The Blog

Serial, Batch Tracking and Traceability

When a manufacturer of Honey products and by-products recently chose Abel, this was the catalyst for the final touches to be put on the batch tracking and associated features within Abel.  Consequently, the words “Unique, Track, Batch and Serials” have been tossed around the office fairly regularly of late.

This new functionality enables the ability to record and track products going into (any stage of) production, the bin location(s) of the batches of finished product, and finally, where those products are then dispatched or sold to.  This is imperative for any food manufacturer but also relevant to many other industries.

Government regulations internationally have made traceability one of the concerns at the forefront of industries such as food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The compliance of a company in these areas now makes it a prerequisite in order to export to the EU and most developed countries around the world.   In addition, the level of traceability may go deeper in to the primary produce should, for example, the products being produced be promoted as be GE Free.  In that case, the traceability may need to go back to a seed from which a product is grown. Indeed, trials are underway in the USA, where an individual lettuce can be traced from ground to consumer.  Who would have thought a single lettuce could be a unique identifier!

Once the initial configuration of an inventory or stock item is completed in Abel, the entry of serial or batch numbers for the components contained in that item can be made mandatory during the production process.  So should there be a critical issue with any one of the ingredients or components which ultimately results in a recall, the end product can be tracked by batch number as to its warehouse location or place of dispatch.

I recall my days in the seafood industry, where as part of our food safety management programme was the need to adapt to constantly changing legislation.  This meant that manual systems were implemented to trace the product flow.  It was laborious and inefficient – if only we’d had this current functionality!

Traceability and serial numbers are not simply limited to food, drugs and cosmetics.  You may well be in an industry where your product is a serialized item such as electronic devices.  Tracking by serial number of an individual item can be made mandatory which assists in the administration of maintenance contracts, warranty claims, returns, and repairs.

Of course, the ability to search by batch or serial number, or report thereon is also included.  The full history of an item from production, despatch, return repair and re-despatch can be viewed at a glance.

Whilst the majority of this blog has related to the food industry, Abel provides an excellent tracking solution for all manner of companies, satisfying legislative requirements and ensuring an easy to use process within your company.

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Tax Change Management

At the beginning of October, there was a change to the rate of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 12.5% to 15% in New Zealand. This increase was the first to occur locally in some 20 years, so a number of the software products had probably never been tested as to their compatibility. It was going to be a test for those who were operating their businesses with outdated or unsupported software. The change was big news.

As a business owner, there must be a high degree of confidence in your software to cope with these types of legislative changes, so that there is no interruption to the daily flow of business. The change must be seamless and painless and be handled in accordance with law.

The majority of Abel customers are international, and in the case of our USA based customers, have to deal with different forms of taxation such as Federal, State and Local Government. Tax changes in these environments occur regularly, so this instilled confidence in the team, that Abel would not need to undergo open heart surgery to cope with a mere 2½% sales tax change.

It was also interesting to talk to friends and colleagues in business about their preparations. Some assumed that their software would be compliant come 1st of October, with no contact having been made between themselves and their software vendors.

This was not the case with Abel, all customers were individually advised of their compatibility. The process went according to plan, the changeover happened without incident, and it was business as usual for our NZ customers.

Posted in Abel Blog |

Welcome to our Blog

Hi there and welcome our new website, and the first of many blogs from My name is Callum, I am a software developer as well a shareholder of Abel Software.

In the months (and years) ahead you will read snippets from myself as well as members of our development, support and admin teams as we blog on topics such as product developments, industry news, and what makes us, at Abel, just a bit different from the rest.  It’s our aim to provide our own form of “infotainment” in the global world of ERP.

So why blog?  Well, as a team, we have an immense wealth of knowledge, not only in IT, but also in terms of understanding the challenges IT brings as a business owner or operator, in whatever industry you are in..  We are very passionate about Abel and the difference it makes to our customers, and by providing insights into what it is we do, we hope to generate thought and debate on the ways in which technology can help businesses.

Literary genius’ we are not,  IT genius’ we are, so for our take on what’s relevant and interesting, subscribe to our feed, retweet our posts and tag along.  And please, feel free to comment.  We welcome it!

Posted in Abel Blog |