Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Stuart VA
    Plugin Contributions

    Default Managing batch and lot numbers

    We manufacture spice and oil kits and some related products. Every item has a lot number, including the ones that are made up from other items (for example, a spice mix that contains four other spices). At this point, we could go back to any sale from the last four years and determine the original vendor's lot number for each item in the sale, whether it was a single component item or an assembly of other items. This kind of supply-chain verification is required for some large businesses and is likely to become a requirement for smaller ones as well.

    As our volume of orders increases, this is getting increasingly difficult. I've been using the serial number field for the lot number, and just watching inventory levels like a hawk. The instant one lot is sold out, I change the serial number on that item to the new lot that we already have on the shelves and reset the inventory amount to what we actually have on hand. But as our volume picks up, there have been multiple occasions when I didn't realize we were sold out of something until a day or more after that occurred. Yes, I get low inventory notifications, but I can't manage the business 24 hours a day. So we probably lost some sales because people thought the item wasn't available, even though we might have had 100 units ready to be shipped.

    If anyone else has solved this problem, I'd sure like to hear from you. The only workaround I've found at this point is to allow the inventory levels to drop below zero, so people can continue to order even when a particular batch is sold out. Then I go into the order record for each order beyond the zero point and replace the lot number in the order with the correct new one. That works, but it's a lot of work, and will become less feasible as our orders pick up. Moreover, it isn't something I can allow anyone else in the company to do.

    I'm working on inventory management software that will interface with Zencart and allow the lot number to be picked up automatically from its inventory records. In other words, when the current quantity drops to zero for any given product, Zencart would pick up the lot number from the next available lot for that specific product and refresh the inventory quantities showing in the product description for that item. But that takes time that I don't have right now. So I'm looking for a workaround that will not only be easier than what I'm doing now, but that could be safe for someone else to do (not require mucking about with raw data files, in other words).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Plugin Contributions

    Default Re: Managing batch and lot numbers

    Sounds like a fun little project!

    Currently I have a program for MS Excel that automates this process then produces a file to upload to Zen - manually.

    In beta development is the same program converted to Zen php to work directly and in real time with the changes you need including an update to the inventory - completely automated.

    - The automation starts after the program sees a new file to scan in the upload folder.
    - The file then gets scanned, compared against the database then updates any changes.
    - An order processes and the scripts run again.

    Updates per order drops the window of failure below 10% during heavy traffic times when someone could order before the upload happens (on larger databases). It's likely closer to 1% potential missed in a small to medium sized store products 50 - 5000.

    These are $pecialized for the sites they were built with requirements for live inventory management across multiple sites and platforms....

    So it may be worth looking at particular aspects of your wants and needs in admin to produce a much simpler bridge between the lot/inventory field, a next-in-line lot/inventory field and the order update code.

    - You input the daily inventory update, lot numbers and stock qty go into queue in the next-in-line lot/inventory field (if you want a visual record of what's next or ISO tracking)
    - Someone places an order and during the order process the lot number is adjusted in all applicable locations if inventory drops to 0.
    - The code completes when the order is finished.
    - Meaning the last customer will setup the stock and lot for the next customer.
    - Next order everything changes in line with the order process.

    If you apply an update the code will process in real time.

    Your customers placing orders will do the work for you!
    Twitch. - Do you work for free? Please donate.
    Twitch Wholesale + Attributes, ZC 1.38 - 1.56c - Expert Site Migration & Upgrades!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Stuart VA
    Plugin Contributions

    Default Re: Managing batch and lot numbers

    Thanks, inventive thinking. I'll look at how that could be accomplished. If I can even automate it to the point where my personal input isn't required, that would help. I hadn't planned on adding fields to the product items until I had my own inventory management finished, but that's easily done. The "next in line" lot number could be easily added to the product update program as well. I think the lot number would have to be adjusted in only one place--the product record itself. I could run a small utility once a day to pull out any product records where the 'current lot number' and the 'next in line' lot number were the same, which would indicate that the 'next in line' lot number needed to be updated manually. As you say, in heavy traffic periods, this could result in orders being in multiple people's shopping carts at one time, and the next in line lot number not being applied when it should be. But as things are right now, our biggest seller is something we purchase and resell, and it doesn't have a lot number as it is not a food. So this could be a temporary workaround for now. Thank you!



Similar Threads

  1. v155 Is anyone else using lot or batch numbers?
    By HeleneWallis in forum Setting Up Categories, Products, Attributes
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 8 Apr 2017, 10:52 PM
  2. v154 Managing Options and Attributes
    By imagineeratheart in forum Setting Up Categories, Products, Attributes
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 31 May 2015, 12:24 PM
  3. Sure seems like a lot of $ for a lot of work...
    By runfrombears in forum General Questions
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 15 Mar 2013, 08:13 AM
  4. Creating and managing Client hierarchy?
    By AndrewU in forum Managing Customers and Orders
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 20 Feb 2013, 06:49 PM
  5. Buy one . . .buy the lot . . discount box lot pricing?
    By FuzzyBunny in forum Discounts/Coupons, Gift Certificates, Newsletters, Ads
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 30 Sep 2008, 12:28 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Zen-Cart, Internet Selling Services, Klamath Falls, OR