6 steps of the goods receipt process

  • 20/06/2024
  • 11 minutes

Achieving operational efficiency is one of the great purposes of any business. In the logistics sector, this goal becomes even more relevant, since the goods receiving process requires a lot of attention and agility to ensure good productivity for the company, besides being the phase that initiates the flow of materials. 

When management is not done properly, the possibility of errors occurring is high, reflecting on inventory and harming the productivity of the facility. For this reason, it is important to know the activities that this process covers, its scope and the existing strategies to improve them.

With that in mind, we will explain in this article how the goods receipt process works and what are its main stages. Keep reading and learn more about it!

What is and how does the process of receiving materials work?

The receipt of goods consists of a set of activities necessary to receive the products purchased from suppliers. That is, it is the process that happens as soon as the goods purchased are delivered to the company.

Briefly, these activities boil down to properly receiving, unloading, checking, storing and directing the products. Although it seems like a simple process, it is necessary to perform these tasks with a lot of attention.

After all, unloading products incorrectly can harm productivity and business finances, such as non-conformities between the negotiated price and that reported in the invoice.

It is worth noting that the process may vary according to the company and its characteristics. However, the main objective is to ensure supply chain supply. With this, the company avoids problems with inventory rupture. In addition, the operational process is directly linked to the quality and level of customer service provided.

What are the steps in the goods receipt process?

The receipt of goods is something that goes beyond the entry of orders derived from suppliers. It is a process that involves several tasks, as we will see below.

It’s worth noting that there isn’t just one strategy for controlling and receiving goods, as each organization may feel the need to maintain its own parameters depending on its area of operation. 

Below are some important steps that need to be in your merchandise receiving process.

1. Purchase request and delivery schedule

When we talk about purchase requests, it’s an internal procedure, usually carried out by the warehouse or the production department itself, when they observe that the stock is below or close to the pre-defined minimum level.

In the case of delivery, it must be carried out according to the company’s need. Therefore, it is necessary to negotiate with the supplier a date that is favorable for both parties.

2. Identification of the Products

As soon as the goods arrive, it is important to check if the products ordered are in fact according to the schedule and planning. It is worth remembering that this identification facilitates the location, traceability and organization of the stock.

Through it, it is possible to separate the products into their different stages of production and direct them to the storage location.

3. Conference of notes

Another important step is the verification of the invoices and the items described, which can be divided into quantitative and qualitative inspection. This ensures that every order placed with the supplier has indeed been delivered appropriately, especially if there are damages from transportation. 

Once verified, the information is directed to the data collector, which checks the products, records them in the inventory, and forwards them to the picking department.

4. Definition of discharge method

In general, in the order stage we already have the definition of the method of receiving products, but this is not a rule. Thus, the company must determine the best means of unloading the items, ensuring agility in the process and not damaging any goods.

We emphasize that the loading and unloading of products need to be scheduled and planned, with a study of the location where the unloading will take place, especially considering traffic restrictions.

5. Malfunction check

Another indispensable aspect in the receipt of goods is the inspection of defects or malfunctions. Performing this check helps in loss control, cost management, and process optimization. If any item is found not to meet the desired specifications, it’s best to reject the order and return the shipment to the supplier. 

A great alternative for this control is to use a checklist software, which allows creating relationships of dependency between items. For example, when answering yes to a question, another related question will arise, to get more information about the merchandise.

6. Storage and organization in stock

Once the verification of the received products is done, the final point to aid in the process is the organization and storage of the goods in pre-determined locations. 

Goods need to be separated by categories and/or labeled. This can reduce time wastes and inventory losses. In this way, it is possible to optimize the available spaces and facilitate the location of goods when necessary.

What are the precautions we should take when receiving goods?

Integration and transparency in all company operations are fundamental issues throughout the business’s supply chain. In this way, when well executed, they simplify the way of managing goods, besides becoming strategic and structuring points of the company’s actions.

In this sense, some basic precautions are essential as they aim to simplify and enhance business management, with the goal of reducing the failures that could reach the end consumer.

Finding the best suppliers is just the first step to success. For the receipt of products, logistics must be carried out with efficiency and agility to avoid adversities in future stages.

In addition, we have listed some tips that make all the difference in the process, see what they are:

  • invest in employee training;
  • make a good planning and scheduling of delivery;
  • bet on the integration of departments;
  • maintain a partnership with your suppliers;
  • automate the verification of purchase orders;
  • learn how to conduct a quantitative conference;
  • make a qualitative assessment of the goods;
  • know the importance of acting strategically in your business;
  • incorporate technological solutions into your daily life.

In addition to these tips, adopting a Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a great alternative for the goods receiving process, as it can manage activities without interfering with other warehouse operations and without disrupting inventory control.

As you can see, the stages of the goods receipt process are extremely relevant for organizations. Without a doubt, the proper management of these operations brings positive results to the business, eliminating bottlenecks and a series of problems. So, don’t waste time and put everything into practice!