A Stake in the Chain

October 22, 2019

A Stake in the Chain

Providing Value to Every Stakeholder in the Global Supply Chain

By Neil Weissman

Consider this: Amazon is capable of offering same-day and one-day delivery to 72% of the total U.S. population. That equates to single-day service for more than 230 million people. Accomplishing such a logistical feat demands an advanced distribution network of warehouses, trucks, and drivers—not to mention the data required to connect the right product with the right consumer.

Now let’s take a step back. Same-day delivery requires more than an advanced distribution network and the data to go with it. It necessitates coordination and synergy between stakeholders throughout the supply chain, each of whom has their own responsibilities and priorities—from the quality and integrity of the product, to the efficiency and timeliness of processes, to the optimization and reduction of costs.

When it comes to global traceability, therefore, a solution must take a multi-stakeholder approach in order to deliver real value. Let’s define a few key stakeholders in the global supply chain, and take a closer look at how their unique priorities can be met through the power of technology.

Stakeholder #1: The Operations Officer

First up is the most obvious stakeholder: the operations officer. Responsible for the production of the physical good, operations is concerned with enterprise-level challenges like scalability and speed. At the same time, scalability and speed can’t come at the expense of upholding quality standards for every component, product, and batch. As a result, operations is continually engaged in a balancing act between rapid production and quality control.

In order to ensure timetables are met and quality standards are upheld, operational leaders require a traceability solution that provides comprehensive insight into products through every stage of the production process. Granular, scalable insight has the power to ensure quality-critical processes are completed for every product, and illuminates opportunities for greater operational efficiency in order to improve manufacturing speed and output. Such a solution must be highly intuitive to use for operators on the factory floor while simultaneously providing the enterprise-level insight needed for leaders on the top floor to make data-driven operational decisions.

It necessitates

coordination and synergy between stakeholders throughout the supply chain,

each of whom has their own responsibilities and priorities—from the quality and integrity of the product, to the efficiency and timeliness of processes, to the optimization and reduction of costs.

Stakeholder #2: The Finance Officer

The next key stakeholder is the finance officer. The financial officer oversees production from a cost perspective, continually looking for new ways to reduce spending and increase cost efficiencies. While advanced technology solutions support this effort, many enterprise solutions require large investments in time, money, and resources. Further still, some solutions are incompatible with existing systems, impeding efficiency and interoperability. However, with a nimble, fully interoperable traceability solution, existing factory systems can be efficiently augmented and extended, generating a rapid return on investment.

In addition to focusing on maximizing profitability, financial leaders also contend with the implications of recall management—including lost sales, resolution costs, and lawsuits—which can quickly become a multi-billion dollar ordeal. A top impediment to rapid recall resolution is the inability of existing factory systems to provide the data needed to effectively isolate compromised goods. Supply chain traceability solutions bridge this gap in the existing manufacturing ecosystem, enabling producers to proactively address compromises before they reach the end user by identifying causality in real time. And in the unlikely event of a recall, this comprehensive data record enables rapid recall resolution, mitigating negative financial consequences and protecting consumer wellbeing.

Stakeholder #3: The Compliance Officer

Third is the compliance officer. The modern manufacturer is subject to a variety of standards surrounding quality, transparency, and production practices as dictated by regulatory bodies. With government regulations constantly evolving, the compliance officer remains ever vigilant to existing legislation and its implications for the supply chain. Further still, they seek to store comprehensive compliance data in a secure, centralized database in the event of an inspection or investigation.

Harnessing technology to automate and streamline compliance has the ability to boost the bottom line. In fact, approximately 11% of manufacturing spend is focused on upholding regulatory compliance obligations and managing tax liabilities. More specifically, the marriage of serialized labels and digital traceability to create comprehensive product genealogies empowers manufacturers to radically reduce the cost of compliance while also ensuring adherence to applicable standards anywhere in the supply chain.

Stakeholder #4: The Consumer

Finally, it’s critical to consider the most important stakeholder: the consumer. As the end user, the consumer has a vested interest in the production and manufacturing practices that shape the final good. Instilling confidence and trust in the end consumer requires manufacturers to address the concerns of every stakeholder—from operations, to finance, and compliance—to ensure the delivery of a high quality, authentic product.

An end-to-end traceability solution engages the end consumer by enabling him or her to validate the quality and authenticity of any product. With a single scan, consumers can become active participants in product security by contributing in a two-way data exchange that simultaneously communicates and adds to a product’s digital genealogy as it moves through the market.

Delivering Value at Every Touchpoint

At Ashton Potter, we satisfy the objectives of every stakeholder in the global supply chain through one, comprehensive solution. By pairing high security, tamper-evident labels with ProLinc®, our product security and traceability technology, we provide real value to operational, financial, and compliance stakeholders, ultimately delivering greater value to the end consumer. Talk to one of our supply chain experts today to learn how you can satisfy the priorities of all of your key stakeholders without exception.

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