Supply Chain Traceability Technology Tools
By Laura Olson
Traceability solutions can assist in:
• Documentation and recordkeeping
• Monitoring of goods to help protect consumer safety
• Enabling process improvements
• Better decision making
• Helping to increase brand satisfaction through faster, more effective product recalls
• Identifying and tracking problem products sooner so that consumers can
be notified immediately
Types of Traceability Technology Tools
1. Product Identification and Marking (ID)
2. Traceability Tools and Software
3. Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID)
Traceability Tools and Software:
Using software designed for product traceability can help your business to compete more effectively in winning the business of retailers. This is especially
true when dealing with those that require data exchange via EDI or with retailers that require that product recalls be completed in only a few hours.
Today, some warehouse management systems include track and trace
capabilities and there are also various freestanding traceability software systems available.
Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID)
The use of RFID for product traceability is increasing as the cost of this
technology has been reduced. Some retailers and governmental agencies use
RFID Smart Labeling in order to track product movement throughout the supply
To do this, a smart label or smart tag is placed on a product. The tag
relies on radio frequency communications between the smart label and a portable
memory device and host computer to exchange data.
RFID tags can be encoded with a variety of information that can then be collected
using an RFID reader.
RFID does not require human intervention and can be used passively to track the
movement of products within closed systems such as within a warehouse. No
scanning of barcodes or labels are needed and multiple RFID smart labels can be
What is IoT?
IoT, the “Internet of Things” is an intertwined system of a variety of technologies
that capture data and communicate it through IP networks to software
applications. The status of physical objects is monitored and the data from the
smart object is stored in a centralized database then sorted into a humanreadable format. The information captured may be generated using either a manual or automated
interaction and auto-ID technology is used to enable the communication
between devices and objects.
Supply Chain Software
IoT can aid in:
• Monitoring shipment status
• Providing the real time location of inventory within a facility
• Tracking the point of origin, days until expiration and other attributes of
• Provide component/ingredient-level visibility of products, including product
• Reducing the labor and errors associated with manual track and trace