Nov 29, 2022 6 Min READ

What Is Warehouse Quality Control & How to Implement It 

6 Min READ
What Is Warehouse Quality Control & How to Implement It 

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Warehouse quality control is a method of monitoring and evaluating the quality of your warehouse and its operations. It ensures that all work is being done according to the standard set by your business and can help you reduce errors, improve warehouse efficiency, and save money.

More specifically, warehouse quality control includes the processes of ensuring that products are received and sent out in a safe, timely, and consistent manner. It involves checking the condition of shipments before they leave the warehouse to ensure your customers’ consumers’ (if you are a third-party logistics (3PL) warehouse) receive only the best quality goods. 

By implementing warehouse quality control procedures, you can identify defective items earlier in the supply chain before they reach your customers' consumers’ hands. This helps keep the brand reputation intact by providing consumers with high-quality products every time they buy from your customers.

Quality control is an essential part of any business, and without it, you risk losing money, time, and trust from your customers. It can help you identify potential problems with your products before they’re sent out, saving time and money as a result. 

Warehouse Quality Control vs. Warehouse Quality Assurance 

There are two terms often used interchangeably: quality control and quality assurance. Both terms refer to the same concept—measuring the effectiveness of your warehouse's processes—but quality control focuses on measuring performance from batch to batch instead of on an individual product level like quality assurance does. If you have several pallets going out on a particular day, quality control would look at those shipments as one batch; if there were problems with any single pallet within that group, they'd be counted as part of quality control rather than separate incidents in quality assurance records. 

Who is responsible for quality control in the warehouse? 

The answer to this question is not as obvious as it seems. The warehouse manager has the ultimate responsibility for quality control, and he or she should be involved in every step of the process. However, in most warehouses, some employees are assigned specific responsibilities related to quality control. For example: 

  • The receiving team inspects goods and equipment before they enter the warehouse. They look for any damage that may have occurred during transport and identify any items that need replacement or repair. If a product has been damaged during shipping or storage, it must be returned so that it can be inspected by the manufacturer or vendor before resale (if possible). 
  • Workers on an assembly line use visual inspection techniques to check their own work area for defects or malfunctions in machinery or tools used by other workers in that section of production—for example, checking whether there are any scratches on packaging materials before they go into boxes destined for customers; whether there are any loose wires inside computer mice; etcetera.

Warehouse Quality Control Processes and Procedures

Warehouse quality control processes are the procedures used to ensure that products meet quality standards. Quality control is a systematic way of monitoring and measuring the quality of products so that you can take steps to improve it if necessary. It’s important for all companies in the warehousing and distribution industry because they want to make sure consumers are happy with the goods they receive when they order something online. 

Warehouse quality control processes can be manual or automated—depending on what kind of business you run and how much money you want to spend on technology equipment. 

As you begin to implement your warehouse quality control process, it's important to have a solid understanding of the following terms: 

  • Quality Control Processes: How the QA department will be involved in all elements of the production process. This includes quality control planning, product design, manufacturing, shipping and receiving processes. 
  • Quality Control Procedures: A step-by-step guide on how each part of the warehouse operations should be performed to ensure customer orders are processed correctly. These documents should include instructions for how employees should interact with machines and materials during each phase of production (for example, checklists and flowcharts). They may also include information about what kind of supplies or tools they'll need to complete their tasks effectively (for example, checklists).

Keeping these documents up to date is essential because they provide management with an organized way of tracking data such as machine utilization rates and worker efficiency levels over time so they can identify areas where improvements could be made (such as finding ways to reduce waste). If something goes wrong with one consumer order, it's easy enough to just look back at this document without having someone explain what happened again.

The Business Impact of High-Quality Assurance 

Quality assurance can involve anything from internal testing to customer feedback and should be in place at all levels of your business. Once you have implemented a quality assurance plan, you'll be able to gauge the effectiveness of your processes and identify where problems may occur so that they can be fixed before they cause any harm to your company’s reputation or bottom line. 

Logistics are crucial to manufacturers because they allow for a prominent level of quality control coupled with immediate adaptations and greater management over processes. 

Lost or damaged items and excessive hold-ups damage any business’s reputation. Not only the 3PL but also the company partnering with the logistics company will take a serious hit from consumer dissatisfaction. 

Efficient logistics lets a manufacturer, company, or 3PL quickly spot the problem and narrow down the issue to locate the source and implement corrections. 

