Develop a Strong Receiving Process as Your Business Grows

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If you run a very small business, then dealing with vendors may not be a complicated affair. Perhaps you or your assistant have no difficulty carving out the time to receive a shipment without going through a long series of steps. Delivery drivers don’t want to waste time, so simplicity benefits them too.

The problem is, as your business grows, your receiving needs grow too. Maybe you’re receiving shipments more frequently, or receiving larger quantities. Your receiving process must be absolutely accurate in order to avoid losses. However small your business, you need to establish efficient receiving workflows.

Consequences of Not Having a Good Receiving Process

Receiving errors can be a major – if not the primary – cause of “shrinkage.” Some receiving shrinkage comes from processing errors rather than physical theft. Either way, the numbers will be skewed and possibly cause you to make decisions you wouldn’t if they had been accurate.

Shrink and inaccuracy aren’t the only consequences of having overly complicated or manually intensive receiving processes. Your relationships with vendors could become severely strained. The Walmarts of the world may not worry about losing vendors, but for smaller independent retailers, it can be a real possibility.

Are You Over-Managing to Avoid Negligible Losses?

Suppose you run a small, independent grocery and have a receiving process that is complex and hands-on. Your ice vendor would like to come in, fill the ice box, see the receiving clerk, and get paid. But your process requires that they first find your receiving manager, then pull the truck to the rear door, have every cart hand-counted by receiving workers, then find the receiving manager again, have the manager verify the ice box is full, record the vendor information, provide receipt copies, and then have the vendor sign back out. Sure, you won’t “lose” any ice, but think of the resources you have spent receiving a product that’s cheap and requires no additional work.

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Overly complex receiving processes can be overkill for regular or simple receiving scenarios.

Tailoring the Receiving Process to the Product

With the right receiving workflow and the right workflow software, however, you can tailor the receiving process to the product or product class. High-end items like big-screen televisions might need more touchpoints in the receiving process, while low-value items can be simpler and involve fewer people. Your ice vendor could, for example, fill the box, record the numbers on a tablet, and have the bill automatically emailed. A shipping clerk could check shipments to ensure accuracy and not have to spend a lot of time tracking down every last cube of ice.

Maintaining Strong Relationships with Vendors

A receiving workflow can strengthen your relationships with vendors. They will know that you value efficiency and that your efficiency benefits them by allowing them to make their other deliveries in a timely manner.

When your workflow software is mobile-friendly, any receiving clerk can be ready to process receipt of products instantly. When high-value items are delivered, automatic checks and balances can consistently ensure accuracy. You’ll have fewer vendors backed up waiting to have goods unloaded and receiving personnel who aren’t weighed down with Byzantine processes and paperwork that must be manually tracked.

PerfectForms is powerful workflow software that is flexible, and secure enough to be put to work managing your receiving processes with efficiency and accuracy. It is designed so non-technical users can create custom online forms and workflows that are mobile-friendly and secure. The people who actually use the workflows day in and day out can design them to perfectly meet their needs. You won’t have to rely on someone else’s idea of what a receiving workflow should look like because yours can be designed exactly the way you need it to be. We invite you to watch our demo video and see for yourself how our workflow software can power business processes throughout your organization.