Top 9 Attributes to Look for in an EU Traceability Solution
- Achieving regulatory compliance can feel like an ever-moving target for companies. Traceability solutions are the key to staying ahead of the curve.
- However, not all traceability solutions are created equal. Taking a swift - but thoughtful - approach to vetting a traceability partner is crucial.
- We recommend a traceability solution that provides you with end-to-end mapping, data integrity, real-time tracking, proof of provenance, chain of custody, digitized audit trail, integrated reporting, system compatibility, and flexible scalability.
When it comes to EU Due Diligence compliance - especially in light of recent deforestation-free data requirements - traceability is key. Choosing an audit-proof traceability solution that gives you the data necessary to meet these requirements is the surest way to keep the future of your business bright, sustainable, and compliant.
Top 9 Attributes to Look for in a Traceability Solution
Here are the top nine attributes we recommend looking for in an audit-proof traceability solution. Particularly for EU Due Diligence and deforestation-free supply chain compliance.
1. End-to-end mapping
Any good audit-proof traceability solution or framework begins with supply chain mapping. While many companies have some knowledge of the first few levels of their supply chains - i.e., the supplier or manufacturer from where they source a product or semi-final product – most brands have little-to-no visibility of the rest of their supply chain tiers. It’s crucial for audit-proof traceability frameworks to map all supply chain tiers to ensure full visibility of elements like Scope 3 emissions tracking for downstream suppliers.
2. Data integrity
The right audit-proof traceability framework should track both secondary and primary data. Primary data is source-level data that a company collects. Whereas secondary data is data the company receives from a partner or aggregator. The role of the right traceability solution, then, is to ensure the integrity of both the primary and secondary data you track. Most solutions and frameworks today track only secondary data. True, audit-proof traceability requires source-level, primary data. Otherwise, companies risk unverifiable claims and potential scandals.
3. Real-Time Tracking
Real-time supply chain tracking is a critical feature in a traceability solution. It allows you to quickly monitor your products throughout the supply chain and identify issues. This feature also helps support your quality assurance and secure your supply — from ensuring quality requirements are met to stopping the spread of contaminated products to boosting forecasting accuracy. All of which help you avoid costly recalls and damage to your brand reputation.
4. Proof of Provenance
Proof of provenance — i.e., the ability to have proof of exactly where a product or material originated — is crucial to achieving traceability and compliance. Furthermore, your proof of origin should include verifiable geo-location data — meaning that you have data to prove where your materials or ingredients came from down to the polygon of land where it was grown. A solid traceability solution can help you go beyond high-level shipping data and spot audits, to verifiable, geo-located proof of provenance.
5. Chain of Custody
A great traceability solution will enable you to track and report on the chain of custody throughout your supply chain. Meaning, you’ll have the ability to track and view your supply chain assets moving from source to shelf with real-time data. So you can see exactly where materials and ingredients originate, travel, and end up — and every step in between. Truly great traceability solutions will also enable you to view the chain of custody through transformations — i.e., cotton to thread to fabric.
6. Digitized Audit Trail
A digitized audit trail is an essential feature of an audit-proof traceability solution. It allows you to capture and store end-to-end data in real time – on a single platform or system. And more easily perform internal audits and quickly generate reports so you can stay on top of your compliance. From an even more technical perspective, finding a traceability solution that is also blockchain-based is preferable. Blockchain technology allows you to capture the purest, most auditable digitized data while also keeping it completely secure.
7. Integrated Reporting
A good traceability solution should have the ability to generate reports that provide insights into your entire supply chain, product chain of custody, and sustainability/ESG measures. These reports should be accessible, easy to generate, and provide you with a clear overview of your compliance status. This feature can help you identify compliance issues and take corrective actions to ensure that you are prepared to meet current and future regulations.
8. System Compatibility
The traceability solution you choose should be easily integrated into your existing systems. It should seamlessly integrate with any ERP system, inventory management system, and other legacy systems you use to manage your supply chain, procurement, compliance, and sustainability data. System compatibility will help you streamline your operations and reduce the risk of errors and inconsistencies.
9. Flexible scalability
As the regulatory environment continues to evolve with guidelines/frameworks like CSDDD, TNFD, TCFD, EPR, Scope3, CO2 Accounting etc. it will be critical for any audit/assurance tool to be flexible and nimble to capture changing datasets. Otherwise, companies will either have to continually redo their calculations or project or start over. Look for a flexible yet scalable platform, like BanQu, that offers a metadata layer that allows new parameters to be added easily and keep up with changing compliance requirements.
Conclusion: The right traceability solution can help you multi-achieve business goals
In conclusion, when choosing an audit-proof traceability solution for EU Due Diligence compliance, look for a solution that offers end-to-end mapping, data integrity, real-time tracking, proof of provenance, chain of custody, digitized audit trail, integrated reporting, system compatibility, and flexible scalability. These attributes can help you ensure that your products meet EU regulations and reduce the risk of compliance issues. The perfect traceability solution will not only help you achieve compliance, but it will also help you multi-solve for achieving your procurement, supply chain, and sustainability goals.
BanQu is a traceability solution that helps global enterprise companies drive better business through sourcing compliance insights, end-to-end supply chain data, and auditable procurement & ESG reporting – all on a single platform. Want to see if BanQu is right for your business? Schedule a call with us today!