1x1 of Outbound Logistics: Simply explained

In the warehouse, the outbound department ensures that ordered goods are delivered to customers correctly and on time. As these work steps are thus the last link within the manufacturing process, it is essential to detect and correct possible errors in good time. Accordingly, the employees in the outgoing goods department assume an elementary role as the final inspection authority. In this article, you will learn how the processes in the outgoing goods department actually work and how they can be optimized.

Table of contents

  1. What is meant by outbound? Definition
  1. What are the tasks of the outbound?
  1. Work steps and process flow in the outbound
  1. inbound and outbound optimize with software

What is meant by outbound? Definition  

The outbound is an important process within logistics. It is located behind the marketing process and manufacturing at the end of the supply chain - because at outbound the company ships the manufactured products or stored goods to its customers. If the customers pick up the goods themselves on site, the company makes the corresponding products available for pickup at outbound . If the products are shipped, outbound regulates the shipping process and records the relevant information on delivery bills and invoices, for example.

In addition, instructions for loading and packaging the products are also the responsibility of the goods issue department as soon as the goods leave production. This means that the employees at outbound take on the role of the final control authority: they not only have to prepare the necessary shipping documents, but also ensure that the goods are correct and free of defects and damage.  

Only if the employees of the outgoing goods department carefully check the orders and contracts before delivery, the company can ensure correct, complete and timely delivery without delays.

What are the tasks of the outbound?

An elementary task within the outgoing goods department is the control of the goods to be shipped with regard to quality, identity and possible defects. If there are incorrect or damaged goods in the outbound, these must of course not be delivered to the customers. Instead, the employees at outbound are responsible for reporting shortages or faulty stock to the accounting department so that it can trigger a reorder process.  

The outbound plays an important role in logistics in terms of customer satisfaction due to the control that takes place there. In addition, he is also responsible for other tasks, such as:

  • Picking the orders and purchase orders
  • Packing the shipment
  • Creation of shipping documents  
  • Loading of the means of transport
  • Load securing  

All processes at outbound aim to keep the lead time within the warehouse as short as possible, from check-in and loading of the goods to departure of the means of transport. The efficiency of the processes is reflected in key logistics figures such as capacity utilization, the use of free warehouse space, the number of orders, and the quantity of invoices corrected.  

Work steps and process flow in the outbound

To ensure fast and safe shipping to customers, the work steps and processes within goods issue must function optimally and interlock. Now you can find out how the individual steps work.

Goods issue procedure: 6 important steps

The key point at outbound is the outgoing inspection: employees must ensure that the outbound matches the order and that the goods have no damage or defects. Each ordered item usually goes through the following steps at outbound :  

  1. Consolidation: In its consolidation function, the outbound takes over the sensible consolidation of all the individual parts of a shipment. To ensure that consolidation runs smoothly, the various packages are collected on staging areas in the outbound .

  1. Goods inspection: In their role as inspectors, the employees at outbound check whether the correct article has been picked in the correct quantity. If this is not the case, deviations must be corrected immediately.

  1. Creation of the packages: Depending on the quantity and number of items, the employee creates one or more packages in the next step. By reporting the stock change, the purchasing department receives the request to reorder the affected item.

  1. Preparation of shipping documents: Once all articles have been packed, the employees prepare the corresponding shipping documents, such as delivery bill and invoice. To keep distances as short as possible, the delivery documents should be stored in the warehouse management system (WMS).

  1. Shipping preparation: Shipping is then prepared and the packages are registered in the shipping system. In order to secure and simplify the processes, the required data should be automatically transferred from the warehouse management system to the shipping system and processed using barcodes and scanners.

  1. Transfer to shipping service provider: The finished packages are transferred to the shipping service provider (CEP service provider or freight forwarder) in the final step of goods issue. This then takes over the final delivery to the company's customers.

The outbound contains important steps where employees can correct mistakes again.

inbound and outbound optimize with software

The work steps located at outbound are often personnel-intensive and thus cost-intensive. In order to optimize processes and reduce costs, the processes should therefore be checked regularly and revised if necessary. Information about the efficiency and profitability of the warehouse is provided by corresponding warehouse key figures. Capacity utilization, throughput time and space utilization are some values that can be used to check the planned targets within goods issue.

However, a decisive factor for the efficiency of goods issue is also the employees: Only if they know where the stored goods are at all times and can access the necessary data and information for shipping and delivery in real time will errors and delays not occur in the final work steps.

Handwritten notes, Excel spreadsheets and e-mails cannot ensure such real-time data access. Nevertheless, they are still the standard in many logistics companies. Paper processes not only increase the risk of errors, but also take up an immense amount of time - for example, when employees first have to gather and digitize required data before it can be assigned to the appropriate suppliers.  

If you want to optimize your processes at Sites and especially at outbound in the long term and sustainably, you should say goodbye to paper processes once and for all. The solution is smart collaboration tools like TradeLink: As a central control and coordination point, the software bundles all deliveries, information and data points in one clear tool. All data can be accessed in real time at any time. External suppliers also receive secure access to the data with their personal access - of course DSGVO-compliant and without any complicated IT implementation.

100% transparency in delivery coordination

Expensive and error-prone paper processes are finally a thing of the past with TradeLink - because with our software you ensure 100% transparency over the performance of your delivery partners and service providers. Contact our experts today for a free initial consultation - and experience no more unexpected surprises at the ramp.

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