10 Tips To Improve Your Warehouse Receiving Process

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Warehouse receiving operations are a critical part in maintaining the integrity of inventory systems and ensuring the availability of products for customers.

Without an effective receiving system, items fall through the cracks, are not counted, are not adequately inspected, and fail to provide evidence of problems with vendors that affect profitability.

1. CREATE A RECEIVING SCHEDULE.

Knowing what volume and materials are coming in and when can directly impact inventory accuracy, resource allocation and financial accountability.

2. LEVEL THE SCHEDULE BY LABOR REQUIRED TO UNLOAD THE CONTENTS.

Labor costs can eat up anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of the average company’s warehousing budget.

Leveling the inbound receiving schedule (and ensuring shippers adhere to it) helps warehouse managers efficiently match workload demand with workforce supply, as well as monitor and improve unload timing performance.

3. STAGE TRAILERS AT THE DOCK DOORS CLOSEST TO THE NEXT STEP OF THE RECEIVING PROCESS.

This may seem like a simple concept, but you’d be surprised to know that each year the average warehouse worker needlessly walks the distance of NYC to Chicago.

Remember: if a trailer of product is going to the south side of the warehouse, that trailer needs to be staged at the south side of the warehouse!

4. CLEARLY LABEL RECEIVING LANES.

Visual management presents information in an easy-to-understand way by using visual signals instead of text, so that workers can follow them easily.

We’ve experienced countless examples when a simple visual in a warehouse made all the difference!

5. PERFORM TIME STUDIES AND DOCUMENT STANDARD WORK.

Standard work is the safest, easiest and most effective way of doing a job. As the basis for best practices and waste identification, it should be documented and continuously improved.

PRO TIP: Standard work is an opportunity for the people doing the work to have the responsibility of designing,
understanding, following, and improving upon it!