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Answering Traceability Challenges and Trends with End-to-End Product Management

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Crewman Crewman
Crewman

Answering Traceability Challenges and Trends with End-to-End Product Management

In the Food & Beverage industry, companies are faced with many challenges and assuring end-to-end Product Life Cycle management is one of them. It is essential to increase visibility across the entire Supply Chain, from raw materials to finished goods to build a sustainable Value Chain.

 

Enabling end-to-end traceability across the supply chain allows companies to answer the transparency challenge from end-consumers while ensuring compliance and increasing trust across the whole value chain.

 

It is crucial for companies to define and select the right data to build their journey, to collect them in an as much as possible automated manner by connecting equipment, people, or processes to capture this missing data. This also implies that the data quality needs to be checked, meaning its accuracy and integrity which is critical to recover the trust of end-consumers. Finally, data need to be structured and contextualized.

 

All of this must be done across the entire supply chain, from the fields and the farms to the plant, to retailers and up to the fork to deliver the promises of transparency to end-consumers.

 

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Solutions such as our EcoStruxure platform and architecture support companies in doing so.

 

EcoStruxure Traceability Advisor is a complete suite of flexible, open and scalable solutions to suit the end-to-end traceability journey of the entire Food & Beverage ecosystem by providing traceability & transparency across the industry ‘s supply chain.

 

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Traceability allows to track & trace the raw materials and finished goods as they move along the Supply Chain, providing data about their history, location, suppliers, etc. It ensures full visibility on every information related to the product, proving their origin and highlighting information about ingredients, allergens, physical characteristics, and other key attributes such as their environmental footprint. From there, a chosen transparency is possible to re-connect with the end-consumers.

 

Solutions like the EcoStruxure Traceability Advisor suite allows companies to:

 

  1. Improve their business performance

  2. Protect their brand

  3. Better manage their risks

  4. Create a competitive advantage

  5. Connect with their end-consumers

  6. Have full visibility of their value chain

 

One of EcoStruxure Traceability Advisor solutions, the Track & Trace Module, is a serialization, aggregation and track & trace solution for increased brand protection and food fraud avoidance.

 

The need for Track & Trace solutions can be explained by existing drivers such as:

 

  • Regulation & standard requirements: Infant Formula in China (dairy), Sugar tax on soft drinks in Saudi Arabia/Gulf region, Russia Chestny ZNAK on counterfeiting (alcoholic beverages and dairy), Tax on alcohol (beer, spirits) in some countries (such as in Africa)

  • Food Fraud prevention / Brand Protection (e.g. Opson operation in Europe, China/EU initiative)

  • Gaining more visibility on the supply chain

  • Providing more transparency and assuring trust to end-consumers about the Product Life Cycle

 

EcoStruxure™ Traceability Advisor – Track & Trace is a flexible solution, compliant with specific country regulations supported by a patented technology for data aggregation and compression covering from Level 1 to Level 5. It includes a Supply Chain tracking feature with events capture through an App and web portal for product localization. It allows to collect product movements within the supply chain based on the mobile scanner using a smartphone interface. All products when received or shipped out from plant or warehouses are linked to orders, invoices, and customers. The Web portal also provides query results within seconds.

 

This solution provides many business benefits such as improved traceability at a product level along the entire value chain as well as reduced food fraud opportunities. Agility and visibility on goods, people, assets, and events on the logistics journey are also increased. Moreover, EcoStruxure™ Traceability Advisor – Track & Trace allows accurate inventory management, compliance to regulation and increased consumer experience.

 

A real case to better understand the value of applying track & trace solutions can be found in India. The company with leading businesses in FMCG, was looking to fight counterfeiting. Indeed, they were faced with ~15% loss of their volume due to counterfeiting and transport related issues.

 

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The company was looking for a solution able to generate and print unique serial number as per the export country regulations for Tax and Track & Trace on each SKUs at production lines. The solution needed also to allow the central regulation body to get complete track and trace information of each product exported in different packaging level. They also wanted to ensure volume control by external agency on production and were looking for stringent project timelines.

 

The Indian company chose Ecostruxure Traceability Advisor – Track & Trace module combined with Schneider Electric line aggregation hardware systems. In addition, they also selected cameras from Cognex, already natively connected to the overall solution.

 

The implementation of these solutions offered numerous benefits to the company. It provided an integrated centralized traceability solution for the downstream supply chain that covers multiple sites.

 

The solution allowed:

  • Seamless connectivity with customer’s SAP and MES systems;

  • Secure access to the UAE regulatory authority systems for event tracking and production volume control

This compliant solution provided integrated traceability with enhanced flexibility for the distribution.

 

 

Another available solution is EcoStruxureTM Traceability Advisor – Product Information Management (PIM), a tool for manufacturers and retailers to ensure the right information related to the product is available for omnichannel retail.

 

It is an “out-of-shelf” pre-parameterized solution that provides a central repository for product information storage and management used by Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers to push information from multi-source data to different retail channels. EcoStruxureTM Traceability Advisor – PIM is a complete suite of solution including natively a connection to the GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) and a Datapool with specific features like pricing attribute and promotion and call for tender management. The solution is compliant to GS1 standards and GDSN requirement and aligned with the latest cyber security requirements. Finally, it is a flexible solution that allows easy on demand integration of more product attributes based on local requirement and that includes marketing B2C features, thanks to the integration of a Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool. All these features make scale up easier for companies with a typical ROI of less than a year.

 

 

The solution provides many business values such as:

  • Increased product data accuracy: reduction of data redundancy and data storage costs

  • Faster time to market: fast track of new products on standardized templates

  • Increased operational efficiency: consolidation of information from disparate systems

  • Reduction of business risks as the solution enables data compliance with industry regulations

  • Improved shopping experience as PIM is a central repository with a single up-to-date version of product data enabling a seamless shopping experience for your end-consumers across omnichannel.

 

One of the top leading company in Fruits & Dairy products in France benefited greatly from the integration of a product information management solution as they were looking for a centralized and global source of truth for their product data globally.

 

The company was trying to manage their product references (~25,000 products) in a consistent way across the different company entities from 24 countries using different ERPs and MES systems. They also needed to share the product information efficiently with their retailers in a multi-channel environment. That’ why the company chosen to deploy EcoStruxure Traceability Advisor - Product Information Management (PIM), internally across their entities.

 

The company benefited from the reduction of costs and errors linked to the product data management as well as an improvement in data quality & availability with a 20% increase in data accuracy. The solution enabled a reduced time to market by speeding up the internal workflow from factories to sales entities and making data exchange with end-customers easier. The process effectiveness was also improved with a 50% reduction in labour costs. This resulted in a consistent deployment of a centralized single source of truth and trust regarding their Product Data.  

 

 

 

For more on End-to-End product management in the Food & Beverage industry, join the discussion with experts in the dedicated Exchange Forum.