The plan you choose to improve transparency in your supply chain will depend on the risks in your business and what problems you wish to solve with the data you receive. For example, do you wish to ascertain the origin source of your raw materials? Do you want to be forewarned of any labour violations? Here are five basic steps you can implement to start you off on your journey.

  1. Risk assessment and Setting an Outcome:
    There are several ways in which you can complete a risk assessment. Often companies will create a plan detailing internal processes and participants and external collaborators and contributors. This is known as a materiality assessment. This can be done by looking at looming hazards due to the passing of new laws and policies, disturbances in the economy, and past problems with suppliers.

  2. Envision the supply chain:
    Once you have pinpointed the problems and itemised them, try to imagine what your ideal supply chain looks like. It will help you better understand the passage of goods, outline the vendors and their intersection of procedures, and reveal any gaps of knowledge. This information should be in line with your chosen outcome.

  3. Gather information you can act on:
    Once you have outlined your supply chain, gather data on procedures and fulfillments that gives you an insight into possible risks, openings for improvement, and knowledge gaps. You may need to track and trace individual elements, groups, or shipments travelling through your supply train to verify chain of custody and origin point.
    As you confirm your chain of custody, you will have to solidify your company procedures and ensure that they are being followed at every step – this can cover anything from the labour policies of vendors to environmental regulations. You can get this directly from your vendors, but of late with the increase in regulations, companies may ask external contractors to implement the former’s own policies and practices. 
  1. Participation:
    Once you have the relevant information, you can now choose how to modulate participation in your supply chain. This will usually entail a plan of action considering crucial KPIs. Companies should be looking to affect targeted problems like clarifying source points, ensuring compliance with labour laws and regulations, and any adverse environmental impact by vendors. You may have to collaborate with outside parties to fill any knowledge gaps that cannot be filled internally. 
  1. Reporting:
    The final step is to select the depth of reporting your company is willing to do. This involves sharing information with shareholders, ensuring fulfillment of governmental compliance, and verification of the reports. The companies have various options at this stage, from sharing company policy to releasing a map of the entire supply chain.


Those are five basic steps you can implement to improve traceability in your supply chain. Do keep in mind that supply chains are ever-changing and reacting, whether it be to changes in the economy ot new government regulations. This process to improve traceability should be ongoing and frequently reviewed. While the implementation of technology such as Blockchain can help in this matter, the final answer will entail the right balance of manpower, data, and technology which supports your desired outcome.

Cosmotrace employs a team of experienced professionals that have spent years working with every part of the pharmaceutical supply chain. We are well-equipped and ready to provide targeted solutions and deliver decision support to your company. Get in touch with us today at:

Tel: +44 203 097 1597


About CosmoTrace

CosmoTrace was formed by an expert, experienced team that has since worked extensively with every part of the pharmaceutical supply chain from manufacturing through to final distribution. As Serialization Consulting Experts, our focus is on delivering the absolute best serialization support by offering long-term serialization and sustainability strategies and providing forward-thinking industry solutions.

We offer premium support and services that can help your business with serialization implementation. Our team of experts ensure that you are up to date with all global traceability regulations and will help in creating a successful long-term serialization strategy.

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