Imagine knowing where every piece of raw material is in your plant and being able to locate it instantly.

Envision moving inventory from one bin to another while accurately documenting the entire transaction right there on the shop floor…in real time.

Or printing move tickets anywhere on the shop floor as you assign and pull parts to work in progress.

All of these activities can be quickly and easily accomplished, and then recorded and managed in Priority ERP, thereby ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the data.

Traceability Defined

What is it? The ability to trace the history, application and/or location of an entity by means of recorded identifications.

You need to ensure that you have the capability of recording this traceability with Quality. Who, What, Where, How & When!

For companies to thrive in ever competitive industries, its determined by the Ease of Management of this traceability data, saving your business time and cost.

How to Make Your Traceability Lean

Take control of quality. Accountability in manufacturing isn’t an optional extra. Whether you are making sauces, or sports cars, you need to know exactly what it is that has gone into your product. It is important to be able to track back every ingredient/component to its source because there are numerous people that may want to know such as your customers, trading standards, industry regulators and insurers.

Controlling Traceability Costs

Every product failure costs money and, if it occurs after the product has gone out into the market, the impact on profits could be huge. The costs of product failure, at any stage in manufacturing include:

  • Time spent tracing the problem
  • Cost of actions to correct the problem
  • Damage to reputation
  • Lost profits from potential sales


Manual recording is a hugely expensive use of valuable resources!

Automating much of the material and product tracking, ERP systems make the record keeping process quick and easy, reducing the scope of error.

But how…?

Lot Traceability

Lot/Serial Traceability comes down to having a tracking system in your company to set controls in place in case something happens. It allows you to keep track of what your customers are receiving, how many items were purchased and all of the raw materials used to create the product. If you feed this into real-time reports, you will have an extremely powerful tool to cut costs, increase profits all whilst maintaining the highest levels of creditability in your market place.

How it Works

The Lot Number identifies the constituent parts or ingredients as well as labour and equipment records involved in the manufacturing of the part. Document controls are put in place to record “CERTS” or certifications from your suppliers as they are received which allows you to easily pass them to your customer. A C of C or “Certificate of Compliance” provides traceability for each step of your customer’s product. In the case of failure or recall, you would now have the ability to find all the transactions or serial number of the part produced within minutes, you will be able to trace what materials were used to make the part via CERTS from your suppliers and you can then recall lot numbers that were shipped to customers.

How Do We Make it Leaner?

ERP software has streamlined the inventory tracking process to a large degree by moving it from a paper file folder to a digital database.

But if your inventory isn’t next to the computer, you still have to write it down on a piece of paper, walk over to the computer, and then manually enter the data into the system.

This takes time and opens the door to the mistakes that inevitably occurs with hand-written data. And unless you shut down operations every time you count a piece of inventory or conduct a bin-to-bin transfer, the data is always one step behind what’s actually happening on the shop floor.

This can be resolved with Mobile Management. Integrating the latest in barcode scanning, handheld printing and mobile device technologies, ERP software is rapidly redefining the way companies perform the materials management process and lean traceability. From physical inventory to shipments, purchase order receipts, inventory transfers and more, mobile management is giving manufacturers unprecedented levels of speed, visibility and control.

Barcode scanning is also a prime method to overcome this.  Transforming barcoding from a stationary to a mobile activity. Allowing companies to streamline material transaction, improve inventory accuracy and take faster physical inventory and cycle counts. Whether receiving incoming raw materials, counting inventory in the warehouse or transferring parts on the shop floor, the person handling the material simply scans the barcoded label and the mobile system records the transaction in real-time. Eliminate the data entry errors that occur when tracking barcoded labels by hand and produces real-time transactional labels that speed up the materials management process.

Instantaneous Reporting Example

Mike, a plant supervisor has identified a malfunction on the product line.

John, a quality management expert can now immediately explore the issue and pinpoint all affected bad product batch stock at every location.

To Conclude…

Over the last 15 years, ERP vendors have listened to their customers’ needs for continuous improvement support on their lean journeys.

Listening is key and it’s important that the vision of lean matches the vendor’s definition to achieve continuous improvement, there is no one size fits all.

Mobile device technologies, lot traceability, real-time accurate reporting and innovative yet flexible software are part of the key elements to achieve this. Ultimately allowing you to easily track every movement both backwards and forwards in your supply chain saving you time, resources, money & strengthening your companies brand.

Lean traceability: creating the future of a smarter business.






Written By:

Patrick McCarthy

Ireland Country Manager, MedatechIE