The success of your entire warehouse process is reliant upon your first line of defence: Goods in. Given this (companies will often incentivise this role to reflect the importance of goods in for eCommerce) you should be filling these positions with diligent and energetic people who are prepared to be accountable.
Get this right and you will give the rest of your warehouse every chance of ensuring you do not oversell and your customers can rely on your eCommerce operation to deliver their order on time.
A common mistake…
Something we see frequently occurring is a tendency to check goods in against what you are expecting to receive. So for example, if your goods in operators are told they will receive fifty pairs of skinny fit jeans, the chances are that they will count fifty pairs, regardless of whether this is the case or not. As you can imagine, this presents obvious challenges at a later stage when products are out of stock and your operations have to work at twice their capacity to get orders sent out in a reasonable time.
We have even seen eCommerce warehouse managers fight the case for simply pressing receive against a purchase order shown on a screen. Yes, it would be faster to just say everything has been delivered but it is suicidal for your warehouse's reputation.
So how can this mistake be eradicated?
There are two things you can do to ensure an efficient goods in process:
1) Make your goods in operators receive goods in blind. Don't tell them what you are expecting against a PO (purchase order). That way, they are only recording exactly what you have received. Any goods in mistakes can then be eliminated before they become a problem for your operation and result in exceptions further down the line.
2) Use a barcode scan for each individual item. People make mistakes, if products are arriving barcode labelled, scanning them will ensure 100% accuracy, safeguarding against any potential hiccups.
Author: Jonathan Bellwood