Embracing the surge of sustainability and circularity, the business landscape is undergoing a profound transformation driven by changed customer behavior and evolving regulatory requirements. We are currently witnessing a rapid transition where sustainable and circular solutions may act as a great business driver here and now today, but in a not to distant future it will it will become the very requirement for even operating. Let’s quickly explore how traceability in this context and market state may act as a key enabler to empower the movement.
The view on traceability as resource-intensive, insecure, and reactive is outdated. Today businesses are at the tipping point of reassessing the opportunity of traceability, as a mean to stay competitive.
However, still many companies see challenges with tracking and tracing the right information to be able to derive and report sufficient product quality and sustainability data end-to-end in the supply chain. Lack of visibility into sourced materials, time-consuming manual administration, and insufficient supplier collaboration are some. Furthermore, lack of support from senior management and understanding of why it is both important and urgent to prioritize supply chain traceability is also a barrier for change.
Here are four reasons for how end-to-end supply chain traceability may act as a key enabler to support new market needs
1. Promoting sustainable production
Sustainability has rapidly emerged as a key agenda for numerous organizations today. Alongside this momentum, new challenges have surfaced, such as addressing environmental sustainability when larger part of emissions originates from the supply chain and upstream processes. Swift shift in material flows and sourcing strategies also gives rise to the need of accounting for social aspects of sourcing. In this context, traceability stands to act asa key enabler to promote and support organizational sustainability efforts as a business offering as well as a sourcing strategy, going beyond more established decision criteria like price, quality, and financial sustainability.
2. Transitioning to circular business models
Ability to track movement of material end-to-end in the supply chain enables businesses and organizations to identify opportunities for reuse and recycling. Traceability can enable the ability to track the origin and quality of raw materials and components used in a product. Increased supply chain traceability plays a significant role in supporting the transition to circular business models in several ways. When using a traceability solution, you improve the visibility and reliability of your sustainability efforts, you strengthen the business case and can accelerate the transition towards more sustainable production and business models.
3. Enabling scalable validation of business and regulatory compliance
With many regulators and businesses mapping out the rules of compliance to break down and reach the sustainability targets of 2050 and defining what it will take to operate as a compliant business in the future. It’s becoming evident that there is a great need to standardize what and how product information is essentially shared. Traceability stands to act as a key enabler for ensuring that the information requirements not only are defined and made available but that the validation process is scalable.
4. Supporting customers to make more informed decisions
As compliance has become a near distant risk defining the ability to operate on the future market, it has also become a short-term business driver to support customers who are looking to take lead on the transition. Transparency supports a customer buying behavior that is continuously evolving and where buyers are looking to make informed, more data-driven decisions. Providing a clear view and detailed information of the entire journey of a product, from raw materials to end product, helps customers understand the processes, quality, and product carbon footprint (PCF) from sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution. Customers are also becoming increasingly concerned about the ethical and environmental aspects of purchased products. Supply chain traceability enables customers to verify if products are sourced, produced, and transported, aligned with their values and policies.
Traceability as a pivotal tool
In a landscape where numerous regulators and businesses are meticulously charting the path to compliance to deconstruct barriers and achieve the ambitious sustainability goals set for 2050, a clear framework is essential for businesses to navigate the future market. As this vision takes shape, it becomes increasingly apparent that standardizing the sharing of product information is of paramount importance.
Here, traceability emerges as a pivotal tool, serving as a cornerstone for establishing well-defined information prerequisites while concurrently offering a scalable mechanism for all stakeholders to seamlessly verify and guarantee adherence to compliance standards.
What are the supply chain traceability challenges in your business? We strongly believe an innovative traceability solution can empower leaders within Quality, Sourcing, Sustainability and Senior Management to improve collaboration, efficiency and transparency. In this on-demand webinar you can learn more about the value of exchanging data – a case study from the metallic value chain.