This year’s International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition Conference was even more informative and engaging than we anticipated. This conference, attended widely by representatives from all over the world, had a decidedly focused feel. Everyone came away with a spirit of collaboration and determination that was heartening to witness. Discussions ranged from remarkable technological innovations and interesting methods of counterfeit identification to the legal ramifications of efforts. There was far too much learned to summarize completely in one place, but our three main takeaways include:
- Proactive beats reactive. Previous measures were more post-counterfeiting than anti-counterfeiting. Earlier initiatives from major online platform such as Amazon or Ali Baba focused on how to best prosecute “bad actors” after they have committed a crime. These efforts worked to spot fakes, identify the perpetrators and stop them from acting again—but required the crime to already occur. Modern efforts are focused on being proactive rather than reactive. Collaborative efforts like Amazon Transparency align the whole system from start to finish, expanding even beyond the supply chain to the ecommerce platform physical shelf. Initiatives like these give both consumers and brands greater insight on where and how their products are getting to end users.
- More solutions are available. It’s true that some of the buzz at the conference was around Amazon Transparency, but it’s certainly not the only solution. Many other retailer agnostic solutions track and trace products and prevent counterfeiting. The future question is not whether these measures should be implemented but which solution to select. The problem is further compounded by the relative lack of experts; most of the time, those suggesting solutions are actually representatives of one product and have no incentive to suggest alternatives. Brands, retailers, and platforms should search out independent consultants interested only in finding their ideal solution.
- Collaboration is not only nice, but necessary. Many conference attendees were neither brands nor retailers. Counterfeiting is serious problem that touches those well beyond the sphere of the manufacturer and end user, and requires many elements to combat. It’s not enough for retailers to have a system, nor is it sufficient if ecommerce sites act as watchdogs. An effective assault on counterfeiting must be a concerted effort throughout the supply chain, and involve the cooperation of lawyers, law enforcement, regulators and industry stakeholders.
Curious how Adept Packaging is working to combat counterfeiting? We’re on the front lines of this new war, and in a unique position to lead the charge. Visit Adept’s IoT Gateway page to learn more about the people and projects crafting a more genuine world.