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First Expiry, First Out (FEFO) concept

FEFO-First Expiry First Out

What is FEFO in inventory management?

FEFO stands for First expiry, First out

This strategy is commonly used in industries where products have a limited shelf life or expiration date,

For example the food and pharmaceutical sectors.

The FEFO strategy ensures that items with the earliest expiration dates are used or sold first to minimize waste due to product expiration.

This concept is vital for maintaining products or item’s quality and regulatory compliance.

Advantages of FEFO in warehouse management

  • Minimizes Product Waste
  • Earliest expiration dates having a product sold or used first.
  • Minimize the waste due to spoilage /expiration. And also reduce the financial losses.
  • Improving the quality of the products to the FEFO strategy in a warehouse is applicable to ensuring freshness and quality. This helps to Increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty
  • Reduce the risk of recalls and financial losses.
  • Enhancing positive brand image
  • Efficient inventory turnover
  • Improving shelf management

What products can be used for the FEFO concept for inventory?

  • Perishable foods
  • Pharmaceuticals and Medications
  • Cosmetics and Personal Care Products
  • Health and Wellness Supplements
  • Beverages
  • Chemicals and Industrial Products
  • Printed Materials
  • Flowers and Plants
  • Pet Food
  • Bakery and Deli Items
  • Specialty Chemicals
  • Seasonal and Limited-Edition Products
  • Medical Supplies
  • Organic and Natural Products
  • Baby Products

What are the best practices for the FEFO concept?

  1. Using inventory management software
  2. Accurate Date Recording
  3. Clear Product Labeling
  4. Inventory Organization
  5. Regular Inventory Audits
  6. Training and Education
  7. Regular Quality Control Checks
  8. Supplier Collaboration
  9. Traceability and Recall Plans
  10. Regulatory Compliance
  11. Customer Communication
  12. Documentation and Records

By following these best practices with FEFO concept for your business, reduce waste, maintain product quality, and meet industry regulations, ultimately improving overall inventory management processes.

What are the best racking systems/storage systems for the FEFO warehouse?

Pallet Flow Racking

  • These types of racks use gravity to move pallets from the loading side to the unloading side.
  • This is more suitable for large quantities of palletized products with expiration dates.
  • The first pallets loaded are the first to be picked.

Push-Back Rack

  • Store pallets multiple deep, with each level on inclined rails.
  • When a new pallet is loaded, it pushes the existing ones backward.
  • The first pallet loaded is the first to be unloaded.

Carton Flow Rack

  • Designed for smaller items stored in cartons or boxes.
  • Use rollers or wheels to allow cartons to flow from the loading side to the picking side.
  • Shorter shelf lives having products can be placed on the picking side for FEFO.

Drive-In Rack

  • Store pallets densely in lanes.
  • Forklifts drive into the lanes to place and retrieve pallets.
  • It’s ideal for products with the same expiration date within a lane.

Flow-Through Rack

  • This type of rack is designed for first-in, first-out product flow.
  • Suitable for products with short shelf lives, as the system automatically rotates products to ensure older items are picked first.

Mobile Racking

  • These racking systems are mounted on wheels or tracks, allowing rows of racks to be moved horizontally.
  • Can be configured to create dedicated lanes for products with different expiration dates, facilitating FEFO.

Dynamic Picking Systems

  • These like automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), use conveyors, shuttles, or robotic arms to move products.
  • Dynamics picking systems can be programmed to follow FEFO principles and provide high-density storage.

Selective Rack with Lane Marking

  • FEFO can be implemented by using clear labeling, lane marking, and training staff to place products with different expiration dates in designated locations.

Automated Storage Systems

  • Include pallet cranes or robotic systems, that can be programmed to follow FEFO.
  • They offer high-density storage and precise control over product retrieval.

High-Density Shelving

  • including mobile shelving, can be adapted for FEFO by organizing products with different expiration dates on separate shelves or levels.

When selecting a storage system for FEFO concept warehouse, consider factors like product characteristics, inventory volume, space constraints, and budget. Training your warehouse staff on FEFO procedures and inventory rotation is crucial, regardless of the chosen storage system, to ensure the strategy is effectively implemented.

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