Process manufacturing, which is also referred to as batch or formula-based manufacturing, is common in a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, chemical, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutics, plastics, and oil & gas. Essentially, this mode of manufacture produces goods that are unable to be reversed or broken down into their original materials. The unique needs of process manufacturers make it challenging for these businesses to find the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and manufacturing equipment to best optimize their complex production process.
What Your Process Manufacturing Software Should Do – Batch Manufacturing ERP
The specifications and complexities of process manufacturing make having a Process mode-specific ERP system an excellent idea for many formula-based operations. Because process manufacturers most often deal with formulas for human consumption or materials that affect our environment, there are generally many regulations that require stringent tracking throughout the production cycle. Thus, the best process manufacturing software should address these factors.
Here are some of the ways your software should serve your formula-based manufacturing process:
Help with FDA Compliance
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates six components of production and process controls in food, drugs, vaccines, medical devices and more. They are quality, production, laboratory, materials, facilities and equipment and packaging and labeling. Some process manufacturing software, such as BatchMaster, assists with FDA validation through scripts and templates that keep your business compliant during every step of the manufacturing process.
Help with Industry Regulation
The FDA isn’t the only agency you have to please in your batch manufacturing endeavors. Certain software can also help you analyze and meet other industry-specific and federal regulations so that you’re always producing goods that are high-quality and compliant with no risk of fines. They often work with the hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) system to ensure that food is free of chemical, biological or physical hazards. Additionally, many of these programs offer solutions for shipping documentation and labeling.
Inventory management is a prime consideration for those selecting all types of ERPs, including those designed for process manufacturing.
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Help with Lot Traceability
In manufacturing, bidirectional (forward and backward) lot traceability ensures that the producer of any given product be able to trace the ingredients or materials back to the previous step on the supply chain. For example, lot traceability may ensure that an orange juice manufacturer is able to report where its oranges came from — perhaps the grove where the oranges were grown or the distributor who sold them. A good manufacturing software will help you keep a detailed and complete history of all batches so everything is always traceable. Say your recipe has become contaminated. With proper lot traceability, you should be able to pinpoint where the contaminant originated.
Help with Batch Production
Your process management software should be able to handle complex batch production processes. For example, it could create and schedule the ideal number of jobs for a formula in various packaging configurations based on the demand of that specific product. This helps you optimize your processes and eliminate waste by producing the exact amount you need.
Help with Inventory Management
Inventory management is a prime consideration for those selecting all types of ERPs, including those designed for process manufacturing. The right software for the job could assist with inventorying by quality, expiration date, location and other factors so that you can always be sure that every single product in your inventory is fresh, safe and of excellent quality.
The Final Result Is Consistent Quality
At the end of the day, process manufacturing relies on dozens of components to ensure a high-quality final result. With the right process manufacturing software, your manufacturing will reach top-notch production every step of the way, from ensuring that your goods are industry-compliant to helping you identify weak points in the supply chain.
Ready to upgrade your system? Compare the top process manufacturing ERPs at Top 10 ERP today or get in touch with a manufacturing software expert who can provide you with a customized shortlist of options. We’re always here to dispense ERP advice that’s tailored to your business, manufacturing mode and budget.