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You Might Have a Bad Warehouse If…The Special Place Isn’t So Special

By Kate Vitasek | 03/19/2012 | 5:00 AM

This week’s bad warehouse blog is one related to goods with receiving issues that create unnecessary and costly delays and backlogs.

This could happen at any warehouse because as it is fairly common. It happens when product comes into receiving, has some sort of issue—for instance mis-markings or damage—and thus is moved over to a “special place.” It’s not uncommon for it to take more than a week to clear the product from that special place and in some cases I’ve seen backlogs of up to three months. Loading dock

That kind of delay can’t be tolerated in a best practice warehouse: it’s inefficient and costly for all concerned. It’s virtually the first thing out of the WERC Best Practices Guide’s gate—“the basic function of the receiving and inspection process is to take responsibility for the inbound material, validate the material received to the purchase order (PO), check for any damage to the material received and complete any required material inspections. Getting it right when you receive material will reduce headaches in downstream processes.”

Inefficiencies on the receiving dock mean extra costs, such as trailer detention fees, and there are also hidden costs from an organized receiving dock. The guide continues, “It is not uncommon that materials are lost or misplaced in the rush, that receiving transactions are not completed or errors are made, and in the confusion materials are moved when they should not.”

A temporary holding area for product with issues should be exactly that: temporary. It should not disappear into a special place because that will only create special headaches.

I really love your feedback - and love your contributions to share those bad warehouse stories to help educate the profession on what NOT to do, and maybe what to do if you’re not doing it.

If you've got an example of a bad warehouse practice, send me your story and photo(s) to [email protected]. If I feature your example in one of my blogs, WERC will send you a free copy of the WERC Warehousing & Fulfillment Process Benchmark & Best Practices Guide (a $160 value).

Your submission can be anonymous if you like so you don't get your boss or company in trouble! I'll be collecting examples all year and the winner will receive a free WERC Warehouse Certification Assessment by Supply Chain Visions, a $10,000 value. The runner up will win a free conference registration to the WERC conference (a $1,375 value).”

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