As the world battles COVID-19, product manufacturers and associated supply chains are being stressed like never before. Unprecedented demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizers, cleaning supplies and targeted treatments have sent manufacturers scrambling. And e-commerce has increased significantly across industries, creating the perfect storm for criminals looking to profit from pandemic.
Unprecedented Supply Chain Threats
Regardless of what channel your product is procured, the first line of protection is your packaging. Even before COVID-19, manufacturers were deploying a host of overt and covert mechanisms on packages to thwart counterfeiters. Unfortunately, counterfeiters also have access to these same technologies, which can make fake products look just like authentic ones. It’s increasingly easy for bad actors to introduce counterfeit cosmetics into the legitimate supply chain.
To make matters worse, e-commerce has exacerbated the distribution of fake products with genuine-looking imposters and storefronts on platforms like Amazon. Plus, it creates an ideal distribution channel for diverted items—swiped before reaching their intended destination and sold at different prices. Given the high demand for certain beauty products—or any successful product—diversion is another big issue to tackle.
What if there was a way for manufacturers to quickly add a digital layer of protection to their products that is impossible to counterfeit? A way to track individual items as they move across the supply chain? And most importantly, a way in which anyone receiving the product could verify authenticity before using it?
Failproof Anti-Counterfeiting – Your Packaging is the Key
The answer to all these questions is a simple barcode. Think about it… Every package has some type of barcode. It could be a serialized 2D barcode used for pharmaceutical compliance, a UPC code used for stock-keeping and point-of-purchase scanning, or a QR code used for consumer engagement programs. It’s time to leverage what you already have to combat these supply chain threats.
But how? Printing is a dynamic process. There are environmental factors such as line speed, humidity and substrate that create micro-variations in the printed mark. This unseen noise can be used to derive a unique digital identifier, or e-Fingerprint®, for each individual product. While you may have one million of the same UPC barcode printed on as many products, e-fingerprinting allows you to individually identify each one uniquely.
This solution taps into the power and ubiquity of smartphones. Users can quickly and easily scan these barcodes anywhere in the supply chain using a mobile app. The non-additive nature of the technology represents a substantial cost saving on capital purchase, artwork redesign and change management compared to additive digital solutions like RFID.
Finally, using an element of the package itself means that this anti-counterfeiting solution will not delay product rollout, while accelerating safe delivery globally. Watch this demo video to see Systech’s brand protection solution in action.
Want to learn how other beauty brands are fighting supply chain threats? Fill out the form on the right to download the OzNaturals case study.
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