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What is a GRN?

What is a GRN?

Goods Received Note Definition

A Goods Received Note (GRN) is an important document in the procurement and inventory management process. It is used to acknowledge the receipt of goods at the receiving end. 

Importance of GRN

The GRN is generated by the buyer and provides insight into: 

  • Confirmation of Delivery: It confirms received goods and is with the buyer.
  • Details of Goods: The GRN typically lists the details of the goods received, such as type, quantity, and sometimes the quality of the goods.
  • Comparison with Purchase Order: It allows the buyer to compare the goods received with what was ordered through the supplier invoice. Purchase entries help in ensuring that what was ordered is what has been delivered.
  • Inspection and Acceptance: The GRN is often used as a basis for inspecting and accepting the goods. Any discrepancies in quantity or quality can be noted in the GRN.
  • Update Inventory Records: The document is crucial for updating inventory levels. It helps in keeping track of stock levels and is essential for inventory management.
  • Basis for Payment and Accounting: The GRN is used in the accounting process, particularly for invoice matching and ensuring accurate payments. It serves as proof that the goods have been received, and thus, payment to the supplier can be processed.
  • Legal Documentation: With disputes or legal issues, the GRN can serve as evidence of the receipt of goods.

GRN and Supply Chain

A goods received note plays a crucial role in the supply chain management process. It serves as a key point of communication and record-keeping between suppliers, receiving departments, and inventory management teams.

Goods Received Note Example

A goods receipt note typically follows a structured format that includes several key pieces of information. 

While the exact layout can vary depending on the company or the system used, most GRNs contain the following elements:

Header: This includes the title of the document (Goods Received Note or GRN), the company's name and logo, and sometimes the address and contact details of the company.

GRN Number: A unique identification number for the GRN for tracking and reference purposes.

Date: The date on which the goods were received.

Supplier Information: Details of the supplier, such as name, address, and contact details.

Purchase Order (PO) Number: Reference to the relevant Purchase Order number, which the goods received are fulfilling.

Delivery Note Number: If the supplier provided a delivery note with the goods, its number is included for cross-reference.

List of Goods Received: This is the main body of the GRN and includes details such as

  • Description of each item (type, model, etc.)
  • Quantity received
  • Unit of measure (pieces, boxes, kilograms, etc.)
  • Sometimes, the unit price and total price

Inspection Note: Any comments or notes from the inspection of the goods, including discrepancies in quantity or quality.

Receiver's Details: Information about the person who received the goods, including name, signature, and sometimes the department.

Additional Information: Any other relevant information or special instructions.

The format can be a simple document or a more complex one, depending on the organization's requirements. Some companies use digital GRNs that are integrated with their inventory management or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, enabling automatic updating of records and more efficient processing.

GRN Best Practices

Implementing best practices for the management and processing of GRNs is vital for efficient inventory management, accurate financial modeling, and effective supply chain operations.

  • Timely Processing: Process and start with GRN development as soon as the goods are received. Delay in processing can lead to discrepancies in inventory records and any issue in account and replenishment.
  • Accurate Recording: Ensure that all information on the GRN is accurately recorded. This includes the quantity, description, and condition of the goods received. Accuracy is crucial for inventory management and for accounting reconciliation.
  • Matching with Purchase Order (PO): Always compare the received goods with the PO. This helps in verifying that what was ordered has been delivered in the correct quantity and specification.
  • Quality Inspection: Implement a thorough inspection process for received goods. Record any discrepancies in quality or quantity on the GRN and notify the supplier immediately if there are any issues.
  • Training and Competence: Ensure that staff responsible for receiving goods and processing GRNs are properly trained and understand the importance of their role in the supply chain.
  • Integration with Inventory Management Systems: If possible, integrate GRN processing with your inventory management system. This automation can reduce manual errors and improve the efficiency of inventory updates.
  • Clear Discrepancy Handling Procedures: Establish simple procedures for handling discrepancies between the GRN, PO, and the supplier's delivery note. This includes steps for returns, replacements, and credit notes, or credit memos.
  • Documentation and Record Keeping: Maintain proper records of all GRNs for audit trail purposes and for future reference. This is crucial for financial accountability and in case of disputes with suppliers.
  • Regular Supplier Reviews: Use the data from GRNs as part of your supplier performance reviews. Consistent issues with certain suppliers (like late deliveries or frequent discrepancies) should be addressed.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that your GRN process complies with relevant legal and regulatory requirements, which can vary depending on the industry and region.
  • Feedback Loop: Create a feedback loop between the receiving department, procurement, and suppliers. Regular communication can help in improving the accuracy of deliveries and the overall efficiency of the supply chain.
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