Expiration Date Tracking: Why and How

Danielle Lobo

When it comes to expiration date tracking, many industries rely on regulatory laws to follow. Others track expiration dates to maintain quality control and public safety. Regardless, it is of the utmost importance that inventory with expiry dates is tracked and managed accurately.

In order to achieve this, dispensers of products with expiration should consider implementing a software solution that can track this inventory. With enough products and transactions, businesses can consider ERP Software as a suitable solution for expiration date tracking.  

ERP software or enterprise resource planning software is an all-in-one solution that helps businesses track many areas of their business including inventory and accounting procedures. No matter the selling channel (Brick & Mortar, Online, Marketplace etc.) ERP software is the backend system that electronically manages the internal processes and operations of the business. 

Let’s delve further into why expiration date tracking is crucial for dispensers of products with expiration dates. 

Regulatory Compliance

As mentioned above, some regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical products and food and beverage products are subject to strict expiration date regulations that are governed by the law. For example, in the US pharmaceutical industry, the State of Arizona (AZ) has enacted a law stating that distributors are prohibited from shipping drugs where the expiry date is less than 120 days into the future.

In order to comply with these regulations, organizations distributing products with expiration dates must be able to track and trace these product. If an expired product does cause issues in the public environment, organizations must be able to trace where they got the product from and demonstrate to an auditor that systems have been implemented to detect and prevent the distribution of these expired products.

Quality Control

Product quality management is essential in the food and beverage industry and date tracking can help to do so. Consumers rely on expiration dates to know the best time for use or consumption. It is their right to know when the product is safe and when it will begin to deteriorate and lose quality.

Public Safety

Distributors play a role in preventing foodborne illnesses by implementing safety precautions to mitigate this risk. Expiration dates allow the supply chain to destroy product that poses a threat. Distributors have a responsibility to uphold a standard of quality product ensuring the safety and well-being of both their employees and the general public.  

Inventory Management

For businesses that require effective management of products with expiration dates, it is imperative to prioritize inventory management procedures to avoid any risks and maintain a steady flow of products moving on shelves. The right procedures reduce deadstock but also prevent the accumulation of expired products. 

Best Software for Expiration Date Tracking

ERP software offers a robust all-in-one solution for effective expiration date tracking by providing users the ability to easily set up reminders based on dates and other parameters. By consolidating inventory and purchasing information in one place, distributors can automate the tracking of expiration dates and notifications. 

The centralization of information empowers organizations to make informative decisions regarding shipment based on expiry, customer location and customer type. With complete reporting capabilities, automation, operational enhancement and customization opportunities, ERP software becomes the ideal centralized hub for streamlining business processes, especially those needing to track expiration dates.  

Tips for Expiration Date Tracking

One of the key functions of your ERP software is the ability to customize report creation. By utilizing an automated reporting system like Blue Link’s ARM or SQL Reporting, you can easily set up automatic reports that let you know when a certain product needs your attention. 

In addition, Barcode scanning capabilities greatly enhance warehouse operations. Barcode scanning enables warehouse workers to effortlessly receive products and automatically update the ERP system with accurate information dismissing any human error and minimizing the risk of mistakes.