The design and scope of the goods receipt are relevant for the performance of a warehouse. If the goods receipt is incorrectly planned or poorly organized, this can lead to disruptions in operations. In the business process of goods receipt, articles are identified and first checked visually for completeness and damage. Articles are then recorded and re-labelled if necessary. After a successful incoming goods inspection, the goods are posted and forwarded for storage.

The goods receipt of a warehouse usually consists of the following components:

  • Ramps
  • Gates
  • Staging areas
  • Functional surfaces (e.g. for checks and load securing)

Tasks of Goods Receipt

Typical tasks taken over from goods receipt are, for example:

  • Checking the goods for identity, quantity and quality
  • Intermediate storage until completion of incoming goods inspection
  • Unloading delivery vehicles
  • Unpacking and sorting the packages
  • Marking of the goods
  • Booking the goods

The goals of a successful goods receipt phase are to create short lead times, to keep space requirements and employee retention as low as possible and to achieve high process quality.

Goods Receipt – Identification and status processing

When goods are delivered, various preparatory work must be carried out during goods receipt. This takes place in the process steps Identification and Status Processing.

Identification via the goods receipt notification

At goods receipt, the goods are identified in a multi-step process. As a rule, it is possible to set up an article master (coming from the commercial system) so that the basic data of the article is already known to the system. As a result of the close interaction between the logistics computer and a superimposed commercial level, there is usually preliminary information about the incoming goods – an advice note.

The better the data basis at goods receipt, the faster the process can be completed.
  1. If a goods receipt notification is missing, an internal notification is usually created (manually) in order to ensure that the other two cases are handled in the same way.
  2. If a summary goods receipt notification can be used, the identification phase is limited to entering the data for each storage unit (SU, for example, pallet, carton) and labelling the SU in accordance with the system. The assigned storage location no longer necessarily has to be printed on such a label, since the assignment can also be carried out with mobile terminals, e.g. only when picked up by a forklift.
  3. In the best case, the sender notifies the LE data in advance. At goods receipt, the already labelled SUs only have to be scanned with a bar code reader. The prerequisite is agreement on numbering and bar-coding that can be interpreted by both partners (→ EAN/CCG: NVE “Nummer Versandeinheit” / SSCC “serial shipping container code”).

Status Processing in Goods Receipt

In status processing, the description of the goods is further refined at goods receipt. Some of the steps involved can also take place after the goods have been put away (for example, quality release after evaluation of a sample).
The linked tasks vary extremely depending on the respective industry. The range extends from “non-existent” to comprehensive quality management and customs processing for the collection of uncleared foreign goods. The collection of returns alone comprises any number of complex processes that usually require close integration with the commercial system (customer and invoice data required).

Goods Receipt – Key Figures

Profitability, productivity and quality of incoming goods can be assessed based on corresponding warehouse key figures.

From this process, the delivery times, the number of articles and the distribution of articles to different destinations are important for the control center.

Measurement of goods receipt targets

The key figures for the following transactions play a role in measuring the goods receipt targets:

  • Number of items accepted
  • goods receiving time
  • land use
  • work progress
  • Quality of incoming goods

The recipients of the key figures are

  • the logistics manager,
  • the goods receipt manager and
  • other employees who play a role in goods receipt.

Goods receipt in the accounting department

The goods receipt is not only an intralogistics but also an accounting process. Receiving wares at goods receipt means that the company’s stock is increased and capital gets tied up. The accounting department requires corresponding documents for these postings, which are available in the form of delivery notes or incoming invoices.


Goods receipt is a business process in intralogistics that affects the performance of a warehouse. Expected and unexpected deliveries (orders/returns) are received and prepared for further processes such as storage. Intralogistically, this includes the sub-steps of identification and status processing, and in accounting terms, collection. When receiving goods, it is important on the one hand to have sufficient control to ensure trouble-free subsequent processes, but on the other hand to keep throughput times and personnel deployment low in the interests of economic efficiency. For this purpose, there are goods receipt targets, the achievement of which can be measured and checked using key figures.

After the business process “goods receipt”, the process “putaway” follows. You can find information on this under Putaway – process steps.

Information on grouping or division of individual parts under Consolidation and Deconsolidation

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