Supply chain actors implement traceability standards, processes and best
practices to meet a wide array of business, technical and regulatory
requirements. Traceability is also a very effective management and
governance tool that can be integrated into the existing business processes
and extended supply chains activities of any company.
Enabling standards-based traceability brings about seamless interoperability
between supply chain actors. It also delivers enhanced visibility into an actor’s
supply chain activities: from receiving of products or components to
production, warehousing, and dispatching of products to other supply chain
actors or directly to end consumers. When reviewing specific needs, actors
will implement various levels of product traceability to enable those needs
Drivers for Implementing Traceability Best Practices
Traceability & Industry Standards
Supply chains can be global and complex. There is not one simple schema
describing who is involved in the supply chain, from upstream to downstream in
all industry sectors. Yet, there are typical roles and functions in all supply chains.
By the time a consumer product is purchased, consumed or used, it may have
gone through a number of supply chain events and physical transformations.
Each event or transformation may have involved a number of different actors.
Tracing the products history becomes a critical and urgent requirement when an
unsafe product has caused harm to a consumer or user of the product.
Traceability is the ability to trace the history, application or location of that
which is under consideration. (ISO9001:2000)
Product supply chains involve many actors – from brand owners, own-brand
retailers, designers, manufacturers, contract manufacturers, producers, value-
added services providers, distributors, retailers, Internet retailers, importers,
brokers, carriers, third-party logistics, product safety testing and certification
bodies, and many others.
Although these terms for actors are commonly used, they may:
- be used in different ways depending on the context, reference document and
- cover various functions as actors may perform a range of functions (e.g. a
retailer can play the role of an importer and a brand owner of own-branded
goods identical to, and owned by, other parties, but will have different
- have legal implications for reporting of unsafe products and remedying the
- have legal and financial liability associated with them that requires risk
assessment and product liability insurance coverage for both the physical
product and possible litigation.
Traceability Data – can be both public and private
Master Data: permanent/lasting nature, relatively constant across time, not subject to frequent
change, accessed/used by multiple business processes and system applications, neutral/relationship
Transactional Data: created during the physical flow of goods, can only be collected when events
Single source data base
Distributed Information Sources
Or « traceability network »
One up – One down
Types of Traceability networks
model for the
Next Generation Strategy: “Value Traceability”
100% Perfect Recall
and risk reduction
aspects can be
critical, they do
stay in business