Product Security Spotlight | Scalability
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November 27, 2018

Product Security Spotlight | Scalability

By Tom Lambe

In our Product Security Spotlight blog series, we’re covering four key tenets of total product security and traceability. Our first two entries focused on insight and security. In this, our third entry, we will discuss scalability.

As the saying goes, “bigger is better.” While this certainly holds true from a bottom-line perspective, for manufacturers, ‘bigger’ also means a more complicated operation, with more variables and more product security pitfalls.

However, it is also important to note that while scalability references size, it is not limited to size alone. In fact, today’s manufacturers have given scalability new meaning in the form of rapid and global growth, monumental throughput, and growing operational complexity.

While diverse, each of these is ultimately a scalability issue. Let’s take a closer look at how the right product security solution can help you solve your scalability challenges:

Scalability for the Rapidly Growing Business

Picture this. Business is booming. Your latest product has captured a niche in the market, and demand is at an all-time high. While this is an exciting time for a manufacturer, it is also a stressful time: how will you ramp up production without compromising on quality? How can you prevent counterfeits from permeating the market as you scale your business, often with manufacturing operations spanning the globe?

Too often when scaling, production comes at the expense of highly detailed record keeping. This establishes problematic patterns, where manufacturers are unable to verify product location, authenticity, and integrity. Solving such issues requires manufacturers to understand that growth means change. First and foremost, rapid growth requires start-up shops to establish a serialization and traceability approach that can keep pace with production.

While historically, a smaller manufacturer may have been able to secure its products through a joint effort of human and technological engagement, scalability means automating the data-keeping process and eliminating human agents—who account for 80% of failures and defects in manufacturing—from the process. This allows for highly detailed, individualized records on a per-product basis, and keeps employees focused on meeting production demands. More still, the processes established at one operation can be scaled across a manufacturer’s entire production network, ensuring that global operations uphold one, consistent standard.

Scalability for the Million-Item-Per-Day Manufacturer

You’ve made it. You’re among the market’s largest manufacturers. Each day, your operation produces millions of items; each year, you produce billions. You are making your daily quotas, but do you have detailed, individualized data on each of your products? You recognize that in the case of an audit or recall, this information would be vital. At the same time, you also know that every minute of manufacturing downtime costs your operation thousands in lost stock, so you can’t afford to delay production or stop to transition to a new system.

For the high-volume manufacturer, total traceability is a necessity—integral to ensuring product integrity, addressing recalls, and understanding the product lifecycle. Yet, traceability cannot come at the expense of productivity. With unplanned downtimes and production delays costing manufacturers upwards of $50 billion a year, it is critical that your traceability solution operate at the pace of business. That means recording and storing product-level insights in real time and integrating seamlessly into existing systems and processes so there is no time wasted entering duplicate data.

Scalability for the Complex Manufacturing Operation

A new model of an old favorite is on the docket for production. Today’s consumers have an insatiable appetite for innovation, so the latest version includes a myriad of technological advancements to enhance your competitive edge. These technological advancements come with several new subcomponents and introduce new complexities into the manufacturing process.

For many manufacturers, production complexity is at an all-time high as advanced technologies and materials make their way into everyday products. Furthermore, the consumer desire for personalization has also complicated things, as manufacturers must account for customized orders without compromising speed or quality. More complexity equals more data. Therefore, it is critical that your traceability solution be capable of storing highly detailed data insights with outstanding scalability and flexibility. But merely storing detailed product-level data isn’t enough. The right system must be able to serve up insights to key stakeholders on-demand in a format that is actionable.

ProLinc: Scalable to the Billions

Scalability is so much more than a buzzword. For today’s manufacturers, it is a powerful business reality that continues to become more real every day. With ProLinc, our advanced product security solution, we empower manufacturers to individually identify, track, and secure every product throughout the supply chain—no matter how vast or complicated their manufacturing operation.

It’s time to scale your product security strategy. Contact Ashton Potter to get started, and stay tuned for the last post in our Product Security Spotlight, which will highlight velocity.

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