Why Forensic Traceability?

May 12, 2021

Why Forensic Traceability?

The benefit of a specialized track & trace solution over a traceability module built into your ERP

By Joe Schutte

When it comes to managing the global supply chain, businesses face no shortage of obstacles—from upholding compliance standards to ensuring quality is maintained at scale, and protecting products from tampering or counterfeiting. Addressing supply chain complexity and evolving consumer and government demands for greater insight into product genealogy requires comprehensive insight into data at every step of production. Yet, many organizations track processes manually, leaving data in silos and preventing true supply chain traceability.

In light of this shift, some Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have added track and trace modules to their suite of offerings. While useful for organizations with basic supply chains and minimal regulatory oversite, ERP track and trace often falls short for businesses that require insight down to the component. For instance, industries such as Food & Beverage, where the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) continues to introduce requirements for food traceability, and Automotive, where increased regulation and the rate of recalls has highlighted the importance of product traceability, a standard ERP is often not robust enough to provide the supply chain insight needed.

While useful for organizations with basic supply chains and minimal regulatory oversite,

an ERP’s track and trace often falls short

for businesses that require insight down to the component.

For organizations with complex traceability requirements, a forensic traceability solution provides benefits over a general track and trace module built into the ERP. Let’s explore how.

Benefit 1 | It Offers Granular, Precise Traceability

Organizations must track millions—and sometimes billions—of products from components to finished goods. While the typical ERP can store records with high level product insights, they fail to capture data down to the individual units. In addition, ERPs are often configured for mass market use across verticals, and so provide limited flexibility to customize the data collected and reports generated to a specific industry or company. Conversely, a forensic traceability solution specializes in real-time, granular data. At a single scan of the product’s label, comprehensive product genealogy records can be obtained down to each individual component utilized and data fields tracked can be customized to the specific needs of a company. This allows companies to maximize the ROI of their traceability software investments.

Benefit 2 | It Ensures Compliance with Strict Regulations

Businesses today are under pressure to meet rising regulatory demands—nearly 3,000 regulations were issued by the federal government in 2019 (the last “typical” year prior to the pandemic). In order to prove they are in compliance in the event of an audit, organizations require the ability to generate compliance reports with little lead time to demonstrate all necessary efforts have been taken. With a forensic traceability solution, custom reports can be generated in minutes based on filters like timeframe, location, batch, component, and more, simplifying the process of compliance.

Benefit 3 | It Takes a Proactive Approach to Recall Prevention

Recalls not only put consumers at risk, they have damaging effects on brand equity and businesses bottom line. While an ERP track and trace module can be utilized to react to a recall event and identify which products to pull from shelves, a forensic traceability solution takes a proactive approach to recall prevention, identifying potential points of compromise within the factory walls so they can be resolved before a product is sent to stores. In the unlikely event that a recall does take place, forensic traceability allows businesses to trace backward more quickly and precisely than an ERP to recall only the specific products in question. This minimizes the timeframe of a recall and can contribute to big savings by limiting spoilage.

ProLinc®: A Forensic Traceability Solution with All the Benefits

An ERP is a jack of all trades, but master of none. For organizations that require comprehensive product data at scale, only a forensic traceability system can provide the global, granular insight needed.

ProLinc®, by Ashton Potter, is the advanced product traceability solution you require. With the ability to track products at the component, item, and batch level, ProLinc® provides secure, forensic insight into product genealogy. Through product serialization, we generate unique identities for billions of items tracked, which can be stored and accessed in our user-friendly interface.

Speak with an expert today to learn how Ashton Potter can help you achieve the benefits of forensic traceability for your supply chain.