Did you know most warehouse inventory errors occur in receiving? Any error in the receiving can have a 10-fold impact on the other warehouse operations. Storing inventory in a warehouse is a comprehensive process that must be done correctly to ensure the success of fulfillment operations. How a business receives inventory in a warehouse affects other areas of the retail supply chain, such as inventory management, picking, packing, and shipping. A poor warehouse receiving process can cause stock control issues and high operational costs.
It indicates that receiving in warehouse is a critical part that maintains the integrity of the inventory systems and ensures the product availability to the customers. As per a survey conducted by Peerless Research Group, warehouses’ receiving dock and storage areas are the most congested zones. Therefore, businesses must invest in warehouse automation to optimize the receiving processes. In this article, you will learn about the warehouse receiving process in detail and some valuable tips to improve the receiving operations.
What Is Warehouse Receiving?
It is the first step of an eCommerce order fulfillment process and refers to the delivery, unloading, and storage of inventory in a warehouse. A well-maintained receiving process makes inventory management and fulfillment simpler, cost-effective, and efficient.
Warehouse receiving is beyond purchasing inventory and delivering it to the warehouses. It comprises several key steps that must be performed accurately so that the right items in the right quantity can be stored and delivered. The standard warehouse receiving procedures include the following:
1. Completion of Pre-receiving Tasks
Every business owner should complete all the pre-receiving tasks like proper documentation before sending inventory to a warehouse. At this stage, you decide the quantity of each item and the number of countries in which it will be shipped. Also, you determine the packaging requirements of each item, including labeling criteria, the number of packages loaded per pallet, and package size or weight.
2. Receiving and Unloading Stock
In the next step, the warehouse receiving staff meets the shipper and unloads the cargo. The receiving staff of any warehouse should discuss their shipment-related concerns with the delivery driver. Typically, the trucks should be packed in reverse order from back to front so that warehouse workers can quickly unload the inventory. Sometimes, you might require equipment like forklifts or pallet jacks to unload the cargo.
3. Counting and Confirmation of Inventory
Once the cargo is unloaded, the staff at the receiving area verifies the content of each delivery, such as the quantity, the SKUs, the overall condition of the shipment, and the integrity of the seals. Stock counting and inspection is a time-consuming process that can be automated through inventory management software.
4. Organizing and Storing Inventory
The final step of receiving in warehouse is inventory storage and organization. It is done once all the inventory is unloaded and confirmed. However, this step is performed differently for each business based on the type of its warehouse, the size, and the number of items.
Generally, the inventory is stored on a palette, shelf, or bin, depending on the size and quantity of products.
How to Improve Warehouse Receiving Process?
There are numerous ways to optimize warehouse receiving process. One of the best ways is to invest in warehouse automation because it optimizes all the time-consuming tasks typically performed manually by workers. Also, the global warehouse automation market is expected to surpass $30 billion by 2026, indicating that warehouse automation is the key.
Below are some best practices you can implement to streamline receiving at your warehouse.
Use Inventory Management Systems
If you are an eCommerce business owner, inventory management systems can optimize your entire supply chain by automating the receiving process. By deploying an inventory management system, you get valuable insights into inventory counts and stock levels. Also, it helps you get accurate numbers for inventory accounting.
Monitor Your Inventory Metrics
Tracking important inventory metrics is another way to optimize warehouse receiving. You can do it by using technology for inventory management. Some primary inventory metrics that you need to track include:
- Average storage cost per unit
- Total number of pallets or shelves in use
- Amount of inventory stored at each location
Conduct Inventory Inspections
Regular inventory audits are essential to highlight serious inventory imbalances before they get out of hand. Sending damaged or incorrect inventory back can cost you a lot of money. Therefore, make sure each item is checked. Here, various inventory management tools can help you as they provide real-time updates on stock levels and make inventory tracking easier.
Another way to optimize the receiving process is to double-check all the documents. Make sure the receiving inventory matches the purchasing order.
How PackageX Improves Warehouse Receiving?
In today’s world, technology has changed the way businesses work and is driving them to become bigger and better. The same is the case with warehouses and dark stores. You cannot optimize receiving in warehouses without deploying the right technology.
PackageX helps business owners digitize warehouse receiving through its integrated apps and APIs. It provides you with a complete warehouse management system on a single platform where you can streamline all your inventory workflows, get real-time visibility for inventory tracking, map different steps of your receiving process and generate labels for efficient storage.
Receiving is one of the most critical operations in warehouse logistics that involves the delivery, unloading, and storage of eCommerce inventory. By optimizing it, you can have more accurate stock counts, fewer stockouts or dead stock, and efficient storage for inventory. However, it is only possible when you invest in warehouse automation technology and follow the best practices to streamline the warehouse receiving process.