Sometimes it’s not the inventory you choose to carry or the reps you choose to indulge. It’s not the pricing or the shipping or the cadence of your reorders. As we head into the tail end of the holiday season, I can’t help but think of the process of opening presents.
Everyone has their own traditions and most people will say they don’t do it the same but the presents all get opened in the end don’t they. My family doesn’t even shake the boxes until Christmas morning, but at the first crack of dawn, even today, you’ll find me in my pajamas under the tree, waiting like, well, like a kid on Christmas! I suppose that saying had to come from somewhere.
We play a game of around the world and everyone takes a turn opening one present each until all that’s left are the 15 extra turns for my mother left under the tree. She pretends to be surprised that she has more than everyone else and we all sit around finally sipping our coffee and oohing and aahing over the green socks, and the ceramic snowman, and bracelet that says “Mom”.
Then, we have breakfast and pretend to forget that there are still the stockings to do. Christmas just wouldn’t be complete without those tacky gold coin chocolates in the plastic netting.
While every family has their holiday traditions, every practice has theirs too. How do you open the boxes? You make a list, you send it to the vendor, and you receive the shipments. But, do you check it twice? Do you check it even once? To make sure it’s right?
As I beat this metaphor to death with a candy cane, consider this process for ensuring your shipments are received and verified.
- Open the box
- Check the packing slip against the contents
- Place a check mark next to each line item when it has been verified received
- Initial the invoice and the shipping box
- Scan the contents into the PMS
- Place the product on the sales floor
- Flatten the shipping box
- Give the initialed packing slip to a designated team member by end of day
It may seem a little thing, to establish a receiving process for your shipments. But, ‘tis the season. It’s the end of the year and the best time to begin things is January 1st. A receiving process followed by everyone in the practice will establish accountability, ensure we can keep a lid on theft, or “shrink”, which occurs in most, if not all, retail stores, and help maintain your inventory.
Traditions are a simple thing, but in the long-run, they are what matters.