Inventory for Products with Limited Shelf Life

I have a variety of cosmetic products with varying shelf-life.
Cosmetic Regulations now require traceability of items and I need an Inventory control system to suit.
In your system, would it be possible to enter new purchases with batch no., expiry date and quantity, in chronological order, under that coded item, as separate or sub entries, and kept as such until used?
In other words, under one item you would have all purchases with particulars, sub-totals and in date order.

When invoices are typed, the oldest purchases are subtracted from inventory first, batch by batch, and the batch no. and expiry date is included on that invoice against that item. When that batch is complete, inventory takes the next oldest batch.

I can see a lot of future benefit in this sort of system.
Is it possible?

1 Like

I’d set up new inventory item for each batch. As for batch no., expiry date to be automatically included on invoice, you can enter this information to Description field when setting up the inventory item. When selecting the item on invoice, the description will be copied over to the invoice line item.

We are tied into product codes from the manufacturer which we need to stick to as it crosses all areas of ordering and reports. Also that does not give us a total for all items on inventory, which once again means we cannot relate them to reports which we use extensively for sales and purchasing predictions.

1 Like

Adding to the above topic I am into manufacturing of Food products that has shelf life of 6 months. Now as I manufacture a batch i need to assign a unique code which is associated with the manufacturing date. Now I have to track this unique code against invoice issued to the buyer. Later if any problem arises with the particular batch we can track the goods sold under the same batch and can recall the goods. So what I really want is to assign a unique batch code to the production order which will reflect in every invoice issued.
Thanks Dev

1 Like

@lubos already gave the solution to your situation above. In Manager, all units of a particular inventory item are presumed to be identical and interchangeable. That will not be true if you produce multiple lots with different expiration dates, yet assign them to the same inventory item.

Hi Jay,
If you keep your product code as it exists and add the expiry date, manager inventory will accept that, and you will have your unique number and inventory in chronological order

eg Product: Hot dogs - sc/hd
hot dogs manufactured 03/05/19 & 10/05/19 would be: sc/hd-190503 & sc/hd-190510.
I have tried that and it seems to work on my trial version which hasn’t been updated recently.
It obvious doesn’t give a sub-total for that one product code, but you have them all in one place.

Hey Flash!
What you just mention can be a temporary solution but in case of Inventory stock that is left with me that was produced for eg: 2/May/2019 batch no 1 = yyyy pieces and 4/June/2019 batch 2 = xxxx pieces they both are the same product manufactured on different dates with the shelf life of 2 months. now after 2 months from the date of batch 1 manufactured i am still left with few pieces of batch 1 left and some more pieces of batch 2 left with me. But when I check inventory in Manager it collectively shows total of both the batches left. So I Need to manually check for the product expired and discard them and do an entry for product loss.

Yes, but if you enter each batch as separate inventory items, then they will have individual totals.
Using @flash data of sc/hd-190503 & sc/hd-190510 you would have:

Inventory Item 1 - sc/hd-190503 with qty xx
Inventory Item 2 - sc/hd-190510 with qty yy

The other good thing about the method I suggested is, if you do not sell all product of any earlier batch, it is still listed as a separate item and can be written off as expired without affecting other later inventory items.

Hi Flash,

But considering the process it becomes lengthy, First create inventory and then create production order. later even in the Inventory tab you see a lot of congestion and you go crazy managing it. Also there is no warning of negative inventory so it creates all the more confusion.

All in all what i would like to suggest is

  1. Our inventory should have Shelf Life locking for every batch
  2. there should be a proper batch number for tracking the stock sold.
  3. Negative Inventory should be prompted as the number of stocks is not shown in the sales tab.

I am not sure where Manager stands on this four years old topic. I am in the business of medicines’ distribution, wholesale and retail. I have to track batch number and expiry date of items. Currently, doing it (kind of manually) in excel sheets.

Creating separate inventory items for separate batch or using custom fields in sales/purchase invoices lines would be a daunting task in terms of managing all these. Has anyone (from all the stakeholders of this post) any other simpler idea or way around to achieve this in Manager?

The correct approach was given by the developer in post #2 back in March 2016. You can put everything necessary into the description without even needing to create custom fields. That’s a lot easier than maintaining a separate spreadsheet. It would all be searchable, too.

I agreed to that approach mentioned by @lubos to some extent and I tried that already but there is little problem with that… I created new inventory item

Item name: Test Item
Description: BatchNo-ExpiryDate

When I am creating a sales invoice, the description is copied but once the invoice is created, it only shows the description (not the item name) on printable output. It appears that I will have to put everything including item name in the description field which I don’t want to. Is it possible to print both (Item name and Description) on the printable output?

No. Read the Guide: It clearly states, " The Description field is for more comprehensive information. Its contents, if present, will appear on finished forms in place of Item name , so it should also adequately identify the item, not simply add detail. Anything a customer or supplier should see can be placed into this field.