Warehouse Receiving Process

Warehouse Receiving: Process and Procedure for Optimization

By Team TranZact | Published on Feb 22, 2023

If you're a business that deals in products and not services, the warehouse receiving process is a vital part of your operations. This further applies to small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing sector. An efficient and robust warehouse receiving process greatly helps maintain accurate inventory levels which leads to customer satisfaction and ultimately increases your bottom line.

In this blog post, we'll be discussing various facets of the warehouse management receiving process in India and how SMEs in the manufacturing sector can benefit from it.

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What Is Warehouse Receiving?

The warehouse receiving process is the process of receiving, inspecting, and recording all the products that are delivered to your warehouse. It's the first step in your supply chain management process and is pivotal in ensuring that the right products are delivered in the right quantities, at the right time. The first step of this process is your supplier delivering the goods to your warehouse and it continues until the products are safely stored and accounted for in your warehouse inventory system.

Let's look into each step of the warehouse receiving process in a little more detail. When the products are received from your supplier, they are inspected for any kind of damage and discrepancies. This includes multiple checks for quality, quantity, and overall condition of the products. They are also further checked to ensure they match their respective purchase order and packing slip. Any slip-ups here need to be immediately communicated to the supplier and the purchasing department.

The next step of the warehouse receiving process is very crucial as it involves logging into the warehouse inventory management system and updating the inventory parameters along with the locations for the said products. Once that's done, the products are properly stored and you have the exact location for each of them. This also ensures they are stored properly and therefore minimizes the chances of any damage.

Standard Warehouse Receiving Process

The standard material-receiving procedure in the warehouse is a set of best practices that you must follow to ensure your products are received, inspected, recorded, and stored correctly. The process is typically divided into three large parts which are:

  • Product delivery
  • Unloading goods
  • Storage of inventory

However when broken down further, the warehouse receiving process typically includes the following steps:


This is the first step of the warehouse receiving process which takes place even before receiving the goods at your warehouse. You must follow a few checks with your supplier to ensure that when the goods are delivered, they are exactly what you wanted. Ensure you are not in a position where you need to return the goods back to your supplier and waste time.

Order receipt and verification:

The next step in the warehouse receiving process is receiving the purchase order along with the supplier's packing slip. Both these documents need to match in terms of the products and their quantities. Any slip-ups here could lead to wastage and excessive inventory, which can easily be avoided.

Physical delivery of goods:

Step three of the warehouse receiving process takes place once the documents are delivered and verified. The goods are then received and inspected for any damage and discrepancies. This includes checking, once again, if the quality, quantity, and condition of the goods match the purchase order and the packing slip. Issues found, if any, must be immediately reported to the respective purchase department.

Receiving the documents:

Once the inspection of the goods is completed, all the necessary documents need to be received and processed. This includes updating all inventory levels and location information and also the creation of receiving reports or vouchers. This is a very important step in the warehouse receiving process as it allows you to know exactly what is stored and where in your warehouse.

Storage of goods:

Once all the goods have been recorded, they proceed to be stored in their correct location. This not only ensures minimal damage to your goods but also enables easy access for efficiency.

Quality check:

A final quality check is carried out on the goods to make sure they meet the expected quality standards. This step is crucial as it ensures customers are never delivered damaged goods, something that directly affects customer satisfaction.

Final tallying:

This is yet another precautionary step in the warehouse receiving process you take in order to ensure the receiving goods match both the purchase order and the packing slip.

To sum it up, the warehouse receiving process is a multi-step process that includes receiving, inspecting, recording, and storing your goods in your warehouse. Following these steps will help you ensure customer satisfaction, minimal damages, and increased efficiency.

Benefits of Optimizing Warehouse Receiving Process

If you're looking to optimize the warehouse receiving process, there are significant advantages to doing this. Some of these key benefits of optimized warehouse receiving are -

An increase in inventory accuracy:

Having an efficient warehouse receiving process greatly helps you improve inventory accuracy. Simply ensuring the right goods are delivered in the right quantity and in good condition, helps you avoid having too much or too little stock. Therefore, saving you from unnecessary inventory costs and lost sales.

Reduction in errors:

By having a robust warehouse receiving process in place, your business can reduce errors and improve inventory accuracy. This improves the overall accuracy of your business and saves you from making any uninformed decisions.

Increase in customer satisfaction:

Fulfilling your customers' orders on time and with the correct products in good condition, does wonders for customer satisfaction. This is crucial when it comes to brand-building and a very important benefit of having a solid warehouse receiving process.

Better supplier relationships:

By having a firm grip on your inventory and addressing any issues that may arise in a timely manner, your business can greatly improve your supplier relationships. This comes in handy in a myriad of ways - one of which is to negotiate better terms for future purchases.

Reduction in labor costs:

By having an efficient warehouse receiving process in place, your business can greatly optimize the time and labor required for the delivery, inspection, and recording process.

Increase in productivity:

A warehouse receiving process helps streamline your operations, reduce the margin of error, and increase overall productivity. This also leads to a faster turnaround time.

This receiving process is critical for small and medium enterprise businesses in India. Taking the time to establish a warehouse management system may seem daunting at first, but doing this will ensure your business succeeds in the long term.

What Goes Wrong With Receiving in Many Businesses

There are plenty of common issues that you may encounter during the receiving process in the warehouse. Some of these are:

Lack of standardization:

The lack of a standardized warehouse receiving process will mean that you will find it difficult to know when your products are received, inspected, recorded, and stored.

Lack of proper documentation:

Not having the right documentation will mean you won't have complete transparency over your goods as they go through the various stages of the warehouse receiving process. This makes it difficult for you to locate your goods when you need to.

