The policies contain hard and fast rules and regulations that define the general conduct of the warehouse operation. Examples of the types of policies that organizations will define are as follows:
Organizational specific warehouse management policy and procedures guideline outline
Health and safety
Human resources management
Warehouse maintenance and cleaning
Record keeping and reporting
Reverse logistics – Return of goods and exit strategy in the event of downscaling or shutting down operations
Disposal of obsolete and damaged goods.
The procedures’ document defines step by step how the activities in the warehouse should be carried out and clearly defines the processes to be adopted. These can be adopted as ‘best practice’.
The procedures provide visibility of the operations for managers and donors.
However, in creating such procedures, care must be taken to avoid constraining the use of local initiative which might be required to deal with local conditions. Procedures should be considered as streamlining the business processes and providing checks and balances. They provide guidance to warehouse managers and must have some level of flexibility to cater to unique situations. This can be achieved by limiting the level of detail that the procedures document defines, allowing more flexibility and/or by arranging ‘dispensations’ to allow departure from the procedures in order to optimize local performance, especially in emergencies.
The procedures will normally provide the step by step guidance on how to manage each aspect of warehousing and may cover:
Receiving and issuing of supplies;
Quality control or verification;
Storage of goods;
How to control stock movement (stock control);
How to detect and deal with stock losses;
How rejected material will be managed; and
How to deal with unwanted material, obsolete and scrap, disposal.