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March 16, 2023

Blog

Top 5 Trends for 2023: Why traceability is crucial for a transparent and sustainable supply chain

Stefanie Guzikowski

Senior Industry Marketing Manager

Consumer engagement, anti-counterfeiting, and regulatory requirements are driving global supply chain conversations around the need for new levels of visibility and traceability throughout the product lifecycle. Enabling greater transparency is a vital step in creating resilient supply chains as companies add new partners, expand into new regions, and attempt to meet increasing regulatory and customer demands.

As a matter of fact, Loftware’s annual ‘Top 5 Trends in Labeling & Packaging Artwork’ report revealed that 70% of respondents flagged global traceability as a priority for their business in the coming 12 months. Ultimately, enabling transparency throughout the supply chain has become a necessity for companies to ensure quality, safeguard products, protect patients and consumers, streamline the location of inventory, and guarantee on-time delivery to market.

Impact on globalization

As businesses extend their reach across today’s complex global supply chain, they are faced with many risks and opportunities. Emerging new markets for goods and services, along with a more collaborative environment, make it possible for companies to reduce costs and participate in global trade. This collaboration requires geographically dispersed partners to bring products and services to market with multiple touch points to be monitored all along the way - from handling of raw materials to delivery of finished goods. Also partners and suppliers must be able to share access to common data, business processes, labeling solutions, and label content. Most importantly, as businesses continue to scale and embrace globalization, they must also identify new ways to ensure traceability and reduce risks across this evolving global supply chain.

Rapidly manage recalls

Nearly half (49%) of those surveyed believe the inability to effectively manage recalls is the biggest risk of not being able to track products throughout the supply chain. Product recalls not only impact the brand but also the consumer’s health, particularly in regulated industries like pharmaceuticals, medical device, and food and beverage. Of course, labeling is the vehicle that carries relevant data, such as specific product information (e.g., serial numbers, certificates of origin, and lot/batch information) that provides the essential link between digital and physical. Ultimately, labeling is an enabler of traceability that provides a full audit trail of a product from its parts, materials, and ingredients to its manufacturing and distribution to the end-user or customer. With proper labeling and traceability, companies can respond quickly to costly disruptions across their supply chain to manage risk and expedite any necessary recalls.

Sustainable sourcing for the supply chain

Of those surveyed by Loftware, 76% reported already having a sustainability initiative within their organization, indicating how important this issue is across all sectors. As sustainability initiatives become more mainstream, companies must consider how they can improve labeling and packaging strategies and continue to focus on the customer experience, all while meeting new corporate social responsibility goals and watching the bottom line.

Part of the equation is around how social, ethical, and environmental performance factors into the process of selecting suppliers. Being able to trace products both upstream and downstream will become essential for managing the product lifecycle and sustainable sourcing. Intelligent supply chains that leverage cloud technologies can track, trace, and authenticate goods at every stage of the journey, from raw materials to consumer goods.

Additionally, by deploying cloud-based labeling, businesses can reduce inventory, eliminate a large global footprint, and ensure that all products are made, shipped, and delivered to the right place, thereby avoiding unnecessary loss and waste.

Learn more about Loftware’s key trends for 2023 

For more information about Loftware’s Top 5 Trends 2023, download our report for free. Additionally, you can watch a recording of the ‘2023 Top 5 Trends in Labeling & Packaging Artwork’ webinar here.  

  • Cloud
  • Supply Chain
  • Artwork Management
  • Labeling
  • Track and Trace