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Prevent Product Expiration

Posted by On 27-03-2024
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Inventory Cycle Counts, Product Repairs, and FIFO: How 3PL Warehouses Prevent Product Expiration

Certain items are fine to sit in storage for a long time and still ship to your customers without issue. However, some products start to expire as soon as they are made. In this post we will learn how 3PL warehouses prevent product expiration.

Products like medicines and cosmetics, must be used before a particular expiry date to maintain their maximum effectiveness. For others, such as perishable foods, someone consuming them after the expiry date could actually result in illness.

These kinds of items require extra caution and attention, especially when they are being stored in warehouses for extended periods. Allowing them to go past their expiry date will make them unsellable and will result in lost revenue.

How 3PL Warehouses Prevent Product Expiration Through Inventory Cycle Counts, Product Repairs, and FIFO

Expiration dates can be a major source of issues when you have a huge range of products.

However, an experienced and knowledgeable 3PL warehouse can help you thwart most of these problems. How? By constantly monitoring stock levels and following certain practices to minimize the frequency of products expiring before shipping.

The following are some of the most common ways that 3PL Warehouses Prevent Product Expiration:

Inventory Cycle Counts

One of the most essential warehouse practices in minimizing product expiry is regular inventory cycle counting. It also confirms that inventory SKU counts match WMS records.

There are various methods to facilitate these cycle counts. These include dividing the warehouse into sections and counting each part on a rotating basis. Or counting higher-volume items more frequently. Those items that have a higher chance of moving. The best method depends on factors, such as the warehouse layout.

Cycle counts differ from physical inventory counts, as they are performed frequently. While, physical inventory counts are generally only done once or twice a year. 

Regular cycle counts keep your inventory accurate and prevent overages that ultimately lead to more products expiring. 

At the same time, this practice will also help you to prevent any items from running out of stock. Preventing both of these issues, puts you in the best position to maintain your customers’ satisfaction.

Product Repairs

In some cases, product expiration may not be the only problem worth considering. Depending on your products, returns and repairs may also be something you need to figure out. 

Effectively managing the return and repair process of various items can be quite time-consuming and resource-intensive. You need a system in place to process such requests. Plus, dedicated personnel to receive the items and conduct repairs. You also need the necessary infrastructure to ship the repaired or replaced items back to your customers.

Trying to manage all of this in-house can quickly become overwhelming and costly. Fortunately, this is something that a 3PL service provider can help with.  They can take care of some or all of these essential processes. Right from the original customer service call to the return shipment of the product.

For 3PL providers that offer such services, they also often maintain ongoing relationships with various OEM parts suppliers and resellers. This allows them to easily manage the replacement of otherwise hard-to-find parts and components.

Prevent Product Expiration by Following FIFO Practices 

One more key strategy used by 3PL warehouses is the first in, first out (FIFO) approach. This inventory control method ensures the first inventory items received are the first ones to leave. Thus, preventing product expiration.

This method is especially critical when handling products that are quick to spoil. But, this method can also make a big difference for any kind of item with an expiry date.

3PL warehouses must have a system in place to keep track of how long inventory has been in the storage. The utilization of advanced WMS software generally makes this significantly easier.

Use Wills Transfer to Prevent Product Expiration

If you have been dealing with product expiration issues, or you would simply like to avoid such problems in the future as your business scales up its operations, consider enlisting the warehousing services of Wills Transfer Limited.

We can save your business a ton of money and reduce your logistical issues. This way, your inventory will be thoroughly and efficiently managed, so you never have to worry about products going bad.

We use a state-of-the-art WMS system to keep track of all the relevant details of your inventory. We also implement targeted strategies, such as cycle counts, so that we can enforce effective practices like FIFO. 

Our skilled and experienced team of order fulfillment experts are happy to discuss your business’s specific needs. We will ensure that our approach to your order fulfillment matches them accordingly. 

In addition to effective inventory management and getting your orders out in a timely fashion, we can improve your operation’s efficiency through other services, such as picking and packing, kitting, asset tagging, and container de-stuffing.

​​For more information about our warehousing services, or to learn more about the various measures we have in place to effectively avoid product expiry issues, call Wills Transfer Limited at 613-704-7549 or contact us here.