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Receiving Inspection – Why have goods checked when they arrive

Inbound Cargo Inspection

The Receiving Inspection – Why have goods checked when they arrive?

Many folks request Inspections of their products while they are still in production (During Production Inspect). Finished and ready for Shipping (Pre-Shipment Inspection) or being Loaded onto a ship or in a shipping container (Container Loading Inspection). However, one area often missed is having the goods inspected when they arrive at the final destination to be unloaded. This type of inspection can be called an Inbound Cargo Inspection, Incoming Goods Inspection or a Receiving Inspection. So, below I will discuss some characteristics of a Receiving Inspection.

The main areas that a Receiving Inspection should focus on are the following:

  • Knowing what to put into a Receiving Inspection Checklist
  • Understanding how to identify the main areas to check?
  • Deciding the best procedure to follow in an inbound Inspection
  • Being able to report the inspection results properly
  • Determining how to drive improvements from a Receiving Inspection

So, if you need more information or an inspector to visit any premises to contact this type of inspection, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be delighted to chat about this with you.


So, what is a Receiving Inspection?

A receiving inspection is a blend of a Finished Goods Inspection and a Loading Inspection. You want the quantities to match what is on the packing list as is done in a Container Loading Inspection. And conduct a check on the product for damage as would be done during a Finished Goods Inspection.

So, apart from counting the products, you don’t need to conduct a 100% check on all the goods arriving. I would suggest that you inspect using AQL levels. If you want to know more about AQL levels and how sample sizes are determined, please visit our AQL page.


How to define the receiving inspection requirements?

Define what needs to be checked in a receiving inspection You should base it on the checklist used to inspect the goods at the Supplier’s location before shipment.

You can find information about what should be checked at a Suppliers location before shipment at our Finished Goods Inspection page.

Suppose you have already conducted a Finished Goods Inspection at the Suppliers location before shipment. In that case, the Receiving Inspection should focus on checking the quantities and the condition of the goods arriving at your warehouse.

The type of products you are importing will define the exact specifications of the receiving inspection, for example, Fresh Fruit versus an electric plug. Both will have very different inspection requirements.


Understanding how to identify the main areas to check.

When conducting a receiving inspection, it is vital to identify the main areas to check. You should avoid wasting time and money requiring an inspector to inspect areas that are low risk or are not crucial to the function or objective of the product. For example, you may not need to know the thickness of the tape used to seal any packaging packing.

So to identify the areas, you should know what potential defects may affect the purpose or sale of your products. I always advise clients to calculate the risk level from two angles:

  • Product Risk – How likely is it that the product may arrive defective or unsaleable? To determine the risks, you need to assess user/ customer complaint levels and any findings from the inspection of the products at the Supplier’s location.
  • Supplier Risk – How competent is the Supplier in supplying a non-defective product? I suggest you use a set of KPIs to determine a supplier risk level.


So, an approach to calculate areas to be checked using a Product Risk Level.

  • The number of Customer or User Complaints.
  • Check the Regulatory requirements.
  • Engineering checking requirements.
  • % Defective Levels found in previous inspections conducted on the products.

Some items to assess a Supplier’s Risk

  • The number of defective products produced by the Supplier.
  • Supplier trading history supplying the product.
  • The number of clients which source the same products from the Supplier.
  • Certifications and Licences which the Supplier has acquired.
  • Quality Control Systems within the Suppliers facility.


Deciding the best procedure to follow for an inbound Inspection?

When deciding on the best procedure to follow for an inbound inspection, randomly selecting items for checking is the most cost-effective way. In many instances, the cartons in the delivery are numbered in sequential order. So, I suggest the client selects the carton reference numbers that the inspector must check.

The approach that an inspector would typically follow during an Inbound Inspection is:

  • Check the quantities against the delivery note/ packing list
  • Review the packaging for damaged. Open and inspect the contents inside any damaged packaging.
  • Inspect the carton numbers requested.
  • Select, open and check random cartons.

Use AQL to calculate the number of items to be checked. Please visit this page to learn more about AQL.


Being able to report the inspection results properly

The purpose of having a proper reporting structure for inspection results is:

  • To provide the inspector with an inspection checklist.
  • To conduct a correct inspection.
  • Provide the report readers with the necessary information to form their observations and opinions
  • To ensure consistency across many inspections.
  • To gather data which to analyse inspection, product and supplier performance levels.

**Tip** – Many firms hire third-party inspection firms to conduct the inspection. They then can use the formal report they received from this inspection as the template for their internal inspection teams.

Other firms use the Quality Control Inspection software to provide them with checklists, reports and analytical data.


Determining how to drive improvements from a Receiving Inspection

So, the most critical elements about driving improvements are:

  • Knowing what to improve
  • Learning how to improve it
  • Measuring if the changes are causing improvements to happen.

Therefore, it is vital to be collecting data from previous inspection reports. Many clients use the findings from the AQL results, delivery rates and any areas where defects have occurred.

Present the analytical data and use the inspection reports as backup evidence to support the data. So, this data can be provided to the firm’s internal quality or buying team.

Sharing this data will enable your firm to create a set of actions which can be used to address any of the findings from the report.


So, Receiving Inspection Services over to you.

So, suppose you need a Receiving Inspection. Goodada Inspections can organise one of our teams to go to any location in the world to inspect for you. We are always available to help.

Therefore, for more information, contact:

Contact Person: Aidan Conaty

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Phone:(Europe/ Rest of the World) +353 1 885 3919 ; (UK) +44.020.3287.2990 ; (North America) +1.518.290.6604

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