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Managing Increased Demand for Perishable Goods

As consumers find themselves stuck in quarantine, and grocery store queues getting longer, more and more buyers are purchasing perishable goods online. We’re seeing an increase of sales for necessities like food and medicine, and a number of sellers are finding it difficult to manage large columns of orders for these items.

Fulfilling orders for food and medicine comes with a unique challenge not found when selling other products, they have expiry dates. You might have several shelves/boxes/pallets of the same items that all expire at different times. 

Common problems with selling perishable goods

It may be that under normal operating conditions, your warehouse staff have the time they need to sort through items to find the ones expiring soonest, but that becomes more time consuming when you need to get orders out the door fast. You want to make sure that you’re prioritising which items are picked and packed first, so you don’t ship items that still have a long shelf-life.

Another worry is making sure your staff don’t accidentally pack an item that’s past its sell by date. It’s unlikely, but as warehouses become more hectic, mistakes can be made.

You also might have increased the amount of stock you’ve ordered from your supplier to keep up with the growing demand. This can be tricky if your warehouse hasn’t been set up to handle different batches of the same item all with different expiry dates.

How Linnworks can help with batching

Linnworks’ batching functionality was designed to help sellers cope with increasing demand for perishable goods. 

By splitting your stock into batches, each one can be given it’s own sell by and expiry date. Once configured, the Open Orders Screen will make sure your pickers are always picking the oldest batch, and won’t let staff accidentally pack an item that’s past it’s sell by date.

Batches can also have their own bin/rack warehouse location. This is great if you’ve had to order more stock than usual, and can’t fit it all in a convenient location. In times like these, you store stock wherever it will fit, and Linnworks can keep track of where everything is in your warehouse so your pickers know exactly where to go.

Smaller sellers may not be used to these problems. You might have seen the batching functionality as an unnecessary overhead all the while your staff could cope with a steady flow of orders. However if you’ve seen your order volumes increase, it might be worth checking our Linnworks’ batching features to save you time and prevent costly shipping mistakes. 

For more information on using the Batching functionality take a look at our supporting content and videos: An introduction to working with Batched Inventory  

Topics: Linnworks 'How To'