Lot tracking is a key requirement for batch manufacturers. While most ERP software solutions provide basic lot (and serial) tracking, most do not provide the depth needed by typical pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers. In this blog, we will review several key capabilities you should look for in any batch manufacturing software solution.
Additional Lot Attributes
Many ERP solutions provide a limited amount of lot attributes, such as number, date, and maybe a description. Batch manufacturers typically require much more than that. Information such as quality status, expiration date, expiration date extensions, and container type are all examples of additional information that might be needed. Ideally, your software will allow for an unlimited amount of user-defined additional lot attributes.
ERP software is all about lists. You view lists of data, then click on rows and view forms with record specific information. Those lists can get overwhelming. This is where traffic lights for batch manufacturing can come into play. Simple red, yellow, and green indicators can be a great way to identify lots that are ready to ship, undergoing inspection and quarantine. A little color can make finding the information you are looking for and navigating long lists much easier.
Accurate and easy label printing is essential. Make sure you have an easy way to print product labels that pull information for specific items and lot numbers.
Lot and item tracing are a common regulatory requirement. This should work both ways, from finished good to source materials and from source materials to finished good, with traceability for each manufacturing step along the way.
Traditional manufacturers often use inventory picking methods such as LIFO (last in, first out) or FIFO (first in, first out) but batch manufacturers often operate with a FEFO (first expired, first out) concept. Make sure that picking methods meet your needs.
Lot Splitting and Merging
The nature of chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing often leads to the need to split or merge lots. The ability to merge different lot numbers into one and the reverse is something to make sure can be performed. Automatic lot splits for purchase receipts and production output, based on quality, for example, can also help make operations more efficient.
Must-have Lot Capabilities for Batch Manufacturing Conclusion
If you need one or more of these capabilities, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central along with Yaveon ProBatch. ProBatch is a plugin for Business Central that extends the out of the box manufacturing capabilities to meet the needs of batch manufacturers, especially chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers. The power of the Microsoft Dynamics and Power platforms along with the industry-specific functionality you need from Yaveon ProBatch provides you with the best of both worlds.