Issues with Lot Controls
On the surface, these processes and report tracking make sense, but there are several weaknesses in the setup which could hamper the recall notification process.
First, both the reporting processes above only list the customers’ names of who purchased the product. The contact information is back in the customer record. The Transaction List by Lot Number report cannot be displayed to include a phone number or email address. The company is left looking up the contact information individually.
Second, notice that we sold one unit on a Sales Receipt in the report. Sales Receipts, since they are typically set up to be used for retail, do not require a customer name. Therefore, the company cannot reach the customers they sold to, and will need to broadcast a press release to the public in hopes of reaching their consumers.
Also, the lot number information itself may not be complete. Notice that back in the Serial/Lot Numbers tab of the Advanced Inventory settings window, under the default settings, there are only two options for being notified if lot numbers are left out or do not exist in inventory. These options are Warn me and Don’t warn me. There is no option for requiring the user to enter a lot number before saving a purchase or sales transaction.
We see this problem crop up when the total quantity on hand doesn’t match the total quantity of items with lot numbers because they were left out. And going back to research it is difficult. Even if you found the records, you may have to open up transactions from closed periods to enter the information. Here, simple training combined with frequent checking and follow-up of the data entry is necessary.
Preparation Is Critical
If you or your client are in the food or pharmaceutical industries, you should practice for the possibility of having a recall. Just like an unexpected accident, you don’t want to wait until you’re confronted with the situation to figure out what to do.
At the time of a recall, you want to make sure you can account for all of the products. Open the Quantity on Hand by Lot Number window and compare the total to the total in the Inventory Information window. This is how many you have remaining in the warehouse.
If that matches, then you can turn to the Transaction List by Lot Number report or the global search to find the list of customers you sold to, so that you can personally notify them of a recall. You’ll want to notify your supplier who may have sold that lot to other customers.
It’s also helpful to have a prepared press release handy to use as a template should the need arise. You’ll need an explanation to the public about what’s going on, with a list of the affected lots, and a process for returning recalled items.
Intuit could make some changes to make the recall process easier for the QuickBooks owner. These include a report of the lot numbers with contact information to make notification quicker and easier. Programmers could also force the end user to be required to enter lot numbers for tighter control. And finally, require customer names on Sales Receipts when selling lot items.