Are you using batch manufacturing? Then you’ll need a way to optimize how you handle your inventory throughout your distribution chain.
In this article, we’ll check out how you can improve production tracking in your manufacturing business.
What is a batch inventory management system?
Before we get into the management system, let’s go over the batch inventory definition. Inventory batches are groups of products that are manufactured or procured together and share the same expiration date.
Batch management systems are tools that enable you to group and monitor products that were manufactured under the same conditions and used the same materials – otherwise known as a batch.
However, production tracking isn’t just needed for batch manufacturing but also for discrete manufacturing and businesses that follow a different manufacturing process but still handle perishable inventory.
Using batch management software with batch code tracking allows you to:
- Track the expiry date of items
- Track defective items back to the batch it was produced alongside
- Enable an efficient product recall process
- Comply with legislation and requirements for your industry
A scenario where batch tracking is useful
An example of a business or industry that uses the batch and make-to-stock flow is a company that makes beauty products.
Let’s use a scenario where a cosmetics manufacturer produces a face cream that fights off the onset of wrinkles. It’s wonderful! But one day, a customer contacted them saying they bought a cream that was outdated.
As they wait for the cream to be returned, they use the cosmetics production software to track down the batch and remove it from inventory, to avoid more faulty products going into circulation and damaging their reputation.
Who needs a batch management system?
Batch management systems are essential to streamline tracking, allowing you to monitor your inventory efficiently, but finding an inventory management software with batch code tracking is especially important for industries such as:
- Food production
- Coffee manufacturing
- Cosmetic manufacturing
- Any business handling perishable goods
These industries need a batch inventory management system because they require end-to-end traceability to keep track of things like perishable raw materials or to perform a product recall should something go awry with their items.
And traceability software is the simplest, fastest, and most reliable way of tracking the location of your products.
How to use batch management in manufacturing efficiently?
Now that we know what a batch inventory management system is and which industries can benefit the most, let’s look into how to track production in manufacturing and the tips you can follow to ensure quality and efficient production tracking.
1. Batch number tracking
Batch numbers, also known as lot numbers, are used to track goods along the production chain. This means that you’ll have the ability to have end-to-end traceability over your products. Batch number tracking allows you to track:
- Components and raw materials
- Manufacturing processes
- Supply chain
- Service phases
Why is it important to have batch numbers? Because having batch numbers is crucial for quick and effective investigations of customer complaints and organizing product recalls.
However, given the complexity of using batch numbers, you will need a system that can help you store and easily track your batch management.
2. Using smart manufacturing to centralize your business
Smart manufacturing is the process of creating an ecosystem that connects your machinery and tools via the internet, which is essential when learning how to track production in manufacturing.
The most significant benefit to using smart manufacturing for production tracking is that it’s going to give you access to the following:
- Automated data
- Predictive maintenance
- Reduced costs
- Reduced workflow challenges
- Barcode scanning tools
- Greener processes
Essentially, smart manufacturing is going to be the best way of introducing the previous points in this article and more.
3. Linking your sales orders to manufacturing orders and raw materials
One surefire way to improve how you track production in your manufacturing is to create a link between your sales and production flow.
The best way to do this is to implement manufacturing inventory software. This is a real-time solution for managing your resources. However, just be sure you find software that can link your sales to your manufacturing, as some solutions only focus on manufacturing.
ERP software lets you understand immediately if you have enough products in your batch to satisfy your sales orders.
Having these linked will drastically improve your production planning and scheduling, so if your demand planning doesn’t account for a spike in sales, you can quickly change your production to fulfill the new orders.
Katana’s batch inventory management system
Katana has a batch inventory management system for manufacturers looking to get more control over their inventory by helping them to trace batch movement and track end-to-end product development.
To get control over your inventory, you’ll need the tools to:
Tracking the expiration date of items allows you to implement effective inventory management, reduce spoilage, and increase profitability.
However, tracking the expiration date doesn’t only apply to perishable goods. With this feature, you can track items that will eventually become outdated or unsellable (depending on trends and technology).
Trace defective items back to batch
We’ve spoken about product recalls within this article, and although they’re commonplace, the best practice is to avoid them altogether.
A batch inventory management system means if you discover a faulty product, you can trace it back to the batch it came from, significantly reducing the risk of defective products making it onto the market.
Tracing your defective products means better transparency and faster and easier business compliance.
Make the product recalls process easier
And if you need to arrange a product recall, you can track the locations of all your products.
This is important because, according to a study by Motley Fool, 87% of respondents said they would still shop with a company that conducted their product recall honorably and responsibly.
And there you have it, everything you need to know about tracking production in manufacturing more efficiently.
Although it is possible to do your production tracking manually, to do so will be a slog and will ultimately cost you:
- Your reputation
That’s why it’s important to get set up with a batch inventory management system that can integrate with all your other software to give you an overview of your entire business and get the smoothest workflow.
If you’d like an even better understanding of how Katana works, we’re more than happy to arrange a demo with you to go through the software in the specific context of your business.
And that’s it for now. If you have any questions feel free to drop us a message below or head over to our social media channels to hit us up.
And until next time, happy manufacturing.