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How to Reduce Inventory Losses with Better Shelf-Life Management

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In the food and beverage industry, inventory losses can narrow margins and lead to delays further down the supply chain. Having too little in your warehouse could mean the inability to meet demand on time. Having too much on hand might mean a significant portion of the surplus will expire before it ever hits consumer shelves.

Optimizing shelf-life management is essential to reduce waste, widen profit margins, and improve customer satisfaction. That’s where fully integrated inventory management software steps in to do the heavy lifting.

Here’s how an ERP software can help your manufacturing or distribution business’ take shelf-life management to the next level:

Reducing Human Error

Across the board, one of the biggest impacts ERP software can make in the food and beverage supply chain is reduced human error. Manual spot checks and data entry is an outdated, inefficient solution for heavily regulated industries with demanding traceability needs. Recording data by hand and transferring it between separate spreadsheets and databases often leads to discrepancies and labor-intensive corrective action.

Fully integrated ERP software includes automated data collection tools and real-time tracking capabilities that can be easily accessed by all departments. This improves the efficiency of traceability processes while offering manufacturers and distributors more control over data management.

Decreases Necessary Labor

ERP software also has the benefit of decreasing dependence on manual labor. Let’s use the scenario above, for example. Countless man-hours are required each year just gathering and entering inventory data. With automated inventory management software, however, this model gets flipped so the human workforce can focus on other business processes. Wage costs are reduced while productivity increases as automated systems track expiration dates, lot counts, and other batch data in the background in real-time.

Improves Inventory Management

Unused or spoiled ingredients can make a significant impact on a food manufacturer or distributor’s bottom line. It’s paramount for businesses in this industry to prioritize inventory management with the FEFO method – “first expired, first out.”

ERP software ensures just that. There is simply no need to put your profits at risk due to poor management of perishable inventory. Automated inventory management allows businesses to track the expiration dates and lot data of many separate ingredients in a user-friendly platform that is visible to all departments. It can even alert users when individual ingredients approach expiration for better production and restock planning.

Avoids Overstocking

Automated data management software does more than manage expiration dates, smart forecasting tools actually anticipate production needs.  Awareness of seasonal demand or current production patterns helps avoid over or understocking. This process can be extremely complicated and time-intensive to execute manually leading to less accurate forecasts and unnecessary expenses.

The sophisticated capabilities of ERP software change all of that. Instead of tracking and analyzing data in separate, isolated spreadsheets, real-time inventory and sales information can be integrated and analyzed with greater accuracy to make better business decisions. This leaves less to chance while reducing losses.


Ready to take the next step? At Attivo, we understand the challenges the food and beverage industry goes through each and every day. Our team of senior expert consultants can help you find the right ERP solution.

If you’re tired of wasted time, money, and effort on manual inventory management systems, transitioning to fully integrated ERP software like SAP Business One may be the right solution for you and your business. We have helped countless organizations just like yours reach their goals year after year. If you have questions about SAP Business One and how the Attivo Group can help effectively transition your business, contact us online to schedule a complimentary analysis or give us a call at 877-428-8486.

Interested in learning more?

Our consultants are ready to answer any of your questions.

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