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How can I make my traceability more reliable?


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#1 TWFUK

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 08:36 AM

Hello, i work in a Seafood Company and currently have a traceability system where we use product batches of six numbers. Eg is 110809. The first two numbers, 11 represents the number for the supplier and next two represents the days, 08th and the last two numbers, 09 represents the month which is September. This works for us but an auditor exposed its reliability as we could have example different products delivered on the same day from the same supplier bearing the same code. Eg Prawn, Tuna, Salmon from the same supplier which has a number on our list as 8th on the 20th of January will be 082001 for all the different products. Please I will be very happy with any new ideas to help me improve this. Any better way to work around this please?


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#2 Lelouch_rayne

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 10:02 AM

I suggest that you also designate a unique code for each product item.

 

Example:

 

T - Tuna

S - Salmon

 

T082001 = Tuna from supplier number 08 on January 01.

 

A piece of advice, include the year for more reliable traceability.


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#3 TWFUK

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 10:26 AM

Thank you very much, the problem is we have about 200 products and about 10 per supplier. So making S for Salmon will mean assigning different alphabets for eg our Seabream and Seabass. Plus the products sometimes are delivered together under the suppliers unique code. I guess I will have to use about three letter combinations. I really appreciate your inputs.


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#4 Scampi

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 02:51 PM

The onus lies in your ability to ACCURATELY trace back a lot to a batch. Do you have accurate production information that says exactly what was used to make each particular product on any given day for any given batch?

Your label on the goods leaving your facility simply need to be able to be traced back.....how you do it is up to you. 

We use simply a Julian date code which includes the year, and are able to track it back to suppliers based on production records

You'd also have to ensure that your receiving records are 100% accurate, then it comes back to matching incoming kgs/cartons against what came out of your inventory


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#5 SJH.007

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 10:03 PM

Given the size of your supply base I'd suggest assigning a unique number to each product type from each supplier. Then incorporate a master list for easy reference. E.g.

Supplier A Salmon 001-110809
Supplier A Tuna 002-110809
Supplier B Salmon 001-120809
Supplier B Tuna 002-120809
Supplier B Prawn 003-120809

I'd advise not to over complicate your system to satisfy one auditor.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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#6 hjskimble

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 12:25 AM

not sure if this will help this is how i do it: 

  1. Set up a traceability system that has the capability to: Link raw ingredients to the original supplier, provide full trace back of all ingredients used in allergen containing foods, Link raw ingredients to finished product codes, Code finished product by lot, Trace food contact packaging, Link finished product codes to customers that receive it, Trace rework

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#7 redfox

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 06:46 AM

Hello TWFUK,

 

I suggest you need to add more character on your product code. Our product code has 12 digits which we can trace what country it is produced, plant code, container, product type, suppliers, batch, year and julian date. By looking on the product code we can trace this product easily. It is very useful during our traceabiliy exercise and during actual product recall.

 

regards,

redfox


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#8 TWFUK

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 11:23 AM

Thank you all, very educative. Can anyone provide me a shot of how their batch codes looks like and its interpretation. List of products from suppliers and how they are coded. 


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#9 Tony-C

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 12:36 PM

Hello, i work in a Seafood Company and currently have a traceability system where we use product batches of six numbers. Eg is 110809. The first two numbers, 11 represents the number for the supplier and next two represents the days, 08th and the last two numbers, 09 represents the month which is September. This works for us but an auditor exposed its reliability as we could have example different products delivered on the same day from the same supplier bearing the same code. Eg Prawn, Tuna, Salmon from the same supplier which has a number on our list as 8th on the 20th of January will be 082001 for all the different products. Please I will be very happy with any new ideas to help me improve this. Any better way to work around this please?

 

Hi TWFUK,

 

It seems to me that if you use your current system but prefix the product name so Salmon 110809 then that would be the simplest solution rather than trying to over complicate matters.

 

My only other question is if a reference to the year is necessary?

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony


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#10 Ryan M.

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 02:17 PM

Here's a question...in the instances where you receive two batches from the same supplier in the same day were you able to differentiate this from receiving through your production and shipping?  If you currently can do this there is no reason for you to change your system unless this cannot be done, or you want to make things a bit more robust.

 

If you are not limited to the amount of numbers in your code, go to eight or ten numbers and use a specific two digit number for each type of raw material and two digits to add the year.


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#11 Jus'me

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 02:45 PM

I agree with the others, keep it simple but either include a numerical or alphabetical code to differentiate the different types of raw materials you use.  Remeber the more simple you keep it and the less modifications you make tot he current system, the easier it will be able to train people to use properly.  You overhaul the whole system and it will cause a lot of confusion and protests. The simplest method would be to maintain the current format and just add a two or three number or alphabetical suffix or prefix to designate what the item is.  Alphabetical would probably be easier since the suffix or prefix would help identify the product instead of trying to remember some numerical coding system.  For example: 110809-SAL could be easily recognized as salmon and 110809-SCA could be scallops.  On our finished products we use a fouor digit julian date followed by a brief abbreviation fo the product such as VEG or AVPO or ACPO, so even if two items are ran on the same day, the julian code may be the same, but the product can be traced by the abbreviation.  This can be done for raw materials too. 


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#12 lecoutree

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 04:06 PM

my comment is based on our lot number system: if you are limited in the number of Digits you want to spend, you may use one digit for the year and only indicate the last Digit yyyY -> Y (e.g. 2016 ->6). This is sufficient if your realistic shelf Age is significantly shorter than 10years. The Month can be abbreviated by 1-9 = Jan to Sept, x=oct, y=nov, z=dec. Then you need only 2 Digits for the production year and month.

Qestion to the Q- and documentation experts: Would the ambiguity arising every 10 years be a Problem?


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#13 TWFUK

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 11:31 AM

Fantastic and insighful suggestions from all. Guys you rock!!


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