Batch Management is an essential component of almost every industry from Retail to Aerospace and is incorporated in almost every phase of business from procurement to sales.
What is a batch? A batch is set of products produced in a specific production run. They are expected to be identical with the same level of quality. For example, a batch of Asprin produced by ABC Inc. should have exactly same features because those tablets are produced from the same batch of ingredients and are expected to be uniform. Two different batches might have differences within tolerance but the same batch is assumed to be exactly same. If a sample of a batch is found to be of inferior quality, the entire batch is suspected to have inferior quality is usually rejected.
Different batches compose the stock at a plant. Hence, a plant is usually a factor while determining the batch number (though not always). A unique batch number can be identified based on either of following –
- Client Level – same batch number can be assigned only once in a client. In such case, it is uniquely assigned to a material number.
- Material Number Level – For a material, batch is common irrespective of the plant and two different materials can have the same batch number. Hence, it is the combination of material and batch number which is used to identify the product.
- Plant/Material Level – In this case, in addition to material and batch number, plant is needed to identify the product.
If the organization takes into account the batch generating from a production run into account, the structure should be taken into account from material master. For a material in which batch is stipulated, batch number is needed for any goods movement and is accounted for in multiple stages from logistics to sales.
Why is Batch Management needed?
- Legal Aspect – for ISO certification, recall and other legal concerns, tracking a product is extremely important.
- Shelf Life – using batch specifics makes it simpler to identify and manage product on shelf and identify when it should be treated as expired.