The idea of tracking thousands of tons of fish or produce using a pen and paper may seem ancient, but in reality, this is how much of the food industry still operates. The reason? In most cases, it’s just not realistic for a fisherman or a farmer to have access to a computer in the middle of the ocean or a field. But just as smartphones and tablets have changed the daily lives of consumers across the globe, they are changing the food and drug industries as well.
How Mobile Can Improve Tracking and Traceability
Mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, are the perfect medium to replace handwritten records, both in remote harvesting areas and in factories where fully automated tracking is not an option due to expense or other reasons. Some reasons include:
• They are small, portable, have long battery lives and can be ruggedized to operate in harsh conditions.
• In harvest or production areas where there is no network connectivity, mobile devices can store data locally and then sync their data once the user returns to Wi-Fi or cellular range.
Mobile applications are a key component to enabling traceability with a mobile device. Key benefits of a mobile traceability application include:
• Enables faster and more efficient recording processes with optimized user interfaces for the specific task being performed.
• Allows the entire supply chain to be queried and analyzed, both in real time and ex post facto, which is key to increasing accountability and efficiency.
• Connects suppliers within the supply chain that would not otherwise have been able to join the global traceability network.
• Enables consumer engagement. By scanning a product with a smartphone, consumers are able to view the entire history of an item and its ingredients, providing assurance of safety and quality that is deeply lacking in the current market.
As an extension of our IRIS engine, Frequentz’s mobile solutions tie directly into the same robust traceability backbone that we use when integrating directly with a customer’s factory equipment and provide both supply chain and consumer-facing mobile applications to industry leaders in seafood, produce and pharmaceuticals. Most recently, Marbelize partnered with Frequentz to enhance transparency and traceability in its seafood operations and a leading pharmaceutical company white-labeled Frequentz’s mobile application, enabling their customers to verify authenticity of drugs.
As government regulations and consumer expectations continue to drive the world toward more transparency in our food and drug supply chains, mobile applications will play a pivotal role and Frequentz is committed to providing intuitive, mobile systems that continue to make us the leader in mobile traceability.
About Andrew Buck
Andrew is Senior Mobile Developer at Frequentz. He has developed a wide variety of software solutions for government, private industry and consumers with an expertise in food-related mobile applications.