Why are more and more agrochemical companies embracing traceability solutions?

The agrochemical industry

Consumers are increasingly curious and concerned about the products they purchase, where these products come from and where they will end up. This has motivated many companies to assess their supply chains to identify areas for improvement.

In the agrochemical industry, a desire to source products that are safe, sustainable and ethical has led to a greater understanding of the need to provide the supply chain visibility required to meet evolving consumer expectations.

Supply chain visibility is key because it addresses some of the biggest and most immediate challenges of the agrochemical industry:

 

  • NEED FOR FASTER AND MORE RELIABLE AUTOMATIC DATA RECORDING 
  • CHALLENGES WITH ELECTRONIC DATA EXCHANGES BETWEEN TRADING PARTNERS
  • HIGH MARKET SHARE OF ILLEGAL CROP PROTECTION PRODUCTS (ESTIMATED AT ~ 10% ) 
  • INVENTORY MANAGEMENT (FORECAST, REAL-TIME DATA, ETC.) 
  • REGULATION IN THE CROP-PROTECTION INDUSTRY
  • NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY IN RETURN FOR CUSTOMER CREDIBILITY AND SATISFACTION 

 

To meet these visibility challenges, more and more agrochemical companies are discovering and adopting traceability solutions.

What are traceability solutions?

In very simple terms, traceability solutions help collect data at different points along the supply chain. Products, their components and their various packaging levels are given unique identification numbers (serial numbers), which facilitates the visibility and control of individual items and batches. Companies may be interested in serializing their single, lowest level of packaging or a series of single items, such as fibreboard cartons, covered or banded pallets, film-wrapped trays, crates of bottles, etc. It all depends on the goals of each business.

The product’s data is gathered and linked to a traceability database that digitizes all the pertinent information, which can then be used to provide transparency and streamline the process of sharing information. This data can then be securely accessed and leveraged to inform real-time decisions to optimize processes and improve accountability.

How does the agrochemical industry benefit from traceability?

Fast, accurate and timely information about production, distribution and consumption can be converted into efficiency gains in any industry, and the agrochemical sector is no exception. Nothing is more central to the effectiveness of a supply chain than the ability to share accurate, relevant, understandable and timely information among its various stakeholders. But when it comes to traceability, the list of benefits goes on:

 

 

Example of traceability solutions implemented in the agrochemical industry

Containers of an agrochemical company receive an individual identification number (serial number), which allows the company to track the product’s entire journey through tailored software, providing visibility on when they leave the plant up to when they reach the customer. Once emptied, these containers can be collected, sent back for reuse and tracked along their journey thanks to traceability technologies, thus allowing for a single container to return to the production line countless times.

In this case, the implementation of a traceability system has allowed the company to save immensely by avoiding the acquisition of new containers, which in turn also means less waste and emission of carbon dioxide.

Read more about traceability

About OPTEL

Founded in 1989, OPTEL GROUP is a leading global provider of supply chain traceability systems and a Certified B Corporation, making it part of a global movement of companies dedicated to using the power of business to do good in the world.

Thanks to its 30 years of experience, the expertise of its people, and the innovative technologies it continues to develop, OPTEL provides granular data at every step of the supply chain — from raw materials to the consumer and beyond.