Receiving freight may seem like a simple process but if not done correctly could have a significant financial impact on your company. You may be surprised to know that most warehouse inventory errors occur during receiving. Traditionally, order pickers and shipping has been considered the most labor intensive activities in a warehouse operation and thus deserving more attention than receiving. However, receiving is a function that can directly affect your bottom line if errors are made.
Think about it. If a mistake is made during the receiving process it can negatively affect your entire supply chain. Inaccuracies in counting, or failure to report damaged or missing items means your business will be paying for goods they did not receive, or cannot use, which affects your bottom line on an ongoing basis.
One of the most overlooked aspects of receiving is the documentation. Too many times workers rush through unloading the trailer and they fail to check for accuracy and damage. They simply sign the delivery receipt and move on to their next task.
The importance of taking the few extra minutes to inspect your product cannot be stressed enough. If your shipment was received with less pieces than expected, note that on the delivery receipt. If your product is damaged, be sure to document the specifics as well. If the box appears damaged, you must open the box and inspect the product before the driver leaves. Signing a delivery receipt “subject to inspection” is meaningless. If you fail to note any discrepancies on the delivery receipt prior to the driver leaving your dock, you jeopardize your ability to be compensated by the carrier for the loss.
In order to file a claim, you will need to set the product aside for possible inspection by the carrier. You will also want to take pictures of the damage and determine the cost to either repair or replace the product. By law a carrier must acknowledge a claim within 30 days and then pay, settle or decline within 120 days. Be persistent in your follow up, but also be patient.
Lastly, when shipping outbound to your customers, educate them on these few simple steps to follow while unloading your product, as there is nothing worse than to have to explain to them that their claim has been declined because proper procedure was not followed.