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Having trouble assigning lots codes to incoming inventory

tracking lot codes recall prcedure

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#1 maryann1947

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 06:17 PM

Hello everyone, Patrick from Canton Ohio here. I am somewhat new to this online community but from what i have seen thus far it seems to be a very valuable resource.

I am currently attempting to put together a lot code tracking/ recall program. I am off to a good start on the recall part, but am having trouble assigning lots codes to incoming inventory while keeping them organized with a single days production. I am doing this as part of a third party audit i have just undergone. Any advice, support, material or guidance would be greatly appreciated. 

 

best regards, 

 

Patrick W


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#2 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 06:25 PM

:welcome: Patrick to IFSQN!

 

First let us ask a few questions as we will need more information.

 

What type of product are you making?  How many ingredients are you using? 

 

I'll think of more questions later.


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#3 maryann1947

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:27 PM

:welcome: Patrick to IFSQN!

 

First let us ask a few questions as we will need more information.

 

What type of product are you making?  How many ingredients are you using? 

 

I'll think of more questions later.

Donuts Donuts and more Donuts.

We produce cake and raised product with an assortment of filling and icings.

off the top i would say 9-12 ingredients each product. (most of which are the same)


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#4 maryann1947

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 11:43 AM

Donuts Donuts and more Donuts.

We produce cake and raised product with an assortment of filling and icings.

off the top i would say 9-12 ingredients each product. (most of which are the same)


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#5 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 11:58 AM

Well... one easy way to take care of this is with production "run" sheets.  I've worked somewhere where we made, let's say, 5 different products in a day.

 

Each product had a "run" sheet where it said when it was supposed to start and end and how much was supposed to be made.  You could also have on there, or a 2nd sheet, where you have all of the ingredients listed for the product and have spaces on there for the lot code used.  Maybe you could do that as well.

 

Basic example:

 

"Mr. I's Doughnuts"

Start 0730

End  1345

Total Production 1337 cases

 

Sugar: XXX lbs: Lot code:__________________

                          Lot code:__________________

 

Cherry Filling: XXX LBS Lot Code:____________

                                       Lot Code:____________

 

More ingredients the same way.

 

Comments section at the end for them to write other things about the run.

 

I'd put multiple lot code lines on or some way so they can designate when they had to switch ingredient lots and what time they changed them.  You need to decide if there was 2 lots used if there is a recall on one lot of the ingredient if you will be recalling the entire run rather than a partial section of a run.  For example:  We ran 10 hours the first 6 hours was lot X and the last 4 hours was lot Y of cherry filling.  The cherry filling was recalled for high coliform count.  What will you do?


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#6 maryann1947

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 01:35 PM

I am making multiple products with the same raised mix. I can easily track what time each product was cut which is a great starting point. But generally i have the same lot of raised mix for the entire week. Should i create a "lot code" for each specific donut or will all raised dough have the same lot for that days production?  I hope that ? makes sense..... and i greatly appreciate your feedback as i am very green to this type of stuff....


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#7 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 01:53 PM

I think one of the best ways to address this might be to assign a lot code to the raised mix you make (I believe what you are saying is you make the mix) and put that as one of the ingredients for the product like I suggested above.

 

Now that brings into the need to record all of the ingredients and lot codes for what you make the raised mix in.

 

Say the raised mix uses a certain sugar.  That sugar gets recalled.  You will have to look at the production records for your raised mix to find out what lots of raised mix used that sugar than take those raised mix lots over to the production records of the doughnuts to identify all of the doughnuts that made.

 

Does that makes sense?


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#8 maryann1947

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 03:30 PM

Yes it does.... Although i am using Donut Mix i only add water and/or yeast then once fried i apply ready to use fillings, icing, and glazes....

 

How do generate lot codes  that make sense for each ingredient.  is it as simple as creating a unique # for each ingredient.  then attach a date to that ingredient when it is used during production? Then each days lot codes could be tracked by the day they were produced.

 

Our shelf life is only 1 day. we  produce the same products 365 days per year. 

 

Do you have any literature or example forms you could direct me too.... if not building them shouldn't be to much of a challenege but as i amre you know and framework to learn from is extremely helpful.


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#9 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 03:50 PM

I don't know of any "literature" that can direct you on how to create lot codes for a "product" you use internally.

 

That being said the lot code only HAS to be something that you can identify to be a specific quantity of product.  You can make it anything you want insomuch as it makes sense to you and that you can use it later to identify the product.

 

Using the date is a fine thing to do and we use that where I are for the most part.

 

So for example let's say your company is Mr. Incognito's Doughnut Factory.  For the dough you could use MIDFD06262014 which you know stands for Mr. Incognito's Doughnut Factory Dough and the date.  It doesn't have to be that and it doesn't have to be that long... but it could be. 

 

I've worked in a place that had 2 factories.  In an effort to obfuscate the lot code they used a Julian date calendar but added something like 300 to it.  Before the date they had a 2 letter code for the factory.  So let's say my doughnut factory is in Detroit it might have been something like this DT4024 Detroit (DT), 102 day of the year (402 - 300), in 2014 (4).

 

For the dough it's going to be used internally so your code date probably could be just the date it was made.  "The dough that made Mr. I's fantastic chocolate chip cookie was code date 62614"  Then you can go to the dough paperwork for 6/26/14 and see what ingredients went into it.

