Expert Advice on Hospitality Topics

Establishing Effective Purchasing & Receiving Strategies

Posted by Nick Kaoukis on Mon, Feb, 07, 2011 @ 10:02 AM
By Elizabeth Godsmark
Atlantic Publishing

Part 5 of 7: Streamline Your Receiving Procedures

describe the imageThis area of purchasing offers a great scope for cost reductions. Unfortunately, it is often neglected. Do so at your peril! Many well-devised purchasing plans fall at this last hurdle. Don't marginalize this important procedure.

  • Check merchandise thoroughly. Even when you are in a hurry, it is vital to check all received merchandise carefully. It may be your only (and last) chance to identify problems. Most vendors have a time limit written into their contracts for notifying them of discrepancies and shortages.
  • Adopt a "checklist" approach. The person receiving the merchandise needs to do the following:

-Verify the supplier

-Check quality

-Check quantity

-Check price (if applicable)

-Note any discrepancies on the receiving note

-Sign and date, only when satisfied with the above


  • Follow up any queries. Contact the vendor (preferably in writing), outlining any shortages, discrepancies or other problems, immediately. Most problems are quickly resolved. But stating your dissatisfaction, in writing, is a wise move. Sometimes queries become wrangles and you can end up with a long, drawn-out dispute on your hands. It's good to have something in writing!
  • Tie up paperwork. Tedious, but important! The person who receives the goods or a designated member of staff needs to mark all invoices with some form of "Received" stamp, noting the date of receipt and who received the merchandise.
  • Introduce a random audit of your receiving process. Identify any problem areas before they get out of hand! A basic audit should compare quantity and quality of merchandise delivered with the original purchase order. Carry out a volume or unit count of liquor, wines and beverages. Also, double-check that cases contain the number of bottles stated on the "outer." Finally, check that all documentation has been accurately processed.

Topics: profit, purchasing, inventory control