The push toward data assimilation and sharing has been driven by the industry demand to facilitate and implement decisions based on standard information usually provided by various providers, across different supply chains, and across multiple organizations.
It adds to a lot of hard work and headaches as companies scramble to manage data in a way they can act on. Companies today are striving to run their operations more efficiently and reduce costs.
Supply chain traceability is getting more critical for organic foods and packaged goods and retailing. Despite so much attention being paid to the traceability of nutrition, technology has not yet been fully utilized.
New digital traceability technologies, including real-time data streams, are growing rapidly and providing increased alibi value and cost savings to food, beverage, and other industries where traceability is critical.
What is Traceability?
Although traceability once referred to a practice of following individual components, today it applies to a complex network of suppliers and customers that can reach across the globe. Let’s take a closer look at the practice and how to manage it.
When you talk about manufacturing traceability, you are talking about the manufacturer’s right to track and follow individual products or batches of products throughout their life cycles. This, for the most part, is just another way of saying that the manufacturer will always know where its product is.
This is to ensure proper distribution, to prevent compromises in the quality and reputation of the product, and to avoid any liability associated with a faulty product or one that did not meet the description on the container.
In today’s fast-paced world, moderating workflows can be a pain, especially those involving traceability and compliance. However, these two areas are often intertwined, suggesting that they should be approached together with an improved workflow.
The ability to trace helps determine the origin of the contamination and the source of an outbreak of foodborne illness. For example, it would have been possible to instantly track and identify infected Romaine lettuces during the 2017 E. coli outbreaks.
This case highlights the inadequacy of tracking and tracing processes at the time because all lettuce had to be recalled instead of just the tainted ones.
Coca-Cola understands that traceability of all raw ingredients is essential to quality control. For over a hundred years, they have used their own 64-character global coding system to stay on top of changes in their supply chain.
How Far Does Traceable Supply Chain Extend? And Why Does It Matter?