Across industries, trading parties struggle to exchange information as disparate technologies limit their capabilities. The resultant information asymmetries can negatively impact business operations, supply chain transparency efforts, trading partner relationships and stymy efforts to comply with regulations. Information exchange is complex and can be further complicated by multiple cultures, languages and varying levels of technical capability and competency. Brand owners exchange confidential information related to formulas, recipes, ingredients, components and master data about products. In turn, suppliers provide transactional data about production lot’s or batches, quality reports and product safety information. Connecting this data together without loss, noise, delay or distortion is a key challenge. Brand owners understand the business risks associated with suboptimal information exchange especially regarding traceability and recall. Moreover, their concerns extend to broader supply chain vulnerabilities and mitigating the risks of illicit trade, smuggling, high-jacking, counterfeit and economically motivated adulteration. Therefore, a new level of trust in information exchange is required between trading parties to achieve interoperability, enable real-time supply chain visibility and transparency. The solution lies in common industry standards for interoperability.

Empirical research

A lack of interoperability among trading parties is an inhibitor of chain-wide transparency. In turn, this can negatively impact on business operations across many areas including customer satisfaction and recall of unsafe products in a crisis. A growing body of research is now demonstrating the effectiveness of the GS1 EPC Information Services standard (EPCIS) as an enabler of chain-wide interoperability, real-time visibility and transparency. The standard describes transparency data as EPCIS events and standardizes how they are formatted, captured, stored, shared and queried. When an event is created, it contains vital information about a products identity, as well as the date, time, location and reason for the event occurrence. This process is referred to by the standards organization GS1 as the what (identity), when (date and time), where (location) and why (reason) of a supply chain event. Effective implementation of EPCIS will benefit organizations of all sizes across internal logistics, regulatory compliance, consumer engagement, traceability, recall and crisis management to improved supply chain governance and competitive advantage.

INEXTO enables interoperability

INEXTO is a proven leader in providing EPCIS enables solutions to facilitate interoperability, visibility and transparency in multi-party supply chains across industry sectors. Today, INEXTO solutions are implemented in 1000+ manufacturing lines and 1500+ locations worldwide. INEXTO assigns over 50 billion unique serialized identifiers and manages billions of EPCIS supply chain events annually.  INEXTO’s proven scalability and thought leadership is helping organizations today to bridge the information asymmetry gap, comply with regulation, improve competitive advantage and enhance transparency and consumer trust.

 

Note:

The EPCIS standard was ratified in 2015 by the International Standards Organization (ISO) as a formal ISO standard for interoperability (ISO/IEC 19987:2015).