A key part of supply chain visibility, traceability is the process of tracing the entire journey of raw materials or a finished product from origin to end user. Upstream and downstream traceability is driven by digital technology and harmonised data from all parties in the supply chain. Traceability often extends beyond the point of sale, enabling product lifecycle analysis.

There is an ever-growing list of sectors reliant on traceability to address objectives such as product recall management, sustainability targets, anti-counterfeit, parallel markets and customer engagement. Traceability also drives JIT manufacturing, supply chain collaboration and the ability to respond to specific market requirements without excess inventory or waste.

Achieving – and optimising – traceability is therefore essential for leading manufacturers. Unabated pressure from customers and regulatory bodies is driving demand for proof of product provenance, authenticity and compliance. The most competitive manufacturers are those able to meet evolving demands and trends cost-effectively, whilst providing a great brand experience.

This guide presents the building blocks of traceability for manufacturers. It outlines five critical steps for success, plus tips on what to look for in a technology partner.