Advanced Batch Tracking with Manufacturing

  • Post category:apt-university
  • Reading time:7 mins read


  • How can I use the Batch report to find which work orders were affected by an ingredient/component recall?
  • How can I find the customers who received product created by a recalled ingredient/component?
  • How can I find the ingredients/components used to manufacture a given batch of finished goods to identify potential quality issues?
  • How can I track batches through multi-layer manufacturing/sub assemblies?

Webinar transcript

APT University: Advanced Batch Tracking with Manufacturing
Hello everyone and welcome to APT university, Today we’re going to be taking an in depth look at batch tracking in advancepro, specifically through manufacturing, and as it may be relevant to food or pharmaceutical manufacturers tracking a recall or isolating quality issues. We’ll also touch on how to do this if you’re doing multi-layer manufacturing, such as a first step for the bulk product, and a second step for packaged product.

We will be taking any questions at the end so feel free to put them into the questions tab of your gotowebinar control panel, and if you’d like to learn more about AdvancePro we have a full archive of our APTU videos on localhost/apt under the resources tab, or on our youtube channel. Specifically you might want to take a look at our general lot/serial/batch tracking video to get an idea of the basics

Just a note about terminology, Our batch feature is part of our larger Lot and Serial functionality, and some companies may be using our batch feature to record lot numbers and vice versa, the main advantage to using our batch feature is performance when working with very large quantities, as well as the option to use decimal quantities or part of an item. Our Lot feature assigns a lot to whole items that need to be used as whole items. While much of what we’ll cover today also applies to our lot feature, we’ll be looking at the batch feature specifically.

Now one thing that’s key in track and trace is to make sure that you’re always assigning batches at the time of receiving, at the time of manufacturing, and at the time of shipping. If you are assigning batches after the fact, or using an adjustment to create the product, that will dramatically affect your ability to audit, track and trace your batches.

So in AdvancePro, we’re going to be looking primarily today at the batch report, this is located under reports, under product reports, under lot/serial tracking, and under the batch report tab. If you don’t see this tab, then you have not enabled the batch feature – feel free to reach out to a support team member if you want to enable this feature.

So let’s say we have a batch number for an ingredient that is being recalled – to find all the items that were manufactured with that batch, here is the process:

  • Open up the batch report and search by batch (here we’ll use batch 321)
  • Look at the ‘WO’ and ‘VO’ columns, these identify the vendor order where you received the ingredient and the Work Order or Work Orders where you consumed it.
  • Look up that work order number in your history – check which product was produced.
  • Return the the batch report, this time, filter by product, find the Work Order number associated with the ingredient, now look in the CO field for the customer order number, and the customer name associated with the affected batch of finished goods

Now lets try it from the other direction, a customer has called and complained about some of your manufactured items. You want to check the ingredient batches to verify quality and determine other affected products and customers.
1, isolate the customer order reference number and search for it to find the batch and the work order to get a list of ingredients used – including any special ingredients. You can search for the finished product by batch number to find other affected customers by this product.
2. Run the batch report again, Search for the ingredient by product name and locate the work order number for the affected batch. You will now see the related vendor order, and you will have the ingredient batch information needed to see if there are other work orders and other products affected by this quality issue.

Here’s a quick tip to cross reference your product BOM report by work order number, or anything else, once you open the report, use the find text button, shown here as a pair of binoculars, then go ahead and put in any Work order number, customer name. Batch number, or order number to quickly find what you need. You can also export them to Excel by clicking the export button, if you need to run formulas, i recommend using the data only export option.

Also, please note that the the VO, CO, and WO columns all refer to the internal reference numbers for the vendor, customer, and work order, rather than the PO or work order number. You can find these under the REF columns on view orders.

Finally, let’s discuss Batches in multi-layer manufacturing. In this type of manufacturing, you have an initial bill of materials and assembly item for a bulk product (as an example) and a second finished product for a finished packaged product, which uses the bulk product as a component or ingredient. This is referred to as a sub-assembly. This is just one example, you might have something that goes through several layers. But to approach this, ensure you are assigning batches at stage – that is, in each work order, assign batches to inputs and outputs.
Lets review that step by step:

  • Run a batch report for the ingredient and find your affected work order number for the bulk product or intermediary step. (321 baking soda – WO 47)
  • Run a batch report for the bulk product and find your affected work orders for the finished packaged goods, or the next intermediary step, repeat through each layer to find the work order for the consumer product. (1212 aptu bulk juice – WO 48)
  • Run a batch report for the consumer product, isolate the work order and batch, and then locate the affected customer.(1212-1 juice 12oz)

So in our example, you’ll be able to search for batches of ingredients to find the work order for the bulk product, then search for the bulk product to find the work order for the finished goods, and finally search the finished goods to find the affected customers, you would repeat this pattern through each work order/assembly step to find your customers.

If you want to make this process shorter, consider giving the bulk product and packaged product similar batch numbers, then search for those similar packaged product – for example, with the product above we put the batch for the bulk product as ‘1212’ and the batch for the finished goods as ‘1212-1’ so we can find the bulk product and the packaged product by searching for the part of the batch number that is in both. In this case, ‘1212’ will bring back a report showing the bulk product and the finished packaged product.

This concludes today’s APTU discussion on advanced Batch tracking for Manufacturing.