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Is there a more efficient way to use batch sheets?

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 12:36 AM

Hi everyone, we are currently HACCP certified and have been implementing traceability through our inventory management software, as well as staff manually writing down the batch/lot number of the raw material they use. Is there a more efficient way to do this process? It actually takes much longer for employees to complete a batch because they are writing down the lot number next to every ingredient they use. Surely there is another way...its slowing down production and decreasing motivation because it is bloody annoying to write down 20 lot numbers :)


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Posted 08 June 2021 - 03:04 AM

If you have a strict and enforceable FIFO picking program then you might be able to have the computer auto allocate lots based on FIFO. With this I would maintain numerous checks throughout the day verifying that your FIFO program is being followed.
Other than that I couldn’t answer without knowing your products and computer system.
On second thought, this sounds like a question for your software vendor. We use Produce Pro (terrible horrible system. Don’t get me started) and we can scan pallet barcodes into production inclines live time. Saves a ton of work from our previous computer/manual system.


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Posted 08 June 2021 - 01:49 PM

My company also manually writes lot numbers for raw materials onto batch sheets.  Does it slow down the process some, yes, but it also allows employees to double check that what they are adding is correct.  It also makes my mock recall and traceability tests go super smoothly because almost everything I need is documented on that one sheet.


It probably helps that this has been our procedure for 15+ years, so it's all our employees know.

Edited by Spidey, 08 June 2021 - 01:57 PM.



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Posted 08 June 2021 - 01:58 PM

you could issue that work station a computer where they could key the lots instead of writing and then print off the batch report once complete?




You can buy software with scanning guns for a surprisingly low investment however, you can create finished good barcodes where by the system knows how much of each ingredient is required and A) adds it to the correct batch once scanned    B) removes it from inventory in real time   and C) creates traceability to finished goods

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 07:11 PM

Ugh...one would think at this point there would be a universal bar coding system that can be used throughout the supply chain for this.  It is super annoying and always difficult when you have multiple raw ingredients for batching and blending.


However, a previous company I worked at before with over 2,000 ingredients and over 3,000 finished products our ERP system was flawless in this regard.  We used DEACOM and with that system I could do full traceability up and down in 15 minutes or less down to 0.01%.  I arrived at the company after it was implemented and I was told it was a very painful implementation.  However, this system does require scanning for every material handling location and quantity change.  It is very structured, but if you follow the process it is excellent.  It also helped that we had someone onsite who was familiar enough with coding to make small changes we needed in the system when necessary.


As for your alternatives another suggest is taking pictures of the ingredient lots and tying that into the batching process.  This may be wishful thinking but OCR the picture for the lot coding information.


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Posted 26 October 2021 - 09:04 PM

Hi fellow HACCP friend!


We're also still manually writing each lot number on production sheets, but I'm in the middle of working on a workaround! Right now, we have multiple spreadsheets:

  1. Each product formulation is in a spreadsheet that calculates all ingredient weights based on ingoing raw meat amounts (we make sausage). That spreadsheet alone was great, since now I only have to enter a single number, instead of manually calculating each spice weight based on percentages.
  2. We also have pricing spreadsheets from our finance team, which factor in ingredient costs and labor hours, loss percentage, equipment depreciation, and packaging costs, to calculate profit margins for each batch. 
  3. Next is our ingredient spreadsheet. This sheet lists vendors and pricing for each ingredient, and speaks directly to the pricing sheet above.

My plan is getting the current lot #s for each ingredient in our inventory added into our master ingredient spreadsheet. From there, it should be a quick reference formulation (faster even than me typing all this out!) to get those lot #s transcribed onto the production sheet for each batch so that we're not hand-writing them each time. The lot #s will still need to be manually updated as we move through each ingredient, but if it saves my production team time on the back end, I'm happy to do it!


Getting all these spreadsheets together has been no small feat, of course, but it's definitely possible! Good luck!



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