Putting merchandise on inventory may seem simple: order goods from your supplier, have them delivered to a warehouse.
It’s a detailed method that must be done correctly to assure fulfillment success.
How a company receives merchandise at a warehouse affects inventory management, picking, packing, and shipping. The warehouse receiving procedure can be simple at beginning, but it can get messy as your organization grows.
Poor warehouse receiving can cause stock control concerns and greater expenditures.
This article describes warehouse receiving, what happens when it’s optimized, and how Fulfillmen handles fulfillment and inventory receiving using standardized processes, a fulfillment network, and best practices.
What is Warehouse receiving?
Warehouse receiving refers to shipping, unloading, and storing ecommerce products in a warehouse or fulfillment center. A well-established warehouse receiving process helps improve inventory management and fulfillment.
Warehouse Receiving Process
Receiving warehouse products and amounts requires several procedures.. The following are the warehouse receiving process.
1. Send inventory documentation
Before ordering and delivering products, business owners must conduct pre-receiving tasks.
The owner decides how much of each item to transport in how many containers.
Most 3PLs have method for sending inventory to their warehouse(s) and protocols you must complete before sending them your goods.
In most circumstances, you must affix a Warehouse Receiving Order (WRO) label with the barcode to each shipment. This makes it easy to scan shipments with a WMS to retrieve order data and assure accurate incoming inventory.
2. Receive and unload stock
Next, have warehouse reception workers meet the shipper at a loading dock and unload the merchandise. Receiving staff should be ready to address delivery driver queries or complaints.
Truck beds should be packed back-to-front in reverse delivery order so warehouse staff may unload merchandise without moving other items.
Unloading freight occasionally requires forklifts and pallet jacks, depending on size and volume.
3. Count and confirm inventory
As freight is unloaded, warehouse staff verifies quantity, seals, product codes/SKUs, and overall quality to confirm what’s in the boxes matches what’s on the WRO and scheduled to arrive.
Stock checking can be time-consuming. Some merchants demand warehouse personnel to count crates or pallets, rather than individual things, or undertake random checks. You can automate this procedure with an inventory scanner or a 3PL.
4. Store and file product
The final phase in warehouse receiving is arranging and storing new goods.
This stage varies by warehouse type, object amount and size, and 3PL use.
Inventory can be stored on a pallet, shelf, or container, depending on size and amount. If you work with a 3PL, their fulfillment personnel will keep your inventory to reduce carrying expenses.
Businesses are responsible for warehouse storage based on their fulfillment procedure. Your logistics staff must complete all documentation and verification and receive inventory information into the WMS or manually track it.
Where Most Firms Mishandle Receiving
Unloading, checking, and storing inventory efficiently and precisely is the purpose of warehouse receiving. Warehouses or enterprises without unloading and receiving procedures risk erroneous or lost merchandise, which can affect inventory counts.
Business owners should provide their warehouse workers with a simplified, step-by-step task list to follow upon receiving, as well as arranged lists of questions to ask and details to check.
Fulfillmen employs a step-by-step WRO method to inspect and store inventory. Business owners should give warehouse personnel a simpler, step-by-step receiving task list and questions to ask and details to examine.
If a package or pallet doesn’t include exactly what’s specified on the WRO, we’ll hold your things and put them on hold. This produces a URO (URO). We’ll email you about the URO and request a fresh WRO or resolution. This minimizes inventory processing and shelf time.
What happens when your warehouse receiving is optimized?
Optimizing warehouse receiving will boost your fulfillment logistics strategy. An organized warehouse receiving procedure can help you manage inventory and ensure the right items and quantities are accessible for fulfillment.
Optimizing warehouse receiving has many benefits.
1. More precise inventory counts
The ability of a brand to manage its inventory, prevent stockouts, estimate demand, lower inventory shrinkage rate, and maintain a healthy profit margin depends on accurate stock counts.
Creating a detailed checklist will help with inventory control. This is especially true if you employ automated technology to simplify the process, such as an inventory scanner when receiving new inventory to confirm what’s included matches what was requested and to update stock levels in real-time.
2. Less dead stock and stockouts
Customers may choose to shop elsewhere as a result of stockouts, which may also result in unfavorable online reviews that harm your brand’s reputation.
However, overstocking (sometimes referred to as dead stock) leaves company owners with an excess of inventory that won’t provide a return on their investment, much alone a profit.
The ability to detect problems with inventory receiving early on, such as the supplier failing to deliver the quantity requested, can help an optimized warehouse receiving procedure prevent both problems.
3. Effective inventory management
Optimizing your warehouse receiving process can benefit your inventory storage system by assuring effective, cost-effective storage.
After the inventory is scanned when received, staff can use a WMS to retrieve instructions on how to unpack, store, and transport sold items.
How to improve your receiving at the warehouse
There are many ways to make the warehouse reception process more efficient. Whether you manage your own warehouse or work with a 3PL like Fulfillmen, here are some excellent practices.
Setup stock management systems
By automating the process, inventory management solutions assist ecommerce organizations in optimizing their whole supply chain.
Track the metrics for your inventory.
Tracking inventory and logistics expenses will be considerably simpler with a good warehouse receiving process, especially if you keep material across several warehouses or fulfillment centers. You can track crucial distribution data from a single dashboard if you use technology to handle all of your inventories.
You gain access to real-time inventory counts and more precise data for inventory accounting by putting an inventory management system in place.
Precaution up front saves time and money later on when it’s too late to bring back damaged, missing, or erroneous inventory. Regular inventory audits, such physical counts and cutoff analysis, can help you identify inventory imbalances before they become a problem and can also help you plan your upcoming warehouse receiving.
After importing your existing inventory into an inventory management system, you may view real-time stock levels and observe inventory figures change immediately following warehouse receiving.
Based on inventory forecasting forecasts for each SKU, this kind of software also makes it simple to arrange automatic reorder points that alert you when it’s time to order additional merchandise.
Double-check that inventory received matches your purchase order to avoid mistakes.
Implementing a numbering system for all receiving and shipping documents makes it easier for personnel to review documentation and locate missing merchandise.