Traceability – is your company hoping for the best or planning for the worst?

Total-loss bills resulting from large recall events are having major impacts across the globe, in all manufacturing sectors. Quality Assurance Managers and Chief Operating Officers are understandably becoming increasingly overwhelmed in a complex environment where they cannot account for everything.

They are faced with increased focus on safety and regulation by authorities; complex global supply chains and cost cutting; an increase in malicious product tampering and extortion; and growing consumer awareness and the influence of social media, among other issues.

Therefore, traceability software, crisis management plans, and mock recall simulations are must-haves, rather than nice-to-haves, across the manufacturing and distribution sectors. You shouldn’t be hoping for the best, you should be planning for the worst!

Increased regulatory compliance requirements

As governments around the world attempt to increase food safety, they are increasing the regulatory requirements surrounding the sector, which includes the Food Standard Code for Australia and New Zealand. However, there are many other industries for whom traceability is just as important, including Healthcare, Freight and Supply Chain, Agriculture, Aerospace and Defence, Chemicals, Electronics, Automotive, Government, Paper, Plastics, as well as Printing and Packaging.

If your business does not have an effective traceability system, you can potentially be excluded from lucrative new business, or lose existing clients to those who can clearly show the effectiveness of their traceability system.

A not for profit organisation called GS1 Australia has set out to help Australian businesses from an increasing range of industry sectors adopt GS1 standards and to encourage local businesses to play a key role in developing and maintaining the standards on an ongoing basis. In terms of traceability, GS1 says that end-to-end supply chain visibility is available to all organisations to readily improve product safety, meet regulatory requirements, ensure product authenticity and provenance.

In Australia, the Australian Agriculture Senior Officials Committee (AGSOC) National Traceability Project has implemented the National Traceability Framework and Industry Action Plan template for enhancing Australia’s agricultural traceability systems.  This enables tracing of agricultural production and products, back and forward along entire supply chains.

To position Australia to meet its emerging freight and supply chain challenges the Transport and Infrastructure Council endorsed the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy and National Action Plan in August 2019. This set an agenda for integrated national action across all freight modes over the next 20 years.

Developed by all Australian governments with extensive input from industry, the Strategy commits to national action including smarter and targeted infrastructure, enabling improved supply chain efficiency, better planning, coordination and regulation, as well as better freight location and performance data.

While regulatory compliance plays a big role in why organisations are increasingly instituting traceability systems, it’s just one of the reasons.  Good management practice requires protection of the brand, which includes the ability to minimise risk before and mitigate damage during a recall when time is of the essence.

– Contributed by Paulo de Matos, SYSPRO Chief Product Officer.

Want to learn more? Join our Live Panel Discussion and Q&A webinar with Syed Shah, Managing Editor of Manufacturers’ Monthly, and Product Operations Manager at SYSPRO, Roger Landman, to discuss implementing a robust traceability system and a failsafe recall management plan. Register here.