For 3PLs, having a strong tech stack not only lowers labor costs, improves service level agreements (SLAs), and closes the gap of mis-shipments—utilizing a system that enforces quality control and brings efficiencies to your pick and pack operations can help you build a stronger foundation with your customers. This means they can trust that you will provide strong quality control while ensuring you hit or exceed your targeted SLAs. 

How to Implement a Warehouse Quality Control Process  

A warehouse quality control process can be implemented in several ways. This section will explain the steps that are necessary to set up a successful warehouse quality control process and how to manage it once it's up and running. 

First, you'll need to hire or assign full-time quality control team members who are responsible for checking product quality, analyzing fulfillment speed, reviewing shipping and handling processes, and ensuring that all these things work together in an effective way. Next, you should leverage technology as much as possible: use automated systems and software such as Extensiv 3PL Warehouse Manager that help streamline each step of your warehouse operations and workflows, so your employees don't have to spend extra time on manual tasks like data entry or error checking. 

Here are a few things to consider as part of your process: 

  • Inspect the pallets. Look for unevenness, broken boards, delamination, and moisture damage. If your pallet is damaged, report it to your manager immediately so they can act on it. 
  • Check items on each pallet for damage or defects. If you find a problem with an item on the pallet, remove it from the batch and send it back to be corrected before shipping again. If you don't see anything wrong with an item though, place it back onto the pallet before moving onto another one. 
  • Make sure all boxes are properly labeled with their contents' descriptions and SKUs (stock keeping units). This way if there are any issues with a shipment later down line (like returns), then everyone knows what was originally shipped out.

How Extensiv Supports Better Warehouse Quality Control

Warehouse quality control is part of the overall quality assurance process for an organization, and it's a vital component in ensuring that your warehouse is running smoothly. To ensure you're meeting these high standards and avoiding all the pitfalls that come with inferior quality control, Extensiv can help you develop a comprehensive plan. 

3PLs can play an integral role in maintaining high levels of warehouse quality control (QC). We'll work with your team to develop a strategy that considers all aspects of your business—from freight management to inventory management—and implements best practices throughout each step of the process. 

With our help, you won't have to worry about mispicks or chargebacks because Extensiv creates processes that eliminate any unnecessary moving parts to improve efficiency while maintaining standards. 

If you're interested in learning more about the consulting services offered at Extensiv, please send an email to consulting@extensiv.com.

Warehouse Quality Control Software Solutions 

Warehouse quality control software solutions help warehouse managers keep track of inventory and make sure everything is in its proper place. Warehouse management system (WMS) software is a type of inventory management software that helps streamline the movement of goods in and out of the warehouse. Some WMS systems also allow you to monitor product quality through RFID tracking or other means. 

The best warehouse management system will allow you to easily manage all aspects of your business through metrics so that deliveries go smoothly and consumers are satisfied with their purchases. A good WMS can help reduce costs by lowering labor costs for manual jobs like picking items from shelves or moving them around on conveyor belts during packing operations. 

Have a comprehensive quality control process in place that enables you to catch errors immediately and prevents them from happening again. 

To ensure the quality of your warehouse, it's important to have a comprehensive quality control process in place. This ensures that any errors are caught immediately and can be corrected before they happen again. A good quality control process should include: 

  • Setting specifications for inbound materials (how many pieces per unit, etc.) 
  • Creating a list of acceptable suppliers 
  • Inspecting incoming products before they enter the warehouse

Implementing this process will help you catch mistakes early on.

Conclusion 

If you want to implement quality control in your warehouse, it’s important that you know what the process entails and how to go about doing it. Quality control can help you ensure that products are always shipped out as they were ordered, without any errors or mistakes. This will not only improve customer satisfaction but also boost sales by ensuring that consumers receive exactly what they want in a timely manner. 

To learn more about Extensiv and our WMS solutions, schedule a demo today!

Warehouse Quality Control FAQs

Do you really need to implement quality controls in a warehouse?

To ensure that you protect your brand and that consumers always get the best products, you should implement a quality control plan. It's important to note that it's not only about whether the product looks good and how well it works, but also if it meets legal standards and regulations.

How can 3PLs prioritize warehouse quality assurance?

The best way for a 3PL to prioritize warehouse quality assurance is by hiring a dedicated individual or team for quality assurance and/or to implement a WMS that allows staff to spend more time on quality-related tasks.

What are some basic quality control methods?
Here are some basic warehouse quality control methods that you can use: 
  • A warehouse inspection checklist that is regularly updated with real-time data (e.g., scans) 
  • A well-defined process for receiving and checking shipments against the requests made by customers 
  • Quality control audits conducted after each shift, which are then reflected in the overall SOP (standard operating procedures)

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