Logical 21000 - Fresh Item Management Macro View

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Subject Area Concepts

The Logical 21000 subject area entity model consolidates all of the entities involved in fresh item management into a single view.  The subject area is divided into named sets of entities in the colored areas of the entity diagram.  The core fresh item entities are located in the Fresh Item Traceability - Core Entities for Fresh Item Management lime green block at the bottom of the diagram.

Fresh Item Core Entity Types

The Fresh Item Traceability - Core Entities for Fresh Item Management contain the entity types added to support fresh item management in Version 6.1 of the ARTS Data Model. ItemTraceableUnit is the cornerstone of item traceability.  It is an instance of an item or a item lot.  Is used for tracking items, no matter how their granularity  is represented, throughout the retail process, from supply to sale and return.  Note that an instance of an ItemTraceableUnit can only be one of the types which include "regular" item, serialized item or item lot.

The purpose of this entity is to provide a single reference to establish traceability between Item instances, SerializedUnit instances and ItemLot instances.  As designed, this entity complements the existing data model's ability to handle serialized items (e.g. big ticket items, pharmacy items and other merchandise that requires discrete identification of retail sale units).  The mechanism for traceability consists of a set of foreign key relationships from ItemtraceableUnit to Item, SerializedUnit and ItemLot.  The relationship to Item is mandatory.  The relationships to ItemLot and SerializedUnit are optional which provides the flexibility to establish traceability of an item to a lot (e.g., a manufacturer's lot) or to a discretely identifiable unit.

Because it enables traceability in addition to serialized identity of items, this entity requires implementers to exercise care in correctly correlating ItemID  as well as to distinguish between item unit identity for purposes of traceability versus item selling unit identification.

ItemtraceableUnit was added to the ARTS Operational Data Model to support greater traceability of serialized and lot items throughout the retail item lifecycle functions.  Previous versions of the model supported tracking of serialized items mostly at retail transaction time and did not support tracking serialized items or lots from shipping, receiving, and stocking to the point of sale.  However, the previous relationships for Item level (non-serialized, non-lot items) have all been retained in order to minimize the impact of change for current users of the model.  This duplicate set of relationships comes with a trade-off, though, in that the duplicate relationships (foreign keys) must be properly populated.  Most likely this would be done via automation to enforce proper data integrity.  Ideally, an implementation would choose only one set of relationships and implement only those relationships required maintain data.

ItemLot establishes a way to identify a common batch or collection of bulk items.  Item lots are ways for manufacturers to distinguish production runs, picking, harvests or batches of product for process management and quality control purposes.  For retailers, item lots enable retail items to be decomposed into components for traceability and recall purposes.  Lots apply to products sold in bulk like coffee, flour, fertilizer, dyes, etc.   Fresh item lots include products like ground meat, coleslaw, carrots, peas and other items sold by random weight or volume.  The ARTS model has always supported item lots as a way to identify discrete production sets of items at the point of sale, and that use of item lots has not changed.  The association of the item lot to an ItemTraceableUnit augments the original ARTS Operational Data Model by incorporating explicit support, tracing an Item entity type instance sold at the point of sale to an ItemLot.

SerializedUnit entity establishes a way to identify a single, discrete item instance.  Serialized units most often to big ticket items, including home appliances, technology products, jewelry and other high cost items that are identified by manufacturer serial numbers.  For fresh items, SerializedUnit is used to identify distinct instances of cuts of meat, individual, discrete produce items (e.g. lettuce, cabbage, steaks, hams, etc.).  Like item lots, the ARTS model has always supported serialized items for purpose of identifying discrete retail sale units for inventory control, warranty tracking, etc.  In the context of fresh item management, the ARTS model has been extended to identify individual instances of items for traceability purposes.

ItemTraceableUnitComponent allows traceable items to be associated into assemblies so that retailer offerings that consist of more than one ItemtraceableUnit can be tracked.  For example, a deli coleslaw retail Item will itself be an ItemtraceableUnit and be composed of other traceable items (e.g., cabbage, carrots, onions, etc.).  The ability to track products that consist of other products allows a retailer to maintain traceability for items as well as their components.  The ARTS Operational Data Model has always supported the combination of items for point of sale identification, inventory monitoring and control and recipe management.  This item structure assembly complements the ARTS item combinations by providing assembly information explicitly for traceability reporting.

The four entities discussed here provide the core of ARTS Support for product identification for traceability reporting.  They offer a complementary capability to existing ARTS entities used to identify discrete selling items and lots for point of sale support and inventory control purposes.

The addition of the traceability unit identification entities may appear to be creating redundant entities because, as noted, ARTS already supports lots and serialized units.  However, it is important to keep in mind that the current entity types are NOT designed to handle the kind of step-by-step process tracking required by fresh item management.

The addition of the traceability unit identification entities at first looks like it is creating redundant entities.  As noted ARTS already supports lots and serialized units.  It is important to keep in mind that the current entity types are NOT designed to handle the kind of tracking required by fresh item management.

SerializedUnitModifier extends the item identity provided in the SaleReturnLineItem so the specific instance of an item purchased by a customer is captured in the retail transaction.  In this role it is serving only to provide a point of sale mechanism for capturing big ticket item sales (e.g a digital camera and extended warranty).  The SaleReturnLineItem has a direct foreign key relationship to ItemTraceableUnit to support recall and traceability back from a customer transaction into the retailer's item handling process.

SerializedItem is a dependent entity used to append attributes for serialized units that are unique to each instance of the item.  It provides a supplementary description only.  The SerializedUnitModifer identifies the discrete instance of an item at the point of sale.

SaleReturnLineItem.ItemTraceableUnitID is a foreign key that ties a line item in a transaction to a traceable item.  This relationship allows the POSIdentity entity to retain its primary purpose, which is to  provide a simple cross-reference between the barcode, point of sale scan code or other keyed identifying number used at POS and the internal stock keeping ItemID for the item.

Supporting Subject Area Entity Collections

The Fresh Item Processing Context (pink) block represents the fresh item entities involved in capturing and tracking fresh item processing transactions and their immediate context.  The ItemProcessingTransaction captures the transaction and the entity around it identify the ItemProcessingWorker, Equipment and Location where the process took place.  It also references the ItemProcessingLineItem which is used to capture details about a food processing transaction.  Typically, ItemProcessingTransactions document food processing and preparation that goes on in a store deli or restaurant.

The Fresh Item Inbound Inventory Control Documentation (salmon colored) block includes entities that capture the acquisition and stewardship of fresh item ingredients  and end-consumer products.

The Fresh Item Country of Origin block (sea blue green) captures information about the country of origin for each ingredient item or end consumer fresh item.  It is required to conform to labeling requirements for fresh/frozen perishable products.

The Item Label Media block (yellow) contains the entities required to satisfy fresh item labeling requirements.

The Common Item Data for Product and Equipment (light purple) block contains reference and support entities required to associate baseline ARTS item information with fresh items.

The Promotional Fresh Item (light orange block) contains promotional fresh items.  Its purpose is to link fresh items to promotions where they are given away to customers as premium gifts, contest rewards, etc.

The Fresh Item Recall Event block captures fresh item recalls and links them a recall authority (Party) and ItemTraceableUnit.