Management of lots and traceability¶
The double-entry management in Open ERP enables you to run very advanced traceability. All operations are formalized in terms of stock moves, so it’s very simple to search for the cause of any gaps in stock moves.
Upstream and downstream traceability
Upstream traceability runs from the raw materials received from the supplier and follows the chain to the finished products delivered to customers. (Note that the name is confusing - this would often be considered a downstream direction. Think of it as Where Used.)
Downstream traceability follows the product in the other direction, from customer to the different suppliers of raw material. (Note that the name is confusing - this would often be considered an upstream direction. Think of it as Where Supplied.)
Use the menu Stock Management ‣ Traceability ‣ Low Level ‣ Stock Moves to track past stock transactions for a product or a given location. All the operations are available. You can filter on the various fields to retrieve the operations about an order, or a production activity, or a source location, or any given destination.
Each stock move is in a given state. The different possible states are:
- Draft : the move has so far had no effect in the system. The transaction hasn’t yet been confirmed,
- Confirmed : the move will be done, so it will be counted in the calculations of virtual stock. But you don’t know whether it will be done without problem because the products have been reserved for the move,
- Validated : the move will be done and the necessary raw material have been reserved for the transaction,
- Done : the stock move has been done, and entered into the calculations of real stock,
- Waiting : in the case of transactions From Order , this state shows that the stock move is blocked waiting for the end of another move,
- Cancelled : the stock move wasn’t carried out, so there’s no accounting for it in either real stock or virtual stock.
Delivery orders, goods receipts and internal picking lists are just documents that group a set of stock moves. You can also consult the history of these documents using the menu Stock Management ‣ Traceability ‣ Low level ‣ Packing.
Open ERP can also manage product lots. Two lot types are defined:
- Production lots (batch numbers) are represented by a unique product or an assembly of identical products leaving the same production area. They are usually identified by bar codes stuck on the products. The batch can be marked with a supplier number or your own company numbers.
- Tracking numbers are logistical lots for identifying the container for a set of products. This corresponds, for example, to the pallet numbers on which several different products are stocked.
These lots can be encoded onto all stock moves and, specifically, on goods-in lines, internal moves and product deliveries.
To enter the lot number in an operation you can use an existing lot number or create a new lot. A production lot (batch number) is used for a single product. A tracking number can be used several times for different products, so you can mix different products on a pallet or in a box.
In the Simplified View the tracking numbers can’t be seen: the field is hidden. To get to Extended View mode, assign the group Usability – Extended View to the current user.
You can also specify on the product form the operations in which a lot number is required. You can then compel the user to set a lot number for manufacturing operations, goods receipt, or customer packing.
You don’t have to encode the lot number one by one to assign a unique lot number to a set of several items. You only need to take a stock move for several products line and click the button Split in Production Lots. You can then give a lot number prefix (if you want) and Open ERP will complete the prefix in the wizard with a continuing sequence number. This sequence number might correspond to a set of pre-printed barcodes that you stick on each product.
If you code in the lot numbers for stock moves as described above you can then investigate the traceability of any given lot number. To do this use the menu Stock Management ‣ Traceability ‣ Production Lots, or Stock Management ‣ Traceability ‣ Tracking Lots.
From the product form, the toolbar to the right offers useful information:
- Minimum stock rules,
- Stocks by location,
- Sales detail,
- Stocks by lot,
- Bills of Materials.
Search for a particular lot using the filters for the lot number, the date or the product. Once you can see the form about this lot several actions are possible:
- Traceability upstream : from supplier through to customers,
- Traceability downstream : from customer back to suppliers,
- Stock in all the physical and virtual locations.
Finally, on a lot, you can enter data on all the operations that have been done on the product. That forms a useful history of the pre-sales operations.