• Identem

PNMB InnoVentures Tackles the Counterfeit Market with Identem’s Track and Trace Solutions

PNMB InnoVentures Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of security printing solutions provider Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad (PNMB), has entered the track and trace solutions market with Identem. Backed by 130 years of experience as “Malaysia’s National Printer”, with capabilities ranging from general and security printing to a manufacturing of smartcards, PNMB InnoVentures is now looking to help businesses achieve supply chain integration.

Identem’s solutions are two-fold. It serializes items with individual unique tags in order to allow companies to track their products along the supply chain and allows receivers and consumers at the end of the supply chain to authenticate them.

As PNMB InnoVentures Chief Executive Officer Hedzri P Jaafar explains, “Serialization is the starting point for track and trace solutions. We uniquely identify each unit of a product using various forms of identification method such as barcodes, QR codes and RFID tags.”

“From there, data on product movement is captured when the unique identification tag is scanned by different parties and at various points along the supply chain. The data can then be used to ‘track’ where the item is currently located, as well as ‘trace’ where it came from.”

Mr. Hedzri also adds, “Identem will especially benefit industries involved in security documents, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, tobacco and alcohol or other general consumer products such as luxury goods, skincare, electronics and foodstuff.”

While there are several track and trace solutions providers that have already entered the global market, Mr. Hedzri elaborates on Identem’s advantage in staying ahead of its competitors.

“Our solutions are highly scalable and flexible for brand owners, whether they are operating in low volume or high volume set-ups. For example, our serialization methods can even be applied through existing printing set-ups. Additionally, our partnership with Optel Group, a Canada-based leader in intelligent supply chain solutions, gives us a competitive edge. Optel’s extensive implementation experience with international pharmaceutical companies and other industries, combined with local technical support from PNMB InnoVentures, allow us to offer world-class solutions to local companies.”

In recent years, track and trace solutions have been an integral part of a set of measures to address a rapidly growing counterfeit industry. According to statistics from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”), the production and trade of fake goods is now worth more than the drug and illegal gambling markets combined—it is projected to reach a shocking net worth of USD1.82 trillion by 2020. While not a one-stop solution to this growing threat—the counterfeit drug market alone has claimed millions of lives, particularly in Africa, in making and distributing false medication—Mr. Hedzri is positive of its potential.

“Track and trace is of course not a magic bullet for supply chain issues. But when combined with additional components such as security labels, enforcement activities at points of importation, as well as various forms of advanced data analytics, we can now more effectively detect and deter the trade of counterfeit and contraband products.”

World governments have now heeded calls from business leaders and industry experts to adopt comprehensive policy measures to tackle the financial and humanitarian morass counterfeiting has given rise to. The United States, for one, has already enacted its own bill—the 2013 Drug Supply Chain Security Act—which requires pharmacies to trace the movement of medication in a supply chain and effectively created a tighter national prescription drug distribution bubble.

As the international community looks towards the future of track and trace solutions, Mr. Hedzri ponders over Identem’s own long-term goals. “In Malaysia, we are currently focusing on helping potential customers understand how track and trace solutions can help them improve supply chain and operational efficiencies. We are also looking for intra- and cross-border partnerships—countering the trade of fake products will require us to also work with regulatory agencies by promoting the use of the latest product authentication methods, making use of product traceability solutions, as well as using more advanced enforcement tools.”

Out of all of the company’s goals, Mr. Hedzri’s priority is clear. “We hope that our success will not only mean better protection for brand owners, but ultimately the protection of consumers’ rights and safety.”

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