Recent events such as the China trade war and Covid-19 have shown how vulnerable global supply chains are. Be it vaccine development, ordering food via apps, closing multi-million dollar deals on Zoom or consulting your doctor remotely, rapid technology advancements have changed the way businesses and individuals operate. Now, supply chain leaders across the globe are turning to technology to future proof their operations. In particular, there are 3 key areas that companies are addressing:
Supply Chain: Key focus areas
- Ensuring product traceability and tracking product journey from raw material to retail shelf
- Digitizing complete plant and warehouse operations
- Innovating with personalized consumer engagement using Intelligent packaging
Industry experts have estimated that digitizing your supply chain can improve the bottom line by 5% with a 10% revenue uplift.
- Profitability levers
- Operational efficiency across the supply chain
- Reduction in manual effort
- Reduction in working capital
- Accurate stock count and inventory in the channel
- Reduction in expired or returned goods
- Revenue levers
- Personalized consumer engagement via Intelligent packaging
- Loyalty and rewards based on SKU purchase
- Consumer affinity due to product provenance data
- Reduction in counterfeiting
Governments too are drafting regulations to improve supply chain traceability to ensure consumer safety and health. Globally, the pharmaceutical industry has been a pioneer in track and trace using serialization. The Government of India is now mandating track and trace in the Agrochemical industry. With recent technological developments, now any company can print unique codes on each SKU without disrupting plant operations.
According to Hazem Ibrahim, Founder and CEO of Asias Security Group “Counterfeit goods represent 8 to 10 percent of today’s world trade. That is more than $600 billion annually! Counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated by utilizing the latest technologies to duplicate products and packaging. Supply Chain Digitalization and Smart Packaging is a remarkably effective weapon in the fight against counterfeits! Whether it’s track and trace, RFID Tags, holograms, overt and covert, all these technologies can be utilized by Brands to protect their products from counterfeiting!”
Given the success of new technologies, major companies across industries, especially Consumer Products have also started taking steps in their journey towards digital supply chain transformation.
A quick guide on digitizing your supply chain:
- Digitize: Products are the building blocks of any supply chain and digitization of the supply chain begins with digitization of individual product units. Unique digital IDs or serialization for each supply chain item – raw materials, finished products, shippers, bags, vehicles etc. make these items smart and enable them to talk to stakeholders as they move along the supply chain.
- Track: With digital IDs linked to a cloud based platform, you can now track the source of raw materials, link them to finished products, and manage inventory and movement of products across warehousing, distribution and consumption. This provides companies visibility and traceability in real-time across all stages of the supply chain and helps them to make better financial decisions.
- Secure: Goods keep moving in a supply chain. Logistics is thus the wheel of an efficient supply chain. Tracking and securing (both physically and digitally) cargo when it is in transit, helps companies to reduce losses due to theft and pilferage with real time alerts.
- Verify: In a Capgemini Research Institute survey, 77% of consumers said they would be more cautious about health and safety and nearly 62% said they will switch to brands that show higher levels of product safety. Digital IDs on product units enable consumers to check the product journey and authenticity using any mobile phone. In today’s day and age when consumers demand more transparency and safety, allowing consumers to verify products goes a long way in building trust and confidence.
- Engage: One key advantage of digital products and a connected supply chain is that it allows companies to converse and engage with end consumers when it matters the most – at the point of sale. With Intelligent packaging, companies can convert each product unit into a marketing platform and deliver customised video content depending on a consumer’s geo-location, date and time, as well as a consumer’s past purchase history.
According to Murad Nathani, Co-Founder of Sepio Solutions, the market leader in Intelligent Packaging says “Packaging is ripe for disruption. Packaging in its current form does not add value to a brand beyond physically protecting the actual product inside. Intelligent Packaging on the other hand lets brands know where their products are in real-time, what the condition of the product is and that data can be used by companies to reduce supply chain costs. “
Paul Noronha, Co-Founder of Sepio Solutions adds “Intelligent Packaging is also poised to make a serious dent into the Trillion Dollar global counterfeiting industry. Traditional packaging has tried for decades to reduce counterfeiting but the counterfeit market has only grown larger. AI and ML led technology can be integrated into Intelligent Packaging which will help companies to protect their brand and also the health of their consumers.”
As per Murad Nathani, “Intelligent Packaging is going to play a significant role in providing product information to consumers. Information on the source or origin, the carbon footprint of the product, as well as personalized consumer engagement like custom rewards and gamification can be enabled with Intelligent Packaging.”
Intelligent Packaging will thus be the portal to transport brands and consumers alike into a new realm where armed with new bits of data, companies will finally improve product visibility, authentication and consumer information.”
Read more : http://sepiosolutions.com/2021/03/07/reimagining-the-supply-chain-of-tomorrow/