Published 2 Dec 2022
What is a Dock Audit?
A dock audit is a quick, final inspection of finished products before they are sealed, boxed, and approved for shipping. It is a visual inspection typically performed by quality control inspectors on the shipping dock of a warehouse shortly before the product is loaded onto a freight truck for delivery.
Quality inspectors and officers can use this dock audit checklist to verify if products comply with design specifications, item inclusions, and special customer requests prior to shipping:
- Take pictures of identified defects and non-compliance and annotate them for evidence and documentation
- Include pictures of good product examples in the template for inspectors to use as reference.
- Validate inspection data by providing inspector’s digital signature.
Dock audits are primarily done to catch defective and non-compliant products before they are shipped. This helps the manufacturer avoid customer complaints, maintain a good business reputation, and encourage a culture of consistent, high-quality work. There is no regulating body that controls the frequency of dock audits and manufacturers can decide to perform them as often as they see fit.
In this article
- Top 3 Things to Verify With a Dock Audit
- Mobile App for Dock Audits and Documentation
- The Best Dock Audit Templates
Top 3 Things to Verify With a Dock Audit
Manufacturers should implement quality control measures during the production process in order to minimize product defects at the onset. The purpose of a dock audit is to ensure that the small percentage of non-compliant products missed by the initial QA are caught before they cause problems.
- Compliance with design
Does the product look as intended and advertised? Is it the right size, color, and shape? It is essential that a product complies with design specifications since customer satisfaction hinges on delivering a product as it was promised. Additionally, small derivations from the design can put customers at risk which can negatively impact businesses.
- Physical Inventory Count
Are all the product inclusions accounted for as intended and advertised? One of the most frustrating things for a customer is receiving an incomplete product. Failure to identify such instances could cause manufacturers to lose a client’s business.
- Compliance with special customer requirements
It’s easy to overlook special customer requests if your team is used to making products the standard way. Ensure that the product meets special customer requirements before giving the go-ahead for delivery to avoid client complaints or worse, legal disputes.
Mobile App for Dock Audits and Documentation
Performing dock audits can help your company identify issues before they reach your customers. Additionally, the data you gather from your audits can provide you with valuable insights to improve the overall manufacturing process itself, ultimately reducing the likelihood of defects from occurring in the first place. Using the world’s #1 inspection app, SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), you can reap the benefits of an effective dock audit minus the hassle of using paper checklists.
Easy inspections and data collection anytime, anywhere
- Perform dock audits on your phone or tablet, even while offline
- Identify defective and non-compliant items and remove them from shipment ASAP
- Save and secure your audit information with unlimited cloud storage
Instantly generate and share dock audit reports and templates
- Automatically share your dock audit reports with select personnel for greater visibility
- Export reports in a variety of formats including PDF, DOC, and CSV
Manage teams better
- Assign and track corrective actions to personnel in real-time for faster issue resolution
- Share template access to appropriate personnel so updates are rolled out automatically
- World class 24/5 customer support to assist you with your SafetyCulture queries
To help you get started, we’ve prepared these templates for you to download and customize.
The Best Dock Audit Templates
Safety officers can use this loading dock safety checklist to ensure that the loading dock is free from preventable hazards. Ensure that the loading dock and surrounding areas are well lit, the floors are free from debris and moisture, and dock equipment is maintained to prevent malfunction and incidents.
Quality officers can use this daily check sheet to easily specify the product to be inspected, identify the type of defect such as missing label, wrong color, etc., take/attach photos and add annotations, capture an unlimited number of product defects, and sign off with a digital signature.
Quality and compliance teams can use this template to formulate and align quality objectives with quality policies, quality indicators, periodicity, and assignments. Managers and supervisors can share a report generated from this template to team members and use them as a reference guide for the specifics of quality objectives.
This checklist can help teams prepare for ISO 9001:2015 certification. Evaluate if the Context of the organization, Planning, Operation, Quality control, and Product improvement complies with the ISO standard. It will also help determine the needs of consumers and opportunities for improvements within the QMS.