How to Use SAP Global Batch Traceability to Meet Your Genealogy Reporting Requirements

  • by Rajesh Ray, Senior Managing Consultant and SCM Product Lead, IBM Global Business Services
  • Madan M. Dey, Senior Consultant, IBM Global Business Services
  • January 30, 2015
Tracking materials across the supply chain is becoming an important requirement in many industries to enable efficient recall in case of a problem, to prevent counterfeiting of materials, and to meet compliance and regulatory standards. This has become critical for industries such as pharmaceutical, tobacco, food, chemical, and automotive. SAP Global Batch Traceability (SAP GBT) helps organizations meet requirements of traceability compliance reporting and batch genealogy. Learn how a leading pharmaceutical company implemented SAP GBT to meet its traceability reporting requirements.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use an existing Business Add-In (BAdI) to enhance some business scenarios
  • Use filter configuration to meet some business requirements
Key Concept

SAP Global Batch Traceability (SAP GBT) is a tool from SAP that provides a corporate-level view on a cross-system product genealogy and the distribution of related tracked objects. SAP GBT enables rapid investigation and, when required, precision withdrawal or recall and timely regulatory reporting. Genealogy can be of two types: bottom up and top down. Bottom-up genealogy of a batch presents the list of batches or handling units that have been produced or derived from the batch. Top-down genealogy of a batch represents the list of batches that have been consumed for producing the batch and the list of batches produced during intermediated manufacturing stages. Once the affected batches are found, different reports can be run on them to determine their status.

The capability to track and trace items accurately in a timely manner is becoming a critical requirement for many industries. This may be required whenever there is, for example, a quality alert and medicines or a particular model of a car need to be recalled by the manufacturer. In this case, the manufacturer must identify the location and status of all affected batches accurately and quickly so that the recall process can be started without any delay.

Before a report can be prepared for a batch or a handling unit, forward or backward genealogy (a bottom-up or top-down where-used list) of the batch or serial number needs to be found out to detect the other batches or serial numbers that are affected. Once the affected batches are found, different reports can be run on them to find their status.

One of the common challenges for companies is that the data related to batch movements often remains distributed among various systems. Sometimes, companies have multiple instances of SAP systems. Sometimes data related to batch movements is tracked partially through non-SAP systems and partially through SAP systems. To make the situation more complex, it can be a combination of all these scenarios. Therefore, it becomes a manual job to combine data from different systems and find out the genealogy. Additionally, sometimes some specific company-specific custom business process causes a gap to be created in the genealogy. It takes manual effort to bridge the gap. It also takes manual effort to combine batch data and handling units in such reports.

SAP Global Batch Traceability (GBT) can receive data from multiple SAP and non-SAP systems. While importing data from these different sources, you can apply organization-specific logic to link them. From SAP ERP Central Component (ECC), SAP GBT mainly receives three types of information:

1.    Organization data: The active plants are transferred to GBT from ECC through a Remote Function Call (RFC) as business partners.
2.    Batch where-used data: The batch where-used data is obtained from ECC by using an RFC connection. In ECC, where-used data is kept in a CHVW table. Therefore, whatever movements are captured in the CHVW table are transferred to SAP GBT. Additionally, all movements that involve storage location change or stock type change are picked from an MSEG table. All objects related to these movements, such as purchase order, material document, sales order, or delivery, also are transferred to SAP GBT through RFC connections.
3.    Master data: Various batch- and batch movement-related master data (e.g., material, batch, batch classification, vendor, customer, address, class, or characteristic) is transferred from ECC to SAP GBT through an IDoc.

From a non-SAP system, SAP GBT can access information through SAP Process Integration as IDocs.

We now explain how a company in the pharmaceutical industry implemented SAP GBT.

Rajesh Ray

Rajesh Ray currently leads the SAP SCM product area at IBM Global Business Services. He has worked with SAP SE and SAP India prior to joining IBM. He is the author of two books on ERP and retail supply chain published by McGraw-Hill, and has contributed more than 52 articles in 16 international journals. Rajesh is a frequent speaker at different SCM forums and is an honorary member of the CII Logistics Council, APICS India chapter and the SCOR Society. 

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Madan M. Dey

Madan M Dey is a senior SAP QM consultant and an expert in SAP GBT. He has experience working on projects from diverse industries. He has worked with PwC India prior to joining IBM India. He has implemented SAP GBT for leading pharmaceutical companies.

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