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Inbound Process – Receiving and Putaway best practices for Oracle EBS and Oracle SCM cloud

Receiving function in a warehouse  determines the quality (shipping damages), compliance requirements, and accuracy of goods received from suppliers, customers, other organizations of the same company. If garbage comes into the warehouse, you will ship garbage out. Customer satisfaction levels will suffer as a result.

During receiving, material handlers verify the incoming goods typically against a Purchase Order or an ASN, unpack the contents, inspect the product condition, verify the quantity shipped, repackage, put into LPNs/Pallets, update the Oracle Mobile Inventory or WMS systems, print labels to direct the movement of the goods, put away the goods into inventory.

Receiving is important function because it helps a production planner understand what raw materials are available for manufacturing and when they will arrive if they are not in stock. For companies receiving the finished goods, real-time and accurate recording of receipt transactions using mobile barcode scanners helps receive sales orders without any backlogs or stockouts. When products arrive damaged, without labels, inaccurate parts, or arrive late, downstream supply chain will suffer with production delays, poor customer service levels and overall higher manufacturing and warehousing costs.

So, the overarching goal of a receiving department is to record the goods receipt information accurately in real-time at the receiving dock by using barcode scanner or mobile to update ERP systems such as Oracle EBS or Oracle Inventory Cloud in real-time.

Oracle EBS Goods Receiving Process Best Practices:

Use latest Mobile supply Chain/Inventory platforms for Oracle Inventory and WMS:

Record the goods receipt information accurately in real-time at the receiving dock by using barcode scanner or mobile to update ERP systems such as Oracle EBS or Oracle Inventory Cloud in real-time.

Solve Connectivity Issues:

If you connectivity issues at the receiving dock, your material handlers’ productivity will suffer. Solutions such as Oracle MSCA are not helpful in offline mode. You need offline first architecture that guarantees 100% of the data capture. Propel Apps’s platform allows you to be without connectivity in offline mode With our Propel Apps, “Mobile Supply chain platform“, for several hours to several days and still process all the goods receipts.

Validate Data:

Whether you are connected or in offline mode, all data must be captured and validated before updating the Oracle Inventory/WMS system. One of our customers, who uses Oracle MSCA has so many issues with poor quality data. This customer had a dedicated support.

Train Material Handlers on how to handle Damaged products, inaccurate parts, late arrivals: Help material handlers understand what they need to do when material is arrived in damaged condition, inaccurate quantities, or arrived late. You need to have prespecified operating procedures to handle these exception scenarios. With our Propel Apps, Mobile Supply chain platform, our customers can guide the material handlers on how to handle exceptions in real-time and based on Oracle EBS configuration rules.

Design Receiving process with clear goals:

For any organization that has implemented Oracle EBS inventory management or Oracle EBS WMS, goal is to shorten the put away time from receiving to staging and from staging to put away. Also, another goal for our Oracle EBS customers is, received goods must be easy to inspect and easy to be re-packaged. For some of our customers who receive lot of smaller quantity items, LPN is one of the best ways to reduce Mobile Scanning required during receiving process.

Drop Ship:

The best practice in receiving goods is not receiving at all. Look for opportunities to directly ship to your customers, DCs, and other plants. With drop ship, there is no need for receiving, inspection, moving, put away, storing, picking all the unnecessary non-value add steps.

Direct Delivery:

This is one of the routing methods supported by Oracle Inventory Management. Direct delivery allows you to see material show up in the on-hand balance right away. This is preferred to other methods because you can directly receive into inventory on-hand storage location.

UOM Optimization:

Some of our customers optimize quantity they order by matching the ordered quantity with the quantity of raw material consumption in production and quantity they ship out of the door. For example, If you are a distributor using Oracle WMS, and your customer receiving goods from you in LPNs, it is better to receive goods into an LPN. This method of receiving in LPNs and shipping LPNs reduce the packing, unpacking and packing again. Another example is, if your production process uses 1 gallon of chemical, it is better to order that chemical in gallons.

