It’s absolutely necessary to track your products all along the supply chain. Whether there is a violation of the law and the source needs to be discovered, or you need to prevent the loss of your goods, or even just to keep yourself aware of the number of products available in your inventory: there’s no question that tracking and traceability must be built into your business carefully and effectively.
However, tracking inventory can be a very difficult task considering the various locations and organizations a product passes through during its lifetime.
Here are a few ways you can enhance your tracking and traceability practices.
Trace at all Levels
An effective tracking and traceability strategy is to have a trace at all levels. Just tracking the product when your organization receives or ships the product can be a costly mistake in the long-run – so, it’s preferable to have more aggressive methods of tracing to track the product from Day 1. Here are the levels at which the products should be tracked in an ideal world:
- Receiving: Document the shipment you receive from your supplier
- Movement: Scan the product even if it shifted in the warehouse, or shifted to a different location
- QC Inspection: The product should be scanned during QC inspections and should be accordingly tracked if the product is found to be damaged or defective
- Outside Services: At times, the product may need to get serviced and this should be recorded
- Shipping: The product is finally shipped out to the client or customer
- Return: If for whatever reason, the product is returned to you it should be scanned and traced back to its original receipt from the supplier
Having Global trade index number or GTIN is an important tracking and traceability practice. If you are a retailer, expect the GTIN to be given by the manufacturer or distributor. GTIN is a global data structure which may have 8, 12, 13 or 14 digits (depending on the product and the country). Currently, GTIN is only utilized along with barcodes.
Lot Tracking System
Rather than just focusing on the individual product, a lot tracking system allows you to track a product batch. It gives you the ability to keep track of a product batch through the entire supply chain. The lot tracking system contains as much information as required. Furthermore, it allows you to maintain records according to specific information.
Each industry has a different requirement and this is where the lot system comes into play. For example, a restaurant keeps track of products according to expiry dates. A lot system allows a business to track a product batch according to the manufacturing date, batch identification, expiry date, serial number, manufacturing location and more.
Pallet Tracking System
A pallet is a term which covers any number of containers used for transportation of products. A pallet tracking system is usually implemented by large manufacturers or logistic companies. It functions through a system of automated identification and data collection (AIDC) and is able to provide real-time data. The distributor or the manufacturer should provide the pallet ID number to the retailer.
These are just some of the recommended tracking and traceability practices. It is crucial that you have an effective system in place to avoid financial losses.
Jet Marking Systems was established in 2005 as a subsidiary of Jet Label & Packaging. Since then, JMS has set out to ensure their customers always have a trustworthy, flexible support team to automate and streamline processes and to minimize downtime of their on-site marking systems.
JMS has a factory- and industry-trained team with a pool of dynamic and dedicated technicians that cover all of Western Canada. We have carefully selected and partnered with first class technology and manufacturers of coding, labelling, case sealing, tracking & traceability, RFID and conveyor systems to offer you the very best options for your industry.
Call us today at 1-866-440-5135 or contact us on our website for more information: https://jet-marking.com/contact/