 20% reduction in delivery delays. Additionally, it contributed to a 15% improvement in customer satisfaction rates.


The domino effect of delays in the supply chain should not be taken lightly. To mitigate it, it is imperative to adopt robust KPIs like “Depth of Delay.” By doing so, organizations can not only improve their operational performance but also safeguard their reputation and profitability.