Prioritize Direct Put away (skipping receiving inspection, put away, storage, replenishment vs Direct Secondary Put Away (Skips receiving staging + inspection) vs Traditional Receiving (requires staging at receiving, inspection, put away to reserve storage, and replenishment to primary picking locations).

Advanced Shipment Notifications:

ASNs help you gain more visibility into your supply chain that in turn helps with advanced planning and respond more quickly to dynamic market conditions. ASNs will help in scheduling trucks, material handlers, equipment etc in advance.

Direct Putaway location should not be the most easiest to find. It should be based on optimization, utilization and picking optimization.

Use System Directed Put Away:

With Oracle WMS, you can can configure system directed put away tasks. The Rules engine will minimize item fragmentation, eliminate lot comingling in a locator, directing restricted items to respective restricted locators, placing items into pick optimized locators. Traditional putaway with a rules engine like Oracle WMS costs 4x more than directed put away using Oracle WMS rules.

Reduce Disputes:

noncompliant receipts must be digitally recorded with photos and condition of the materials, quantity accuracies, delivery dates. You can include this digital proof when you are communicating with the supplier.

Classify Suppliers:

Same as we classify Cycle Counts as “A”, “B” and “C”, classify suppliers on their quality standards.  All unreliable suppliers must be charged for inspection. You can use machine learning to classify suppliers. This classification information can be used in the mobile apps during barcode scanning to either manually inspect the goods or automatically route the goods for inspection process.

Automated Receiving Inspection:

Manual inspection is cumbersome and lengthy. You can take a step further and automate the inspection process using Vision System to read labels, take photos, condition, and quantities.

Exception Handling:

If locators are full, you need to record exceptions. These exceptions can trigger a custom workflow such as cycle counting. You can configure the custom workflows easily with Oracle WMS Rules engine. Triggering a cycle count when put away is not possible identifies the root cause of locator issue.

Use prepackaged LPNs:

If you are using Oracle WMS LPNs for material movements, it is ideal to pre-generate the LPNs and print them. By doing this, you can avoid the LPN generation, LPN label printing process during receiving.

Prioritize Put away with “A”, “B”, and “C”:

You do not have to put-away every item on a high priority basis. For example, fast moving items need to be put-away first so pickers won’t run out of stock. Another example is, If an item is already out of stock, it is recommended to put it away into inventory.

Put-aways must be automated to reduce errors:

You can configure Oracle WMS to generate system directed put-away tasks that determines the most optimized locators for an item. If you leave it up to the material handlers, they may make errors. With system directed putaway tasks, material handlers can scan the subinventory and locator to confirm the location of the material destination.

Prioritize Purchase Orders/ASNs:

In Propel Apps’ Mobile supply chain platform, material handlers can see which PO or ASN is overdue and which PO has higher priority items. This kind of prioritization is useful for organizations with numerous POs coming in everyday from suppliers in a short span of time. Instead of receiving any PO/ASN, prioritization will help you optimize your supply chain.

Capture Lot and Serials at Receipt:

If you are a Oracle WMS organization, you can capture Lot and Serial attributes during the receipt of goods. This feature is not available for Oracle standard purchasing.

Streamline Inbound process:

Oracle WMS Advanced Task Framework Operation plans enable you to setup material moves and process incoming material. This framework streamlines material flow, minimizes travel required, and significantly increases operational efficiency.

Mobile Label Printing:

Gone are the days of centralized printing with Oracle EBS business flow configuration. Warehouse managers want to setup printers quickly with the flexibility of a decentralized printing, design labels quickly and print labels when needed in a decentralized manner without depending on Oracle EBS at the corporate locations.

Reverse Logistics Optimization:

It is impossible to receive materials in a right condition, right quantities at the right times. You may need to return the material back to the supplier. Equip your material handlers with a PO/ASN based returns app in which they can scan a purchase order or an ASN to return the material quickly from staging area to the right supplier instantly. 

Use Cross-Docking:

You can configure Oracle WMS cross docking when you have backordered goods and new supply arrives either from manufacturing (WIP completion) or Purchase Order/ASN based receipt, system can directs you to a cross docking location. Cross docking eliminates the need for staging, put-away and picking.