Blockchain and AI Are Key To Sourcing Materials
For traceability initiatives to be completed efficiently and successfully, brands should leverage blockchain technology. Blockchain and AI can allow brands to produce a unique “digital thread” for every product. Once the digital thread is identified, businesses can add the ethical and environmental impact of every facility, providing metrics that are measurable and impactful.
A private blockchain that identifies buyers and sellers from the original source to importer of record will give everyone the visibility they need to track chain-of-custody throughout the supply chain. Businesses can store and manage supporting documents for every transaction, and then create a compliance certificate that summarizes the exchange of products – giving the CPB all the proof it needs to import the goods. Brands can also use the technology to identify supply chain risk, receiving proactive alerts if there’s any unauthorized or prohibited suppliers that might create a Withhold Release Order.
Additionally, CG brands can take advantage of AI and machine learning capabilities to automate the process and capture real-time data to enable better understanding of their supply chain decisions. By using AI, brands can quickly react to changes in regulations and plan for any future disruptions that occur.
Now Is the Time To Maximize Traceability Initiatives
The Xinjiang cotton ban provides CG companies an opportunity to reevaluate their traceability initiatives and invest in blockchain and AI capabilities that can track every product’s chain-of-custody.
Now, more than ever, brands must validate their ethical sourcing efforts and prove to both the U.S. government and consumers that they are supporting fair labor practices. With the right technology, CG companies can confidently trace and certify the origin of products, complying to regulations and creating transparency for all.
Mark Burstein is EVP, industry principal at Logility.