Inventory accuracy starts at receiving and requires an intelligent and real-time software platform. The process begins with some type of visual or more elaborate quality control check followed by reconciliation of incoming stock against shipping manifests and purchase orders.
The stock is then transported to the appropriate area in the warehouse. Pallets are directed to the pallet storage area and cases are directed to either a storage buffer or cross-docked to despatch. In applications where stock is required to support piece picking, cases are often cut open and the contents emptied into totes prior to put-away.
Stock arriving on pallets is typically handled using forklifts/pallet trucks or, in more sophisticated DCs, may be transported by an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV), pallet conveyor system or transfer car. Cases arriving block-stacked in delivery vehicles or shipping containers are normally unloaded and consolidated onto pallets, which are then staged for put-away in the DC’s pallet racking system.
Cases are typically transferred to a case storage buffer until required to fulfill orders. Many high volume distributors also utilise Dematic conveyor sortation systems to automatically cross-dock cases from receiving to shipping, with some businesses handling up to 90% of goods in this way, driving their facilities to near stockless operations and cutting out the handling steps of put-away, replenishment and picking.
Dematic Warehouse Control Software (WCS) interfaces with the user’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) to provide real-time control of the receiving process.
Key business benefits include:
- Increased productivity
- Reduced labour costs
- Improved inventory and order accuracy
- Correct FIFO stock rotation
- Enhanced customer service
- Real-time operational visibility & decision-support metrics