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How does Batch Information Cockpit support batch traceability?

An expert explains how SAP ERP Batch Information Cockpit traces material batches to help planners more efficiently manage defective materials and products.

SAP Batch Information Cockpit can be an invaluable tool for a company facing a recall of a defective product from...

the market or a production planner who needs to quickly identify and trace defective raw material mistakenly consumed in a product. Batch Information Cockpit (BIC) is an intuitive and user-friendly dashboard that provides both top-down and bottom-up analysis.

A top-down analysis begins with the batches of material that were sold to customers and drills down to include the process or production orders against which these were manufactured in-house. Producing the material in-house requires the consumption of raw materials. With a top-down approach, it is possible to track the batches of raw materials that the vendor supplied. With bottom-up analysis, the batch traceability cycle begins with the procured batches of raw material, which are then traced through their use in producing different semi-finished and finished goods.

The left side of Figure 1 shows that the materials planner wants a complete top-down analysis of material CH-3000 and its associated batch 0000000547 that was found defective, and against which the company has received several customers' complaints. The right side of Figure 1 shows that this specific batch (0000000547) was produced against process order 70001035. The process order 70001035 consumed the raw material's batch 0000000504. The company issued purchase order number 4500017744 for the purchase of raw material and against which the vendor delivered the defective batch 0000000504.

SAP Batch Information Cockpit
Figure 1 Batch Information Cockpit

The materials planner can also trace the results recorded during quality inspection and find out if a quality inspector approved the batch for consumption despite unsatisfactory or rejected quality results.

For a bottom-up drilldown, batch traceability starts with the batch of raw material that was consumed in different process orders. Tracing all the product batches that consumed the defective raw material enables materials planners to take immediate action by either destroying the affected products or physically separating them to prevent unintended consumption.

Another major advantage of using BIC is that the system can provide detailed information on material batches that are about to expire. The company can either consume them before they expire or sell them at a higher discount to avoid scrapping them altogether.  The SAP transaction code for using Batch Information Cockpit is BMBC.

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