8 common problems with the goods receipt process...and how to solve them

8 common problems with the goods receipt process...and how to solve them

The goods receipt process (Goods In) is the lynchpin of any warehouse. If any problems occur here then it can, and will, cause trouble for you further down the line. Having been in this business for some time, we're familiar with every issue that can be faced during the goods receipt process.

To give you a helping hand we have listed the most common amongst them, with tips on how they can be solved.

Problem 1

Manually counting the items arriving into the warehouse.

Impact

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.

How to solve it

Solving this problem requires precision during the goods receipt process and the best way to achieve this is by using a 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.

Problem 2

Relying on a paper-based system and manually writing down what is delivered.

Impact

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.

How to solve it

Your aim at Goods In is to eliminate all margin for human error so 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 warehouse management software can entirely eliminate paper, reducing all the risks listed above while also improving speed and efficiency.

Problem 3

Not having a goods receipt process.

Impact

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.

How to solve it

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 a system to log, count, and register your inventory as it enters the warehouse will provide benefits throughout the entire order fulfilment journey.

Problem 4

Slow goods receipt process.

Impact

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.

How to solve it

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.

Problem 5

There is a delay between items being delivered and being available for sale online.

Impact

The longer it takes for your inventory to register online, the larger the window for missed sales opportunities.

How to solve it

If your process currently involves uploading a CSV file or similar into your eCommerce software, then the best solution is to find a warehouse management system 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.

Problem 6

No tracking or visibility of the delivery performance: time, cancellations, mis-shipments.

Impact

This problem makes it difficult to monitor KPIs, judge performance and replace the services if needed.

How to solve it

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.

Problem 7

Not checking against a purchase order (PO).

Impact

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.

How to solve it

With a warehouse management system, as good 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.

Problem 8

Items arriving in pallets with large quantities.

Impact

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.

How to solve it

Barcode label the pallet and assign the products to the unique pallet label. This enables you to move the pallet 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.