Francesco blog

March 17, 2021

Why is a game changer for introducing transparency into supply chains

Francisco Melo, Vice President and General Manager, Avery Dennison Smartrac

Today marks a significant milestone in the history of Avery Dennison as we launch our first ‘born in the cloud’ digital venture.™ represents a reimagining of how Avery Dennison sees the future of supply chains with true end-to-end transparency of products from source to the consumer — powering new experiences and revenue models. In addition we want to play our part in ensuring that as little as possible of the world’s precious resources are wasted and help contribute to a more sustainable future.

So, with this lofty ambition how are we going to bring it to practice? Simply put, is an open platform for creating, assigning, and managing unique digital identities for every physical item in the world. It will mean that consumers can check everything from product provenance to authenticity. For example, they could access details about care and content instructions for apparel items, obtain expiry and recall information for perishable products, and enjoy unique consumer experiences based on the specific context of each product interaction. It’s empowering for consumers who increasingly want to make more informed choices about the products they enjoy. But equally it’s empowering for brands that want to demonstrate transparency to their customers, investors and regulators and launch new revenue models based on the use or re-use of their products, e.g. D2C eCommerce.

Already at launch is managing over 10 billion unique items and adds over 50 new items to the connected product cloud every second. We are delighted to name adidas as one of our first customers. The sportswear giant is in the process of ensuring every single one of the 1.2 billion products it produces every year will have a digital identity. It will mean that via its Infinite Play initiative it will buy-back products from consumers, and re-sell them again, providing them with a second life. In fact, adidas is not alone in using at launch — we have several other apparel companies in the world exploring how to use it to improve their businesses.

But the uses of go far beyond apparel, with it also being deployed for food supply chain traceability and developed for real-time temperature monitoring for individual COVID-19 vaccine vials. In fact, is applicable to virtually every vertical sector and company size.

Why has this not been possible up to now? Supply chains are complicated and not least because of different technologies that don’t ‘talk’ to each other. What we call ‘digital triggers’ – the label or tag that provides unique product information such as UHF RFID, NFC or even QR codes – are normally managed by different systems. brings them altogether so all item-level events and product data can be connected in one end-to-end platform. Francesco blog

The platform ships with many modules today which help achieve business objectives like consumer engagement, operational excellence, brand protection, and circularity. Crucially, however we recognize Avery Dennison does not have all the answers to every unique circumstance and use case which is why the platform is open to customers, third party developers, partners and even competitors to build their own modules within via our new ‘app store’. This will unlock every connected product use case imaginable, and developers and partners now have the ability to build on top of's end-to-end platform and unlock new channels for growth.

Finally, why the name ‘atma’? In Sanskrit it means ‘soul’ and aligns to our vision where the unique digital ID becomes the soul that stays consistent throughout a product's lifecycle – from raw material to finished goods and beyond. You can find out more from the people that created it by watching this video

Speak with one of our experts to explore how our technology can help to reimagine your supply chain.




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