PSA Explains Complete Through Dates and ‘Batch FIFO’2 min read

On March 1, PSA began posting ‘Complete Through Dates’ for PSA’s retail service levels. A service level’s Complete Through Date (CTD) is the day before the oldest order still in the building. In other words, if the oldest open Express order was entered into the PSA system on March 31, then the CTD for the Express service is March 30. It is a transparent view to help customers keep track of order fulfillment progress.

CTDs walk hand-in-hand with FIFO, which is short for “First In, First Out” order processing. As we process the “first ins,” the CTD advances. Those who have been tracking CTDs over the past few months know that there can be pauses that last multiple days. But that does not mean we are not actively shipping orders from that service level. PSA currently operates under a ‘Batch FIFO’ model. In other words, we work in parallel on a multitude of orders that are all among the oldest orders for each service level. To use the Express service example, the CTD for Express is 3/30, but we have completed many of the Express orders that were entered in early April.

There are a few reasons for this. Simply put, some orders are more complicated to process than others. A CTD may be held back by a few orders that require more time, such as a variation that requires deeper research or a unique thickness that requires a custom holder. Another example is a large order that gets held up in imaging, which currently is a labor-intensive process (Improvements are on the way). These are just a few of the many reasons why orders are processed in Batch FIFO.

This means that CTD progress may not be smooth and steady. Orders that need extra time can result in Complete Through Dates appearing stalled. But the service line continues to complete orders. For example, say a CTD does not advance for a few days but then advances multiple days at once. That does not mean PSA was focusing more on that service level that day. We had been processing orders all along even though the CTD did not show it.

Here is an illustration of the progress we are making on order completion by deploying Batch FIFO. Look at the “Percent of CTD Month Completed” and you will get a sense of how far along we are in flipping the calendar to the next month for that service level. In most cases, order processing is much further along than the CTD might indicate.

We are working hard to get your cards back. Deploying Batch FIFO adds efficiency via parallel processing, so that we can process more orders, and get your cards back faster. The glimpse at monthly progress illustrates the effects of Batch FIFO and provides extra transparency to our operations and an additional data point to help you monitor progress as we approach your order’s Entered date.


Posted by Dave Steinberger

As PSA's Vice President of Customer Experience, Dave is responsible for advocating for the customer. As a long-time collector, Hall of Fame rookie card enthusiast, and PSA customer for more than 20 years, it's a role he knows well. On most weekends, Dave can be found on Facebook looking to trade for rookie cards he needs for his collection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.