In a world where governments and consumer demands for transparency are louder than ever, leading global brands are incorporating traceability into their supply chain operations to be successful.
To achieve traceability, you need to collect, validate and securely share the chain of custody data from your suppliers, and you need a way to quickly respond to any changes in regulations or market requirements and manage and report on compliance.
But where do you start when selecting the right traceability solution for your organization?
Here are five questions you should ask when evaluating a traceability solution.
1. Is the solution user-friendly?
A powerful traceability solution should make data collection and input easy for users. With multiple stakeholders located in different countries and speaking different languages, it’s important to have a solution that is intuitive and effortless for everyone participating in the process. From those requesting the data to those providing it and even those validating it – the user experience should always be smooth. Pre-built questionnaires, data verification steps, and automated workflows should be available so you can streamline your processes.
2. Is the solution configurable and flexible?
If you have a choice between an off-the-shelf solution and a configurable one, it’s best to go with the latter. Remember, the apparel industry is still in the midst of its digital transformation, so you'll need a traceability solution that can grow and adapt to the changing landscape. The advantage of a configurable and flexible solution is that it allows you to create your own custom processes and rules for traceability, as well as ensure compliance with industry requirements. This way, you can tailor the system to meet both current needs and those that may arise in the future.
3. What level of security does the solution offer?
When dealing with sensitive data such as product traceability information, security should be a top priority. Your data, documents, and information must be protected at all times. Make sure your traceability solution offers encryption, secure data transmission protocols, and access control to ensure that only authorized personnel can view the data. Additionally, it should comply with the highest global data security standards, including GDPR and others, to make sure your supply chain traceability information and documents are safely collected and stored.
4. Does it have a network approach?
No one organization can effectively trace their supply chain alone – a network approach is essential for successful tracing. Your traceability solution should be able to connect brands, retailers, suppliers, and all relevant facilities and organizations in the supply chain so everyone can collaborate in the tracing process. This way, you'll have a more comprehensive view of the supply chain and be better equipped to track any changes quickly.
5. How well does it scale and integrate with other systems?
Fashion supply chains are complex and constantly evolving. A cookie-cutter system won’t get the job done – you’ll need a solution that can scale with your business needs change and integrate with other backend systems, such as ERP, WMS, PLM, etc. Your provider should allow you to pull in PO/Material/Supplier data and push back traceability reports and analytics. Incorporating traceability into your broader sourcing operations (quality, compliance, production monitoring) will give you a more comprehensive view of your supply chain and better insight into potential issues.
Click here to learn more about Inspectorio and how we can help your achieve traceability.