TrackingID – A ProductID-based solution for supply chain tracking and ownership management
The full article was originally published by Gabriela Gambarini on Medium. Read the full article here.
Tracking specific information regarding a product can be a very difficult task considering how big and complex supply chains have become. Most of today’s supply chain still operates with paper documents and archaic processes that slow down international trade and cause a negative impact on the economy. The legitimacy of the data is trusted to the person who recorded it, leaving much to human error.
Even if this information is digitalized, each different entity has its own preferred software and forms in which the original data can be modified, shortened and even excluded of parts that they would consider unimportant. This data is forwarded down the supply chain making it very difficult to track back certain information regarding a product or a process.
The 2018 E. Coli outbreak in the United States and Canada has been associated with the consumption of romaine lettuce and ground beef. The CDC has advised consumers and food establishments to avoid the consumption of the lettuce until more information about the outbreak source becomes available. The lack of transparency regarding where the products have been and how they were handled makes it hard to find where it all went wrong. While the investigation happened, the producer suffers from the cut on sells.
Having developed a revolutionary technology for the identification and anti-counterfeiting of objects (ProductID), we can go further and create a product tracking platform that can be integrated in virtually any existing supply chain.
Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) and Identity of Things are the tools that can be implemented on the supply chain to make it more productive and transparent. By associating each product with an identifier, such as a crypto Smart Card, one can collect all the essential information regarding the product and then publish it on a distributed ledger (the IOTA Tangle in our case), so that in every step of the processit is possible to have direct access to the original data and its history. The information regarding the product’s location and status will be fetched in real time with guaranteed integrity.
By using a DLT protocol, the amount of time that it takes to track for example a food item back to its source would be reduced to seconds, as compared to days or even weeks.
Things Lab’s TrackingID uses cryptographic smart cards that can publish on the IOTA distributed ledger. Those smart cards are attached to products and batches that will be transported.
When the product is ready and out for transportation, the manufacturer will read the card using any NFC reader, including his smartphone, and will log in to its personalized manufacturer’s webpage. There, he can fill his specific form which displays whatever parameter he wants to add along with the product’s geographic location. The card will publish this information on the IOTA ledger and there it will be stored.