Effective Warehousing for Inbound and Outbound Operations

Written by Mavis Lim Chow Yee, DLSM

by Mavis Lim Chow Yee, DLSM

Fundamentally, warehousing involved two activities, there are inbound and outbound operations. Inbound refers to the sourcing, purchasing, receiving, investigating, put-away, storage, that is incoming organization. On the other extreme, outbound is tied in with picking, pressing, moving, all these are leaving the association. Outbound procedure is more work concentrated than inbound processes. Particularly, request picking is the most labor-intensive of the inbound processes, in light of the fact that for each SKU, the worker needs to go to the storage location, search for it and pick it.

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Sourcing of Inbound Raw Materials

The customer sourcing team will source for the raw material that can fit into their manufacturing plant to process the finished goods. This process actually enables moving towards purchasing for them to purchase the materials to go in line with the planning team of their forecast plan.

Transportation of the Incoming Delivery

Types of transportation involved such as by Air, by Sea and by Land. Transportation by air is one of the fastest with high efficiency mode of delivery which is being used by many companies around the world. However, being the fastest and highest efficiency, the cost to use this method for delivery will be costly due to less time taken for the delivery to be made. Transportation by sea is the most frequent use by people. Although this method will take longer time to reach the destination, the cost is more affordable than airfreight. For land transportation, is it mainly for local delivery. For example, suppliers to use a truck to deliver goods within Singapore.

Photo taken from: https://investorplace.com/2019/11/5-transportation-stocks-to-buy-now-ups-dal/

Inbound Receiving from Supplier

Inbound team receiving the goods from a supplier is the process of purchased materials. This process very important because if the supplier has any delay of the delivery, it will be affecting the deadline of the manufacturing plant. So, the purchaser has to keep tracking and ensure all the deliveries are on time. Without being on time, the operations process will not be smooth. Or worst, spending unnecessary costs.

Storage in the Warehouse

For the storage in the warehouse, warehouse personnel will have to check and investigate the goods during receiving. Warehouse personnel have the responsibility to check if all goods received are in good condition before accepting and endorsing the Delivery Order. After receiving the materials in good condition. Firstly, they will proceed re-palletizing to the correct desired pallet dimension. Lastly, warehouse personnel will proceed to put-away the materials to the storage racking in the warehouse according to the materials usage priority. To minimize movement such as reduce walking and traveling in the warehouse. This may increase mistake occurs when a person is regardless physically or mentally tired. By decreasing the amount of movement will aid in faster and more accurate picking.

Photo taken from: https://www.westgateuk.co.uk/news/ways-to-improve-health-and-safety-in-warehouses-and-factories/

Outbound for Order from Customers

Outbound receiving order from a customer is the process to do the pick list for warehouse personnel to do the picking. Request picking is the way toward finding and picking the materials to fulfill customer orders. Since the picking process includes cost and can influence consumer loyalty levels, there has been an expanding number of upgrades proposed to help organizations with this store network issue.

Outbound Process Order for Picking and Packing

In the outbound process, picking and packing are the most important factor benefiting the warehouse’s customer. There are many types of picking and packing, such as zone picking, batch picking, single order picking and etc.

Firstly, zone picking is the method that divides the warehouse area into few zones and assigns warehouse personnel to work within a specific zone. Orders can be picked in the past from zone to zone or deliver to the outbound staging area before release out.

Secondly, batch picking can pick multiple orders at a time. The picking works by allowing the picker to pick SKUs required for multiple orders at a time. This method can minimize the travel or transfer time.

Thirdly, a single order is the most common type of picking. The picker is provided order and then goes to the warehouse to find each material on the picklist. The sequence in every order are given to the picker and the routes they follow are not optimized. The picker has to make a full trip through the warehouse to complete a single order.

Photo taken from: https://www.morethanshipping.com/new-360-camera-technology-for-forklifts-to-help-prevent-future-accidents/

Transportation of Outbound Delivery

Having the material or transport scheduling date, outbound delivery is required for due shipping line in every aspect. Activities like picking of goods, transportation scheduling, etc. are usually involved. An outbound delivery is done with the shipping points and is determined at the time of placing the order. You can always define a shipping point at the later stage manually.

Using of the above process in order to support all shipping activities like picking, packing, and transport and goods advantages. Information regarding shipping planning is always well stored in outbound delivery, the status of shipping activities have been monitored, and data gathered during the course of shipping, have been processed and recorded. Outbound delivery and shipping activities are started and data which are generated in the process will be transferred during shipping processing.


In conclusion, Inbound warehousing operation is an extremely important process in the Supply Chain logistics industry. Inbound warehousing operation has to be the core process in any Company. It is because being the first step in the value chain, it affects the most in the final output of the company operation. There are many factors to take into consideration regarding inbound warehousing operation. Having a strong technology system can clearly make a huge difference in the company.

One such example is having good management strategies and efficient combination with outbound warehousing operation. Moreover, there are many benefits that an effective inbound logistic process can provide are numerous. Being able to minimization of costs and optimal combination of transport are two examples of the inbound logistic process. Despite having challenges, the relevance of inbound logistic processes on Companies trends to be more important over the years. There are plentiful of ways to overcome these challenges that will result and having improved on Supply Chain process. However, having inbound and outbound warehousing operation are the most important in today era.


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Surbhi S. (2017). “Difference between Inbound and Outbound Logistics”. Retrieved from https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-inbound-and-outbound-logistics.html, accessed on 16/03/2020.

Syed Muhamad Faizal, DLSM (2018). “Five Essential Methods Efficient Warehouse Operation”, Retrieved from SIPMM: https://sipmm.edu.sg/five-essential-methods-efficient-warehouse-operation, accessed 16/03/2020.

Warehousing Solution. (2018). “What are the Different Types of Order Picking Methods in the Warehouse?” Retrieved from https://www.apsfulfillment.com/warehousing-solutions/what-are-different-types-order-picking-methods-warehouse/, accessed on 16/03/2020.

About the Author Mavis Lim Chow Yee has substantial years of experiences in the field of global logistics and transportation, specifically in logistics customer service. Sheis a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Mavis Lim completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management(DLSM) on March 2020 at SIPMM Institute.