Fall 2014

Receiving Component of Plated's Internal Tools Inventory System

In order to accurately track inventory, we need to capture items as they are received at each Fulfillment Center.

Objectives

  • Streamline receiving processes across Fulfilment Centers
  • Better inform Receiving Clerks of what items should be in each delivery
  • Create an interface which users can quickly enter receiving data into inventory system

Role

Product designer on a team with 2 developers and a product manager

Process

  1. Research - Observe current processes, current documentation, user needs/wants, system needs
  2. Documentation - Use this information to create user flows and profiles
  3. Wireframes - Create an interface which users can quickly enter receiving data into inventory system  
  4. V1 – Introduce process changes by updating the paper forms being used to mirror steps in the wireframe
  5. V2 – Add new functionality to software so receiving clerks can quickly enter the data from their forms to the matching interface
  6. V3 – Users type quantities and notes directly into the interface on a tablet device 

 Photo of shipment ready to be processed by receiving clerk

Photo of shipment ready to be processed by receiving clerk

Research

We spent several days at the Fulfillment Center observing team members receiving shipments, filling out paper work, and troubleshooting problems. Some of the main pain points we noticed were:

  • Receiving clerks didn't know what was supposed to be in each shipment
  • Delay in communication – missing items, excess quantities, etc. 
  • Messy handwritten documentation, difficult to transcribe

 Receiving Clerk

Receiving Clerk

Documentation - User Profile

I created a User Persona for the Receiving Clerk to highlight the user's motivations and responsibilities.

 

Motivations:

  • Get products checked in as fast as possible
  • Record accurate data so I don't have to keep answering questions about which items are on hand
  • Efficiently communicate order statuses so other team members knows when to take action, if needed

Responsibilities:

  • Record all items received
  • Complete quality and compliance inspections
  • Notify manager of rejected items and items not received

Documentation - Action/Decision Flows

 Receiving Action/Decision Flow

Receiving Action/Decision Flow

Using our research data, I created flows for the receiving process to help communicate each step with stakeholders and to guide wireframing and development.


Wireframes

Using the data inputs needed for inventory management and compliance tracking, I created an interface where users could quickly enter data collected during receiving into inventory system.

Some important notes for development included:

  • The ability to tab through fields for faster data entry
  • Pre-populate fields with data from Purchase Orders
  • The ability to add line items that were not included in the original Purchase Order
 Wireframe for Receiving process

Wireframe for Receiving process


First Iteration

Before we started building the actual receiving feature, we wanted to enable the users to improve their current process and introduce them to the new format to ease transition once the software was updated. 

I took the basic wireframe layout and created a new blank receiving PDF that the fulfillment centers could start using immediately.

This enabled us to start getting real feedback and user data on the new design. This would also be the same format that the system generated receiving documents would be in once the Purchase Order system was completed. 

receivingDoc