Do you manufacture products that are perishable, or have perishable parts? If you do, you will definitely want to check out batch numbers. Batch numbers help you keep track of your incoming and outgoing goods, but at a whole new level. Because each batch number is assigned an expiration date, you’ll be able to know exactly what the state of your inventory is.
As a recap from our last post, here are the basics: Batch numbers, also called lot numbers, are codes associated with batches of finished goods and/or raw materials. They allow you to track the date in which your goods have come in or have been manufactured and the order by which goods should be sold or used first.
Do I Need Batch Numbers in Manufacturing?
You can use batch numbers in manufacturing in a couple of ways. Firstly, your finished goods can be batched. For example, if you are running a bakery, the finished product of cupcakes would be batched with an appropriate expiry date. Secondly, your raw materials can be batched with expiry dates. For example, the flour you use to bake the cupcakes needs to be tracked by expiry date as well. As you can see, you can have batch numbers for both or either the raw materials and the finished goods.
The system you use to generate batch numbers is up to you and the way you run your business. A simple way to create batch numbers for manufacturing is using the date of production as a base of the batch number. You can then add a number code for any additional information you may need. For example, if you make a batch of cupcakes twice a day, you can add that to the batch number. This way, the batch number for the first batch of the day would be DDMMYY-1 and the second one DDMMYY-2.
Knowing when the raw materials expire will help you decide which batch to use for a certain production order. Allocating batch numbers and expiry dates to finished goods will help immensely in the front end of your business, always ensuring you are selling fresh goods to your customers.
How to Use Batch Numbers in Megaventory
To use Batch numbers in Manufacturing, you first need to Enable Batch Numbers and Expiry Dates in your Megaventory account. Then enable the feature for each finished good and raw material you want to use batch numbers for.
To use batch numbers in a new production order, do the following:
Navigate to Production → New Order
Fill in the information as you normally would. Click on New Production Order to continue.
A new document will open up. Here you can see what raw materials you’ll need to use for the finished good on hand. Click on Allocate Materials at the top of the document to continue.
A new document will open up. This is where you will use batch numbers in allocating your materials for production. This is important because it will help you use the correct materials with the correct expiration dates in your production.
Fill in the number of finished goods you will be manufacturing. Below this, you will see the list of raw materials needed for your production. Bring your cursor to the batch number field on the right and pick the appropriate batch for each raw material. Megaventory shows you the expiration of each batch, so it is easy for you to pick the one you need.
Once you have filled in batch numbers for all products that need them, click on Allocate Materials.
This is when you would physically get the raw materials and make the finished product. Once you have finished manufacturing the finished good, you can proceed in Megaventory.
Open the production order, and click on Receive Finished Goods at the top of the document.
A new document will open up. This is where you will create a new batch number for your finished goods. Type in a batch number, and select an expiration date for the goods. You can also pick an already existing batch number. This is handy if you have been making several runs, or want to pick up a task that got interrupted for some reason.
To finalize the document, click on Receive Finished Goods.
Automatization and Batches
Sometimes you just want things to be a bit more streamlined, don’t you? If you want to skip selecting specific batch numbers for your raw materials, you can use the quick actions tool in Production Order Lists. This is handy if your process is very standard and you are completing the full order at once.
Navigate to Production → Order Lists
Find the order list and order you want to handle. You will see a gear icon right below the production order number. Click on the icon and select your desired action. For example, if you click on Allocate Materials, Megaventory will automatically select the batch numbers for the materials you need. To do this, Megaventory uses the FIFO (First In First Out) principle. Items will be allocated from the first batch received that still has available stock. The use of this principle helps you keep your warehouse fresh.
Just note that when you process your Production Order with this tool, it’s important to physically use the first batch of raw material with available stock in your production. This way, both Megaventory and the actual physical process works under the FIFO principle and what’s been recorded in Megaventory corresponds to the physical reality.
What to Remember?
By now it’s pretty obvious that batch numbers and expiry dates bring added accuracy to your manufacturing business. The way they work helps keep the warehouse fresh, and your staff will know exactly which batch of raw materials to use in production. Note that you can also add batch numbers to existing SKU:s. If you haven’t yet, this is the time to try using batch numbers in manufacturing!
Here are key things to remember:
- You can use batches for both raw materials and finished goods
- You can automate part of the process
- Batch numbers are always associated with an expiry date
- The feature is included in the regular subscription cost – no additional fee is necessary
Ready to start using batch numbers and expiry dates in manufacturing?
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