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Increasing sales is everybody's objective. And so is reducing losses. Effective receiving practices, both at store level and warehouse level, will get product onto your store shelves faster and reduce out-of-stocks (and reduce lost sales). Inventory integrity is improved, also resulting in fewer out-of-stocks. And, inventory losses are minimized as you are accepting accountability only of the product that is actually received.
The Ship Notice/Manifest (Advance Ship Notice EDI 856), along with the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) in a GS1 128 Barcode (referred to as UCC-128) ensures accurate and timely receiving. The ASN receiving process is facilitated by scanning the carton level SSCC, which matches with the ASN, systematically pulling back the Purchase Order information, including Global Trade Item Number (GTIN/UPC) and quantities. ASN receiving is proven to be more accurate than manual receiving, and should be practiced whenever available unless POs or cartons are flagged for auditing. It's too easy for a clerk manually receiving product to confuse versions of similarly titled products (like the wide-screen or full-screen SKU of a DVD, or like the PS3 or Xbox SKU of a video game).
These best practices have been aggregated from retailers proven to be "best in class" and are recommended for all retailers. Examples of "best in class" policies and procedure follow.
Written policies should be established for receiving personnel either at store or dc/warehouse level. Written policies should also be established and distributed to suppliers.
Receiving of Direct Store Deliveries
Overall outline of direct store delivery process
Ensure accurate receiving and record-keeping of all Direct Store Deliveries by observing the following:
Additional procedures for regular (non-UCC-128) direct store deliveries
Additional procedures for receiving UCC-128 (ASN) deliveries
Procedures for receiving audited UCC-128 (ASN) deliveries
Procedures for receiving "closed" purchase orders
Overcoming UCC-128 Receiving Obstacles
DC Level Receiving - ASNs
Overall outline of DC level delivery process
An appointment is required for a loaded trailer to be allowed in the yard. This ensures the merchandise is being tracked, as well as ensures sufficient staff to unload the truck. Carriers request appointments and, once scheduled, are confirmed. The carrier sends the load details by Electronic Data Interchange (EDI 214).
The EDI 856 allows visibility to how much freight will be arriving to help with planning and scheduling and provides information to increase speed and accuracy by allowing the use of automated technology and for a more appropriate allocation of product to the stores.
Each received order should have been barcoded at the carton or pallet level using a UCC-128 (also known as SSCC-18) to identify the order and to tie it to the ASN transaction set. The ASN transaction set is EDI'd from the supplier to receiver as soon as the order is invoiced and shipped, and is received electronically prior to the physical delivery of the order.
During the receiving process shipping cartons are scanned, the barcode is matched with the ASN transaction set and an internal pick label is applied (automated or manual) to the carton. This carton is then shipped to a store or onto the storage racks. Accurate, readable barcodes and the EDI 856 are necessary in order for the carton to flow efficiently.