Supply chain traceability is becoming more and more important in today’s complex international supply chains. Contamination risks must be mitigated, safety concerns addressed, and consumer interest addressed. It’s crucial for food manufacturers to be able to respond quickly should any ingredient be compromised and equally important for manufacturers, to know where a specific batch of a safety critical item has been used and where it is now.

At HSO we understand that the quality of your product is a direct link to your reputation and your ongoing business. Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help you maintain the quality of your products and provide an auditable set of quality data that adheres to your industry’s requirements.

When introducing traceability functionality, it’s important to understand the objective. Is it to manage recalls? To understand material usage or variances? To adhere to legislation? Each requirement will drive different compromises in the set-up and administrative effort.

Introducing product traceability requires greater transactional effort. Each and every stock movement requires additional information to be added (the batch, lot or serial number). With Microsoft Dynamics 365 we can automate this and reduce the number of “scans” required to a minimum. Once the ingredient/component has been moved, it then needs to be consumed. With some components it’s essential to know exactly which serial no./batch has been consumed in the creation of which finished product; this requirement increases the disciplines needed and the transaction overhead. With other products, compromises can be made in the name of production efficiency and controlled techniques; for example, backflushing and kanbans can be employed.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides the tools to trace products all the way through your supply chain, understanding the batches and lots that have gone into each product and tracing them to your customers. We make sure it’s easy for your team to enter the right traceability details using the native apps, including barcode scanning, hand-held terminals and tablets.

Should you need to perform a recall, the comprehensive traceability reports can quickly identify where a product/batch is currently, where it has been used and which customers have received products within which it was consumed.

In addition, to manage your ongoing product quality, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has comprehensive quality management modules, including the management of tests and test equipment. These Quality Orders can be triggered according to business events including the receipt of goods from suppliers, the completion of an operation or transfer order. The tests can be destructive or non-destructive and have all the required links into the warehousing applications to ensure appropriate physical and financial management of stocks. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 quality modules allow you to decide when to test and can use AI to predict when to change your testing schedules (considering Statistical Process Control – SPC – techniques if appropriate to you). The introduction of Power Apps into Microsoft Dynamics 365 has made it so much easier to configure and manage quality testing. Power Apps can be used to include additional information (including photos) and capture the steps in a testing process.

Product certificates of conformance can be generated directly from Microsoft Dynamics 365; they are recorded against the relevant product/batch and can be recalled or attached to any subsequent transaction automatically.

When managing quality, it’s also essential to manage your equipment. With asset and equipment management modules supplemented with business specific Power Apps to allow ad-hoc checks on your equipment, HSO can make sure that your quality needs are always at the forefront of your team’s minds. This equipment management can also integrate with your production planning systems, thereby minimising disruption to your supply chain whilst maintaining equipment.

Awesome traceability can even be a product differentiator. HSO can add labels with QR codes to your products and using blockchain functionality (along with a cooperative downstream supply chain) could allow your customers the ability to understand where each ingredient/component of your supply chain has been sourced. This can help validate your corporate responsibility goals.

HSO wants to help you deliver great quality products to your customers; our industry experts are here to help you do it.

If you don’t think that your current systems (Microsoft Dynamics 365 or otherwise) provide you with the quality differentiation that you need, please get in touch. Our experienced consultants can sit down with you and explain exactly how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Quality could be applied in your business and the benefits that it can bring.

Mike Stanbridge, Enterprise Architect, HSO

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