Supply chains need to provide the Right Product at the Rigth service at the Right cost (quality is implied).
Taking care of each process efficiency is key. Let’s dig in the Inbound Process and figure out how it can be more efficient for your company.
1) Antecipate what is going to be delivered and when
If you don’t have this type of information you should start by asking your suppliers for an expected delivery date/time. There is no supply chain planning without knowing what is coming ahead.
In addition, know what is going to be delivered. Which products? Which quantity? Your Procurement Department certainly did make an order to your supplier. Import that order into the system. This way you can associate the delivery to your order and understand how feasible your suppliers really are.
2) Register everything that enters the gate
Identify every delivery as soon as it is unloaded. Create a registry in your Warehouse Management System (WMS), indicating:
- The date of delivery;
- An ID (which should be visible on the cargo);
- Number of pallets (or other type of volume);
- Quality status (if it is damaged, take a picture and upload it into your system);
- Supplier (this can be done by the financial/administrative department);
- Document: purchase order number, invoice, bill of landing, etc (this can be done by the financial/administrative department).
This way, the supervisor/manager knows what is inside the warehouse all the time.
3) Create a plan for the receiving process
Have a plan and show it to your operators at the beginning of the shift. Let everyone knows what is expected from them every day. It is important for every person to know the goals of the day in advance, so they can focus on achieving them.
And remember: more important than a perfect plan is a plan made beforehand (avoid guess planing at all cost).
4) Analyze your data
Data is a manager’s best friend!
Collecting data and transforming it to create a better understanding of what is going well and what is not is crucial to success in the
Understand your stakeholder’s perfomance and adjust what is not going as planned. Whether it is in-house or out (for example, your suppliers, carriers, etc).
5) Choose the right system for your business
Working with a flexible, up-to-date system, that can leverage your operational efficiency is critical these days.
Don’t underestimate what the right system can do for your business success.