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Traceability Case Studies

See top success stories from around the world and learn how businesses are using GS1 standards for traceability.

Traceability Reference Book

Discover best-in-class GS1 traceability implementations

GS1 Australia Woolworths

Woolworths Australia seeing multiple benefits from 2D barcodes

Woolworths and selected suppliers are using 2D barcodes with GS1 standards to achieve substantial results, including enhancing food safety and reducing food waste by up to 40%.

Facing shoppers with new expectations and suppliers with new challenges, Woolworths Australia knew they needed a way to make available more data—and more granular data—about the products they sold, without causing confusion or wasting precious label space.

By putting product identification and product information into one on-pack symbol, 2D barcodes have unlocked a new dimension of capabilities for Woolworths and enabled a variety of efficiencies for the retailer and for their suppliers.

With 2D barcodes now in place for many items at Woolworths stores across Australia, the retailer can manage store inventory at a more granular level, alert cashiers that a scanned product is past its expiry date—and in the future—connect a consumer to the web to provide traceability information about a product's origin and more.


Alfajores El Molle: digitalisation and traceability with GS1 standards

Alfajores El Molle wanted to create a traceability system that would enable the company to comply with food safety regulations, attain certifications and better manage its broad stock of alfajores.

With help from GS1 Argentina, Alfajores El Molle has implemented GS1 barcodes encoded with GS1 identifiers for its product flavours and logistics units. A traceability system – GS1 TrazAR platform—to collect digitalised data so that the company can track products as they are shipped to customers and products can be traced back to their company. These GS1 standards include: Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs)  encoded in GS1 EAN-13 barcodes for identification of product flavours, Serial Shipping Container Codes (SSCCs) encoded in GS1-128 barcodes for identification of dispatched units.

With a traceability system, Alfajores El Molle gained visibility of its products throughout the supply chain as well as improve its management and control systems.


Aguas Misioneras: providing traceable Argentinian water

Aguas Misioneras’ mission is to not only package and distribute quality drinking water for its consumers, but also preserve water as a natural resource.

With a focus on consumer safety and satisfaction, the company wanted to develop a traceability system to track the production, packing, storage and distribution of its bottled water—from well to supermarkets—and then trace, if needed, delivered water back to the well where it originated.

The company was to improve its traceability system to implement standards-based identification for its products, in case of a recall.

Aguas Misioneras assigned each of its products a unique identifier—a GS1 Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®). The product’s GTIN, batch number and expiration date are all encoded in a GS1-128 barcode, applied on the product’s package. Another GS1 identifier—the Serial Shipping Container Code or SSCC —is encoded in a GS1-128 barcode and applied on each logistics unit so that shipped individual pallets of water can be tracked and traced throughout the supply chain. GS1 Global Location Numbers (GLNs) were assigned to identify each Aguas Misioneras’ location such as wells and production facilities.  With the unique identification of products, places and logisitics units, the company could now scan barcodes to capture data about products as they travelled from production plants to supermarkets.

The company now has a standardised identification system for all of it products. An accurate and updated production circuit analysis was conducted. All traceability information and procedures have been well-documented, and a risk committee with defined roles and responsibilities is now in-place, in case of an emergency. What’s more: Aguas Misioneras now has a much more efficient stock management system.

Friso by FrieslandCampina: on a mission to full transparency of the dairy chain ...

FrieslandCampina is on a mission to full transparency of their dairy chain, from grass to glass, and wants to share the journey of its infant formula directly with customers.

For a leading infant nutrition brand Friso, they developed together with their technology partner Kezzler an app called TrackEasy, which is based on GS1 standards. The industry’s first smart packaging innovation enables parents to experience the journey of Friso’s formula milk at their fingertips, starting from Dutch farms. A QR code on the packaging uses the GS1 Digital Link standard which allows customers to learn more about the provenance of the product, receive a confirmation that what they have purchased is in fact a genuine can of Friso infant formula.

With the launch of TrackEasy, parents can trace their Friso product from grass to glass and feel reassured that they are providing the best nutrition for their children.  Such details are made possible through full chain control, where Friso owns all steps from the cows in Dutch farms to the final product.

EDEKA: Traceability at the fresh food counter

As a pioneer in food retail, EDEKA offers digital traceability for its fresh food counters in many of its markets.

fTRACE developed a fresh counter traceability solution together with GS1 Germany and EDEKA so that customers can learn more about product origins directly at the fresh counter or on their smartphones and to reduce time spent on paperwork for fresh counter employees. The solution is based on global GS1 standards and uses Global Location Numbers (GLN) and Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN) as its main identifiers linked with the Electronic Product Code Information Service standard (EPCIS) to enable users to transmit and share event related data.

