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 in to 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 in to products, raw materials, orders that fed in to 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 in to the picture?
SAP GBT is not:
- A batch management solution – You still need to perform proper batch management in your ERP system by flagging materials and process as batch relevant and capturing the proper batch information as the goods movements are executed.
- A replacement for a poor system with poor data. Garbage in – Garbage out… All movements related to batches need to be executed correctly in the system in order to reflect a complete and correct genealogy for the respective batches
SAP GBT is:
- An add-on tool provided by SAP to give companies immediate insight in to your product batch genealogy
- A tool that allows for fast and efficient analysis and reporting on product batch or multiple batch distribution records. I.e. where these affected products were sent?
- A repository of batch related objects and relationships between these objects