ERP Software For Chemical Manufacturing With Recipe Level Tracking

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Chemical manufacturing operations have unique and specialized needs when it comes to software.  Software designed specifically with formula-based manufacturers in mind will not only increase efficiency but can ultimately save your chemical manufacturing business time and money.

VicinityChem is a comprehensive ERP software specifically built to meet the unique needs of chemical manufacturers. VicinityChem integrates with your ERP solution to unify your company's departments, improve overall operations, and drive growth as it scales with your operations.

What software can do for chemical manufacturers

Chemical manufacturers need to be able to track production at the recipe level rather than just the traditional bill of material (BOM). You need software that will track and provide guidelines for your master recipes. You should be able to accurately document precisely what materials were used, especially if they are different from standard recipes. Detailed tracking is not always available in traditional manufacturing software systems.

With traditional software using BOM as a foundation, you would have to create a unique job for each possible combination of ingredients that go into your formulas. Also, you would have to create a new job for every bulk production run. All that additional data entry costs you time and resources and risks data entry error.

For instance, if you were scaling up a batch for a bulk-run production and recording results across individual logs, you would need to divide your results manually. You would not be able to trace lots and capture true overall yields accurately.

What VicinityChem can do for formula-based manufacturers

VicinityChem can be customized for the specific needs of chemical manufacturers. Here are four considerations for software built for batches:

1. Variations in yield

Most software systems will deal only with linear input to output processes. For chemical manufacturers, your ERP solution must allow for process variations from one batch to the next, even when the end product is the same.

If your formulas vary significantly from the standard, several operations will be impacted. Suppose a particular formula requires more material than anticipated to produce the same finished product. In that case, you may experience materials shortages, delayed shipping of finished goods, increases in expedited orders, or issues with quality control(QC).

Each of these operations will impact your organization's overall profits. And, if the actual formula yield doesn't match with theoretical yields, you probably won't realize the margins you expected. When dealing with greater than average losses for a formula, you lose an opportunity for added profit.

2. Variations in ingredients

Some solutions require that you use exactly the same ingredients and quantities every time you produce a specific finished product. If you choose to vary ingredients or quantities, you must create new logs to support each variation.

You can save a vast amount of time and resources if you don't have to create a new log every time you want to track different ingredients and quantities. Reporting is much easier. Traditionally configured ERP solutions don't accommodate this feature.

Further, as formulas change, you might need to see previous versions for comparison. You may even want to revert to a prior formula. Formula management should provide the functionality to manage old, new, and experimental formulas. VicinityChem provides these processes specifically for chemical manufacturers.

Sometimes ingredients change.  Making changes within the system can be time-consuming if there are multiple formulas or levels of formula intermediates. Having the ability to process these changes can save time and reduce the likelihood of error. With VicinityChem, you can select chemicals for replacement or substitution in one or multiple formulas.

3. Variations in packaging

After blending and compounding your bulk product, you need to package it into various package sizes. Most solutions require you to set up a specific batch or job each time you use different packaging.

Tracking bulk production runs efficiently and incorporating variations in packaging makes the whole process easier for your team. The same formula may be packaged in 1, 10, or 50-gallon containers, depending on your customers' needs. Grouping this production by formula can reduce the number of batches in a period and provide other economies of scale.

Include sales order and forecast demand to customize batch sizes;  create one batch ticket to produce multiple end items with fewer batches; leverage variable unit of measure conversions for finished goods to view output by volume or weight.

4. Scheduling by formula

The right ERP system for chemical manufacturers will seamlessly manage interdependent production runs and track output at each stage to calculate variable inputs, log of intermediate batches, and by-products or co-products.

Formula manufacturers frequently schedule production runs in response to orders so they can control overages or excess stock. However, when multiple small batches are run, the increase in machine setup time and clean-up time can be substantial. Batch yields can vary greatly depending on several variables. Grouping production batches by formula or setup will minimize machine downtime, decrease the cost of production, and reduce expenses.

VicinityChem's scheduling module will give you complete control over your production schedule. When formulas or equipment are shared, you can group batches, so production costs are divided and attributed to individual orders. Decreased costs per unit contribute to increased profits.

VicinityChem integrated with your ERP solution will seamlessly integrate many of the unique aspects of your chemical manufacturing processes. You can save time, money, and resources with streamlined setup, improved process reporting, and more accurate data.

Our intuitive and efficient software solves the challenges of recipe-based manufacturers. We designed VicinityChem to alleviate time-consuming and error-prone workarounds required when using traditional manufacturing software solutions. Our product empowers your team with an accurate, centralized data set and a host of features that can save time and money while reducing errors.

Would you like to know what VicinityChem can do for your chemical manufacturing business? Contact our experts at Vicinity Software, and let's explore the possibilities.

By Vicinity Software, vicinitysoftware.com

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