Poor communication:

A lack of a robust communication channel between the stakeholders in your warehouse receiving process - your warehouse team, purchase department, and your suppliers will impact your ability to promptly respond to customer complaints.

Lack of resources:

Not allocating the right amount of resources to implement an efficient warehouse receiving process can lead to you being understaffed, slowing your growth.

Limited technology:

Businesses may lack adequate resources in terms of technology to implement a streamlined warehouse receiving process. This means they end up choosing manual and time-consuming processes that are prone to errors.

Lack of space:

You may struggle with storage space when it comes to stocking your goods in your warehouse. This often tends to happen because goods are being stocked in the wrong place.

Other practical issues that can come up on a daily basis are -

  • Extended wait times for incoming trucks, due to dock congestion.
  • Forklift operators loading pallets prematurely, therefore causing inventory gaps.
  • Your staff not fully understanding the work processes.

How to Improve Warehouse Receiving Process?

You can improve the warehouse receiving process of your small and medium-sized business by implementing a modern-day warehouse management software which will allow you to do the following:

Standardize the process:

Implementing a solid warehouse receiving process that ensures your goods are efficiently received, recorded, and stored will ensure the reduction of mishaps and errors and increase your overall efficiency.

Document the process:

Creating systems to ensure accurate documentation is another major factor in improving your warehouse receiving process.

Communication between teams:

Another important step in the warehouse receiving process - you need to ensure that there are clear and healthy communication channels created between your warehouse team, purchase department, and suppliers. This helps address any issues in a timely manner which greatly helps increase customer servicing.

Conduct inspections:

Ensuring you have a trusted set of inspection processes in your warehouse receiving process will save you time and money. This allows you to avoid the inconvenience and expense associated with returning wrong or damaged goods after it's too late. Inventory audits are very important when it comes to detecting any inventory imbalances that may arise.

Investing in technology:

While it may first seem expensive, investing in technology in order to automate as much of the warehouse receiving process as possible, is important to increase your company's overall efficiency.

Adequate staffing:

This is another crucial factor in this process that you need to bear in mind. Your warehouse must be adequately staffed to keep up with the volume of incoming goods.

Quality control:

You must implement a quality control strategy in your receiving process to ensure everything you receive matches the highest standards for improved customer loyalty.

Training your teams:

Another important facet of the warehouse receiving process, which is sometimes overlooked, is regularly training your warehouse department and purchase department so that they have all the necessary skills to work efficiently.

Using a well-defined labeling structure:

The implementation of a well-defined labeling structure into your warehouse receiving process is one that integrates modern-day technology such as Barcodes, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, and automated pallet management systems. This gives your warehouse employees the ability to swiftly update stock information upon the arrival of goods.

Evaluate your suppliers' performance:

You should periodically evaluate your supplier performance on the basis of parameters such as order accuracy and delivery time and try to identify any issues that need fixing.

Double-check your paperwork:

It's important to have the right paperwork and documentation in place to make sure that your incoming inventory matches your purchasing order, and saves you from potential errors in your warehouse receiving process.

Implementing a digital system for all your documents, with a numbering system for each type of document, all labeled in sequential order, greatly helps your staff to verify paperwork and locate missing items if any.

Adopting a warehouse receiving process is just the first step in the right direction. As you continue to grow, these factors can help you consistently improve your warehouse receiving process, helping you build a better network and business.

Improve Warehouse Receiving With TranZact

TranZact can help your small or medium business improve your warehouse receiving process which will in turn greatly help improve the overall efficiency of your organization across departments.

A modern warehouse management tool such as TranZact can aid in more efficient planning of inbound inventory transportation to avoid overflow and surplus inventory and also foresee potential stockouts and initiate replenishment orders.

A few great features that you will stand to gain from TranZact are:

1. Live updates to keep a track of everything, at your convenience.

2. Clean and accurate documentation with automated processes, ensuring that all activities in your warehouse receiving process are correctly accounted for and stored.

3. Top-notch customer support to resolve all important issues.

4. Time-saving systems to focus more on research and development, and business growth.

5. Tracking the right metrics and monitoring the crucial distribution of data from one central dashboard.

6. One-stop connect to integrate the software with your WhatsApp or Email in order to ensure you never miss any updates.

7. 100% data security with TranZact, as it's built by a team of highly experienced engineers who understand the Indian market and can guarantee you complete security.

Scale Your Business With the Best Warehouse Receiving Process

An efficient and well-organized warehouse receiving process can help SMEs maintain accurate inventory levels, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately increase their bottom line. As a business owner, it is important to regularly evaluate this receiving process, identify areas for improvement, and implement necessary changes to streamline the process. By doing so, SMEs can ensure that they are well-positioned to handle the demands of the market and achieve long-term success!

FAQs on Warehouse Receiving

1. What is 'putaway' in the warehouse receiving?

Putaway in warehouse receiving is the process that occurs when you first receive goods from your supplier to when they're stored in their assigned location in your warehouse. Having a sound putaway system helps simplify the process of storing goods as well as reduces the risk of any goods being lost or misplaced.

2. What is pre-receiving in a warehouse?

The pre-receipt part of the warehouse receiving process helps your shipment to be marked as delivered. This is very important in warehouses that have a fairly large receiving area where shipments are often offloaded. This is an important but often overlooked part of the receiving procedures in a warehouse.

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TranZact is a team of IIT & IIM graduates who have developed a GST compliant, cloud-based, inventory management software for SME manufacturers. It digitizes your entire business operations, right from customer inquiry to dispatch. This also streamlines your Inventory, Purchase, Sales & Quotation management processes in a hassle-free user-friendly manner. The software is free to signup and gets implemented within a week.