 

Any ingredient you use that is purchased form a supplier the lot code should be the one they use and provide you with.  That way you don't have to cross reference it.  So Setanta provides Mr. I's factory with sugar with a lot code of 01234 that's what I would write on my paperwork.

 

Please keep asking questions if you have any of them.  No question is a dumb question and I want to make sure all of your questions are answered.


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#10 Philip Gillen

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 08:15 PM

Hi Patrick,
 
Mr. Incognito has provided some really solid and helpful advice in the world of DIY.
 
However in this day and age shop floor track and trace technology systems are pretty ubiquitous in food companies. You don’t have to be PepsiCo to afford one either.
 
I’m not talking about SAP or Dynamics or any of these big business systems. There are a plethora of smaller suitable solutions out there that can be as straight forward as a windows application plugged into a label printer.
 
Yes, there is a degree of complexity and a financial investment is required. But by going your current route you are attempting to reproduce a ‘system’ which has been done a million times before over several decades by computer software. I would relate it to a business which chooses to operate its financial accounts on one of those big vintage ledgers, instead of buying a half-decent piece of tech and saving themselves the heartache.
 
Track and trace does not need to be complex. But it is immensely more complex when you are trying to do it on paper forms and spreadsheets, while amassing a lot of data. Remember you are not just tracing back to your suppliers ingredients; you must also have the ability to trace forward to your customers.
 
If you are aiming for GFSI certification you will need to be able to demonstrate the above competently, accurately and quickly. Flicking through reams of paper to ‘join the dots’ when you have an auditor or major customer breathing down your neck is not a nice place to be.
 
My 2 cents.
 
Philip.

Edited by Philip Gillen, 26 June 2014 - 08:16 PM.

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#11 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 11:42 AM

Computer systems are alright but I personally like paper.  Paper doesn't lie to me and paper can't crash.  If I store it properly I know where it all is and honestly it doesn't take very long to pull everything out.  About 1 month after I was hired here we had our FSSC audit for initial certification and there was only one person other than me pulling paper out of folders the office manager who had actually filed all of the paperwork (before I started here).  We found everything the auditor wanted and in short order.

 

If you have a good system it'll work just as well as a computer system and show that you know what your doing.  No auditor I've ever worked with was breathing down my neck while I was finding paperwork.  They gave us a list of what they wanted to see and started going over procedures and policies while we pulled the paperwork together.

 

I'm not saying a computer system won't do what you want.  But I think people should crawl before they walk and walk before they run.  Know your system.  Make it easy for you to understand and use.


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#12 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 11:55 AM

Oh and I forgot one important thing and this may not directly pertain to you because you make doughnuts... but it's important for anyone else who ever may read this for guidance:

 

If you make any ingredient or product that may be used as an ingredient... or maybe possibly even your doughnuts if someone buys them to put into something else..  The lot code of the final product will need to be used by your customers for their production.  So your customer may ask you how to decipher your lot code and it would be kind of you to be able to afford them what it means.  Now it may just be a sequential lot code with the year at the end 0000014  (1st lot of 2014) or whatnot.  You may say that the lot codes have no bearing on specific date or run sequence just to the lot of ingredients that produced the product and that they should use your product by production date... but then of course you're going to need to have that on the COA or printed on the case label... somewhere they will be able to reference it.


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#13 Philip Gillen

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:10 PM

This is something companies like IBM, GS1 and HP are attempting to solve, but it is all conceptual. They vision a global traceability system where ingredients are identified at source and can move throughout the supply chain retaining their original identity. All networked to a central cloud service where you can enter a lot code for any ingredient anywhere in the world and trace its source and destinations. IBM call it the Global Traceability Network (GTNet) – I’m reminded of Skynet from the Terminator series.  :gleam:
 
Can’t see this ever happening in my lifetime!
 
For the record, many companies replace their supplier’s ingredients lot codes with their own lot identification system at the back door (and retain the reference obviously). This is because suppliers lot code systems can vary so much and it is often easier to normalize them using your own coding.

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#14 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:24 PM

Personally I've never worked in a factory where we changed the lot code from what the supplier provides to our own code.  I think the main reason for those who don't want to do that is you would have to be able to cross reference that and that would take more time.  I do agree however that some lot codes can be long when they come from the supplier.  My last factory we had some that were 6 digits and some that was around 12 or so digits.  The longer ones were difficult to deal with because you have to provide a larger place for people to write it in.

 

My first food factory had SAP which was nice for traceability but we still had to have the production records available for auditors so... it helps but it wasn't the be all end all of traceability. 

 

I know there some systems that people can be a part of that tracks ingredients used through the food chain but I don't have direct experience with that. 


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#15 maryann1947

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 04:54 PM

I really appreciate all you guys offering advice on this topic. I plan sitting down tomorrow to make some more progress in this area. I was making donuts today so i didn't get too much done up here in the office. But the conversations above will be a great reference as i build this program from the ground up. 


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#16 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 05:00 PM

Good luck :doctor: let us know if you have any other questions about lot codes and all of that.


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#17 MCIAN

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:04 AM

Hi Patrick!

 

Welcome to IFSQN.

 

I have attached below a sample of a simple Batch Manufacturing Record (BMR) which i have used in my previous company which was a cosmetic manufacturer. The BMR is easy to use and works well as a traceability record both for the RM and finished products. It also includes a computation of the % yield.

 

 

Have a nice day.

 

 

 

 

 

Attached Files


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#18 maryann1947

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 01:42 PM

This may be very helpful. anything else you got would be great.  Thanks alot


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