Lot tracking allows product to be tracked end-to -end, from manufacturer to customer, and any activity or process in between. If your company is unable to track lots, and there is a recall from the manufacturer, it can cost your company immensely.
If you are in an industry that requires you to track product lot numbers, you need to have a robust lot tracking system that will track lot numbers wherever they go. If, for example, you are in the fastener industry, you will need to track a lot number even if it becomes part of a kit, goes to a plating process and becomes a different part number, or if it gets moved to a different warehouse. Lot tracking should be easily accessible if you need to track down the history or activity of a particular lot it should always be traceable, even if the part becomes part of something else.
Easily Access History and Activity of a Lot Number
If you have a simple inventory system where your lotted product comes in and eventually gets sold and shipped out, you may only require simple lot tracking functionality. If you have a more complex inventory where your lotted product changes in form or location, then you may need a more sophisticated lot tracking system. A lot tracking system should always be able to be referenced, no matter where it has gone or what it has become. It should always be able to be tracked through an easy reporting function.
Lot Tracking Should Be System Oriented and Not On Paper
If the part that has the lot number gets combined, or becomes part of another product. You should still be able to trace the lot number as part of that new product. It is at this point that many ERP systems will start tracking the lot number on paper. Yes, there is still a means to trace the lot number, but it becomes much more cumbersome when trying to track lot number activity on paper, rather than simply running a lot report from your ERP system to get you the information that you need.