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How to structure and create lot tags?

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Posted 29 May 2022 - 07:59 PM

Hi, so I have a wholesale produce business. All we do is receive finished product from suppliers (raw, unprocessed fruits and vegetables already packed into cases) and redistribute them to other wholesalers, restaurants and retail stores. 


We are looking to get more serious about traceability as our objective is to get a GFSI recognized certification. 


What type of data would be relevant to my operation in the lot tag? I've worked at national wholesaler before, but I was never told exactly how to decipher their lot tags. All I know is they had a code for the date it was received. I'm not sure if there was any other data in there, but it's just a series of numbers. So all products received on the same day would have the same lot code. Is that adequate for my operation?


A problem I was foreseeing was if I received the same product from multiple suppliers or even the same supplier on two deliveries and they happened to be different batches. In the event of a recall I wouldn't be able to determine which batch it came from or which supplier if all the lot codes for that day were the same.


I definitely don't want to overcomplicate things as my business is relatively simple but I also feel like I'm missing something important here.

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 09:00 AM

Greetings Satsuma,


Giving a lot to a product is not always decipherable (talking about the case of using a software that produces the lots), so don't try too much on this. To keep it simple you could use serial numbering.

Example (including your question about same product product/multiple suppliers etc): Let's say you received 3 batches of carrots on 30/05/2022. Your reception document will be in a single order, according to delivery times or at least entry in the document:

Producer X - 100kg of carrots

Producer Y - 50kg of carrots

Producer Z - 60kg of carrots.

So your lot numbers can be 300522-1 for producer X, 300522-2 for Y and so on. Same can apply for the two deliveries from a single supplier. So if a problem arises afterwards and your customer gives you the keywards carrots and 300522-2 you know that this is producer Y, according to your entry log as he was the 2nd delivery for that date.

Also use different serial for each product type, no need to start from 1 and end up to 100 for all the products together.



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Posted 30 May 2022 - 01:39 PM

There is a fantastic company called Can-Trace  http://www.can-trac.ca/  that can set up a barcode system for you if you are looking for a growth option  There in London Ontario


You may want a way to include either the BB date and/or the receiving date into the lot code


For GFSI certification down the road, you'll need to be able to trace 1 up and 1 back---something to bear in mind when creating codes


Sometimes there is grant money available (depending on what province you're in) for traceability improvements



Am I too small an operation for traceability software?

Can-Trac Technologies specializes in small to medium companies. Whether you are a 2 person operation or a 100 person operation, a system can be tailored to your needs."


I have used this in a facility that had raw agricultural commodities, plus value added   


Here's a post on using excel to generate lot codes  https://www.mrexcel....c-text.1024276/


There are some free training courses  here  https://bdc.ridgetow...ation-courses/ 

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 12:20 PM

I've found the most common easy lot code system is using the Julian date system and then adding letters at the end or beginning to differentiate different products.  It can work pretty well if utilized correctly and documented correctly.  But I would check out what Scampi suggested above as well and figure what works best for you and your company.

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 06:27 PM

At my previous facility, we lotted everything in sequentially, using a 5 digit number, and used a julian date.

So the first batch of XXX to arrive would be 10000,

if the next truck had multiple items, each item would receive a different lot.

 YYY = 10001

ZZZ = 10002

AAa = 10003 etc.


For the daycode, 

Jan 1, 2022 = 20001

Jan 2, 2022 = 20002

Dec 30, 2022 = 2364

Dec 31, 2022 = 2365


Then if something was produced in house, it was given a 4 digit lot number, followed by the letter P (for produced)  (1234-P)


My current facility has a weird formula for determining the day code, I'm still trying to figure it out.  

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