Category: Stock Serial & Batch Numbers
- Why and How to Use Batch Number Controls in Manufacturing
- Food and beverage
- Cleaning products
- Toiletries and cosmetics
- Construction materials
- 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
- 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.
- Serial Number Controls vs Batch Numbers: Which is Best for You?
- The serial numbers require durable and legible labels.
- The inventory management system you use must support the tracking of serial numbers.
- You will need to have the ability to read and record serial numbers with barcode scanners.
- You will need to track serial numbers by location (warehouse) and via shipments post-sales.
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:
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:
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.
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.
Serial Number Controls vs Batch Numbers: Which is Best for You?
For inventory tracking, the two most common tracking options are; serial numbers and batch numbers. Both are effective in different areas, but understanding the differences will allow you to decide which is best for your business.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is a Serial Number?
Serial numbers are a unique set of identifiers that are assigned to individual items within a batch of products. Unlike batch numbers, serial numbers have a one-to-one relationship with each individual product so you can’t get two products with the same serial number.
How Do You Find a Serial Number?
These are often inconspicuously located on the back or bottom of electronic devices, as well as being printed on a label or engraved into the product. It’s usually listed as ‘Serial Number’, ‘Ser No’ or ‘SN’ to differentiate it from other product identification. Certain electronic items save their serial number on the device ROM so you can view it using the software. These can be located under ‘Settings’ or ‘About’ with ‘activation key’ another terminology for serial number.
What Are the Benefits of Serial Numbers?
In terms of inventory control, serial numbers provide you with a number of incredible benefits. Here’s a look at some of these.
1. Oversight and Stock Control
Serial number tracking allows the tracing of every individual item in your inventory from the time it’s delivered through to sale. Basically, it means that items can be identified down to individual components, so you don’t have to waste time searching through boxes or warehouses looking for parts. Serial numbers allow you to track what’s in stock at any time, prompting new orders and reassignment of stock where necessary.
2. Records and Regulation
Serial number tracking allows for necessary record-keeping and accuracy in case of external audits. Serial numbers also ensure compliance, which is particularly vital in highly regulated manufacturing industries with specific variants.
3. Product Details
Serial numbers provide you with specific information about the product such as colour, size, weight and configuration.
4. Identify Issues and Trends
Serial numbers allow you to pinpoint any particular item issues and address them quickly. They also allow you to identify which items are trending more than others. This guides you in stock for the future so that you’re not overspending.
Serial numbers assist in reducing shipping errors which can be critical for certain industries such as pharmaceutical and medical.
Having a serial number sequence helps with warranty claims as well as providing after-sales support. If an item is faulty and returned, you have all the information to provide your clients and customers with the necessary support. This is particularly true for complex products such as consumer electronics where the same parts are used in multiple makes and models before being phased out. Even for routine maintenance, being able to track the serial number allows for the matching of parts and products.
7. Product Recall
For manufacturers, it’s imperative to have serial numbers in case there’s any fault with the product and a recall is needed. Using serial numbers, you’re able to identify the faulty component and minimise the recall number, rather than having to recall all the stock from the factory. Serial numbers take it a step further and allow you to identify the actual production run, meaning you can isolate the production run with the fault.
8. Theft Protection
Another post-sale benefit of serial numbers is protecting your customers in the event of a theft. If a valuable item is stolen and recovered by the police, it can be linked back to its original owner and returned, provided the serial number is reported. The digital serial number, known as a Media Access Code, can also identify items and alert customers to stolen devices.
Which Products Use Serial Numbers?
The process of applying serial numbers can be very time-consuming as it’s required for each, individual product. For this reason, serial numbers are not used for certain fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) but rather technical merchandise. Here’s a look at some of the items.
The appliance industry relies heavily on serial number sequencing as this allows for easier location of parts. You simply have to input the number to find it on the manufacturer’s site. Everything from microwaves and stoves to washing machines and tumble dryers will come with a unique serial number.
Cars, trucks and all other manner of automobiles will come with a serial number known as a vehicle identification number (VIN). These have a total of 17 numbers and letters that are used to distinguish each automobile and are incredibly helpful for warranties, car recalls, registration of the vehicle, insurance and theft.
Serial numbers are able to identify laptops, tablets, cellphones and all other electronic devices which is helpful for tracking warranties and dealing with after-sales service. Serial numbers also provide insight into product compatibility, with codes indicating whether products are compatible with updated versions.
What to Remember When Using Serial Numbers
When using serial numbers for your products, you need to take note of a few elements:
What Is a Batch Number?
Batch numbers – also known as lot numbers, lot codes, or code numbers – are used for identifying a particular number of products with have common properties. So unlike serial numbers which are unique to each product, a number of similar products could have the same batch number. Batch numbers consist of a combination of numerical digits which are assigned to product groupings determined by the organiser. Companies might assign batch numbers based on location, manufacturing or expiration date.
What Are the Benefits of Batch Numbers?
1. Inventory Oversight
Batch numbers provide you with inventory tracking information on how the goods move in and out of your company.
2. Assist in Manufacture
Batch numbers allow for the categorisation of materials which helps with the manufacture of products. They also allow companies to classify finished goods for distributors or suppliers.
3. Spot Trends
Batch numbers allow you to note trends within specific groups that show if and why you’re generating a profit or a loss. You’ll also notice patterns such as repeat returns or defects from one batch.
4. Quality Assurance and Recall
Batch numbers allow for random batch testing as well as identifying defective items. In the event of a product recall, batch numbers mean you can easily track the products rather than recalling all manufactured items.
Government organisations may require batch and tracking numbers for particular products, so it’s best to check you’re remaining compliant.
Which Products Use Batch Numbers?
Batch codes are especially helpful when you have batches of products or if you manufacture and receive items in large quantities. Batch numbers allow for ease of location as the products are stored together. Some of the products most suited to batch numbers include:
Dye batch numbers are used to classify various types of fabric or clothing according to the colouration during the process. The reason being that, when mixing a new batch of dye, the colour will never be absolutely exact because factors such as dyeing time and temperature impact the shade of the colours.
Most national regulators require manufacturers to keep records of all fireworks imported for distribution, which means batch tracking numbers will be of assistance.
– Food and Beverage
Food and beverage manufacturers require batch tracking numbers such as best-by dates. This gives retail outlets an idea of when they should stop selling items. It’s also important for any product recalls as it shows when batches were produced together.
– Medical, Chemical and Pharmaceuticals
Likewise, all pharmaceuticals, medicines and chemicals will require batch tracking numbers to indicate when they should be used by. This was evident with Covid-19 vaccinations which had to be urgently administered before expiring.
What Is the Difference Between Batch and Serial Numbers?
The main difference between batch and serial numbers is that batch numbers are used for a group of products manufactured at the same time. Serial numbers are unique numbers assigned to specific items. Software systems are available to help you monitor these codes for better inventory management and forecasting. Contact Omni Accounts today to find out more about the latest tracking software.