It is a common everyday practice for us to check the Manufacture and Expiration dates on the food and pharmacy products we plan to consume. We care about these dates because we know that consuming food and drugs past their expiration date may have a negative effect on our health. With the number of products on the shelves of markets, pharmacies and medical supply warehouses, it is a challenging task to keep track the Lots and their Expiration dates. There are serious consequences if expired medications make it into the market and distributed to consumers or patients.
PeopleSoft Inventory has always offered Lot traceability functionality. Many PeopleSoft Healthcare customers use the Lot ID functionality to effectively keep track of Items with a specific shelf life and to trace Item consumption of this material. In this blog I would like to touch upon some key features of this Lot traceability capability in PeopleSoft Inventory.
What is a Lot?
In PeopleSoft Inventory, the term Lot refers to a quantity of inventory Items produced as a group or otherwise collected into an identifiable unit. Key attributes identify this group such that it may have a specific shelf life or is viable only for a specific period.
What is the first step to start to implement Lot Traceability functionality?
The first step is to determine and identify the Items which need tracing from receiving to consumption “as a lot or as a group” whose specifications and expiration dates are very important. All such items are good candidates to be defined as Lot items.
How do we define a Lot?
A lot is defined by a Lot Id and stored in a Lot control table. Once a Lot id is created it can be assigned to an Item. When defining a Lot, system allow users to enter several other attributes like Lot Description, Lot creation date, Expiration date etc. It is possible to set up Auto numbering of a lot and default in the lot id field. Since the Lot ids are unique, duplication is completely avoided. The life cycle of a Lot is from its creation to expiration.
What are the various dates defined for the Lots?
Dates are very important when identifying Lot Controlled Items. Important dates defined for a Lot are the Lot Creation Date, Lot Availability Date, Lot Retest Date and of course the Lot Expiration Date. If these dates are defined correctly, the PeopleSoft Inventory system will be able to control the transaction of Items and ensures warning messages are generated when the threshold dates are crossed. PeopleSoft also allows you to define a Shelf Life in terms of days when defining an Item as Lot Controlled to assist in determining when an Item should no longer be considered a viable source of supply or available for consumption.
What are the transactions in which the Lot id appears?
PeopleSoft enforces entering the Lot IDs in several transactional pages such as Receipt, Inspection, Putaway, Issues, Inter-unit transfers, Return Material Authorizations, Shipping and more for the Items which are Lot controlled. The Lot ID-related fields are hidden for the non-Lot Controlled Items. Systems also default the Lot IDs wherever possible. For instance, at the time of receipt an Item going into stock gets assigned to a Lot ID and will then carry that Lot identifier in all subsequent transactions until the Item quantity becomes null. If stock is entered in Inventory through the Putaway transaction, the Item stock will be assigned a Lot ID and continues through any downstream processing.
How does Peoplesoft helps Inspection of Lots at the time of receipt?
Generally, the Items received as a Lot have the same specifications and Manufacture’s testing reports and specifications. Testing Lots helps to save time for Quality control department The Lot Detail page allows Inspectors to view additional Lot information, including Quantities, Attribute changes, and Comments. After inspection, the Lot can be assigned different statuses and in addition, be given any retest dates for further examination of potency, viability and whether the material should be scrapped.
What are the different statuses that a Lot can be placed and how does it enforce stringent controls?
PeopleSoft Inventory allows four statuses which can be assigned to Lot IDs. Each status has purpose to enforce control over movement of Items in Inventory.
Hold: Lots in Hold status are not available for picking plans or for Lot allocations to prevent material transactions. The Quality Inspector can also assign a reason code to denote why it is in this status.
Rejected: Lots in Rejected status are not available for picking plans or for Lot allocations to prevent material transactions. The Quality Inspector can also assign a reason code to denote why it is in this status.
Restricted: Lots in Rejected status are not available for picking plans or for Lot allocations to restrict material transactions. However, PeopleSoft allows a user to pick these Items at the time of Material Picking feedback but issues an appropriate warning message. The Quality Inspector can also assign a reason code to denote why it is in this status.
Open: Lots in Open status are fully available for picking plans or for Lot allocations.
What is the control mechanism in Peoplesoft Inventory to prevent violations while handling Lot Items?
A built-in mechanism available in PeopleSoft Inventory is to generate warning messages at key points during fulfillment processing. Warning messages appear if a user tries to transact a Lot before its Availability Date or after its Expiration Date. PeopleSoft Inventory has number of pages where the warning messages have been incorporated such as:
Create/Update Stock Request component
Allocate Lots page
Picking Plan report
Material Picking Feedback page
Express Issue page
How can a user trace the journey of a lot in Peoplesoft Inventory?
PeopleSoft Inventory has Lot Trace/Lot Composition feature which helps users track the Lots during its transactional journey. Lot tracing is possible at different stages such as Receipt, issue, shipments, Inter-unit transfers, Return to Vendor, and Return Material Authorizations.
Lot Trace/Lot Composition Search helps to view details of Lots and its traceability. A detailed report on the history of Lot Controlled Item movements can be generated should the need arise.
PeopleSoft Inventory has very effective Lot Control functionality which assists organizations in managing inventory where expiration and shelf life is key. Lot controlled Items are tracked with built-in control mechanisms to prevent transactions violating Lot integrity.