EDEKA reports that deploying the fresh counter traceability solution has optimised and digitised work processes related to the service counter. With the help of scanners and tablets, employees can electronically record relevant processing steps of a product, such as disassembling for display in the service counter. The inefficient paper-based unpacking list is now a thing of the past.

MIGROS: Traceability and its positive impact on fruits and vegetables

Swiss retailer MIGROS wanted to gain more transparency throughout the supply chain of fruit and vegetable products and establish a collaborative information exchange. To do this, the company decided to take a cross-company approach with trading partners to exchange complete and accurate event driven data from harvesting to distribution into retail stores.

MIGROS and its trading partners have implemented EPCIS, a GS1 standard, along with GS1 identifiers to enable a traceability system for its products. With benefits especially for fruits and vegetables, GS1 identifiers and EPCIS provide all stakeholders with information about the “what, where, when, why, and who” of product shipments as they travel throughout the supply chain.

MIGROS sees improvement in control over product quality, increase in efficiency of internal processes with end-to-end data integration. EPCIS enables suppliers, as well as consumers, to benefit from quality product data.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals case study

Hikma Pharmaceuticals adopts GS1 standards for regulatory compliance and traceab...

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (Hikma) needed to put in place a track and trace system for its full line of pharmaceuticals. The company wanted a system that would easily scale across its three global regions in response to emerging regulatory requirements.

The company implemented GS1 standards to uniquely identify its medicines at the individual dosage level. These GS1 identifiers were encoded in GS1 DataMatrix barcodes for application on packages. By scanning these barcodes, Hikma can now easily capture information in its IT systems for traceability—from its plants to healthcare providers, and ultimately, to patient bedsides.

Read the full Hikma Pharmaceuticals case study, page 92

Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital case study

Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital achieves significant efficiency improvements and t...

Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital in Norway needed to streamline its processes associated with the handling of surgical equipment. Highly trained surgical staff was spending valuable time on manual tasks like sorting, packaging and the replenishment of equipment used in surgical procedures.

Staff in the Surgical and Sterile department collaborated with GS1 Norway and APX Systems to develop and implement a traceability solution based on GS1 standards. The system has automated the department’s surgical, ordering, replenishment and recall processes for impressive improvements.

Read the full Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital case study, page 55

Business benefits of traceability system at Arcor Group’s plants in Argentina

Arcor wanted to improve information flow in their supply chain, particularly to integrate all operational processes for efficient business operations.

A traceability system designed with consultancy of GS1 Argentina covered all areas of company operations in production and logistics. New identification and codification systems with GS1 standards were implemented that included raw materials, semi-finished products, consumer units, and logistic units. Also, the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and GS1-128 barcodes were applied.

With the implementation of the new traceability system, operational processes have been integrated. Information and reporting have become faster and available in real time which  provides improvement in response time to attend to requirements, quality incidents, and recall requests. All the improvements help Arcor increase the quality of their products for customers and consumers.

SACICT’s traceability project promotes Thai crafts in domestic and internationa...

SACICT*, an organisation with the mission to promote Thai arts and crafts in domestic and international markets,  did not have any system in place to manage their high-mix low-volume items inventory and flow.

With implementation of GS1 identifiers GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) and GS1 DataMatrix, SACICT’s inventory management has become easier and more efficient. Additional information added with GS1 DataMatrix has allowed for tracking the date and the place when and where each item is sold. Consumers can access all available information about products, from origin to product description.

* Support Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand

Food (Product) Safety Traceability Platform in Shunde District, China sets example of food industry supervision by government to ensure food safety

Food (Product) Safety Traceability Platform in Shunde District, China sets examp...

Efficient trace of food from “farm to table” is a topic of concern for government and business in Shunde District of China. Shunde District is the “Gourmet Capital of the World “recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). There are more than 20.000 food production and service units in this region, and how to reduce hidden dangers of food safety and build a supervision mechanism for the entire food safety chain was the main problem faced by Shunde Administration of Market Regulation.

Shunde Administration of Market Regulation of Guangdong put in place a social co-governance mechanism for food safety: the National Food (Product) Safety Traceability Platform was set up to help control procurement, production and distribution of products, such as oil, rice, flour, wine from more than 200 manufacturers. The Platform is based on GS1 standards – GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) with a production date or a lot number that enable traceability of products. GTINs are widely used and recognized in China, so participation of manufacturers in the Platform does not require any investment or changes to their operational processes.

The initiative has created a new pattern of social co-governance of food safety with governmental authorities, food supply chain operators and consumers.

The National Food (Product) Safety Traceability Platform not only strengthens government’s supervision over the food industry but helps companies meet legal requirements and regulations and reduce risks. The National Food (Product) Safety Traceability Platform also allows consumers to directly access information about food products they buy and eat.

