Managing Inventory in a DSCSA-Regulated World: Warehouse Management
DSCSA introduces compliance documentation into your warehouse and with it, inventory management complications. Establishing processes to properly manage Transaction Histories, Information, and Statements (T3) is critical -- if you don’t have T3 to match product, you cannot sell it – but you also need to maintain operational efficiencies.
Last week, we looked at some of the challenges associated with product receipt. In part 2 of this 3-part series of 7 key challenges wholesalers face, we'll review what you need to think about when product is in inventory and how TraceLink's Product Track can help.
3 – How do you match which product belongs to what T3 and locate both?
Product that you receive today is lot-level identified. When it comes from the same lot, it is basically indistinguishable. But product that comes from different suppliers or from the same supplier on different sale dates is different and belongs to unique Transaction Histories. You need to organize your inventory so that when it comes time to ship product, you can easily marry it with its proper compliance documentation. At the same time, you need to maintain efficient put away and pick processes.
TraceLink solution: Product Track links the T3 data to the product primarily using the NDC and lot number, but it also provides a reference identifier field to further facilitate pick-pack-ship. During the receiving process, you can populate the reference identifier field with any value that means something to your business. For example, some wholesalers assign product to a particular warehouse location and will use that location identifier as the reference ID. Product Track then tags the T3 data with it and allows you to specify that value during pick operations.
If you choose not to use this but to simply specify the NDC and lot, Product Track will match the T3 with that exact data in first in, first out (FIFO) order. If you purchased directly from the manufacturer and do not need to do lot-based picking, then Product Track will also work through the T3 data in FIFO order so that it's using the last transaction histories first.
4 – How can you logically quarantine product?
TraceLink solution: Product Track has an “update status” function where you can specify an NDC and lot at a particular warehouse and set that status to quarantine. This effectively locks the Transaction Histories so that a user can’t inadvertently select them for an outbound shipment.
5 – How can you insure your inventory counts stay in synch with your T3?
You have product constantly moving in your warehouse. Over time, differences in physical inventory count versus T3 inventory count may occur as product is misplaced or clerical errors occur. Since you’re not permitted to sell product unless you have T3 for it, you will want to know when there’s a mismatch. How can you periodically check your physical inventory against your T3 - much like you check it against your WMS or inventory system - to make sure everything is in sync? And how can you correct any issues?
TraceLink solution: TraceLink provides a set of utilities to help manage this. Through Product Track, you can run an inventory report so that you can compare your T3 product counts against your inventory system. If you identify any issues, you’ll need to find the root cause. Once you do, you can use Product Track’s update functions to help correct the errors.
For example, you may discover that you picked 10 items but inadvertently entered 100. Now you need to make a correction and put 90 back. Product Track’s update function would allow you to update the quantity in the T3 data and would create an audit trail so that you always have a record of all the changes you make.
Product Track also has a void function. If you discover an error in either a received or sent T3, then you can void the T3 data and have a new replacement T3 take its place, with a record of this activity.