How can inventory control software be useful for tracking perishable goods
Businesses dealing with perishable products like pharmaceutical and food industry struggle with unique challenges when trying to optimize their inventory. For instance, food and beverage business are at a constant risk of contamination and are susceptible to spoilage in case of improper storage conditions and short expiry dates. A powerful inventory control software becomes an absolute essential because of the sheer complexity that perishable inventory comes with. Perishable products require special attention. You need to keep a close watch on a product’s expiry date and make sure that you actually sell it before its ‘sell-by’ date. Unlike nonperishable inventory, you don’t have the privilege of running a year-end sale on perishable items to clear stock because by then your products will have already expired.
Most of the operations in such businesses are about having the ability to constantly match supply to demand. This can give a tough time to businesses that sell perishable goods. And so technology came up with methods for recognizing inventory for perishable goods. Goods that seem to have no value in the next period or in short ‘perishable goods’ are difficult to track for managers. An effective inventory control system for perishable goods can alleviate many issues involved.
Putting in place the right inventory management system serves as the key to facilitating greater productivity, profitability, and efficiency. Business with perishable inventory can put a limit or even eradicate unnecessary losses caused by poor inventory management. We have gathered some of the ways it dives in and successfully dissolves various concerns. These solve tons of problems associated with perishables keeping businesses afloat.
One: Set par levels and prevent spoilage using inventory control software
You need to set par levels for all of your products especially when they are perishables like food items. Par level is the minimum threshold set that should be there at all times. In case your inventory drops below the set level, you will know that now is the time that you should be ordering more. An efficient inventory control software in place helps to systemize the process of ordering, helping you make quicker decisions. With your inventory control software, you can even adjust your par levels according to the situation.
A business that handles any type of perishables often requires inventory tracking solution that monitors the time handling of inventories. Such businesses usually utilize first-in, first-out model. As the name suggests, it simply means that your oldest stock is supposed to get sold first rather than the products newest in your stock. This way you will never end up with unsellable spoilage. After all, who wants to end up with something obsolete or spoiled that can’t be sold! Process managers have no accurate and reliable way of enforcing FIFO (First In First Out) inventory protocol in the absence of the ability to trace, track and account for inventory from source to sale.
Perishables like food items need to be constantly monitored to prevent spoilage and wastage.
It keeps products fresh and offers the right protocol when moving specific aged inventory. Businesses with perishable inventory need to make sure that loss as a result of wastage is either eliminated or at least kept within the lowest manageable margin. Inventory control software tends to cancel out the risk of understock and overstock issues keeping the inventory at optimal levels. The customizable nature of inventory tracking software is such a great bonus to businesses. It enables businesses to set up automated purchase orders letting the managers know when the inventory is going above or below optimal levels. It also makes the task of automating which items are used up first really easy.
Two: Batch tracking for seamless inventory management
When you have to deal with short shelf life produce, inventory managers need to have the ability to track and account for all the items present in the inventory at all times. Effective inventory tracking software is basically tasked to achieve this much-needed visibility for perishable items. Batch tracking is yet another feature of inventory management software that enhances this visibility.
A batch tracking system records information related to particular product batches or lots. Some of the information these batches store include an expiry date, serial number, manufacturing date and shift, manufacture location and batch identification. The necessary information stored in the system depends on the complexity of the products. For instance, food manufacturing businesses and restaurants have food products with expiry dates associated with their respective batches. The ability to locate each item present in real-time results in a reduced loss – caused by mishandled, misplaced and mismanaged inventory.
Now, what does total visibility into supply chain mean? It means that the team tasked with carrying out product recall can conveniently and quickly identify which product is in need or recall – to whom the products have been sold and where exactly it is present in the supply chain. The ramifications of a poorly managed product recall can be extremely terrible particularly for a food manufacturer. Being able to track and account for inventory in real-time gives all businesses advantage of keeping a check on threats quickly and acting strategically. When dealing with the recall, the most important thing to do is giving a prompt and effective response. That is only possible with an inventory control system with batch tracking abilities allowing you to take a proactive approach to product recalls.
Three: Expiry date tracking for better inventory stock
You probably must have seen clearance racks with 50% discounts at supermarkets. They are basically selling in cost to cost price. If you track your expiry dates, you will be able to deal with expiring products better because then you will have a record of expiration dates for different batches per product. According to a survey, 94% consumers check for expiration dates before making a purchase. You really don’t want to deteriorate your relationship with your customers. Manually tracking on expiry dates sure is a challenge for businesses. It is like sitting in the eye of the whirlwind of perishable products with tons of different expiry dates.
Inventory control software tracks the expiry dates of perishables and lets you sell them before they become unsellable spoilage.
In case you are continuously discounting short-dated perishable products, you really need to try food retail inventory control software that offers better product traceability by letting you track expiry dates of your perishables. With this added transparency, your marketing and sales team will have access to the information they require to sell efficiently. You will also be able to offer smaller discounts and product bundles earlier, rather than offering drastic discounts on tons of products leading your business to go in loss. Complete visibility into the movement and information of every item of the inventory throughout the supply chain charges the business with a ripple effect, It generates greater efficacy and efficiency along every node from purchasing to sales.
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