Bottom-line Issues Facing Process Manufacturers Profiled

By: Thomas Cutler

At the end of the day, process manufacturers, with special needs in compliance and lot traceability (among many other requirements) are seeking a flexible, easy to learn and use technology solution that is also scalable to grow with the companies requirements. Of equal important is the ability for these solutions to Interface with third party applications assuring that information captured in one application is available to other linked applications, including CRM, HR, Fixed Assets, Business Intelligence, Demand Forecasting, POS and eCommerce.

Process manufacturers require the ability to operate their businesses more effectively with less effort and at lower costs. This is particularly true for small to mid-size process manufacturers including the following industry sectors:
&bullFood and Beverages
&bullPaints and Coatings
&bullCosmetics
&bullPharmaceutical
&bullChemical industries
Manufacturing Journalist Thomas R. Cutler profiled the requirements of process manufacturers in the current issue of Automation.com. The complete feature can be read at http://www.automation.com/sitepages/pid2674.php.
Comprehensive formulation management with version tracking and rollback capabilities are essential for the process manufacturer. Formulas must be scalable and materials must be measured in any defined unit of measure. Few ERP (enterprise resource planning) solutions provide multi-level formulas and easy material substitutions. Production yields must be assigned to any formula. One technology leader in the process manufacturing sector is BatchMaster because it is formula- and not BOM-based, with ingredients added by prescribed proportions measured by either volume or weight.

Similarly few technology solutions define raw materials, work in process, and finished goods in terms of any unit of measure with automatic conversion from one unit to another. Physical and cycle count utilities synchronize perpetually with physical inventories. Inventories for process manufacturers must be valued using standard, average, LIFO, FIFO or lot cost. Ultimately the technology solutions must provide the controls and confidence necessary to reduce materials inventories.

SuperBatch by BatchMaster is rare in that it supports the simultaneous launch of a series of production projects for all components within a batch. Manufacturers can size a batch based upon a finished weight or volume or the availability of component materials. A batch can be defined as either a finished good or an intermediate. Batches can be defined as Fill (bulk to containers), Mix (raw materials and intermediates to finished goods) and Assembly (combination of finished goods to make up a deliverable product). This intricate technical solution provides the versatility of "partial close-outs" to assign production output for partial order fills for urgent customer requirements. A "critical materials" facility allows manufacturers to inquire if any material shortages will interfere with production.


Process manufacturers are constantly seeking solutions which will ease the complexity of compliance reporting. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) must be entirely automated. Linked to formulas, an MSDS should be automatically generated when a formula enters production for the first time or for the first time for a given customer. A new MSDS is best if it is designed using Microsoft Word templates.


BatchMaster Software, Inc. has provided advanced ERP solutions for over two decades with more than one thousand five hundred installations worldwide. BatchMaster's customers can be found in every formula or recipe-based business, including food, beverage, cosmetic, personal care, paint, coating, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, and specialty chemical industries. Flexible, easy to learn and use, and scalable to grow with a process manufacturing business, BatchMaster is the definitive solution for the challenges facing small to midsize process manufacturers. BatchMaster has more than a hundred technical staff members of highly-qualified software professionals.


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