Lot tracking software sucks!

Mark Canes

In a previous post on lot tracking, we discussed the top 3 excuses for not implementing a proper lot tracking system. We now have a new contender for the list, and it's a good one, tough to argue against. I heard this comment during a webinar on inventory management for food and medical distributors:

"There's no point in trying to use lot tracking software, because all lot tracking software out there sucks..."

This was the "expert" opinion of one of the attendees, a supply chain manager at a medium-sized food distributor who has apparently looked at "dozens of software packages" and found them all wanting when it comes to lot tracking. Unfortunately, the moderator did not drill down with this person, so we never did find out what software packages he's looked at, why they "suck", and what he'd like to see in a good solution. We did, however, hear him proudly proclaim that he tracks all their lot movements, in and out, on a spreadsheet that is always up to date and accurate on a daily basis. Apparently, manually updating all this information, probably taking several hours of his time per day, does not "suck".

Here's my opinion: a properly implemented accounting software solution with an integrated lot tracking module beats a separate manually updated spreadsheet 100% of the time. And yet...there are still so many companies out there in food distribution, medical and similar industries who either don't track lots at all, or do it "on the side". I just don't get it.