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Blog post

Receiving Inventory Made Easy: 6 Best Practices

04 Nov, 2017 | Business Tips

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Successfully receiving inventory requires a well defined system and organized environment

Successfully receiving inventory requires a well defined system and organized environment

Receiving inventory effectively is the first step towards successful warehouse management. If you screw it up, everything else will be screwed up with it.

This is true in any warehouse or industry, from food inventory management to retail inventory management and even online wholesale – receiving sets the tone for the rest of your operations.

By optimizing your inventory receiving processes, you’ll make it easier to meet your inventory KPIs, reduce your cost of inventory, and streamline your stocktake.

We’ll show you 6 ways you can make receiving inventory efficient, fast, and reliable.

Tips for Effectively Receiving Inventory

Optimize Your Receiving Space

Many inventory errors – like miscounts – will usually occur first during receiving.

One of the best ways to reduce inventory receiving errors is by appropriately preparing your dock for receiving inventory.

This sounds obvious, but many companies still force their employees to work in cramped, small spaces without the proper tools or organizational processes for successful inventory receiving.

Your dock should be designed for sorting received inventory and preparing them for storage in their designated warehouse location.

Keep Your Receiving Space Clean and Organized

In addition to having enough room for receiving inventory, the dock space should be well-organized and clean for easy access to the received goods.

Make sure clutter is removed, and all previously received inventory has been placed in storage.

Implement Real-Time Inventory Tracking Technology

Tracking your inventory in real-time will help you catch mistakes before they cause damage further down your supply chain – such as miscounts, missing inventory, or incorrect inventory being stocked or shipped.

Upgrading your Excel inventory management system to something more cutting-edge and combining it with barcode scanners and RFID scanners will allow managers and workers to accurately track inventory, check for mistakes, and quickly correct them.

Monitor Quality Control

A quality control manager is an important fail-safe to negligent employees or faulty technology.

Their job is to guarantee receiving and putaway accuracy. They can watch for mistakes, point out problematic procedures, and reduce the instances of inventory damage.

Unload Quickly and Safely

Your objective should always be to unload received inventory safely while also doing it quickly.

If you’re using forklifts, make sure the machines are receiving proper maintenance. The same goes for power pallet trucks.

Be careful when handling heavy loads by hand. You don’t want to risk employee injury or damaged goods.

You should also consider using conveyor belts to make the process of putting received goods away more efficient.

Verify the Goods Received

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.

Depending on your cargo, these are the things you should verify:

  • Quantity received
  • Description of goods
  • Product code
  • Condition of goods
  • Weight of goods
  • Temperature (for perishable items)
  • Batch tracking number
  • Serial code

Making sure everything is right the moment you receive inventory will save you from a lot of headaches later on.

One Tool for Effectively Receiving Inventory

Receiving inventory effectively means 2 things:

  1. Creating a safe, fast, and organized process for handling received inventory
  2. Accurately tracking your goods from the moment they arrive in your warehouse to the time they are shipped to your customer

What you need to accomplish #1 are the right procedures set forth by management and a few standard pieces of equipment.

What you need to accomplish #2 is something many companies still don’t have – a cloud-based inventory management system.

With this kind of system, you’ll be able to automate reordering to avoid stockouts, improve your stocktaking process to avoid counting errors, and easily operate multiple warehouses with various types of goods.

If you want to test this system in your business, we can help.

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