Have you ever wondered what could make the inventory of your perishable goods easier? The use of batch numbers and expiry dates in your inventory management might be just what you need. With goods coming in and out of your warehouse, or even multiple locations, making inventory tracking as easy as possible is necessary. At least if you want to maximize your assets and succeed in what you do.
What Are Batch Numbers In Inventory?
Batch numbers, also called lot numbers, are codes associated with batches of products. They allow you to track the date in which your goods have come in and the order by which goods should be sold or used first. The use of batch numbers is exceptionally handy in the food industry, and in the medical industry. Basically, anything that is perishable will benefit from having batch numbers.
Batches of goods get assigned batch numbers along with expiry dates based on the day they enter your stock. Later in the week, you might receive another batch of the same product. You will assign a different batch number and expiry date for that batch. This way, when you sell the items, you will have accurate information about how many items of each batch you have left. You will also stay on top of which items should be sold first. Batch numbers help you organize and keep track of any perishable items in your warehouses.
The reason why batch numbers are ideal for perishable goods is that expiry dates go along with batches. Each batch number has an expiration date, and you can even search for and sort your goods in Megaventory per expiration date.
Receiving Goods With Batch Numbers
Using Batch Numbers in Megaventory is easy. When you enter a new SKU into your inventory management software, you will also tell the system whether or not it requires batch numbers. Now, whenever you receive or sell that item, Megaventory will automatically ask for the batch.
Here is how you can create a batch for incoming stock that requires batch numbers:
Create your Purchase Order as you normally would. Once it’s time to receive the items, you’ll naturally click on Receive on your Purchase Order. Now you’ll see the list of items that your business is waiting to receive. There will be an additional field for you to add the batch number and expiration date for products that require it. Type in a batch number and then select an expiration date for the batch from the calendar that will pop up. When you will finish, click on “Create Document” to finish.
Now, if for some reason your supplier didn’t send you all of the items at once, you can use that same batch number for items received later on as long as the expiration date is the same. Just start typing a batch number in the batch number field and Megaventory will show you the batches for the SKU that you have already created. Select the correct batch and see how Megaventory will automatically fill in the expiration date.
If you are receiving items without a Purchase Order, you can create a batch when you create your Purchase Bill. The logic is the same, just create a batch number for each necessary SKU while you are adding them to the document.
As a general rule, whenever you are handling an SKU that requires a batch number, Megaventory will ask you for it. This way you won’t miss adding in batch numbers, and even a new employee will know it is required. Check out this for more.
Selling Goods With Batch Numbers
When selling an item that uses batch numbers, it’s obviously important to select the item from the correct batch – that’s why Megaventory requires it! As you ship out an item, Megaventory will ask you what batch the item is a part of. To keep your inventory up to date, it’s important to give Megaventory the correct batch number that matches the actual product you are shipping. Pretty simple, right?
To do this, make your Sales Order as you normally would. Add in your client information and the products. Once you are ready to ship the items and have clicked on Ship in your sales order, Megaventory will ask for you to fill in the batch numbers you will use.
Bring your cursor to the Batch Number field and start typing. Megaventroy will now open a list of batch numbers associated with the SKU on hand. Select the correct one. The expiration date will fill in automatically.
Once you have done this, click on “Create Document” at the end of the page. Now Megaventory will know which batch will have items sent out from, and which batches stock levels remain the same for the product on hand.
If you’re selling items over the counter without Sales Orders, you can just fill in the correct batch numbers at the end of the Sales Invoice. Look here for details.
Batch Numbers Help With Potentially Faulty Items
Batch Numbers in inventory will also help you if you find a fault in a certain product. For example, if a customer comes back and tells you there was an issue with a box of cookies they bought, chances are that all of the cookies in the batch on hand have the same issue. Knowing which batch the cookies were a part of will help you pull the rest of the batch off the market. This way you will avoid selling faulty items and prevent the need for further damage control.
With batch numbers, it will also be easy to notify customers that have bought an item of this batch and let them know you will refund/exchange the potentially faulty product. As you know, this is something that needs to happen when you will find a fault. Batch numbers will help you comply with government regulations as well as offering the best customer service on the market.
How to Create Batch Numbers
Your system for how you generate batch numbers will depend on the inventory method specific to your company. For example, you can use the date received as a lot number L010121. Creating a logic for your batch numbers that makes sense to you will help you make the most of batch numbers.
If you want to use the date of receiving as the base of your batch number code, you can try something like this:
6 digits for the date – DDMMYY. If you expect to receive more than one batch of the same product on the same day, you can make the batch number a bit more specific: add the number of the batch on hand after the date like this: DDMMYY-1. Depending on what you are comfortable with, you can obviously switch the digits around, eg. MMDDYY.
It’s a good idea to explain the logic behind creating batch numbers for each new employee as well. This will help them identify goods in the warehouse or store by the batch number even if they aren’t responsible for creating new batch numbers. Fully understanding the company’s way of using batch numbers will help bring maximum efficiency!
What to Remember
Using batch numbers in your inventory in the way Megaventory offers means only a bit of additional effort that will however bring a lot of benefits. They add accuracy to your business and will help with keeping communication clear between different departments and employees. Megaventory also allows items to be filtered by batches and you can edit your batch numbers at any time.
Overall, here is what you need to remember:
- Batch numbers are especially handy for perishable goods
- Batch numbers will help you with potentially faulty items
- Using batch numbers in Megaventory is incredibly easy and user-friendly
- The feature is included in the regular subscription cost – no additional fee necessary
As usual, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to our expert support staff!
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Irene Dimakides does Digital Marketing and Content Creation for Megaventory. Her passion is to see people and businesses reach their full potential and move forward in that more freely. When she’s not writing the next piece of original content, you can find her at the beach with a book or getting food with friends.