The Power of Simplified Inventory Splitting and Sub-Batching

February 22, 2024

In this four-part blog series, we’ll explore how Merit for Life Science optimizes critical business processes for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. See our other blogs on inventory management and product safety, weighing and dispensing, and controlling storage conditions

In the world of pharmaceuticals and biotech, where every detail matters, inventory management isn’t just a task—it’s a critical part of the story. Precision is paramount and regulations are strict. Here, inventory splitting and sub-batching play a vital role in ensuring efficiency and compliance.

By efficiently managing batches and materials through sub-batching, your organization can better ensure traceability, minimize risks associated with quality deviations, and streamline processes throughout the supply chain. The level of granularity that sub-batching provides by segregating materials for various purposes not only facilitates better decision-making but also enhances overall product quality and customer satisfaction.

With Merit for Life Science enhancing Microsoft D365, you gain the tools you need to manage batches and materials with ease. This blog explores how these seemingly small details make a big difference in driving operational efficiency and maintaining quality control.

 What is sub-batching in inventory management?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms for pharmaceutical and biotech organizations optimize inventory management processes, including controlling batches and materials and enabling the sub-batching of material. In layman’s terms, this means taking part of a parent batch to create a smaller sub-batch. A sub-batch should identify the overall batch the material came from, as well as which inventory belongs to the sub-batch. 

Merit for Life Science advances the base Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) warehouse management module.

Here are some examples:

  • It enables handheld operations flows for warehouse workers, whether they’re out in the racks or on the dock with a handheld device scanning and tracking the movement of materials
  • It enables production operators to use tablets or scanners and digital workflows to effectively manage materials within the production workspace

Merit for Life Science offers functionality for both of these use cases. It enables users to identify scenarios where they need to separate a portion of a material batch and assign it a sub-batch number. Sub-batching enables users to treat this new material somewhat separately from the rest of the material in the parent batch. They can apply a unique batch status to that sub-batch and then direct it for a particular application. 

Why life science companies sub-batch materials  

Sub-batching materials is an incredibly useful and important capability for a variety of reasons.

For example, production workers can tag some of the material from a batch, give it a sub-batch number, and then set it aside for Quality Assurance (QA) to do further quality analysis. This is a sampling sub-batch, where new material can have its own status and unique properties and be tracked through the system by its own identity. However, it is still linked to the parent batch it came from.  

Here’s another example of how sub-batches come in handy.

If a worker sees a pallet of material in the warehouse that appears to be a single batch but has a damaged, suspect, or compromised piece or container, the worker can remove that specific piece or container from the pallet and assign it a unique status code. This allows for separate treatment from the rest of the batch.

How Merit for Life Science streamlines sub-batching and splitting processes

Merit for Life Science makes it extremely easy for the warehouse operator to apply a splitting code to that single unit of material and give it its own sub-batch number. Quality staff can separate the unit from the parent batch and conduct any necessary diagnostic or analytical tests to determine whether to continue using it, treat it separately, scrap it, or dispose of it.

Need to retain material? Merit for Life Science can split a produced batch to retain a sample and direct it to a specific location. Furthermore, warehouse workers will receive a movement work order to move the retained sample from the production location to the specific retained location defined by organization’s quality standard operating procedure (SOP). Similarly, one could apply this process to retest sampling and stability testing sampling as well.

You can use the ability to separate a unit of material and create a sub-batch for various reasons, including performing QA samplings, investigating material damage in the warehouse, retaining material, retesting it, performing stability sampling, and more.

Merit for Life Science enables each organization to define these use cases and the business rules they’d like to apply. As a result, teams are able to enforce controls automatically, without relying on manual interventions and human judgment to ensure they’re following their organization’s SOPs. 

Improve your organization’s ability to split inventory and sub-batch materials.

Learn more about Batch and Lot Splitting and Genealogy in Merit for Life Science and how it can provide greater operational efficiency and visibility when it comes to managing inventory. 

Customer Close-Up

Read how this global leader in GMP and research grade plasmid DNA enhanced its visibility in materials control allowing for sub-batching and item tracing.

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Explore Inventory Functionality

See how you can gain inherent genealogy with sub-batch management using Merit for Life Science.

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