Receiving Process

Think of your business as the whole stage in a play. While selling your products or services is the main stage, there are a lot of things to do in the backstage. There are processes that you need to keep in mind in order to run it smoothly. One is the Receiving Process. Once you received your ordered goods from your vendors or suppliers, you don’t just right away confirm that you have received it. Failure to follow the receiving process thoroughly may incur losses to your business. I’ll elaborate so let’s talk about the whole process here.

The 3 Stages of Receiving Process

Whether you’re on your own or you have a receiving department or team to handle this operation, there are three things that you have to keep in mind. These are receiving, inspecting, and acceptance.


This is the first stage but not entirely the whole process. This is the act of accepting the products from your supplier through their shipment team. But there are key factors you must keep in mind in this stage.

  • Signing and accepting the delivery – before signing the delivery documents from the supplier or shipping company, the receiving team should do the following:
    • Confirm the order.
    • Check packaging condition.
    • Create an initial packing list and tally it from the supplier’s list. Also, send it to the appropriate person in the company. 

The receiving team should refuse a shipment if the packing appears damaged, or if they are unable to confirm the order. If the delivery doesn’t match the supplier’s packing list, they must contact the supplier.

  • Recording – copies of the initial packing list, shipment documents, and any other documents created during this stage shall be sent and recorded by the person in charge. This is important because the department takes physical possession and legal ownership of the shipment, and also for future usage. 


Upon receiving, inspect the goods. First, the team needs to confirm if the delivered products match the description of the order such as quantity, size, color, model number, unit of measurement, etc. Next, check product conditions. It has to be in perfect condition with no damages, functional, and operable. Check the expiration date of products, especially for perishable goods. Lastly, the team should confirm the existence of delivery documentation such as certificates, packing lists, etc.

Other things to keep in mind during the inspection:

  • Product substitution of the ordered products without approval should be denied.
  • Over shipments, from the amount ordered, should be denied.
  • Partial deliveries without notification ahead or acknowledgment should be for discussion with the purchasing team and the supplier.
  • Mismatched of the number of packages or items should be written in the shipment documentation before signing. As well as any visual damages.
  • Retain shipping cartons for inspection in case of damage claims after signing the received form.
  • Concealed damages should be reported right away to the shipping company and the supplier.


This is the last stage of the receiving process. Here, I’ll tell you what to do with goods that got denied. 

  • Notify SupplierNotify the supplier or purchasing agents in a timely manner about the defective goods, over shipment, and any other non-conformance to avoid a loss incurred to the company.  
  • Secured Area for Rejected Products – Store defective product in a separately from your inventory before shipping back the supplier.
  • Credit or Refund for Products Return – There should be legal and clearly stated terms and conditions in case of credit or refund requests that have been accepted in the contract by both buyer and supplier. 


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