oday’s consumers are accustomed to accessing real-time product information with a touch of a button. Increasingly concerned with where products originate, consumers want a guarantee that they are purchasing high-quality products produced under ethical conditions – and they are willing to pay for it. According to Nielsen’s annual Global Corporate Sustainability Report, “66% of global consumers say they’re willing to pay more for sustainable brands—up 55% from 2014. The study also found that 73% of global Millennials pay extra for sustainable offerings—up from 50% in 2014. How can a company meet these high expectations? By implementing traceability, often referred to as “track and trace”, which offers a clear picture of where products originate and the ability to track the movement of an individual item from its origin to the end of its useful life.
Why is Traceability important to your customers?
- Safety – With the number of recalls on the rise, customers are increasingly concerned about the safety of the products and consumables that they purchase. In response, many are demanding traceability capability in the supply chain. These customers want to know where their products originated – often times before the actual purchase is made. During a product recall, traceability technology can potentially save lives. Contaminated products can be tracked and pulled from the shelves preventing them from reaching the consumer, and helping to mitigate brand damage while building trust with the consumer.
- Sustainability – Sustainability has become a critical factor in purchasing decisions. Consumers, particularly Millennials, are concerned about products’ quality, authenticity, ethics during production, and environmental impact. They want to buy high-quality products from companies with transparent supply chains. They demand to know that their products were produced with ethical labor practices and in ways that did not destroy the environment. Traceability can provide this vital information to the customer.
- Authenticity – Traceability can verify the authenticity of a product by providing a comprehensive item history. This is accomplished by scanning a unique ID at the point of purchase to provide certainty about the product’s origin and lifecycle. With growing concerns over counterfeiting, consumers can be assured that the products they are purchasing are indeed authentic and come from the source that is advertised.
- Quality – Used in the production line, Traceability ensures that product quality standards are met. It can provide real-time information about operations, production and equipment, thereby flagging any product inconsistencies. Used correctly, traceability technology can also increase operations productivity by accounting for lost inventory and increasing inventory accuracy.
- Trust – Customers want to do business with companies they can trust. Having the capability to remove defective products from a supply chain as quickly as possible when needed, companies can prevent quality issues from creating distrust with their customer. This can foster better brand building strategies, resulting in increased loyalty, higher sales and an increased competitive advantage.