Product Development

Speed Formulation – Process Versus Generic Manufacturing Software

Some process manufacturers in the food, chemical, nutraceutical and life sciences industries turn to a generic, discrete software application to manage their business. Although these generic applications support their ‘front office’ needs, many process manufacturers discover that these applications do not manage the unique characteristics of their formulas, ingredients and finished goods, which results in several workarounds and inefficiencies.

In this blog, I addressed the advantages of a process manufacturing application over a generic, discrete manufacturing application in product development.


In discrete manufacturing, a multi-level bill of material architecture (BOM) is employed to produce one finished product in its base unit of measure. In process manufacturing, a formula is employed to produce a product, including by-products and co-products, in a weight and volume units of measure, which is then packaged in multiple configurations, using a multi-level bill of material architecture (BOM).

Managing separate formula and packaging specifications in process manufacturing applications has it benefits including:

  • Allowing one or more developers and package designers to work on their own respective specifications.
  • Reducing specification proliferation by linking formulas with packaging configurations to create complete finished good specifications.
  • Ensuring standardization of a common formula or packaging configuration.
  • Avoiding specification maintenance every time there are packaging changes since formula is a separate record.


Process manufacturing applications offer R&D laboratory and formulation modules to accelerate the product development process by allowing users to:

  • Define co-products and by-products within a formula
  • Estimate co-product and by-product yields and costs upfront
  • Auto adjust an ingredient’s required weight or volume based upon its variable characteristic (e.g. potency)
  • Define ingredient units of measure quantities down to 8 decimal points.
  • Define ingredient property values based upon user defined or industry available information (e.g. USDA, Genesis databases)
  • Calculate a formula’s property values based upon user defined and industry standard formulas, which comes in a prebuilt library.
  • Define expected losses and gains during production, which auto adjusts ingredient weights or volumes
  • Define ingredient weights and volumes in terms of both numeric values and percentages.
  • Dynamically adjust ingredient quantities to meet a formula’s target property values, allowing developers to analyze “what if” scenarios, for example, using alternate ingredients or different ingredient ratios.


Process manufacturing applications estimate costs upfront during product development, and then capture and compare actual costs to estimated costs for all finished products, including intermediates, by-products and co-products. Finished good costs are calculated from labor costs (both static and dynamic, based upon the product yields), consumable material costs and ingredient / raw material costs, all defined within the formula and packaging specifications.


Software architecture built from the ground up for food, chemical, nutraceutical or pharmaceutical manufacturing can help you avoid costly modifications, unnecessary workarounds and risks that come with running a discrete manufacturing ERP application in a process manufacturing environment.

For more information about BatchMaster Software’s formulation capabilities found in our add-on process manufacturing app and end to end ERP solution, please click here.

Related Blog Posts

What are the software differences in the area of batch production between a process vs discrete manufacturing application? Read our streamlining production blog post.

Quality and Compliance requires several unique capabilities found only in process manufacturing applications. Discover these capabilities in this blog post.