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How to Implement Vendor Compliance at Your Receiving Dock

Given that ‘compliance’ is a broad topic which covers all aspects of your business, in this blog we’ll put it in context of the warehouse receiving dock; where in the process of unloading a container or trailer, you need to capture shipment errors such as product damage, incorrect paperwork, improper labelling and so forth. For those operations which have already implemented such a process, we often hear complaints about how cumbersome it is to capture and report on these events efficiently.


The traditional paper forms and spreadsheets are labor intensive and often mismanaged (thus expensive), diminishing the important benefits gained by monitoring and reporting on the performance of your vendors and carriers. This creates an opportunity to automate the process. Thankfully, the advent of software as a service (SaaS) has allowed companies to implement various forms of vendor compliance through the use of inexpensive web based technology.


Make your vendors and carriers accountable

Why is it important to implement a vendor compliance policy? It’s more than just sorting the good shipments from the bad and to manage chargebacks. It’s about collaborating with your vendors and carriers in order to identify where the faults lie and to find solutions. In order to achieve this goal, your business needs to invest in efficient monitoring, reporting and communication tools that will identify the problem areas.

Identifying the True Cost of Goods

There is often a disconnect between logistics and merchandising. Do buyers really understand the impact of non-compliance at the receiving dock? Purchasers are concerned about purchasing a sellable product at a decent price. Without proper data the purchaser does not see the consequences of a vendor’s non-performance in regards the receiving dock. All of the times appointment times were not respected or product was not properly labelled are rarely factored into the real cost of goods and more importantly vendors are rarely told they have to improve or else.

Reduce errors and the overhead cost required to manage them.

Using a SaaS application to manage your receiving audits and the fault management process ensures that you maintain low operational costs. Capturing the data electronically on the dock requires a similar effort as with a manual process. However the labor savings and the accuracy gains are seen with the timely and automatic reporting – which is the true strength of a SaaS application. The cloud-based application removes the burden of compiling data, automatically advising the respective parties and generating the reports you need. By having timely and accurate information, you have the opportunity to meet with your partners, strive towards the path of excellence and thus hope to improve your perfect order rate and lower your cost of goods sold.

Priced for any size business

Why cloud-based SaaS applications? Contrary to licensed software, cloud-based solutions are priced according to the size of your business and have no maintenance costs. Small and medium sized businesses (SMB) are therefore on equal footings with large enterprises when implementing such ‘’Best-in-Class’’ applications.

‘’Rising above the Cloud’’

The Aberdeen Group[1], recently published a study (‘’Rising above the Cloud’’) which documents how “best-in-class” operators are 1.2 to 3.5 times more likely to implement collaborative cloud-based solutions in the area of transportation management. , This study makes it clear that top performing operators have identified that collaboration between suppliers and carriers is essential to improving efficiencies at all levels.
Implementing a vendor compliance policy that makes vendors accountable but yet rewards partners that exceed expectations requires dedication and vision. Cloud-based solutions have made this once high cost endeavour accessible to any company that is committed to working with its vendors to reduce its logistics costs. For more information about C3 Solutions’ cloud-based dock appointment scheduling and compliance solutions, request a free demo.

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[1] Aberdeen Group, Rising Above The Cloud, September 2012, Author Bob Heaney.