Shipping Accuracy: It's in the Details

Maintaining an accurate record of the product in our facilities has been one of the keys to our success. This responsibility begins at receiving. We use the ASN, or packing slip, to develop a receiver (report showing expected receipt quantities). After counting product into inventory, we compare to the expected receipt and initiate another count of items if there are discrepancies.

We put a license plate on each unit so that we can track every movement within the distribution center (DC). Typically there is one license plate per pallet. For mixed pallets inbound, we must segregate and plate each SKU, or lot, individually. In order to maintain the integrity of the plates, all movement of product within the DC must be executed with an RF gun. Picking is often a high-volume activity that requires extreme attention to detail and diligent adherence to process. After picking, we audit all outbound orders for accuracy.

The cycle count process is an area of special focus for Barrett. We are making inventory control a dedicated department and have begun expanding our cycle count program. We can initiate cycle counts by customer, by item, by location grouping or based on activity. Any adjustments require a second review. Our cycle count program includes root cause analysis of discrepancies. Tracking our accuracy level provides us with a good way to monitor progress. We are currently defining accuracy goals for 2008. We will continue to drive improvement in our performance, and set the bar for outstanding results.