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The long path towards products' traceability


4 juil. 2023

An acceleration of standards and regulations related to the composition and traceability of products at the global level (AGEC in France, as well as Product Environmental Footprints in Europe or REACH in the USA...) creates a real complexity for companies to comply with.

  • Product data scattered among multiple suppliers or subcontractors

  • Heterogeneity of data for the same product (materials sourced from multiple suppliers or different stages executed by several manufacturers)

  • No unified and pre-existing technical foundation to enable the collection and input of information

  • External dependency based on declarative statements and the goodwill of partners who undertake the collection and input of information (shifting of responsibility), which exposes the company to partial, biased, distorted data or additional costs

With these new regulations, companies are exposed to ethical, health, and social issues in light of renewed transparency.

It is necessary to exercise the utmost caution in the name of the precautionary principle, proceed methodically with rigor, and consider the sustainability of the solutions and processes adopted.

To date and in my opinion, there is no solution that addresses the multiple and imposed requirements.

It is necessary to adopt a mix between a solution that exposes the results to the end customer and a solution tailored to secure, multi-tiered, and differentiated data collection from various subcontractors throughout the product lifecycle :

  1. Ensure that the choice of your information collection solutions is SECURE (in line with GDPR and the protection of your competitive data, protected by access with unique identifiers)

  2. Ask the right questions to understand how  product ratings are determined : certain management rules will need to be amended for your types of products, production, or sourcing. One Size Fits All can cost you dearly in terms of communication and impact

  3. Insist on having access to your source data in order to take action. If a subcontractor is the source of your "poor ratings," you need to be able to identify them and work with them to find alternative sourcing or production processes, or you need to be able to change suppliers. Without exposure to your own data, the collection will only have limited internal value.

  4. Based on the collected data, work in collaboration with the Style or Development teams to ensure continuous improvement over time

While the implementation of these transparency standards may initially appear restrictive, they are expected to become stricter, more widespread, and standardized over time and across geographic regions.


Companies that take the time to structure this new way of sourcing and exposing all stages of the product lifecycle will have a sustainable competitive advantage.


With greater sustainability, ethics, and transparency, driven by conscious consumers concerned about their impact, new modes of consumption are strengthening. It is up to companies to seize this opportunity to organize their competitive advantage for the future.

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