The first stage in the e-commerce fulfillment process is warehouse receiving, which involves receiving, unloading, and storing e-commerce merchandise at a warehouse or fulfillment center.
The receiving process is critical when it comes to running an efficient warehouse operation. Having an effective warehouse receiving system in place makes inventory management easier and more cost-effective.
How a company receives inventory at a warehouse affects other aspects of the retail supply chain, such as inventory management, picking, packing, and shipping. Receiving is often called the lynchpin process of warehousing, as it takes place before all other processes. If it is not functioning at peak efficiency, it has a negative influence on all downstream processes.
The Receiving Process
Several crucial tasks must be completed accurately throughout the receiving process to guarantee that the correct products and quantities are delivered and kept. Here is a rundown of a typical warehouse reception procedure.
PREPARING FOR SHIPMENT
Before sending inventory to a warehouse, a business owner must make important decisions as to how much inventory will be sent to the warehouse, packaging requirements, and complete several formalities.
If you have chosen to partner with a 3PL for storage and inventory management, you will have to comply with their requirements and follow their procedures. In most cases, you will need to create a Warehouse Receiving Order (WRO) label and attach it to your shipment. This label has a barcode that is scanned using a Warehouse Management System (WMS), allowing the 3PL to retrieve data of the order and ensure that the receiving inventory is accurate and recorded correctly.
RECEIVING THE INVENTORY
The next step involves receiving the shipment at the warehouse’s loading dock. The warehouse personnel unload the inventory and place it in the designated area within the warehouse. Heavy cargo unloading might also involve the use of lifting equipment such as forklifts and pallet jacks. Each item and its quantity are recorded on the shipping document. The receiving staff should coordinate with the driver to address any concerns regarding the shipment. Finally, the employee and the delivery driver both sign the document confirming the delivery.
COUNTINg AND CONFIRMING
This step involves the warehouse staff inspecting the contents of each delivery as it is unloaded, checking the quantity, seal integrity, product codes/SKUs, and overall quality of the cargo to confirm that what is in the boxes match what is indicated on the WRO. If there are any inconsistencies in inventory items or amounts, the employee double-checks the inventory received and makes the necessary corrections manually on the document.
Counting and inspecting stock from your manufacturer may take a wasteful amount of time if done internally. The best way to deal with this time-consuming process is by outsourcing it to a 3PL that specializes in inventory management and uses inventory scanner systems to automate the process.
STORING THE INVENTORY
The final stage in the warehouse receiving process is organizing and arranging new goods in the warehouse once all inventory has been unloaded and examined.
Inventory can be housed on a pallet, a shelf, or a bin, depending on the size and number of items. If you work with a third-party logistics provider, it’s up to their operations team to store your inventory as efficiently as possible to reduce storage expenses. and cost-effectively as possible to reduce your carrying expenses.
Receiving and managing inventory can be a grueling process. Partnering with a 3PL is your best bet at managing this process efficiently and cost-effectively. At Fulfyld, we have a secure and well-organized process to manage your inventory. Our standard protocol is as follows:
- The customer schedules a shipment using the WMS/OMS that creates a receipt detailing what product they are sending and the quantity of each. It also features the SKU for the product and the UPC barcode.
- Upon receiving the shipment, our team verifies the product and quantity against the receipt.
- Our team then checks the goods for any damage and scans the UPC barcode to authenticate the SKU of the product.
- After verifying the shipment, we close the receipt and induct the items into the inventory where they are kept, ready to be shipped once an order for a product/SKU is placed.
Here at Fulfyld, we work with different-sized businesses with unique inventory needs and provide customized solutions to cater to each need. Contact us today to get fulfillment solutions for your business!