By Lowry Solutions | September 24, 2014

The importance of lot control lies in the complete traceability of every piece of inventory that moves through your warehouse. With lot control, each piece is quick and easy to trace back to its group of origin.

Creating a lot control system

A ‘lot’ is a specific batch of goods received, stored, or shipped from your warehouse. There are many ways to organize lot batches — by expiration dates, materials used, etc.  There are also several levels you can choose from to create batches, including the license plate level, the bin level, and the individual box level.

Tightening regulations

In many industries, the administrations or organizations in power are tightening regulations when it comes to recalls. Having full product traceability is absolutely vital to any company’s reputation and success. Recalls are catastrophic for any that do not have lot control methods in place. In the event of a recall, lot control methods make it much easier to stick to regulations.

No lot control? You’ll have to face the consequences.

Imagine that your phone rings in the middle of the night. It’s a supplier of yours telling you that one of their items has been recalled because it has an ingredient that is making customers ill. You hang up the phone in a panic. You have no way of telling which batch of product is causing the problem. You know that if you do not provide a full report within the hour, you will be faced with hard consequences that range from a tarnished brand reputation to huge fines. But what if you do not have the resources to pull the report that you need?

In the event that your warehouse does not have lot control methods in place during a recall, the supplier of the recalled product must recall everything nationwide. Suppliers have gone out of business because they were not prepared for recall situations. Any company without lot control methods runs a huge risk of losing everything during a recall — and that’s why lot control is so important.

Lot Control is vital for:

Recalls — If your company has cloud-based lot control built into its warehouse management system (WMS), it will be able to identify problem batches almost immediately. This allows you to reach out and halt specific product sales and saves you time, stress, and your company’s reputation.

Expiration Dates — Lot control is also essential regarding the expiration dates of food, beverage, and pharmaceutical products. Tracking your lots by expiration date will assist your company in the timely distribution of goods from your warehouse. It also makes it easy to identify, pull, and discard expired products.

Lot control is the key to safeguarding not only customer health, but also your company’s reputation, pocketbook, and business. The bottom line is that if your company cannot provide full traceability for each and every one of the items that flows through the warehouse, then it is at a risk for huge fines, and even the possibility of being put out of business permanently.

Integrating lot control into your WMS will efficiently solve the problem. When a recall happens, you’ll feel secure in the knowledge that your WMS can call up the necessary report immediately so that your business can survive, and even thrive.


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