Blog Manufacturing What To Know About Batch Production: A Product Seller’s Guide
21 May, 2024

What To Know About Batch Production: A Product Seller’s Guide

For sellers who manufacture their own goods, finding the right production method is essential to creating smooth and efficient operations and building a long-term profitable business.

As retailers deal with increasing costs of goods sold, 39% of sellers plan to reduce their reliance on outside production. So, even if you’re not manufacturing your own goods now, it can be helpful to understand which production method would work best if you ventured into in-house manufacturing. 

It’s also useful to learn about the methods your supplier may use because they impact cost, quality, and your ability to manage inventory levels. Common manufacturing methods include continuous, craft, and batch.

Continuous production involves an uninterrupted flow of goods being made by machines on an assembly line, whereas craft production involves making one good at a time, usually without the help of machines. 

Batch production helps companies across many industries balance quality control and economies of scale. Here’s a look at its use cases, advantages, and disadvantages.

What is batch production?

This manufacturing method involves producing a group of identical or similar items, such as one T-shirt design that comes in multiple colors, at the same time instead of making each item individually.

Also known as “batch and queue,” batch production sends items through an assembly line setup, with each batch going through one stage of production at a time. In contrast, continuous manufacturing makes goods nonstop by an assembly line, and it’s often used for high-volume standardized products, such as sheets of paper. 

Batch production allows manufacturers to control multiple stages of production to accommodate for specialized requirements. As a result, it supports producing goods in large quantities. However, you do have to make modifications to the assembly line along the way.

Batch production example

If you look at scented candles for an example, the stages of production would be: 

  1. Melting the wax
  2. Adding fragrance and color
  3. Preparing the wicks
  4. Pouring the mixture into molds
  5. Cooling and setting
  6. Trimming the wicks
  7. Packaging

Producing in batches allows you to test products and assess their quality between each stage. For instance, you can check that the wax melted adequately in stage one before sending that batch on to stage two, where you add fragrance and color. 

Using this method, it’s also easy to use the same assembly line to make different types of candles. Say you want to create 100 vanilla-scented candles and 100 lavender-scented ones. After the vanilla-scented batch passes through stage two, where fragrance is added, all you have to do is change the scent in the machinery to lavender before sending the next batch through the second stage.

Batch sizes can vary based on the capacity of the assembly line equipment and the company’s inventory needs. Using the candle example, production runs can range from small batches of 10 to 50 to large batches of 500 or more.

Cin7’s Production Management Solutions allow you to take advantage of batch production for simple or advanced manufacturing jobs. 

Industries that use batch production

Batch manufacturing is often used by companies that need to create product variants, such as different scents of candles or sizes of clothing. It’s also useful for any products with high quality standards, like expensive or ingested items. 

Here are some of the main industries leveraging a batch production process

  • Clothing: Apparel retailers can produce batches in different sizes and colors
  • Furniture: Off-the-shelf furniture companies may create different finish or size options for each item.
  • Cosmetics: Cosmetics manufacturers can produce different shades of products
  • Technology: Products such as computer chips, phones, and laptops are often created in batches to accommodate variations in memory storage, performance, and appearance
  • Automobiles: Manufacturers can produce one car in various trim levels
  • Pharmaceuticals: Using batch production for medication enables a higher level of quality control and the ability to change the dosage
  • Food and beverage: Producing in batches offers more consistency in product quality and allows for modifications in flavor or ingredients

Advantages of batch production

  • Quality control
  • Cost savings
  • Operational efficiency
  • Flexibility
  • Waste reduction

Quality control

With batch production, you can test products at each stage of the manufacturing process, allowing for greater quality control. When it comes to quality checks, batch production has an advantage over the continuous production method, where faults are identified at the end of the production run when hundreds or thousands of items are already complete.

Cost savings

By using one assembly line to create multiple products, batch production lets you spread out manufacturing costs and take advantage of economies of scale. This reduces your per-unit production costs compared to manufacturing each item individually. 

Cin7 offers comprehensive and accurate job costing so you can identify additional opportunities to reduce your spending.

Operational efficiency

Compared to continuous manufacturing, batch production is more conducive to optimized workflows, as workers are producing similar items, allowing them to increase proficiency over time. 

If you want to further streamline operations, you can use Cin7’s warehouse management solutions for optimal packing, picking, and shipping.


Batch production can produce variants of items or even different products on the same assembly line by adjusting the setup between batches. This method makes it easier to adapt to demand changes and avoid issues like overstocking

Being able to respond to changes in sales trends or customer preferences is key for product sellers, as 54% of businesses were significantly impacted by reduced consumer spending in 2023. In cases like this, batch tracking can help prevent excess inventory and create cost savings so you can better handle temporary reductions in demand.

