Product Security, Squared

June 13, 2019

Product Security, Squared

3 Benefits of Marrying Security Printing and Technology in Your Organization

By Joe Sheeran

It’s no secret your supply chain is under attack. But do you know where the compromise is lurking and, most importantly, how to stop it? In some instances, a malicious actor may have permeated the organization, seeking to counterfeit items or cause harm to users. In other cases, faulty or ill-performing equipment may have impacted the integrity of a specific batch, necessitating a product recall. In others still, human error may have come into play, enacting a trickledown effect that degraded the quality of a shipment of goods.

Regardless of where a compromise first began, the conclusion is the same: the supply chain must be secured. Historically, product security came down to the physical security label. Once an item was in your hands, you trusted it was authentic and safe due to the uncompromised label alone. But in today’s global supply chain, an uncompromised security label alone isn’t enough. There are still unanswered questions about how a product was made and where it has been. 

That’s where technology comes into play. To capture the data beyond the label—all of which becomes highly relevant when validating claims, complying with government standards, resolving recalls, and more—organizations are increasingly turning to a robust and forensic product traceability solution. Yet, in isolation of the high security label, traceability data speaks only to the supply chain as a whole, rather than to individual goods, resulting in far more questions than answers.

Counterfeiting efforts are said to

cost the U.S. economy north of $600 billion

each year.

To achieve comprehensive product security and traceability, organizations require a solution that combines the synergistic power of security labels and traceability technology. Let’s explore 3 ways the combination can exponentially improve product security efforts:

1. Resolving Recalls Rapidly & Accurately

In 2018, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued $27.25 million in civil penalties against organizations. Such penalties often stem from product recalls that drag out when companies fail to isolate and eliminate affected goods in a timely fashion. Too often, a prolonged recall process is a direct result of a company’s inability to trace a problem back to its origin in the supply chain, then forward to identify each affected item in circulation. By applying serialized security labels to components and goods at every stage of production, then leveraging the label in partnership with forensic traceability technology, companies are empowered to identify with great precision where a compromise originated, what items were impacted, and where they are in the supply chain.

2. Countering Counterfeiting Efforts

Counterfeiting efforts are said to cost the U.S. economy north of $600 billion each year. In the past, companies invested in security labels to immediately uncover counterfeiting attempts. However, with the rise of e-commerce, in-person verification only occurs after money has switched hands, leaving sellers and customers both susceptible. For an indicator of the pervasiveness of this issue, look no further than Amazon, who announced the launch of Project Zero in an attempt to reduce the number of counterfeits sold across its site. By augmenting security labels with product traceability technology, however, individuals can scan items to not only verify the authenticity of a good, but also identify when, where, and how the product fell off the supply chain. This empowers organizations to identify security gaps and cut off points of diversion from the very start.

3. Keeping Consumers in the Loop

Today’s consumers are in a state of constant information overload. With myriad messages coming in at all angles, individuals are susceptible to overlook many of the warnings they are presented—even if they are important. In fact, studies have shown that the U.S. warning label system fails to delineate between large risks and small risks, resulting in a jaded consumer base that often disregards company notifications until a widespread consumer injury hits top headlines. Key to preventing unnecessary injury is explicitly notifying those that possess compromised goods. Neither label nor technology alone can empower companies with this kind of access. Together, however, companies can efficiently identify those at risk so they can be proactively informed of product compromises.

Exponentially Better Together

At Ashton Potter, we’ve been delivering high security labels for nearly a century to organizations and governments around the globe. Today, with the growing pervasiveness of manufacturing data, we saw the opportunity to marry our legacy of high security printing with the best in forensic product traceability technology. By applying serialized, high security labels to every component, product, and batch in circulation, then harnessing scanning to build digital product genealogies, we’re providing an adaptable and nimble solution capable of rapidly scaling to provide total product security to supply chains around the globe.

Interested in how high security printing and advanced technology fit into your supply chain? Contact Ashton Potter today.

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