The Central Goods Receipt Structure logistics processes economically

The incoming goods department has a considerable influence on costs, quality, time and flexibility. It is considered to be the interface, logistical connection or even "the face of your logistics" to your suppliers. It should always make a positive impression on you, because deliveries to the wrong delivery address, unstructured supplier management or inadequate quality controls lead to trouble and additional costs for both the supplier and the company. On the other hand, you can become your suppliers' (and your controller's) favorite partner with a central goods receipt (CSS), which brings reliability, standardization and lean processes. We show when a central goods receiving department is the right choice and how you can justify investing in an area that does not add value.


A central goods receiving area offers you the opportunity to create, at the starting point of your internal goods flow, a directed material flow at the starting point of your internal flow of goods. To do this, you should first record all the actual processes in the company that have resulted from your decentralized structure and create the desired/target process.

In doing so, don't forget the basic idea of the "Seven R's":

  1. Right product
  2. in the right condition (quality)
  3. at the right time
  4. at the right place
  5. in the right quantity
  6. at the right cost
  7. and with the right information,

after all, it is a logistics process. You will be amazed at what a process recording and design by means of workshops can achieve! Here, all processes should be visualized so that they can be traced at any time.

  • Purchasing: With the introduction of a central goods receiving department, only one delivery address needs to be assigned. This significantly reduces the administrative effort or supplier management, especially in the case of incorrect delivery.
  • IT department: From a software perspective, a few clear processes are much easier to implement and less error-prone than special processes for goods receipts.
  • QM department: A central incoming goods inspection can ensure a higher inspection standard, personnel can be planned more effectively, and costly equipment is procured only once (measuring machines, etc.). In short, synergy and savings effects are created in the QM area.

As we will discuss in more detail, a central goods receipt relieves the warehouse. You should only continue to maintain a separate goods receipt for the following deliveries: For example, goods receipts for large parts that require direct delivery by a heavy transport with escort vehicle, or raw materials (long goods, etc.).

More goods receipt items, less personnel

Goods receipts are subject to large fluctuations in

  • Delivery volume
  • Number of articles per GR item
  • Vehicle types (e.g. truck, CEP, etc.)
  • Loading processes (e.g. side or rear unloading)
  • Load carrier types (e.g. sea freight boxes, Euro pallets, etc.)
  • Auxiliary equipment types (e.g. forklift, pallet truck, etc.)
  • etc.

With such dynamics, only maximum flexibility can help. Two arguments in favor of centralized goods receiving are therefore flexibility and cost savings. With a decentralized structure, each goods receiving area is represented several times, from registration to internal goods issue. A centralized solution results in space and equipment savings.

The savings potential goes even further: Since full-time employees (FTE) have to be kept available in individual incoming goods areas, employees can be better utilized in a centralized solution. In addition, the different personnel utilization within the goods receipt areas means that you often do not have a clear allocation of the goods receipt activity to personnel capacity.

Therefore, centralize all goods receipt areas and create a clear allocation of capacity requirements and available personnel capacity per area. This enables the central bundling of performance and targeted control. In addition, the workload of employees who previously performed part-time goods receipt activities on a decentralized basis will be reduced. You should also compare the supply of services and the demand for them, or seek external support for this purpose.

High degree of standardization

Last but not least, our recommendation is to work in a standard as much as possible and to establish standards.

Further to be considered are:

  • Legal standards for e.g. customs, quality assurance (e.g. § 377 HGB) etc.
  • Process standards for the seamless implementation of IT systems. It is best to model your business processes in a standardized universal language such as BPMN.
  • Transport and provision of production goods: Standardize LHM (loading equipment) and THM (transport equipment). Use standard LHM and THM for this purpose.

Start with container loops, for example, as you can extend these both in the direction of your supplier and in the direction of your internal process chain. Tip: As soon as a container loop is established via a loop (e.g. goods receipt <-> warehouse), this can be successively extended to include other areas (e.g. production).

Brace yourself for the two standard arguments against centralized receiving:

"poor ROI" argument:

ROI is often used as a metric to evaluate investments. However, a central goods receiving department is not a value-adding area and no profits are generated. On the other hand, investments and expenses can be compared with the savings made through personnel, transport, space, etc. However, it is usually difficult to quantify these savings. Instead, it is helpful to compare the costs and benefits. For example, the benefit of preparing a process for an ERP system is very large, but cannot be assessed in monetary terms at the time of cost accounting.

Argument "increase in internal transports":

The increase in internal transports is possible because with a decentralized solution, goods receipts can be locally linked to the associated warehouses. This is of course not possible with a centralized solution and multiple storage locations - the transport volume can increase. The adaptation and optimization of internal transports can counteract this problem. Clocking internal transports and optimizing milk runs or general route management invalidates this argument. For the existing plant transport, the new central goods receipt means one more point of contact. This should not be a problem.

A central goods receiving area relieves your warehouses and allows you to concentrate on storing, retrieving and staging material. Optimal material provisioning allows your production to be continuously optimized and to meet JIS and JIT requirements without any problems. Synergies, lean processes and standardization bring you benefits you won't want to miss. Do you still have questions? Then we are at your disposal at any time.