When it comes to warehouse management, one of the first steps of operations is receiving inventory. When inventory comes in and it’s inaccurate, everything else that follows is going to be off too. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, inventory receiving is what sets up the rest of your processes. It’s a key component in effective inventory management.
Your priority goal has to be optimizing your inventory receiving processes, it’s going to make it much easier to hit your inventory KPIs, helping you reduce the cost of inventory and streamline your stocktake.
That’s great but how can you make your company’s inventory receiving more efficient, reliable and quicker?
(1) Receiving Inventory: Use Your Space Wisely
Can you guess when the majority of inventory errors and miscounts occur? That would be during inventory receiving. Since this is such. big issue, one of your best options for reducing inventory receiving errors is by ensuring your dock is properly maintained and designed to be efficient.
Wow, you start with that? Hear us out, the bottom line is most docks are crowded, overwhelmed, and not optimized to be efficient. That my friend is a problem. If you don’t have the space to receive inventory, how are you going to be efficient with the process?
We can tell you what it’s going to do – it’s going to cost you a headache, stress, time, money, effort, and what will you be left with…. ERRORS!
What’s the right way to optimize your receiving space? For starters, you need to focus on accurate processes when counting inventory. This is where inventory receiving tools can be great to streamline the process accurately. In the end, the goal is to receive inventory fast but without the mistakes.
As for the dock, it should be designed for sorting received inventory and preparing them for storage in ta specific location in your warehouse.
(2) Real-Time Inventory Tracking Technology
Now, this is a life saver, well… time saver that is. If you want inventory tracking that’s accurate and sure you do, you’re going to need the right tools and software to track inventory in real-time.
Here at Thill Inc., we help merchants and organizations track inventory in real-time. Our software is compatible with a number of different ecommerce platforms, like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, Ebay, Amazon, and many others. Our clients love this because you always want to know where your inventory is at all times. The technology we have makes that possible.
Ecommerce fulfillment is an essential process that no business owner can overlook and while we’re not directly discussing fulfillment, all of this relates to one another. If you have a store that sales products, order fulfillment matters.
The last thing you want is mistakes and errors causing you problems down river into your supply chain.
There’s a number of different tools that will help you manage your inventory in real-time, make sure your company is using them.
We prefer real-time, but why? If you’re tracking them in real-time, you can make changes as seen fit. When adjustments need to be made on a drop of the dime, you’re going to wish you had that technology tracking your inventory.
Ecommerce inventory management is key to knowing what’s selling and how inventory is moving over your ecommerce stores.
(3) Receiving Space Must Be Clean and Organized
C’mon – clean and organized? Hey, it’s the basics that everyone overlooks – how many receiving areas have you seen unorganized and cramped?
Your dock space needs to be organized to be efficient, it won’t be if you have a crowded dock. It should be easy to access all received goods – no matter where you are on the dock.
You want your receiving process to be streamlined. When inventory is received and accounted for, that inventory should go to storage to make room for new inventory coming to the dock. It’s a very simple system, but because it’s just that “simple,” it’s often ignored.
(4) Quick, Safe, And Smooth Unloads
That can be said about all warehouses, the primary objective when receiving inventory is to unload received inventory safely while doing so as fast as possible. Sure, there’s a balance you’re looking for, give and take, here and there, enough of a balance where unloading is simple.
When we’re using forklifts or the power pallet trucks, we always want to make sure there’s enough space to operate. Space is your best friend in a warehouse, but you must use it wisely. Another thing you have to remember is equipment maintenance, all equipment needs to be maintained regularly.
If inventory is too heavy, don’t let your team lift it by hand. A lot of injuries occur receiving inventory but many of them can be avoided. You don’t want to risk employee injury, damaged goods or worse.
One idea that you may want to consider is conveyor belts, which can make the process of putting received goods away easier and efficient.
(5) All Eyes On Quality Control
If you don’t have a quality control manager in place, now is the time to get it added. Your QC is a protective layer against both employees and technology.
The quality control manager helps by;
- Actively looking for mistakes and errors
- Looking for ways to optimize processes
- Helps control and prevents inventory damage
- Ensuring inventory counts are accurate
- Ensuring inventory is stored efficiently and properly
Quality control is a vital component in our warehouses, all of them. Without this, we’d see things slip between the cracks.
(6) Verifying The Goods Received
One of the most embarrassing things that can happen to your company is shipping out the wrong product. Even worse, you’ve likely lost a customer for life. Every customer matters and you should take the approach to treat every order with pride.
If you want to avoid the costly mistake of shipping the wrong items or not having enough to satisfy customer demand, you should always check that the inventory received is exactly what you ordered. Don’t take the numbers to heart, make it a habit to count everything.
While cargo will vary, these are the things you should verify:
- Quantity Received
- Serial Codes
- Weight Of Goods
- SKU Of Goods
- Description Of Goods
- Condition Of Goods
- Product Codes
- Temperature (When Appropriate)
- Batch Tracking Numbers
(7) Always Test Your Processes
Practice makes perfect, if you want the most efficient processes you can get, spend the time and resources to optimize your processes.
Look, no system is perfect to start with, it’s going to take time and effort to get it dialed in. However, tif you’re consistent with your testing, your receiving process can be efficient, quick and reliable.
When you think about it, that’s a great goal to aim for, we want to be batting 100 percent. Set the bar high – accurate receiving inventory done safely.
Time, safety and accuracy is always your key components, but you can’t corners to fix another area.
If you want the best effective receiving process, all three needs to be priority.
If you need help with warehousing, that’s another thing, keep reading below.
(8) Warehousing Services
Can’t apologize for the plug – but we’re great at this and if you need warehousing help, you can count on Thill Inc. to deliver the results.
Thill Incorporated is headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, and operates over one million cubic feet of modern warehousing facilities in Wisconsin, Georgia, Nevada, California and Texas.
Our state-of-the-art warehouse facilities include climate controlled storage and secured space including video surveillance, complete sprinkler system, a superior security system and completely redundant power systems. Have special storage needs? We’ve got that covered too. Thill offers regulated warehousing space, including cage or isolated areas for valuable items; humidity-controlled facilities to accommodate pharmaceutical, agricultural and food standards; as well as refrigeration and freezer units.
You can reach us during regular business hours by calling 920-967-9201 or you can fill out our online form here.