Keeping track of the traceability of your products in your business is a fundamental task. Find out how you can improve the process!
Traceability in the supply chain refers to the ability to track and trace the movement of products and materials as they move through the supply chain, from point of origin to point of consumption. This involves capturing and recording data on each stage of the chain to ensure accountabilities at each stage and full visibility of the entire process. Its application helps companies manage their supply chain more effectively, improve efficiency, reduce costs and improve product quality and safety.
It is a measure that can bring numerous benefits, apart from those already mentioned, such as improved customer satisfaction, better risk management and regulatory compliance, given that some sectors are subject to strict product safety and quality standards. This is the case in the food, pharmaceutical and electronics industries, where traceability is becoming increasingly important, as not only are there legal requirements, but consumers are increasingly concerned about the safety and quality of the products they buy.
However, implementing traceability can be complex. SMEs need to be aware of the risks associated with this technology, including implementation costs, the need for specialised training and potential cybersecurity threats. These challenges can be mitigated by applying best practices, such as conducting a thorough risk assessment and investing in secure data management systems.
A series of steps can be followed for the effective implementation of the process, starting with the identification of the key processes and the definition of the information required, and ending with the selection and implementation of the traceability system. It is also important to monitor and evaluate the system already in place to ensure that it is working effectively. To simplify these steps, there are different tools on the market such as spreadsheets, QR code generators or open source management systems such as OpenBoxes, which are free of charge. There is also blockchain technology, which, although it has to be paid for, there are some platforms such as VeChain that offer free trials for SMEs to test their traceability capabilities.
In addition, this monograph presents two success stories to demonstrate the advantages of this strategy. On the one hand, the SME Sabores Sierra de Madrid managed to increase customer confidence in its brand and access to a wider market. On the other hand, Nissan Motor Ibérica, with the implementation of RFID technology, has minimised errors, reduced times and improved reaction capacity.
Overall, the adoption of traceability in the supply chain is crucial for the future success of SMEs in Spain and elsewhere. Consumer concerns about product safety and quality are growing, which means that companies must take the necessary steps to ensure that their supply chains are transparent and reliable.