To help you better manage your inventory and reduce the risk of product spoilage, we have improved our reporting functionality so that you can now identify which of your items are either damaged, restricted, expired, sold or approaching their sell by date.
This enhanced functionality follows the introduction of batch tracking and expiration dates within Linnworks, both of which are a crucial requirement for sellers of perishable goods.
More specifically, the data you will now be able to obtain from these reports will enable you to generate valuable insights into the performance of your inventory, as well as your wider business decisions.
So, how exactly can you use this data?
Below, we have summarised some of the reports that you can now retrieve from within Linnworks and provided some recommendations on how to best use this information.
Items Approaching Their Sell By Date
This is really valuable insight and can help to reduce the occurrence of your stock becoming obsolete. We would recommend that you run this report at the start of each month and if necessary, hold a promotion or reduce the price in order to sell these items before they become unsellable.
Keep in mind that the frequency of which you run this report will, however, depend on your business’s resources and the amount of inventory you have. For example, it may be more appropriate for you retrieve this data every fortnight.
It is also important to use this data to improve the management of your inventory. If, for example, you find that you are repeatedly left with large quantities of the same item all due to expire imminently, it could suggest that you need to reduce the amount you have in stock at any given point in time. Specifically, this may require you to change your safety stock levels, in other words the amount of stock you have available at any given time.
Each batch will have a status applied to it, in order to identify how it can be used within Linnworks. By using this report, you will be able to track your items/batches based on their current status, which will ultimately allow you to make decisions affecting how you manage your stock, both internally and from your supplier.
Below, we have described each of the four batch statuses:
Neither the Sell By Date, nor the Expiry Date, have been reached yet and the item is therefore able to be assigned to orders and despatched.
An item will become restricted once the Sell By Date has been reached but the Expiry Date has not. Please note that you can change the status to Restricted manually for any batches that you do not wish to assign to orders at that time.
Items that have a Damaged status are typically those that have been damaged prior to despatch, as opposed to becoming damaged due to poor delivery.
Examples of this could include:
- Broken seals
- Poor packaging
- Items that have been damaged in transit, from your supplier to your warehouse
- Items that have been damaged by warehouse staff
24 hours after the Expiry Date has passed, the status of the batch will automatically be changed to Expired. As an example, if the Expiry Date is 30/03/17, the status will change to Expired on 31/03/17.
Batches Sales History
The Batches Sales History Report allows you to confirm exactly which batched items have been sold, when they were sold and to whom they were sold to. While the sales history itself is useful, as it allows you to better organise future purchasing from your supplier, the data can also be used in the event of a product recall.
In this scenario, this information is vital for you to be able to contact your customers and ensure they are aware of the recall. This can ultimately help to maintain the integrity of your company.
How do expiry dates work within Linnworks?
You will now be able to assign batches to your products and prioritise these batches by their sell by date and expiration date. While you can learn more about how this batch tracking functionality works within Linnworks here, in short the system will recognise the specified sell by date and stop products within the batch from being allocated to an order. Once the expiry date is recognised, Linnworks will decrement the availability of that stock.
In addition to batch tracking, Linnworks now also supports multiple bin locations, which enables you to assign a product to multiple different bins within the same warehouse.
This release is part of a much larger update to our inventory functionality. You can find out more about each feature here. We would also recommend watching the video below to learn more.