Waste reduction

Improving quality control leads to fewer products being thrown out, which helps reduce your overall waste. Setting up your equipment to produce batches of similar products also means you can avoid excess energy spending and machinery underuse. 

Cin7 can help you further reduce manufacturing waste by optimizing your inventory management.

Potential disadvantages of batch production

  • Potential for product obsolescence
  • More expensive than mass production
  • Longer production times

Potential for product obsolescence

If you sell products in an industry with rapidly changing trends or customer preferences, such as apparel or health and wellness products, producing large batches can lead to overstocking. It can also cause product obsolescence, which is when consumers no longer want a particular item because it’s out of style or outdated in comparison to new technology. 

You can reduce this risk by opting for smaller batches or using tools like Cin7 to analyze sales volume and improve inventory forecasts.

More expensive than mass production

While producing items in a series of steps provides superior quality control, the manufacturing process is complicated. As a result, it’s more expensive than mass production. The specialized equipment and technology needed for batch production also are costly.

That said, using software like Cin7 can help you track costs in detail and combine manufacturing processes with inventory management features. It enables you to identify opportunities to cut costs and rightsize your inventory, avoiding expensive issues like stockouts and overstocking.

Longer production times

The overall manufacturing process takes longer when you produce goods in batches instead of continuously. You can’t move on to the next stage until all the batch items are ready. In addition, you can’t start making the next batch until you’ve modified the production line, such as adjusting the fragrance, coloring, or spices to be added. 

If you need to change machinery configurations or there’s a delay in getting the next phase ready, production times will be even longer.

How to use Cin7 for batch production

You can use Cin7 to enable batch production for simple and complex manufacturing processes using the Production Runs and Simultaneous Operations features.

Production Runs

Say you have a Production Order for 5,000 tables that involve two steps. First, you cut and sand the piece for the tabletop, and second, you attach the legs. If you wait until all 5,000 tabletops are cut and sanded before you attach the legs, that introduces inefficiency and longer production times.

With Cin7’s Production Runs, you can divide your total order into smaller portions. In this case, you might produce the tables in batches of 250 units. After the first batch is ready, you can move them to stage two while cutting and sanding the wood for the second batch.

Using batch production reduces the need for setup changeovers in between batches. It also leads to cost reduction by leveraging economies of scale and reducing holding expenses for items in between production stages.

Simultaneous Operations

For more complex manufacturing processes, Cin7 lets you implement parallel and non-parallel operations in a Production BOM. With this feature, you can perform two steps at the same time before moving on to the next, using “Join Queue” or “Fork Queue.”

When you use “Join Queue,” multiple steps can be combined into one before moving on to the next. 

Example of a “Join Queue” operation step.

In the example above, cutting and polishing can be done simultaneously, and then once both are finished, the batches go on to step two, which is packing.

The “Fork Queue” option lets you split one batch into multiple parallel steps.

Example of a “Fork Queue” operation step.

In this case, once a batch has passed through the cutting stage, it can simultaneously go through polishing and drying.

Cin7 allows for both simple and complex setups, making it an excellent option for businesses with more involved manufacturing processes.

What is a batch tracking system?

Batch tracking, also called lot tracking, is an inventory management tactic that puts products into groups based on similar characteristics, such as the production batch or expiration date. A batch tracking system is software that helps you automate this process. 

UK-based wall and flooring brand Tilemaze uses batch tracking in Cin7 to ensure all the items in an order come from the same pallet. This ensures consistency across the tiles, which can have slight variations in shade or size between batches.

Benefits of using batch tracking software include:

  • Improved traceability: Tracking becomes more straightforward and time-efficient, especially when it comes to tracking raw materials to sell finished products. With Cin7, you can place purchase orders with batch numbers and easily view the stock of each batch.
  • Inventory efficiency: You can manage materials better with greater stock visibility and prioritize using the oldest stock first, reducing waste, especially in perishable consumables.
  • Regulatory compliance: Compliance is vital, especially for pharmaceutical, health-related, and food products. A health and safety recall is much easier to facilitate with the right technology in place.

Get the full benefits of batch production with Cin7

Cin7 gives you end-to-end visibility into your inventory lifecycle, whether you use batch production or work with suppliers who do. By combining batch management and tracking features with real-time inventory insights and powerful sales forecasts, Cin7 enables you to operate more efficiently, increase profit margins, and always have the perfect amount of inventory. 

See how Cin7 can fit into your business with a free trial today.

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