GS1 and Manbulloo create next level ‘whole-of-chain’ tracking

Manbulloo, an Australia’s largest grower of mangoes, wanted to improve the process of information flow in their supply chain, particularly the effectiveness and efficiency of communications and business operations between Manbulloo, their ripeners and their customers.

To address this, unique identification of products was required which was achieved by implementing GS1 serialised barcodes on tray labels. This allows every tray on every pallet from all seven Manbulloo farms and five pack houses to be tracked up and down the chain. With the use of an application developed by FreshTrack Systems, traceability information gets collected and uploaded to the Trust Provenance  blockchain system, in real-time and without any loss in performance.

Using GS1 standards in conjunction with other technology solutions, Manbulloo can now track every carton and every batch through the supply chain, from packing shed to retail shelf. Order rejections at the retailer’s DC have reduced to very low levels which is a major win for everyone in the supply chain as it saves an enormous amount of time and money. Improvements in data management have significantly helped Manbulloo increase the quality and integrity of their mangoes for consumers.

Livestock quality and customer confidence improved with GS1 standards, proved by...

Today’s consumers are becoming more and more strict on food quality, they want to know all types of information about their meat products, clear indication of “who did what, when and where” to a meat product. They now want to know how the animal was raised, what it was fed, how it was slaughtered, processed and packaged . . . and how far the resulting meat product was transported. This growing demand for data made cattle breeding company Leocar EIRL from Peru think about a traceability system that provides up-to-date and accurate information throughout the whole production chain.

Leocar EIRL implemented GS1 traceability standards, particularly GS1-128 barcodes and the GS1 Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC). With the traceability system based on GS1 standards, Leocar EIRL has got access to all types of information about its cattle. GS1 standards enable to trace information about the cattle and products down to every production step in detail.

Leocar EIRL has reported livestock management improvement by 30% with respect to birth control, fattening, and other livestock benefits. The traceability system based on GS1 standards has allowed for 100% monitoring and follow-up during the whole process of production and transportation and has significantly improved customer confidence by providing detailed, complete information about origin of meat products.

GS1 Global Traceability Standard for Argentinian mate producer CBSé

CBSe, a mate producer from Argentina, is using GS1 identification standards to provide full value-chain traceability and its benefits to its customers and, ultimately, consumers in many countries of the world.

The traceability system helps CBSé drive greater efficiencies in its business operations based on increased access to product and traceability data which ultimately improves customer and consumer attitude.

Dalat Milk’s pilot of traceability system with GS1 standards for higher product ...

At Dalat Milk and its partners, all processes and documentation were manual and paper-based, there was no systematic way of tracking and record keeping. At farmers level, documentation was 100% manual. At the milk collection centre, track and trace data capture was 85 % manual, data were not linked together: could not be traced back to the origin - the farmer, the raw milk cylinder, and the cow. At the Dalat Milk factory, at the distribution centre and at retailers, production and procurement planning were all 70% Excel-based.

With the implementation of GS1 standards, including Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), Global Location Number (GLN), Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC), Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI), information from all milk production stages has become fully available. The introduction of the Information Sharing Traceability System has enabled producers and other supply chain actors to electronically input product history information into a central database, control information exchanged, and communicate verified information about product hygiene, safety and quality - in order to reduce cost, minimise paperwork errors and save time.

The Dalat Milk reported that the introduction of the traceability system provided better traceability of products, supported the QA team’s quality control activities, and improved the efficiency of accessing, retrieving, processing, managing data more quickly and conveniently. Manual operations and paperwork reduced: at the milk collection centre, processing time by employees reduced to 50% and paperwork reduced by 70%. At the Dalat Milk Factory, manual paper-based documentation decreased by 80%.

GS1 standards help La Juvenil strengthen brand credibility and open new business...

La Juvenil, a producer of fresh pasta and Italian food specialties in Argentina, was seeking for a traceability solution that could guarantee high quality of its products. In addition to that, La Juvenil was struggling with paper-based processes resulting in operational inefficiencies.

With the objectives to better serve customers, improve operations and set the company for further growth, La Juvenil relied on GS1 standards to automate ordering and fulfillment operations, and to enable traceability.

La Juvenil adopted a range of GS1 standards, including GTIN, SSCC, GS1-128 barcodes encoded with lot numbers and expiration dates, and GS1 EDI order-to-cash. Implementation covered complete digitalisation of the production process, including orders from customers and deliveries.

With digitalisation of the production process, efficiency rates went up to 95%, returns due to errors went down to zero and, as a result, customer satisfaction improved. With improved processes and spared resources, La Juvenil can now focus on innovation development that grows business and revenues.

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