BatchMaster participated in two webinars this past March, also considered our “Process Manufacturing Month.” One of which was the Food & Beverage Webinar Series, and the other a one-off webinar on the subject of Regulatory Compliance. The recordings for both webinars can be found on our On-Demand Webinars page.
Through these demos, we have become more familiar with the BatchMaster solution, and its positive impact on process manufacturers, who are required to follow some of the strictest regulations in the industry.
Process Manufacturing Requirements
Manufacturers, especially those in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical ERP spaces, face increasingly difficult and very stringent requirements from both regulatory agencies – like the FDA, GFSI, USDA, etc. – and customers.
Interestingly enough, customer requirements may oftentimes be more demanding than ones put in place by the government, which is reflective of the huge food moment we are currently experiencing as a country.
With a new perspective on health and nutrition comes more stringent requirements for process manufacturers that are increasingly more difficult to achieve.
For example, certain dietary lifestyles are becoming increasingly popular, like gluten-free and dairy-free diets. There are several steps a manufacturer must take to have their product deemed fully free of gluten, including additional requirements put in place by the FDA to garner their seal of approval.
Not to mention more carefully detailed plant inspections than a regular product.
Another example of a scenario that would greatly benefit from certain technology is in the case of a recall. Several major brands have been forced to recall their products for listeria recently, including Sabra and Blue Bell.
When a product is recalled, batch management is crucial so the company knows which locations received contaminated product, and how to properly remove said product from stores.
Because of delicate situations like these, the necessity for features and functions that address important issues like quality assurance and recipe management is at an all-time high.
For the past 30 years, BatchMaster has dedicated 100% of its efforts towards serving the process industry. Currently, they have over 2,000 customers, over half of which are in the food and beverage space.
BatchMaster recognizes the importance of being up-to-date on the latest regulations, and has a special department dedicated to keeping up with such criteria. They also have a large focus on research and development, to ensure those regulations are executed in their software.
There are several areas BatchMaster specializes in, including:
- Bringing a new product to market
- Clean label initiatives
- Quality best practices
- Quality scalability for planning & production
- Regulatory compliance
- Inventory management
- Cost control
BatchMaster is one of three OEM SAP business partners worldwide. SAP Business One is the largest growing ERP solutions worldwide, with over 42,000 customers and 800,000 users.
5 Areas Where Process Manufacturers Face Challenges
There are five major areas where process manufacturers face a lot of demand:
1. Ensuring label claims
Food products are required to have nutritional labels. Manufacturers must be able to support the information provided on those labels by being fully transparent about all ingredients used. In the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, the equivalent would be the requirement for nutraceutical supplemental facts panels.
2. Managing labels and reports
For a product to go to market, there are a number of certificates and reports that must be generated. These include, but are not limited to:
- Quality testing
- Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Also included is the requirement of electronic signatures.
3. Speed traceability
Manufacturers are required to be able to trace raw materials through to the finished product. They also must be able to trace the products in reverse, by tracking back to the raw materials from a finished product. This is especially necessary if there happens to be a recall on a certain product.
To accomplish this, the software solution must have adequate lot tracking and serialization capabilities for successful and effective traceability.
Supporting traceability requires the ability to drill down into purchase orders, specifications, batch jobs, QC tests, inventory, sales orders, shipments. Having it well organized and structured appropriately within the system allows for quick analysis.
4. Recipe management & version control
It is important to be able to tightly manage and control recipes and formulas for several reasons, one of which being consistency and making sure every product is identical to another. Or, if a product is altered, exactly how it is altered so it can be replicated if need be.
This is executed through version control and detailed approval of material specifications.
5. Managing the manufacturing process
Managing manufacturing-related issues is also important. This includes being able to produce certain documents like non-conformance reports (NCR), root cause analysis, corrective action and preventive action (CAPA).
BatchMaster Features & Functions
Here are some features and functions included in the BatchMaster solution that address many of the issues listed above:
Within the BatchMaster solution, each user has the ability to export information to PowerPoint, Excel, or other Microsoft Office applications.
Linking & Labeling
The BatchMaster solution allows users to link to Genesis and then pull the data back into the SAP Business One solution.
This also holds true with the USDA database – users can link to the USDA database, and generate nutrition labels right from that screen. This feature is especially important because it allows the user to stay up-to-date on important regulations without leaving the application.
It should also be mentioned that the BatchMaster solution has the ability to link a production order directly to sales order.
Advanced forecasting is a new functionality in SAP, that is sometimes available before go-live. Currently, there are three methods: Sales History, Production History, Quantity/Amount.
While the BatchMaster solution itself doesn’t address seasonality, they do work with a business partner who hosts an advanced forecasting module that can be plugged in.
The BatchMaster solution allows users to automatically email anything out of the system, including internal notifications regarding information like purchasing, planning, or the potential of a large opportunity.
The solution features a Relationship Map, which is a graphical representation of how certain business items are tied together. For example, you can view the relationship between a Quote to Sales order and its respective invoice.
To learn more about BatchMaster, visit their website here.