GOODQUESTION Readers Weigh In
What’s the difference between traceability and transparency in the supply chain?
chain—end-to-end. Traceability enables you to trace a particular product and its components from origin to end user and is paramount in industries where safety and quality are top concerns. —Michael Wohlwend Managing Principal Alpine Supply Chain Solutions TRACEABILITY IS THE ABILITY TO TRACK AN ITEM and its associated activities as it progresses through the supply chain. Transparency is the ability to demonstrate this information to stakeholders, regulators, trading parties, and consumers. —Kieren James-Lubin President & CEO, BlockApps TRANSPARENCY IS A RETAILER’S RESPONSIBILITY to communicate and provide visibility to shoppers who are focused on sourcing ethics, such as sustainably caught seafood, hormone- free chicken, or cage-free eggs. Traceability relates to food safety
and recalls so retailers know exactly where an impacted item is, and can take swift appropriate action. —Troy Prothero VP, Product Management– Supply Chain Solutions Symphony RetailAI TRACEABILITY IS THE ABILITY TO TRACK THE PROGRESS of products from the acquisition of basic raw material to assembly, storage, and distribution. Transparency is the management expectation that all movement through the supply chain remains visible. —John Tillison SVP, Sales & Marketing A. Duie Pyle THESE TWO MEASURES have different audiences and objectives. Transparency is about strategic supply chain structure and management, to provide visibility to stakeholders, confidence to investors, and trust for suppliers.
—Mitchell Houston CI Engineer, TA Services
TRACEABILITY MEANS DECENT TRACKING . GPS-enabled tracking doesn’t need a human scan to give an update. Transparency in the supply chain is similar, but adds in reliable human contacts to give more information than a scan or GPS update can. Someone to talk to about what they are experiencing, and how it may affect our timetable. —Brian C. Gaffney
Supply Chain Specialist Natural Fiber Welding
TRANSPARENCY REFERS TO VISIBILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY to data at every stage of the supply chain, while traceability is often used to discuss the process of tracking the products and their inputs throughout the entire supply chain journey. Both are essential to supply chain management.
—Erik Severinghaus Executive VP, Strategy & Business Development Conexiom
Who put what, where? And when did they do it? Use a warehouse management system (WMS) to protect your inventory chain of custody and drive single point of contact accountability. That’s traceability. Give the enterprise easy access to the information to drill down to the “why.” That’s transparency. —Eric Allais President & CEO, PathGuide Technologies
THE TWO TERMS ARE OFTEN INTERCHANGED, but they are not the same thing. Transparency focuses on mapping the entire supply
6 Inbound Logistics • February 2022
Powered by FlippingBook