Why and How to Use Batch Number Controls in Manufacturing
If you’re in the manufacturing industry, you know the importance of quality control and the time constraints you face when products are suddenly recalled. Batch number control software is the best way to keep on top of your inventory. However, you have to know how to use it – and which is best for you.
What is a Batch Number?
The batch number is a designation printed on the label of whatever product you manufacture so that you can keep track of each batch produced. In addition to identifying the batch produced, the number will include particulars relevant to control and manufacture.
What is Batch Tracking?
This is a simple way of tracking your batches of manufactured goods to optimise the management of your supply chain and keep on top of quality control. Using batch tracking, you can quickly identify and locate stored goods when they’re being shipped, stored in warehouses, or distributed to consumers.
Which industries use batch number tracking?
This is incredibly useful for all types of industries related to manufacturing, among them:
- Food and beverage
- Cleaning products
- Toiletries and cosmetics
- Construction materials
How Does Batch Number Tracking Work?
If you’re implementing a batch number tracking system, here are some of the steps you can follow to ensure all controls are in place.
Define the batch size: When itemising the batch, you need to ensure the products were manufactured using the same raw materials, by the same machine and team, during the same period of time.
Choose your batch format: Your batch numbers should be unique combinations of letters and numbers. It’s best to include the product’s date and initials for easy searching.
Keep track: You’ll need to log all the details of the batch in a tracking record document.
Include all batch details: Every batch needs information pertaining to the batch. This could include:
- Dates of the manufacturing process
- Bill of materials
- Details of the person verifying the process
- Health and safety information
- Maintenance and cleaning information
- Quality control test results
- Equipment and processing lines
- Supply line details
- Quantity of goods produced
- Best before date
- Weight of active ingredients
Why Use Batch Number Tracking?
You might have a general idea of why batch number tracking is useful, but here’s an in-depth look at why you should be implementing it as a manufacturer.
Using batch numbers, you’re able to quickly identify any defective raw materials which is vital for product recalls. If there is any product defect, whether the materials, parts or machinery, you can easily determine the source of the problem and rectify the situation.
When products need to be replaced or repaired, the batch number will allow you to identify the relevant information, keeping your customers satisfied.
Many countries legally require a batch tracking system which will have to be considered when deciding what to include.
Streamlined Expiring Tracking
For those in the manufacture of food products, batch number controls are an important way to ensure high-quality food production at all times. With batch number controls, the expiration date of food will need to be tracked to keep consumers safe.
Using batch control numbers prevents the emergence of counterfeited items from entering your inventory. This is particularly important if your products are susceptible to fakes, as you can pick up counterfeits quickly to protect your profit margin.
Batch control numbers are also able to provide you with useful insights into your business such as which batches are selling better than others. This way you can quickly notice trends in which items are best to stock.
What Are the Benefits of Automating Batch Number Controls?
If you’re in the manufacturing industry and are looking at implementing batch number controls, you will probably be considering an automated system. Here’s why an inventory management system such as this can be so beneficial to your business.
- This can be a really affordable and user-friendly process when you’re working with the right company.
- With batch number tracking automation, you’re able to improve integration, compliance and customer relations.
- This simplifies your quality control as you’re easily able to track your products across the company.
- Automation gives access to everyone in your organisation, as they can easily access, trace and verify batch numbers and warranty information.
- Through automation, you’re able to quickly troubleshoot which means tracking and removing any expired products from the shelves.
- With batch number automation there’s improved accuracy which means improved regulatory compliance and less chance of charges.
- Improved compliance means more likelihood of increased sales over time.
- With automated batch number controls, there are fewer accounting errors than with manual tracking.
What Are the Features of Batch Number Tracking in Manufacturing?
Automated batch number control systems are made even easier with the latest features. When investing in a new system, you might want to consider what features are best suited to your organisation. Here’s a look at some of the options available:
Certain batch number control software comes with auto-populating instructions that guide users through the entire process.
The batch number control software can also come with log-ins and sign-offs with double authentication requirements for added security.
Certain software comes with industry-specific compliance management tools that collect information and documents required by law.
An efficient system will come with quality control features to assist in quality testing data that tracks deviations and identifies any discrepancies in inventory.
A batch number control system will be able to integrate with existing warehouse and inventory management systems, thereby updating the system with material use and allowing for real-time inventory control.
Modern batch number control systems are now available with mobile capabilities so that you can access your software from any mobile device. This means no need for hard copies and you’re able to check on your inventory wherever you are.
Certain systems come with specialised instructions and records such as master packaging and batch packaging records. This is particularly useful for manufacturing companies specialising in pharmaceuticals.
Converting Unit of Measurement
If you’re manufacturing items that use different units of measurement, you’ll require specific software that automatically converts these base units for improved accuracy.
You might need to restrict access to your batch number control software depending on what you manufacture. This will require security controls that enforce signing off on various procedures throughout the manufacturing process.
There are specialised batch number control systems in the chemical manufacturing industries that will actually integrate with your equipment. This could be scales, thermometers, or pressure sensors so that all readings are automatically calculated.
If you’re finally convinced that an automated batch number control system is the way to go, but you’re not sure what to do next, then contact Omni Accounts. They provide industry-leading software solutions specific to your industry for a seamless and efficient inventory control system.