Industries that have a requirement to track their product movements via batches, whether it is legislated or based on a need for mature supply chain economics, find it difficult to perform these tasks in an efficient manner.
Why the inefficiency?
They battle to track batches, serial numbers or handling units/packages across the various disparate systems that are involved in the supply chain. Multiple systems come into play, and generally, any solutions that may be available to provide for the tracking of these objects are bound to one system and one system only.
They have no easy way to view the upstream products, suppliers, and customers impacted by a defective batch (bottom-up view). In the same breath, there is no view of products, raw materials, orders that fed into that same defective batch (top-down view). Finding a defective product at a customer or on the shelf requires a combination of top-down and bottom-up analysis to determine the breadth of the issue. The complete genealogy, for both upstream and downstream impacted batches and objects, simply cannot be easily determined and reported on. This task can often take many weeks to complete. If the defective batch led to bad press, sickness or at worst a fatality, the timeliness of determining the root cause to mitigate the impact is business critical.
Inconsistent, inaccurate or missing data in the product genealogy leads to an incomplete analysis being performed and often is very difficult even to determine that the chain has not actually ended but is actually continued elsewhere.
So where does SAP Global Batch Traceability (GBT) fit into the picture?
SAP GBT is not:
SAP GBT is:
How Does It Work, Practically Speaking?
If I take a simple process and walk it through with you, we can see how it works in practice. The first scenario is one where we uncover an issue on the end-customer side:
STEP 1: We have a problem with this product.
STEP 2: Find all the applicable batches that fed into this product (top-down report)
STEP 3: Isolate the bad batch of raw material at the lowest level.
STEP 4: List all batches / semi-finished / finished products that used this bad batch together with the locations (addresses) of each of these products (bottom-up report).
STEP 5: Take action! Send out a notice of recall, withdrawal or hold.
A second scenario might be if you uncover an issue with a raw material that you used in producing a product that you have now shipped:
STEP 1: We uncover a problem with this raw material batch.
STEP 2: List all batches / semi-finished / finished products that used this bad batch together with the locations (addresses) of each of these products (bottom-up report).
STEP 3: Take action! Send out a notice of recall, withdrawal or hold.
Why do you need to react quickly to these types of issues? What value lies in it for you? Greatly improved Time to Insight (T2I) gives you more time to take corrective action because you are aware of the full extent of the issue much earlier on in the process. This allows you to the following benefits:
For more information on SAP GBT functionality, review the following social media groups:Batch Traceability, pharma, SAP GBT