Inventory Batch Tracking
Inventory Batch Tracking allows you to group multiple units of a stock item, assign them a unique Batch No. and ship your orders by Batch Numbers. Even though using this functionality will require extra effort and/or level of management, the use of Inventory Batch Tracking within Linnworks.net will allow for a much more sophisticated Inventory management system.
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Batch numbers are really useful for businesses who use FIFO (First In First Out) in their inventory flow. Sellers who stock perishable products use FIFO to keep their inventory fresh and ensure the oldest products on the shelf are the first to ship out. Separating stock into batches is mainly seen in the pharmaceutical & food/beverages industry. Medicines and perishable goods produced in a particular batch are assigned a unique Number, therefore this helps the seller track their manufacturing and expiry dates for all the units produced under specific batch.
Inventory Batch tracking is also useful for business that has to adhere to government regulations that require then to maintain accurate records for each batch's purchase and sale (i.e. medical supplies, fireworks, chemical supplies, pharmaceuticals, etc.). The Linnworks batching functionality also generates a comprehensive audit trail of stock changes and will accurately track each individual item sold, received or returned.
Likewise, many other businesses including those in the apparel, textile, and building supply industry also use batching. In these industries, instead of tracking expiry dates and batch numbers for recall purposes, batch numbers are tracked with regards different textiles and products in which identification of specific coloration is an important part of product tracking.
The use of batched items has benefits mentioned above, although using Inventory Batch Tracking adds a whole extra layer of Inventory Management, that will require further care to implement correctly.
A Batch Number is an identification number assigned to a batch of items. It may contain information such as manufacturers code, production date, sell by and expire dates, etc. A batch number facilitates identification of items and is useful for tracking purposes (as long as the batch are unique. Their use provides you with the freedom and flexibility to track all of your stock quickly and easily since you receive it, right through to after-sale care.
Following this concept, a common user-assigned practice is using Expire dates, Sell By dates to items, so the oldest items can be picked from your available stock first (FIFO).
- Basic stock Items are items that represent actual physical stock items that you are selling. These type of items can be classified as:
- Unbatched Stock Items - Set by Default
- Batched Stock Items - These type of Items are linked to a specific and unique Batch No. and they can have a Sell By date, Expire On date or a Priority Sequence assigned to them. Depending on the dates that are assigned to them these items will have different statuses
- Available: Neither Sell By date nor Expire date has been reached yet.
- Restricted: The Sell by date has been reached but Expire date has not. Please note that you can change the status to Restricted manually for any batches that you do not wish to start assigning them to orders yet.
- Damaged: An item can be damaged for different reasons. Once the status is set to Damaged these items will not be assigned to any other orders.
- Expired: 24 hours after its Expire date has been passed. E.g. If the Expiry date is 30/03/2017 when the time hits 31/03/2017 then the status will be switched to Expired
- Composite Items and Variation Groups are special types of stock items as they do not correspond to a single physical item or they are designed to be a generic container for a type of stock.
See more information about Composite and Variation groups here
Use the following guides for assistance with inventory Batch Tracking creation and adjustment.
- How to create and edit a batched Item
- How to assign Batch Numbers to stock items
- How are Batches assign to an order?
- Stock movements with batched items
- Printing: Creating Stock Items labels, Pick Lists and Packing List