- The value of supply chain traceability as a necessary part of supply chain visibility is growing, but existing software lags to sufficiently support that function, Supply Chain Digest reported Monday.
- Traceability, which has traditionally begun at the ending and follows 'upstream' to the beginning point of sourcing, is now coupled with 'downstream' analysis as well in order to understand multi-layer distribution channels.
- Traceability has gained traction as of late due to increased regulations and the need for supply chain transparency to satisfy consumers and stakeholders, especially in the food and beverage industries, but few technology or supply chain managers tasked with enhancing traceability sufficiently comprehend the value that can be derived, or the technology that is necessary.
While limited software and inattention to third party solutions designed to optimize traceability may be slow in coming, other methods exist for implementing the practice within the supply chain.
Traceability awareness begins with identifying the key commodities all the way back to raw materials where sourcing began. Educate the procurement team about any and all sustainability issues related to the commodities purchased, including the possibility of human rights violations. Partnership with suppliers is also critical, as they will often have insight into exploring visibility beyond the first tier. As the global chain continues to move toward more responsible sustainable sourcing, and companies are experiencing backlash when they don't pay attention, suppliers will have to be held accountable.
As companies increase their traceability awareness, the technology that is available will catch up to meet the need required.