Organizations incorporate lot tracking for their inventory for many reasons. The most common is for trace and recall purposes. This requirement is often mandated to comply with FDA and ISO compliance. Lot tracking allows the ability to track inventory items that share the same attributes for their lifecycle. Most commonly a manufacture date and expiration date are included with a lot number. In manufacturing, a lot would represent the ‘batch’ of inventory produced using the same components. For example, a batch of beer (with ingredients that are also tracked by lots) would represent a lot of beer. When a new batch is brewed, it is a new lot.
For some organization, more finite lot control is used. A lot may be assigned per shift or down to a unit level, such as per pallet. If anything is introduced that may cause a recall, it can be based on the specific lot or lot range produced at the time of the incident versus the entire lot since most systems will have audit trail of when the inventory was introduced down to a timestamp.
Microsoft Dynamics GP has the option to set your inventory to track by lot number. Utilizing an
Manufacture Date and Expire Date are standard attributes that can be tracked on lot inventory in GP. There are also 5 user definable attributes: 3 text and 2 date field options. Within GP, a Lot Category can be created. This allows the ability to define different attributes for different items since these attributes are defined by category. Under the Options on the Item Maintenance card in GP, set the number of days for these dates to set the sell by or use by information. If you don’t need to track minimum shelf life, Panatrack recommends setting one of these fields for the original receipt date of the lot number. Within GP, when lot is transferred to a different site, the receipt date in the database reflects the date the lot was received to that specific site. To maintain tracking of the original receipt, these attributes can be used.
If you want GP to assign your lot numbers, a lot mask can be defined. You can define multiple segments and the segment length. Segments can be set to numeric, alpha, symbol, user date, and a space. The ability to automatically increment is available to setting a starting and ending value. An example of a lot mask may be: LYYMM-000001 which breaks down as shown:
Segment1: Alpha = L
Segment2: User Date formatted YYMM
Segment3: Symbol = ‘-‘
Segment4: Numeric incremental (increasing)
GP also has a lot trace capability that is accessed through the Inventory Inquiry. You can filter the lot data returned based on multiple criteria: Find all transactions for a lot number; Find lot numbers shipped to a customer; Find lot numbers received from a vendor; Recall lot numbers shipped to customers; Recall lot numbers where stocked. This last option allows the ability to transfer those lots from On Hand to a different type to take them out of available inventory.
One of the very few drawbacks of lot tracking in GP is that for every receipt (which includes transfer) entry of a lot, a lot record is created in the database. Within the GP interface, the exact same lot can be displayed multiple times in lot look ups.
As an example, the same item-lot is received across three separate transactions. For each transaction, a database record is created. The Date Sequence identifies the order the records were entered. (Note: this is also how FIFO logic is applied across the records.)
|Quantity||100 Each||100 Each||36 Each|
The total quantity for this Lot L1234 is 236 assuming entry into the same site/bin location. Because there are multiple receipt database records, they would be displayed as separate records if looking this up within GP.
Simplifying the Process
You can easily get around this by investing in PanatrackerGP. If you are lot tracking, you will gain huge benefits in adding mobile and barcode technology. Within the PanatrackerGP application interface, lots for the same item and site/bin are consolidated and displayed as a single record. Instead of seeing 3 records (like you would in GP), the lot is listed only once for lot look ups. Validation and quantity available for the lot is also consolidated to the total versus individual record.
Panatrack has also added a feature for Stock Counts to support an item-level count for lot tracked items. Only discrepancies will require counts down to the lot number. There is of course the option to count to the lot level if preferred.
PanatrackerGP will streamline lot tracking for you in general. Capture lot details at the point of receiving and print barcode item labels that incorporate both the item and lot in the same barcode. This will give the users the ability to scan once to populate both the item and lot fields on every transaction. Features such as order pick directives to the oldest and soonest to expire inventory is standard.
Probably one of the biggest advantages of PanatrackerGP is order picking and fulfillment. Instead of auto-assignment of lots when the order is created, changing to a separate fulfillment process and allowing the user to submit the lots can offer huge time savings. If lots are specific to a customer, the Verify Order transaction will provide the validation the correct lots were staged.
Panatrack has assisted customers in defining lot tracking strategies. The use of item-level flex fields provides the ability to capture lots and include the lot in label printing for those planning to migrate to lot tracking in GP. Lots can be used to not only for full traceability, but can also be used for internal controls. Organizations that have containers of inventory managed by weight may want to consider assignment of the lot to represent those containers. Using lots in this way allows the ability to easily identify full, partial, and empty containers based on remaining quantity.
If you are considering lot tracking, consider exploring the lot tracking features you have available within Dynamics GP. Then consider the additional improvements to lot tracking by adding PanatrackerGP.
PanatrackerGP will bring you to your next level for inventory management and allow you to maintain your Dynamics GP system as the single host database.
Turn Dynamics GP into Your Fully Integrated WMS
Lot tracking is a coveted feature of a WMS and already exists within your Dynamics GP environment. Panatrack can guide you in the setup and workflow path to using this feature to its full extent. The PanatrackerGP solution turns lot tracking into an effective tool to streamline your inventory tracking and adding the control your team needs.
Contact Panatrack for more information or to schedule a demo!