With the increase in supply chain complexity, the Food, Beverage and CPG industries are starting to recognize that digitization is the next step for packaging. The benefits of implementing a track and trace solution, which range from improved food and consumer safety, to increased consumer engagement have tremendous implications for digitally aware brands.
So what is Track and Trace or Traceability?
Traceability is the capability of keeping track of a given set of information throughout its lifespan, enabling verification of its history, location, or application. As goods move from the point of manufacture through the supply chain, tracking or monitoring them allows for transparency. Tracing them enables the company to validate where they came from, where they’ve been and allows for a detailed historical path.
Why is this important now?
As the complexity of modern supply chains continues to grow, the number of touchpoints increase dramatically. As the occurrence of handoffs increase, it causes blind spots, as well as increased opportunity for damage. These factors are responsible for challenges such as product recalls, inability to maintain safety and/or quality of products and counterfeiting and diversions. With all of these potential challenges comes a cost; often both financial and reputational.
How does traceability prevent these issues?
With emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), simpler and less costly solutions are available for companies looking to implement traceability.
For example, upgraded technology enables companies to monitor their goods with a level of detail that was previously unprecedented. This allows companies to quickly identify inefficiencies in the supply chain, pinpoint the cause of damage, as well as use data to predict future scenarios and tackle the challenge of optimizing the supply chain.
In addition to enhanced monitoring capabilities, companies have the ability to control inventory like never before.
Within a traditional supply chain, product recalls can have a significant impact on a brand. In addition to the $10 -30 million financial costs, the damage it causes to a brand’s reputation is often even greater.
Implementing a track and trace solution allows for a multi-tiered approach to prevent recalls from occurring in the first place.
Consider the three following aspects:
- A Track and Trace system enables identification of the origin, quality, and authenticity of ingredients and supplies involved in the product. In addition, the ability to track the location, status, and flow of products in the supply chain from raw material to end user allows for companies to identify harmful or incorrect items and initiate a targeted recall or prevent one altogether.
- An integrated supply chain allows companies to access real-time actionable insights from a network of partners which allows for quick investigations to identify the source of contamination.
- IoT Devices allow for continuous monitoring of critical-to-quality parameters, such as temperature, humidity, light exposure, etc. to ensure the safety of the products.
In addition to avoiding recalls and ensuring customer safety, avoiding counterfeiting in a market where $1.7 trillion of goods are counterfeit is becoming increasingly important. Counterfeiting is made possible through weak channel management and the ability to replicate products due to a lack of product authentication components.
Anti-counterfeiting technology, paired with a Track and Trace solution will not only allow for companies to trace the history and origin of their products, but identify weak links in the supply chain.
Other Implications for Track and Trace
Product Recalls and Brand Safety are just the tip of the iceberg for the possibilities uncovered by implementing a Track and Trace solution. The ability to capture real-time data has numerous benefits including increased safety, increased customer interaction, the ability to leverage data to make brand decisions, and increased recyclability, to name a few.
Want to Know More?
Understanding how to develop a solution for your unique needs is where we come in. Adept Group has cross-functional teams comprised of specialists for the Food, Beverage, and CPG industries that collaborate with our dedicated digital experts to deliver solutions unique to your challenges.
We have an extensive global network of suppliers which enable us to provide true end-to-end traceability, connecting all the players and creating unprecedented visibility along your supply chain.
In addition, our digital experts have delivered solutions in even the most highly regulated industries and remain ahead of the curve on all regulatory requirements.
If you’d like to learn more, check out recent Supply Chain Digitization Learning Share.
If you’re interested in talking to our experts, contact us! We’d love to hear from you.