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Shelf life


Within Dynamics 365, there a numerous features to track shelf life dates. These expiry dates are commonly associated with process manufacturing for perishable goods, especially in industries like food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.

In discrete manufacturing, where products are assembled from distinct components or parts, the concept of shelf life might not be as relevant. However, depending on the nature of the manufacturing operations, the components or raw materials may have a limited usable lifespan, which could be tracked within your inventory management system, for example, certain chemicals, batteries, etc.


The following fields are available in D365:

  • Shelf life period in days – the amount of time that a properly packaged and stored product will remain effective and saleable. Also, it’s a time during which the material is determined to be fully functional. This will populate the Expiration date on the batch record.
  • Shelf advice period in days – this is the period during which the manufacturer feels that their product should be revisited to check the quality. This will populate the Shelf advice date on the batch record.
  • Best before period in days – this is the period during which the manufacturer feels that their product will retain its original quality. This will populate the Best before date on the batch record.

To enable the above fields, the Tracking dimension group set against the item must be a tracking dimension group that is configured to track batches so that each received or manufactured batch can have the shelf life dates calculated, otherwise, the shelf life related fields will be greyed out.

All of these fields can be configured via Product information management > Products > Released products.

Set the Tracking dimension group on the General FastTab:

Fig. 1

And on the Manage stock FastTab:

Fig. 2

By configuring the above fields, the following calculations will take place when a new batch is created:

  • The expiration date is the date after which your product will be expired and should not be used anymore.
    • The calculation is: Expiration date = Manufacturing date + Shelf life period in days
  • Shelf advice date – The date after which it is recommended that an inventory batch or lot is retested to validate that it still meets testing standards.
    • The calculation is: Shelf advice date = Manufacturing date + Shelf advice period in days
  • Best before date – ‘best before’ date guarantees certain properties of the product to be effective up to this point. Once the date has passed, it may just lose some of the properties. But it does not necessarily mean that the product is no longer effective.
    • The calculation is: Best before date = Expiration date – Best before period in days

Manufacturing date

The Manufacturing date can be set in one of three ways:

  1. Manually setting the date via Stock management > Enquiries and reports > Tracking dimensions > Batches. The Manufacturing date is editable, which can be overridden. Once the record is saved the other fields will be populated:

Fig. 3

2. Automatically set Manufacturing date upon Batch creation. This is achieved by setting a Batch number group against the released products as in Fig. 2 above. The Batch number group specifies, among other things, the number sequence that will be used for batch numbers.

3. Set the Manufacturing date based on information provided by the supplier at the time of purchase order registration. To achieve this, the Item Model group for the released product (as shown in Fig.1) should be configured with the Supplier batch > Purchase registration checkbox:


The screenshot below shows example batches in D365. Some have automatic batch numbers and have auto-populated the shelf life related dates, others have no shelf life dates as they are not applicable: