Tracking and tracing goods helps build trust

Tracking and tracing goods helps build trust

how does Productivix meet your customers’ need for confidence?

Every product destined for sale starts with raw materials, passes through a series of processes and a supply chain before reaching the end consumer. and a supply chain before reaching the end consumer. The end customer may not know the origin or content of the merchandise. Yet today’s customer is very interested.

Is it fresh? Where do the components come from? Where was the item manufactured? Traceability is the concept of capturing, recording and sharing data for each item sold, and allowing other parties to access this data.

Traceability is the concept of capturing, recording and sharing data for each item sold, and allowing other parties to access this data.

This is what Productivix is able to address with its accompanying software and hardware.

“It is estimated that 600 million people, or nearly one in ten people worldwide, fall ill after eating contaminated food, and 420,000 die each year, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy/disability-adjusted life years.” (World Health Organization statistics)

Traceability is an essential part of quality assurance systems, and forms part of international quality standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

It also helps manage product liability in the event of a recall. It is the responsibility of manufacturers and importers to comply with regulations, label goods correctly and demonstrate that their products are safe.

The EU has required traceability of foodstuffs for several years now.

Certain categories of consumer goods have their own standards: tobacco, fish and seafood. Traceability is also required in furniture, fashion, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, electronics and healthcare, with the introduction of UDI: The Unique Device Identifier (UDI) is a unique numeric or alphanumeric code linked to a medical device that enables clear and formal identification of given devices on the market, and facilitates their traceability. The IUD is made up of the following elements:

  1. a “device” identifier (IUD-ID);
  2. a “production” identifier (IUD-IP). These elements provide access to useful information about the device. The specificity of the IUD
  3. improves device traceability;
  4. facilitates device recall;
  5. combats counterfeiting;
  6. improves patient safety. The UDI will complement, not replace, existing medical device labeling requirements. (source European Commission for Public Health)

However, traceability brings benefits as well as obligations. It can add value to a product and justify a higher selling price. For example, a foodstuff proven to be organic can be sold at a higher price.

Traceability, sales and trust

“We’re on the cusp of a trust revolution in the retail sector, where food traceability is becoming a global trend and consumers are gaining visibility across the entire food journey. Hani Weiss, The Consumer Goods Forum, a global consortium of retailers and brands.

European food regulations and international quality standards have been in place for years, mainly to guarantee the safety of food and consumer goods. Traceability is the key to compliance with these laws and standards. It enables manufacturers to integrate quality assurance into their processes and demonstrate compliance. It also reduces the cost of quality control and the volume of complaints and warranty claims.

However, today’s consumers are increasingly demanding. In addition to safety, they are concerned about modern slavery, animal welfare and sustainability. They want to know what’s in their products, and whether they’re environmentally friendly. This is where traceability comes into its own. It enables brands to provide this information and earn the trust of their customers.

In addition to helping brands gain the trust of their customers, traceability enables them to react quickly and effectively in the event of a problem. Product recalls are damaging. Not only are they costly in terms of manpower and money, they also cause lasting damage to a company’s reputation. With a traceability system in place, a recall is less likely and easier to manage should it prove necessary. A manufacturer can pinpoint the cause of the problem, and which supplier is responsible. It can also see exactly which buyers are affected and contact only those, without worrying other customers.

For this reason, retailers increasingly want end-to-end traceability and visibility of the supply chain. They want to promote responsible brands in the food, fashion and household goods sectors.

Traceability throughout the supply chain

Traceability highlights the entire supply chain. It provides visibility on goods from A to B, through the different levels of the supply chain, from factory, warehouse and stores, to the distribution chain. factory, warehouse and stores, to the final journey to end customers.

Everything is logged and recorded: purchase orders, shipping records, batches, logs, courier routes. Even the last mile to the end customer can be easily traced.

This visibility brings business benefits. Inventories can be managed more efficiently. Forecasts can be more accurate. Waste can be reduced. And all this saves costs.

Good customer service depends on accurate inventory management and on-time deliveries. With better supply chain management, not only are goods available when customers want them, they can track goods in transit, and deliveries keep to promised dates. Then, when the couriers hand over the goods, a receipt confirms the time and place of delivery, in case of complaints. Traceability, and the transparency it brings, is the key to more efficient management of these processes.

Traceability technologies speed things up, productivity improves and issues are resolved more easily.

Traceability data

As part of their strategy to ensure quality and brand protection in the eyes of consumers, brands are demanding greater traceability from their manufacturing partners. traceability of their manufacturing partners, and are turning to new technologies for solutions. This translates into serialization, data recording, visual recording and more.

Traceability relies on detailed data concerning the status and movement of goods. This means that goods must be “serialized”, i.e. marked with unique codes and identifiers. Many goods, whether consumer goods, industrial or medical devices, are marked with a unique identifier to comply with safety legislation and enable quality assurance.

The data attached to these serial numbers may contain details such as place of manufacture, place of origin or expiration date. They may also indicate the type of item, the owner, the batch number and the expiry date.

In addition to the data required to comply with regulations, new factors need to be taken into account: for example, is the item durable?

As the amount of data to be captured continues to grow, so does the amount of data to be stored - hence the increased use of 2D barcodes, or QR codes, which can store more data.

Data can be printed or embedded on items, or stored in a visual code, such as a 1D or 2D barcode, RFID tag or laser-marked DPM code. These codes can be read to identify items, capture their details and add them to a computerized storage system.

The four pillars of traceability

Four important elements make up a traceability system, and data is logged and recorded at certain stages: purchase orders, shipping records, batching records, courier routes and delivery receipts.

1. tracking

  • This involves knowing where goods are and where they are going. Goods are tracked as they are received, counted, sorted, shipped and loaded. They are scanned at the time of picking, order fulfillment and shipping.

    When goods are tracked correctly, the company knows the location of each item at all times, from origin to dispatch, the location of each item at all times, from its origin to the final customer, documentation to verify each movement. This is known as “top-down traceability “.

2. Tracing

  • Having data associated with goods means that their ingredients or components can be traced after delivery. This enables manufacturers to issue product recalls. This is known as “bottom-up traceability”.

3. control

  • As data travels with the goods, it can be linked to an ERP or warehouse management system to show what’s happening in the factory. This provides visibility throughout production and distribution. Processes can be managed to make them more efficient.

4. Chain of control

  • When goods pass from one owner to another: the farmer, the wholesaler, the carrier, the brand manager and the store manager - the person or company responsible can be traced at any time.

Manufacturers are moving towards a vision of Industry 4.0, where data from different from different sites are visible to others, as goods move from one process to another.

To be able to implement traceability, it’s essential to be able to capture product data at every stage of the journey, and quickly. The data must be accurate and in real time, such as cold chain control. If details are kept on paper, they are difficult and costly to share. But if data is automated, it can be captured more quickly, and goods can be processed more easily.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has defined traceability as follows in ISO 9000: “Traceability is the ability to trace the history, application, use and location of an item or its characteristics through recorded identification data.”

Traceability solutions from Productivix sarl:

Productivix offers customized or standardized software that can be parameterized for each Supply-Chain need, based on existing or to-be-completed mobile Android devices, such as smartphones or ruggedized terminals (powerful mobile computers) of various brands, depending on the customer’s need for rapid data entry, technical requirements such as network coverage and ergonomics, and cost-of-ownership objectives.

The mobile software designed by Productivix is extended by server-based interface design adapted to customers’ data exchange needs, flexibility, database independence, data hosting and web interfaces to enable fixed traceability processes with simple hand-held barcode scanners or keyboards, to complete these databases and to start printing solutions on reports or labels.

Once the labels are attached and readable, the traceability registration process can begin.

Mobile computers help companies to improve the efficiency and reliability of all their tracking activities in all areas of the business.

From tracking all components used in the assembly of finished products, to inventory management, from tracking goods on delivery to stock rotation and assisted sales on the shop floor.

Order picking, bin preparation, order fulfillment, shipping and receiving: all these processes can find a standard or customized solution.

Enhanced with on-board data storage and telephony functions, smartphones of varying degrees of ruggedness are fast becoming the trusted work companion of all operators.

It’s also a cost-effective way of increasing and improving internal processes without adding extra staff and overheads.