What Is Lot Traceability in Manufacturing?

In an increasingly globalised and multi-path supply chain, accountability is everything. Many businesses have probably heard the term “lot traceability” and how it relates to creating transparent and accountable commerce worldwide. But what exactly is this important concept, and what implications does it have for today’s manufacturing operations?

The key concepts of lot traceability aren’t hard to understand, but understanding them and implementing them can be very different things. This article will examine the core concepts of lot traceability, as well as why some businesses struggle to implement it and, finally, why it’s both easier and more important now than it’s ever been. 

Lot Traceability: The Basics

The fundamental principle of lot traceability is that a batch of manufactured goods should be traceable at every stage of its creation process. From input materials to manufacturing to distribution and beyond, there should be a clear chain of trackable records that serves to inform all relevant parties of the entire history of the batch in question. Good lot traceability is bi-directional—that is, the lot’s path can be traced both upstream to its components and manufacturing process and downstream to customers and distributors.

Tied to quality management, this function within Sage X3 records the identity of any ingredient or product that is lot-controlled. A company can use this to meet industry and government regulations for warranties and quality assurance. It also allows a process manufacturer to assign inventory from a lot on demand to meet specific consumer needs.

Serialisation and traceability is important for pharmaceutical companies and around 50 percent of firms are already dealing with this via their manufacturing processes. To remain competitive, companies will need to be able to prove they have this level of visibility within practices by adopting the right solution.

Anthony Loheas, Industrial Management Controller for Délices de Saint-Léonard, said:

“Sage X3’s arrival helped us to work more obligatorily, by benefiting from integrated and coherent data. It’s impossible to send products if they are not present in the stock! It’s impossible to charge if price lists are not created! Thanks to Sage X3, our stocks of raw materials, packagings or finished products are now completely reliable, allowing us to guarantee the upstream traceability and the approval of our goods. How does ERP make things easier? From the material to the finished product, and from the finished product up to the end customer, everything is tracked.”

Why Lot Traceability Is Important?

Lot traceability has always been important for manufacturers, but it’s become even more urgent lately. The widespread food recalls of 2018 have convinced leaders in many industries that businesses can no longer afford to operate without robust lot traceability for all of their products.

However, lot traceability is important for many reasons that go beyond the worst-case scenarios of product recalls. A business might be lucky enough never to have to issue a recall, but the ability to track all of their batches end-to-end will have far-reaching beneficial effects beyond merely reacting to manufacturing issues:

  • Makes it much easier and faster to recall defective or unsafe products

  • Helps to pinpoint where problems are occurring in a manufacturing or sourcing process

  • Improves customer service

  • Boosts the efficiency of warehouse and logistics operations

Sage X3 Manufacturing can help you handle inventory better, manage production costs, analyse product line profitability, and simplify operations, allowing your business to work faster and more efficiently.

If you’d like to find out more about the power of Sage X3 for manufacturers and how this could boost efficiencies across your business, please get in touch and our team of experts would be happy to offer you a demonstration of the software.