By Manish Agarwal
QR Code and traceability are fast becoming a necessity in today’s retail and manufacturing landscape. Whether they are consumers or product buyers at the distributor, retail or consumer levels, they want to know more on the product authenticity, the details with regard to product origin, raw materials, storage conditions and supply chain.
The benefits of QR Code and traceability are multi-layered. The ability to track individual products, the counterfeits within supply chain is one of the biggest advantages of serialization.
With the ability to track items at an individual level, brands gain 360˚ traceability of their goods.
Industries using QR Code
Some of the sectors which find it valuable to use serialization as way forward are: Pharmaceuticals; Agro Chemicals and Seeds; Hygiene and Cosmetics (Personal Use Items); Electronics and Electricals; Automotive Parts; Water, Milk and Milk Products; Spirits and Wines; Tobacco; Fashion; and Jewellery.
QR Code on the product
The most important purpose of introducing the Unique Identification Code is to provide product authentication and ensure that no counterfeit product enters the market.
QR Code also contains relevant product details for consumers to help them learn more about the product, its benefits, and usage. The complete product information can be obtained from the URL.
QR code is used for providing the necessary information in a form of a barcode. It’s one of the best ways to store large information which can be read electronically and supports the prevailing technology
The QR code is widely used for the purpose of product authentication and serialization, which is a growing demand for global markets. Transactions can be much more easily transferred, and information flow is easier and more reliable.
It helps in product tracing during the supply chain, the materials can be traced from the place of manufacturing up to the end user (from the manufacturing facility to table).
Each transaction can be monitored and ensures the right and authenticated product throughout the supply chain. It supports your brand as you are sure of your product is genuine through product authentication.
Aggregation to the shipper or to pallets is an easy way to achieve the unit-wise data without even scanning the primary codes.
ADVANTAGES OF QR CODE
Restricts counterfeits and provides product authentication
Product QR Coding is the process of assigning a unique identity to each saleable product item like a finger print. This identity can be assigned by affixing a unique code on each product item, usually in the form of QR code / 2D Code or RFID.
Once your products are serialized, you can identify each product item and track its journey with the help of its assigned code using a serialization software platform restricting the entry of any counterfeit product during the selling process.
Product visibility during supply chain
Data collected from serialized tags give companies unparalleled insights into the product journey from floor to shelf and sometimes beyond. The full benefits can be realized when all trading partners are exchanging serialized data.
Since manufacturers are the ones who establish serial numbers, they would be the logical first link in the chain. Once the product arrives at its next downstream location, data is exchanged again, and so on.
With serialized traceability of consumer products, returns are minimized or can be effectively controlled, and consumer confidence is assured at all times.
Warehousing and depot management
Supports warehouse management systems, can be linked to dispatch modules, invoice modules and inventory management modules.
The serialized data with aggregation provides immense advantages in terms of depot management, the product movement at various depots can be controlled to the level of last sellable unit, any wrong dispatches can be controlled and specific product can be assigned to depots and beyond up to the retailer levels.
Brand protection enhancement
The product authenticity provides brands and the customer surety of the usage and its results, better product visibility ensures brand to achieve better product classification.
For companies it is important that the product delivers the advantages it is supposed to provide to end user. Customer confidence is at its peak as brand is sure of right product every time.
Customer engagement and personalized campaigns
Customer engagement will give complete information of products such as:
- Quality certificates, e-leaflets and product FAQs
- Personalized guidance
- Complete traceability from manufacturing to customer
- Enable direct feedback
- Master data
- Transactional data
Take product out of supply chain in case of challenges
Through a simple process and a click of a button, products or batch/s with any challenge can be made non-sellable by changing the product status from “Good” to “Not Good” for sale or the batch can be rejected based on any market complaint or internal assessment.
Control over product recall and reworks
At times despite all quality checks or processes in place it becomes inevitable to avoid product recall. A fast recall is important for brand protection.
The product recall in case of market complains or internal quality assessments can be achieved effectively. Product location at each depot or beyond can be monitored and it simplifies the process. Through integrated systems the consumers can be reached providing replacements or defined advantages.
Implementing at contract manufacturing sites
Common platform can be used to achieve serialization through the inclusion of CMO. The same processes can be implemented through the common software, achieving process consistency within the program.
All date can be captured through single enterprise level servers, and is easy to implement, modify and maintain. Multiple sites can be connected, and easy to transfer products, data uploads to URL and common understanding across the manufacturing sites.
After sales and management
Effective and global after sales services support; 24 X 7 online support for any production challenges; effective AMC and support services for machines and software once out of warranty; and well defined SLA and MSLA which can be supported for global requirements.
Common platform for connected products
Global servicing network; IT and software support (plug and play and scalable); use of existing packaging; minimal capex; and real time insights.
The author Manish Agarwal is President – Global Sales and Service at Jekson Vision.