The goods-in process is the lynchpin of any warehouse. If any problems occur here then it can, and will, cause trouble for you further down the line. The flow of stock at goods-in is absolutely critical. So how can we solve these common goods-in problems?
Many warehouse layouts diminish the size and importance of goods-in at a great detriment to their entire operation. Think of all the activities receiving does. They add labels, count the items and reconcile them with the manufacturer’s packing list. They break down pallets. They accommodate back orders, they report manufacturers shipping errors. If these are not done efficiently, numerous goods-in problems can arise.
All this activity needs to be supported and optimised. By focusing on reducing receiving errors and inefficiencies you will improve the flow of your entire warehouse.
In this blog, we cover 8 of the biggest problems and show you how you can reclaim your time and eliminate warehouse chaos at goods-in.
Manually counting new stock.
Doing a manual count is vastly inefficient because it increases the cost of labour and lowers the return. It also increases the risk of mistakes being made and inaccurate stock figures appearing online.
Solving this problem requires precision during the goods receipt process and the best way to achieve this is by using an easy-to-use warehouse management system (WMS) that incorporates barcode scanning. The use of barcodes eliminates the margin for human error and ensures that all delivered items are correctly recorded. As a result, the correct stock figures and listed online, meaning fewer oversells or missed sales opportunities.
Manual stock control.
Using a paper-based system and keeping a written account of what has been delivered can lead to inaccurate checks, incorrect stock figures, and misplace or lost orders. It is also highly inefficient, costing more labour than it returns.
Your aim at goods-in is to eliminate all margin for human error. Switching out your pen and paper for a more accurate barcode scanner will not only speed up this process but also greatly reduce the potential for any errors to be made. Using a WMS can entirely eliminate paper, reducing all the risks listed above while also improving speed and efficiency. The impact here isn’t just felt at goods-in, but across the whole warehouse. Eliminating paper will help you to ship every order on time, without fail.
Not having a goods-in process.
By not having a goods-in process, you are required to do more regular stock takes to constantly ensure that the inventory figures listed online are correct. This is time-consuming, costly, and inefficient.
Quite simply, put a process in place. Goods-in is the heart of your warehouse because every later process depends on this being performed correctly. Using workflows that log, count, and register your inventory as it enters the warehouse will provide benefits throughout the entire order fulfilment journey.
A slow goods receipt process.
Much like having no process at all, if you have one that is inefficient then you will be wasting time, money, and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.
Work out where the kinks are in your current processes and focus on how to smooth them out. More times than not, the goods-in process is slow because of the humans working it so to really optimise your system, automation is key.
There is a delay between items being delivered and being available for sale online.
The longer it takes for your inventory to register online, the larger the window for missed sales opportunities.
If your process currently involves uploading a CSV file or similar into your e-commerce software, then the best solution is to find a WMS that integrates with this platform and cuts out the file uploading. With a decent WMS, your inventory figures should be updated across all platforms as soon as they are scanned at goods-in.
No tracking or visibility of the delivery performance: time, cancellations, mis-shipments.
This problem makes it difficult to monitor KPIs, judge performance and replace the services if needed.
Option 1 is to put manual task recording in place. You may already be doing this if you’re reporting on these metrics to your management team.
Option 2 is to put some manual time tracking software like Harvest in place. This can help with understanding where your team spend their time.
Option 3 is to look at advanced software for warehouse management and carrier management. Both these pieces of software will deliver the visibility on delivery performance you need. A good CRM like Cloud Conversion could also help with tracking any issues that do arise in a standard way you can report on.
Not checking against a purchase order (PO).
If you do not check your goods received against a PO then you will require regular stock takes to ensure correct inventory levels. You also open yourself up to more lost sales opportunities, dissatisfied customers, and potential over payment for stock.
With a warehouse management system, as goods are scanned in they will be automatically reconciled against a PO. This not only eliminates the need for this to be done manually, but it also speeds up the process and saves time and labour.
Items arriving in pallets with large quantities.
If you have items arriving like this, it is difficult to unwrap and check each item, which can lead to inaccurate stock figures. Inaccurate stock figures can then lead to missed sales opportunities, or overselling.
Barcode label the pallet and assign the products to the unique pallet label. This enables you to move pallets around efficiently. You can also store inner, outer, and pallet quantities in a WMS and use your software to calculate quantities based on defaults.
The key thing to have available if you go down this route is the ability to overwrite the default quantity if you need to.
Improving the efficiency of your warehouse operations is one of the best ways to boost your profits and build your business, and once you do that the rest of your job will be much easier. The number one piece of advice experts have when it comes to warehouse optimisation is that optimising the goods-in processes are the first most important steps to optimising the warehouse. A WMS solution can assist you in achieving this and resolve common goods-in problems.
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.