Out with the old and in with the new – Welcome to 2019 and time to clean up your receiving stock processes.
The warehouse is at the centre of your business. It’s the key hub through which nearly everything in your business must pass – from raw materials and finished goods, to pallets and cases in a distribution centre, to a wealth of products in a retail warehouse. But in today’s highly competitive markets, there’s something even more important that’s dependent on more efficient warehouse operations: customer satisfaction. What is it that your customers want from your warehouse and logistics operations? Accurate, on-time and flawless fulfilment. Every time. So let’s start at the beginning – Receiving Stock.
Allowing the WMS system to drive a best practice warehouse process during receiving & putaway will result in big time and money saving benefits for most operations.
Efficiency in warehouse operations and logistics is an obvious way to curtail costs and improve overall customer experience. But some warehouse operations are doomed from the start: No matter how many efficiencies and innovations are introduced, they suffer from flaws stemming from common—yet easily avoidable—mistakes in warehouse setup and receiving stock.
Avoiding these mistakes does not require huge capital outlay or sophisticated technology. Nor does it necessitate complicated procedures—it isn’t rocket science. But, like most mistakes, avoiding them does require the presence of mind to spot them and make appropriate adjustments.
Essentially, the same warehouse decisions are made today as they have been since the beginning of large-scale industrial operations, that is, location, personnel, equipment and schedule.
Though the technology has changed significantly, such as the introduction of WMS solutions, these primary actions are required in every circumstance. Implementing simple systems such as dock scheduling, which requires shippers to notify the receiving department 24 hours in advance of a delivery can help managers of these operations to ensure that the appropriate systems are available at the time they are needed.
The scheduling operation can make a radical improvement in the ability to manage incoming materials and ensure that accurate inspection, labelling and counts are produced. Another strategy, cross-docking, immediately sends materials to another dock for shipment, when storing the items are not required. This method provides another way to implement efficient use of dock and storage space for better efficiency.
Five Key Principles to Keep in Mind when Receiving Stock
1. Proactive Activity
The general idea in receiving is that all of the resources to accomplish this they need to be scheduled via a WMS and processes so it’s a proactive activity it’s not something that is reactive.
2. Minimal Flow Path
There’re all kinds of different flow paths that receipts can take. It’s key to make sure that for each product coming from each type of supplier you have chosen the minimum cost flow path.
3. Minimise delay
It’s crucial to do all that you can to put away immediately so there’s no delay between the receiving and the putaway process. It’s important to make sure that you chose the optimal location for the put away. It’s useful to combine put away and retrieval activity to maximise the labour utilisation the equipment utilisation.
4. Quality Control
Maintain a quality control group in the warehouse to monitor put away accuracy – just like they would be monitoring picking accuracy, shipping accuracy, and inventory accuracy. This way mistakes are caught early in the process instead of late in the process when it’s difficult to do something about it. Another opportunity for quality control is to monitor the damage rate and put away. Oftentimes, as a result of the excess handling or sorting that may be required a good portion of the damage may occur in the putaway process.
5. The Ability to Assign Receiving Docks
If you utilise a concept called pre-receiving (assigning a product of location in transit) then you will know where exactly the inbound pallets will be located in your warehouse. Take the time to assign each inbound truck to the dock door that minimises the processing time for that inbound truck. That little simple step may be worth an increase of receiving productivity of fifty percent.
No matter how complicated or extensive your company processes are, it all starts with receiving stock.
If the receiving process is efficient and error free, the rest of the supply chain will run far more smoothly. If defective products, miscounts and other errors are allowed to slip through, every subsequent step of the manufacturing process will be impacted.
Yet, those early errors will be compounded every step along the way, resulting in quality control issues, customer complaints and a damaged brand image. If you want to avoid these types of complications, it is time to take a step back and take control of the receiving process.
The reality is, too many warehouse processes are still pen-and-paper-based. Just as problematic is technical fragmentation, with technology available in only a few operations. Flawless fulfilment requires technical and operational integration across all your processes and workflows. You could argue that all areas of the warehouse are equally important but the bottom line is if we are receiving stock poorly the odds of us picking them and shipping them properly are pretty close to zero. A cloud WMS system can cost effectively assist in increasing efficiency and productivity.
Clarus WMS will outline the fundamentals of a goods in best practice warehouse process that will ensure that stock is received properly into the warehouse; if it doesn’t come in correctly you don’t have much hope of maintaining stock integrity going forward!
Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.
Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.