"Supply chain teams are increasingly involved in decision-making about beginnings (product launches) and ends (SKU retirement) of products' lives. They're responsible for keeping established products in the portfolio flowing to market in the right quantities to the right places at the right times, and matching supply to demand using the S&OP process."
If you are using a FEFO (first-expired, first-out) system for time-sensitive products like food, pharmaceuticals, or cosmetics, an inventory management system (IMS) is essential - not just for rapid and efficient fulfillment, but for enhancing product safety and customer satisfaction. In this week's blog, we'll be covering how our IMS, specifically product management tools, can help track expiry dates, as well as help you quickly respond to a product recall or defect.
The Benefits of A Digital Inventory Management System
- Centralized Data - Any updates to product details are synced automatically, ensuring your warehouse team and administrative team will all have access to the same data.
- Informed Decisions - Real-time visibility into product tracking features, including expiry dates. Knowing what's expiring and when to use that data to decide how much to order or how you should be pricing products to ensure you can turn it before it expires.
- Faster - An IMS system includes many features, all in one. Should you discover an expired or broken item while carrying out warehouse tasks, you can resolve and log the issue without interrupting your workflow. Since all changes are synced automatically, all teams can enjoy a smoother, faster workflow.
Learn More: Inventory Management App
Product Expiry Date Tracking: Essential For Customer Satisfaction And Safety
Our product management features include expiry date tracking: your team can add an expiry date immediately upon receiving it, which can be reviewed in the app, digital control tower, as well as in the expiry report.
The first benefit is that an IMS can help reduce claims and save costs by alerting you to products nearing their expiry date. This benefits both your organization's bottom line and the environment. According to some sources, "A loss of 30% of all food produced worldwide occurs along the value-added chain "from farm to fork" every year. This corresponds to approx. 1.3 billion tonnes. When it comes to fruit and vegetables, the loss rate is particularly high, amounting to almost 50%."
Second, you're transferring the data from a clipboard to a spreadsheet, increasing the chances of errors compared to logging the data directly into your system via an app. While studies have cited various error rates over the years, it has been pointed out that spreadsheet "errors are extremely difficult to detect and correct". An IMS can cut down on this type of error.
Besides offering visibility and convenience, this system helps you reduce costs and cut down on data entry errors.
Responding More Easily To Product Defects and Recalls
The correct use of an IMS system with appropriately-logged expiry dates can limit the chances of expired products being sent out in the first place by supporting your FEFO warehouse management system.
However, in the situation of a recall related to other product issues, an IMS can make the process much easier to handle for both you and your customers. If the product is still in the warehouse, it is simple to locate the batch, lot, or SKU in question and retire it using the IMS Claims function.
If, on the other hand, you only find out about a product defect once your product has already left the warehouse, you can immediately track items from that batch, lot, or SKU and notify customers and retailers.
Additionally, in the case of a recall, using a software solution can make it easier to locate the recalled or damaged batches and notify the retailers who might have received them.
Get In Touch
To learn more about our product management features, contact our team through the contact form.