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Product manufacturing organizations deal with shelf life of the products every day as a part of business activities. Shelf life determines product suitability for its usage. Shelf life dates explains the date from which the product can be used and until when it can be used.

Especially in Pharmaceutical, Food, Beverages and Chemical industries, these dates are utmost important for planning supply chain activities.

Supply chain challenges with Shelf life expiry dates:

  1. Minimum shelf life of product is required before the goods enter into an organization supply chain. This minimum value supports planners to plan and utilize the goods in manufacturing and delivering to customer. And also as per quality compliance these values are to be maintained against each batch of the product.
  2. Minimum remaining shelf is required while utilizing the product in manufacturing and delivering to customer. Products from warehouse should possess required remaining shelf life before it is issued to production or customers
  3. Shelf life information on labels for the same product may vary when supplying to customers of different or same geographic location. For EOU organizations supplying finished goods to various customers this will become a cumbersome issue. Since product data remains same and only for delivery purpose the label information has to be changed.
  4. Batch details carry forward from API to Finished goods is required to update batch details of finished goods. Details like date of expiry and manufacturing are forwarded to finish goods batch since these represent actual dates of an API/Bulk. In case there are multiple batches of API being used in finished goods then earliest expiry date of the API shall be applied to finished goods batch.
  5. Shelf life rounding rules are sometimes required to round off the shelf life expiry date either period start or period end.
  6. Most importantly shelf life details consideration in planning run. Standard MRP II will not consider expiry dates while net requirement calculation. It will even consider to-be expired batches falling in the planning horizon. This will create stock deficiency at actual day of execution and creates chaos in warehouse management and shop floor.
  7. Recalling of expired batches from the supply chain is a tedious task. If the primary supply chain is integrated with information systems it would be little difficult to manage, but the batches lying at pharmacies, hospitals etc, will be impossible to track without data exchange platforms.

While most of the challenges can be solved in Std SAP, but planning can be done by enhancing standard MRP program to consider shelf life details.

www.isapbox.com has provided a solution which demonstrates MRP including shelf life details.

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