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How an ERP Manages Shelf-Life

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is one of the most valuable assets you can have to manage your other most valuable asset – inventory. Inventory requires organizing, counting, scheduling, ordering, etc. Also crucial to good inventory control is shelf-life. The shelf life of an item affects re-order rates, costs, and losses. The system you use to manage your inventory must have features that collect an item’s shelf-life data, analyzes it, and forecasts the impact on your business’s needs.

When contemplating how an ERP manages shelf-life, consider:

Re-order Rates

Products with a long shelf-life integrate easily into long-term planning and business cycles, but products with short shelf-lives require a highly cyclical business plan. Your ERP system should account for the length of each item’s cycle and plan re-orders accordingly. A good ERP system is also customizable, allowing you to manually enter data, alter ordering parameters, create reports, set up alerts, and more.

Sage X3 Infographic


In addition to replacing sold items, incoming orders will also compensate for items that have “expired” – that is, gone past their shelf-life. Related costs fluctuate based on several factors, one of which is quantity. Items bought in bulk, for example, are often less expensive than items bought in smaller increments, both in price per item and in shipping costs. A good ERP system automatically addresses the fluctuations in cost caused by different order sizes, so you can replace both sold items and expired items in a timely but cost-efficient manner.


An ERP system lessens your chances of losing money due to an inventory item outliving its shelf-life and becoming unsellable. Data transparency, superior recording and monitoring capabilities, and custom alert features give you the information you need to see when items are going to expire enough time in advance to help you avoid the expiration and prevent losses of both inventory and money. 

Best Practices in Inventory Control eBook

Do you have adequate inventory control? Let Southeast Computer Solutions set you up with an ERP system so you can answer that question with a “yes.” Contact us for more information.


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About Southeast Computer Solutions
Southeast Computer Solutions is based in Miami, Florida and has additional operations in Mexico. For over 30 years, we have positively impacted the success of small and mid-sized businesses with effective business management implementations that improve our clients’ operations. We listen, we are accessible, and we care. Learn more by visiting our website or calling 305-556-4697.

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