Generally, receiving of materials, equipment, and supplies often go smoothly, matching existing orders perfectly without any problems. In real life, however, problems/discrepancies can occur with every order. This section will deal with the various types of discrepancies.


This situation occurs when materials are received and they either exceed the quantity the district ordered or the quantity is shorted. Careful consideration has to be made when checking in material. Some companies when shipping partials do not list any backorders. This is not a shortage and the companies generally ship the backorders at a later time

As materials are checked in, the warehouse staff needs to do the following:

  1. Review the warehouse copy of the purchase order as well as the requisition to determine if the quantity received is correct.
  2. Review the packing slip to determine what the company indicated that they shipped. Note any backorders from the company or cancellation of items ordered.

The following basic guidelines should be followed when handling overages/shortages:

  1. Determine if an overage/shortage has occurred.
  2. Report the overage/shortage on a discrepancy report similar to example D-1 or D-2.
  3. Forward the report along with the packing slip to the Purchasing Office for action regarding the discrepancy. Keep a copy of the report with your files for future action.
  4. If the problem is a shortage, you may forward the materials to the requesting site/department.
  5. If the problem is an overage, you may forward the quantity originally order and retain the overage quantity in holding until instructions have been received from thePurchasing Department.

Once the Purchasing Department has taken the appropriate action and forwarded instructions, warehouse staff should act immediately on the instructions.


Two types of damage can occur when receiving materials-Obvious and Concealed.

Obvious Damage occurs when materials are received and warehouse staff or the person receiving can see that the packaging is damaged and the contents of the packaging is partially or fully damaged.

Concealed Damage occurs when materials are received and warehouse staff or the person receiving discovers that the material is damaged or destroyed.

Warehouse staff must take special care in all forms of damage to report it immediately to the Purchasing Department.

Obvious Damage: When a package is received at the warehouse and the packaging material is obviously damaged, warehouse staff should do one of the following:

  1. If the package is severely damaged, mangled, etc., they should refuse the shipment, make notes on the warehouse copy of the order, stating the condition of the packaging/materials. In addition, staff should notify the Purchasing Department on the refusal of the order.
  2. If the packaging is damaged and warehouse staff cannot determine if the material inside the packaging is damaged, warehouse staff should note on the bill of lading that the package has been damaged. Please have the driver initial that he also saw the damaged package. Warehouse staff must inspect the contents inside of the package immediately upon receipt to determine if any damage has been done.

    If the contents have been damaged, warehouse staff should notify the Purchasing Department as soon as possible so that a claim may be filed.

Concealed Damage occurs when materials are received, and no obvious damage is observed. However, when the package is received, and the inside contents have been damaged. Warehouse staff should do the following:

  1. Once warehouse staff has determined that damage has occurred, the Purchasing Department must be notified.
  2. The Purchasing Department will then notify the company of the problem of damaged materials so that a claim can be filed with the freight company.
  3. Warehouse staff must keep the original packing material of the damaged goods for the return of the materials.
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