When reviewing your operational performance, grade yourself on how your business rates in the following best practice areas:
- Does the receiving clerk keep a receiving log, indicating dock activity for each shipment by date? This log can prove valuable for reference purposes by purchasing, accounting, and in filing claims with carriers and suppliers.
- Before unloading a truck, does the receiving clerk check to make sure that the shipment belongs at your dock? That it is at the right branch location? That the purchase order number is valid?
- Does your receiving clerk sign the delivery bill properly? Is the document dated and signed each and every time? Is the number of pieces or pallets indicated on the bill physically verified before the bill is signed for that exact amount? Is any visible or potential concealed damage noted on the bill? Is the clerk taking advantage of STC (“said to contain”) when the bill indicates a piece count on stretch-wrapped pallets that are difficult to count?
- Do the unloaded shipments sit on the dock for hours or days before they are checked in and put away?
- Are receiving discrepancies noted clearly by line item on the packing list? Is the packing list signed and dated by the individual checking in the shipment?
- Do return goods lay around collecting dust? Is there a clearly understood procedure for documenting why these items were returned? Is someone assigned to process the correct paperwork and send the item back to the supplier for credit?
2. Material handling
- Are aisles free of congestion, allowing forklifts and carts to move about?
- Is the next receipt being prepared for ahead of time?
- Are bin locations being used to locate product?
- Can the warehouse pass the “Temp Test? (The ability to bring in a new hire or temporary employee and ensure that this individual is productive within two the three hours.)
- Is cycle counting being performed with any consistency? With challenges like multiple storage of overstock locations, congested aisles, and a warehouse without bin locations, many distributors make the mistake of giving up on cycle counting, citing that it is a waste of time.