Counterfeiting and Supply Chain Security
Counterfeiting is an enormous problem all around the globe. Supply chain security from a manufacturer’s factory to a freight forwarder like the trucking or air cargo company to a staging area for a shipyard and back staging then, again, through freight forwarders poses a complex challenge to secure, monitor and track that the goods reach their destination and have not been tampered with, stolen or, worse yet to the original manufacturer, counterfeited.
The despicable act of theft is even more of a detriment to companies’ brands, reputation, and revenue. Misrepresenting someone else’s brand is beyond deceitful and impacts everyone in the global supply chain as well as consumers like you and me. When we make consumer decisions to purchase goods, we rely on the integrity of the goods we select including quality, comfort, and warranty. Counterfeiting negates our ability to have any recourse.
According to Itestcash.com, “Estimates are as high as $600 billion for counterfeit products worldwide with a staggering 7% of all products sold being counterfeit.”
This staggering amount pales in comparison to today’s estimates as that was 2017 and global supply chain theft and counterfeiting has only gained momentum. Counterfeiting costs jobs which has a far-reaching negative impact on societies.
Financial loss, brand degradation, consumer disappointment and insurance claims are not the only negative impact, however. Counterfeiting of medication or other life saving products literally put lives at risk. Nothing tells one the importance of authenticity like COVID-19. It heightens the criticality of security, monitoring and tracking of goods from the manufacturer to consumer at every step of the way.
Inherently, consumers trust that government agencies, watchdog groups, border patrol and crossings all imply authenticity but it takes more to understand the difficulty of anti-tampering when there are so many players, so many processes and so much at risk – or reward if you look through a criminal’s lens.
Technology is the only way to battle these supply chain and logistics challenges. Not just one technology but an array of technology that is adaptive and multi-faceted. For instance, WIFI alone is not enough if one cannot guarantee stable, secure connections 24/7. Cellular relies on towers. When you combine the best of technology together enabling an Internet of Things (IoT) device to transition from one form of monitoring and reporting security status to another, you get layers of reassurance that your goods are authentic, secure and have not been tampered with.
The power of information and control allow for peace of mind and recovery, in the case of tampering. No loss is ideal. Recovery is essential. That is why we created OpticalLock, an IoT device that blends WIFI, cellular, Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Geofencing to secure high-value goods in transit or at rest.
Geofencing is the practice of establishing a GPS-based, virtual fence around a location that enables alerts if your goods leave a designated area. If your goods are in motion being transported, you can establish a certain route or Pathway to alert you if the transport gets off track from your intended route. Otherwise, you can establish a Circular or Circumference around your goods to alert you if they leave your designated vicinity. Lastly, you can establish a uniquely shaped fence that morphs into whatever boundary you desire to ensure security of high-value goods.
We sell fleets of our patented locks, offer various service levels as well as a flexible leasing program for those companies who choose not to outright own products and only want to use them on a project by project basis. This article is a great example of the financial impact counterfeiting has on the global economy.