Yes, traceability is a “must” nowadays.
In recent years people and industries have put trust in track and trace systems for the good of the whole supply chain. The definition for traceability is simple – the process of tracking the origin and the whole way of product from the manufacturer to the end-user. We could talk a lot about the benefits from the supply chain traceability but if we must conclude, we could divide them into 3 groups according to the different participants in the supply chain:
Benefits for the manufacturers
The existence of traceability systems is of utmost importance in the process of improving the quality and efficiency of production. It gives real-time visibility of the operations. Also, the traceability systems allow the performance of root-cause analysis, which can point out the reasons for the occurred issue and helps to prevent it in the future.
Furthermore, the visibility through the whole production process allows being detected any defective/ counterfeited product and to be excluded from the batch/ line before reaching the end consumer.
Regarding the improvements, Track and Trace systems allow real-time optimization – the manufacturers could track how the product moves through the lines and easily detect the problematic units. In conclusion, a supply chain traceability system could impact the whole manufacturing`s efficiency, thanks to the qualitative data, the opportunity for analysis, data/crisis/ warehouse management, as well as transparent communication and interoperability through the supply chain. The benefits arise from the compliance with regulatory requirements but go much further.
Benefits for the governments
The benefits from the traceability systems are not only for the manufacturer. There are key advantages from the implementation of such kind of tracking systems for the government. The availability of supply chain traceability systems dimmish the opportunity of tax avoidance and regarding this the shadow economy. This solution could decrease the large informal sector, strengthen the regulatory framework, and impact positively the business environment. In combination with the subsequent acceleration of tax revenue growth, the implementation of supply chain traceability systems could reflect on the recovery of the economy and the development of a sustainable economic climate.
Benefits for the end-users
The end-user is the most innocent supply chain participant –his safety is not up to him, it depends on the previous two participants. The development and availability of a supply chain traceability system provide exactly the customer`s safety and maybe this is the most important benefit for him. What do we mean by the term “safety”? If we look at it from the pharma industry`s point of view – to ensure safe and controlled access to health, qualitative medicines which prevent the distribution of counterfeited drugs and pharmaceutical products to the end-user.
But it`s not just about the pharma industry. You could look at industries like …
The situation with medical devices is like the pharma industry. The traceability system allows the early detection of defective or counterfeited devices. On one hand, the manufacturer and government will have full visibility on the “way” of the medical device. On the other hand, every healthcare worker and doctor would be able to check the device that will be implanted/ used.
Food and beverage
The need for a supply chain traceability system in this industry is as important as in the previous two cases. The lack of pure visibility and the poor traceability of food products are the reasons for counterfeiting in the industry. Falsified food products could affect health and lead to food-borne illnesses. The implementation of a track and trace system in this industry will provide the opportunity for mitigating potential risks, as well as will provide the consumer with important information about the product`s ingredients and pedigree.
The natural resources industry is a trend recently. We are trying to build a better environment by using products from sustainable resources. But here comes the need for better administration and management of these resources. A traceability system in this industry could ensure the security of the raw materials. Moreover, it could give the information about product`s origin/ way of producing and will provide better management.
In the apparel industry, the benefits from traceability system are also related to the transparency of the productive processes, prevention of health issues, and sustainability. But because of this industry`s operation, there is one well-known problem – the exploitation of children labor. The track and trace system would have a positive impact and will help with the reduction of children labor all around the world.
The notion that “traceability is important only in pharma” must be eradicated. Supply chain traceability systems could benefit any industry and accordingly any customer.
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