According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), global counterfeiting has increased 10,000% over the last 20 years reaching an estimated $461 Billion USD.
Counterfeit seizures around the world have produced everything from fake pharmaceuticals to luxury handbags to automotive parts proving no product or market is immune.
Developing a comprehensive anti-counterfeit strategy involves many components based on individual markets and geographic areas. Adding multiple layers of physical and digital protection in the battle against counterfeiting significantly decreases you, your brand and your company’s exposure. One extremely effective method of protection is serialization with track and trace capability. By 2018, 75% of all pharmaceuticals manufactured globally will utilize government regulated programs employing serialization with track and trace to battle counterfeit product.
What is Serialization with Track and Trace and how does it actually work?
Data Generation – The first step involves generating a database of random numbers which can correspond to NDC or GTIN figures. CCL can provide this randomly generated database or accept a predefined batch of numbers.
Variable Printing – Secondly, individual numbers from this random database are variably printed onto each individual pharmaceutical package. CCL offers many standard and custom printing options for this unique serialized number depending on the package size, shape and material. It is imperative to synchronize the variable printing method with your distribution network’s scanning technology for compatibility. As we have become a global economy involving imports and exports on a daily basis, there has been an international initiative to harmonize standards to minimize confusion and increase efficiency. For example, the GS1 2D barcode is the most widely used form of serialization allowing many countries to scan and read the same information.
Data Collection & Management – Once leaving a manufacturing facility, each serialized number is scanned and recorded at various stages throughout the supply chain life cycle, producing a digital trail.
An internal data management tool tracks all movement made by collecting and recording these serialized figures during scanning, providing their specific location (GPS), time of scan and any other predefined relevant information.
Authentication & Brand Protection – Once implemented and synchronized, this track and trace system generates detailed product movements globally and provides a layer of anti-counterfeit and brand protection security.
Your distribution facility in Europe scans a pallet of pharmaceuticals manufactured in the US and discovers the serialized numbers do not match any known sets in the predefined database. This illustrates the pallet of pharmaceuticals is most likely not authentic.
Your internal data management system flags an issue where the same unique serialized number has been scanned twice (once in Hong Kong as well as in England). As each serialized number is unique (no duplicates), you can be certain one of these two shipments is counterfeit.
Diversion: A pallet a product coded for the European market surfaces and is scanned in Western Africa illustrating illegal product diversion in the supply chain process. After review of the relevant recorded data, you can quickly identify and locate where the diversion occurred and modify your strategy accordingly.
Report Generation – With 24/7 online access to your supply chain information (via data management tool), you can easily generate the supply chain information you need.
Confidently provide logistical data to governments around the world for general reporting or should an investigation or product recall arise.
Quickly and easily identify supply chain problem areas involving counterfeiting, diversion or tampering and implement a recovery plan accordingly.
Developing a comprehensive serialization system with track and trace can be complicated. Consult with the experts at CCL to learn more and add a layer of protection for your brand.
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