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The receiving and the "return" goods functions share some similarities and can utilize similar put-away techniques and software interfaces.
During receiving, inbound product is usually matched against purchase orders, expected receipts and advanced shipping notices (ASNs). Depending on the unit and quantity of products being received and the receipt verification requirements, different methods are available to receive the goods. To minimize receiving labor, the correct software and hardware needs to be deployed, such as:
- PC based receiving of goods with a hand-held scanner at a fixed workstation
- RF based receiving of palletized goods using fixed RF antennas mounted at each dock door
- RF based receiving of goods by mobile workers using handheld scanners at any dock location
- Voice based receiving of goods by mobile workers at any dock location
- Automated receiving using conveyors and fixed scanners to capture product bar code or RFID tag information
Receiving software can be configured to accommodate receipt of shipments between facilities, blind receipts and customer returns as well as normal order receiving.
Receiving Returned Goods
Customer returns usually require matching the goods to RMAs and inspecting them to ensure the goods meet the criteria for return authorization. Returns can then be put back into stock, scrapped or sent to the manufacturer for credit. Several different technologies are available to handle the re-stocking scenario:
- Put-to-light technology to return items to the appropriate storage or picking location
- Put-to-voice technology to re-store the items
- Manual sorting and storage to return the items to bulk containers
- Putting (returning) systems to return the items to their appropriate location in carousels and similar devices
- For larger quantities of goods with high return rates, a small item sortation system may be appropriate for restocking
Integrated Systems Design can provide the equipment and software necessary to minimize the labor involved with each of these functions and methods. If your facility needs to automate or improve its receiving or return process, contact us for a survey and an estimate that's tailored to your business needs.