Why your business should digitize batch manufacturing records

5 min
Worker writing a batch number on a product

In the world of manufacturing, making a great product is just one part of your responsibility. You also need a way to keep track of and provide data on that product. This is what batch manufacturing records are for. But traditional batch manufacturing records can create a lot of extra work. 

Instead, we’re going to look at how digitizing batch manufacturing records can help make your manufacturing operations more agile, productive, and accurate. 

What is a batch manufacturing record?

A batch manufacturing record is a document that stores vital information on a manufactured product or batch of products. It includes details like ingredients, weights, inspection results, involved personnel and equipment, dates and times, and more. 

Though batch manufacturing records are most commonly used in the pharmaceutical and food production industries, but you can also use them across many sectors. 

The details that a specific batch manufacturing record includes changes based on which product it’s tracking. No matter what, you need to be monitoring your manufacturing data. 

The Good Manufacturing Processes standardization is an industry-wide standard used in regulated medicine manufacturing. It ensures that inspections are completed, critical data is provided to distributors and consumers, and recalls and errors can be pinned down. 

What are electronic batch records?

Electronic batch records (EBR) are digital versions of batch manufacturing records. They remove the need to keep up with physical, manual paperwork involved in traditional batch manufacturing records. 

And because EBRs are digital, you can quickly and efficiently analyze everything that traditional batch records track. 

These benefits make EBRs perfect for the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, which have pioneered EBR technology and use. However, any sector in manufacturing can benefit from adopting electronic batch records over traditional batch manufacturing records. 

The benefits of digitizing your batch manufacturing records

To better understand why electronic batch records are overtaking batch manufacturing records, we’re going to go through each of the benefits that this newer technology has over its predecessor. Below are the benefits you can expect to see by updating your systems, regardless of your sector. 

Improve accuracy and consistency

Switching from batch manufacturing records to electronic batch records improves your accuracy immediately. Manual record-keeping can open you up to human error, and minor inconsistencies can quickly add up to a larger problem. You could end up creating a system that relies on unreliable data. Electronic batch records are far less likely to suffer from inaccurate record-keeping, mainly because you can automate them.

Increase productivity

Speaking of automation, this is another major benefit of electronic batch records. Since they are digital, you can pair EBRs with software and code that handles all the menial work for you. The right software can automatically track data like dates, times, and involved personnel. 

You can also connect your electronic batch records to your scheduling systems, timers, and equipment. And for goods/products moving through your manufacturing center, barcodes and RFID tags can give employees or robotics the ability to automatically update location, date, and time fields in your electronic batch records. 

Give you real-time visibility

Building on automation, EBRs can boost your real-time visibility. Since the records are digital, they’re constantly being updated with all the latest information. This helps you know what’s happening when and allows you to tackle any issues as they occur. 

And digitization means that anyone in your manufacturing center or off-site headquarters can view the data attached to your products at any time. If everyone can access each record electronically, you can quickly disseminate information across your whole organization.

Decrease production time

It can take months for a product to leave your manufacturing center. Much of this time isn’t the manufacturing process itself but all of the inspections, record keeping, and other time-consuming processes associated with producing your goods. 

Since electronic batch records can improve your accuracy, efficiency, and productivity, they can help you start cutting down on production time. You’ll be able to produce more products in the same amount of time without having to worry about errors or manual paperwork.

Reduce compliance costs

While it’s considered best practice to track manufacturing data with batch records, it’s is also key to staying compliant. Compliance can be tricky and expensive to manage regardless of where you manufacture your goods.

Electronic batch records can reduce these costs by preventing errors (which can lead to fees and fines), saving time to offset these costs, and reducing the labor involved in staying compliant.

Reduce operating costs

Switching to electronic batch records over traditional batch manufacturing record systems can also reduce your operating costs in a few key ways. 

As we’ve mentioned, keeping digital records helps reduce errors, which can become costly if left unchecked. And since you can automate EBRs you can spend less time working on record keeping and direct your energy and staff time to more important tasks.

But digitizing your batch manufacturing records also saves you money on printing, sorting, storing, and sending physical documents.

Help you scale rapidly

Anytime you can automate a process, you gain the ability to scale substantially. You can accomplish more in the same amount of time because automated routines can run simultaneously 24/7. 

Not to mention that digitized records over paper batch manufacturing record setups can be delivered faster, sent around the world in an instant, and can be accessed by anyone in your organization, even if they aren’t on-site.

Help you make decisions

Finally, because you have access to manufacturing data immediately, digitizing also improves your ability to make decisions. With the wealth of data available to you, you’ll be able to act faster, more precisely, and more accurately. 

You could even integrate this data with business intelligence software, providing even more tools for making decisions. 

What you need before you can digitize your batch manufacturing records

Before digitizing your batch manufacturing record setup, you’ll need to have a few systems in place. Here’s what you’ll want to prep for digitization. 

Data integrity and integration

The first two factors you want to organize are data integrity and integration. 

Data integrity means ensuring that your data is quality, reliable data. You want to have as few mistakes as possible, a reliable means of tracking your data, and quality reporting methods. 

On the other hand, integration means plugging that data into your systems. You want to access and use this data across your organization. Electronic batch records will help with this, but you should also have something to plug into. 

Flexibility and scalability

It’s also essential to have some amount of flexibility and scalability present in your business. This will help you adapt to and capitalize on the benefits provided by electronic batch record keeping. 

Analytics and standardization

Finally, you must have the ability to analyze your operations. This analysis and reporting should be standardized across your organization to extract and process all relevant data. Standardizing your reporting and monitoring methods will give you a solid framework to help you implement your electronic batch record system. 

Upgrade your batch manufacturing record-keeping with Brahmin Solutions

Ready to take your batch manufacturing record-keeping system into the future? Reach out to the team at Brahmin Solutions today and make your upgrade fast and easy. 

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