Kezzler and Arviem Partnership Shines Light on Path to Item-Level Visibility

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By Tancred Taylor | 1Q 2022 | IN-6405

The next step in tracking deliveries is the item-level traceability, which can be accomplished through collaborations of companies and their technologies.

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Partnership Announcement


In November 2021, Kezzler and Arviem announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to offer item-level traceability of goods throughout enterprise supply chains. The aim of the partnership is to “deliver trusted end-to-end product traceability by combining unit-level digitization and aggregation, with real-time IoT sensor data collected during a product’s multi-modal global journey”. Arviem sensors tracking and monitoring products at an aggregation level (often at the container level) provides greater insight into the product’s journey beyond simply its arrival/departure to/from a customer/supplier, helping to fill in the traditional blank of visibility into a product in-transit. Both companies derive the bulk of their revenues from the European market, which is where the solution will target initially.

Kezzler is a unique digital ID provider with a primary focus on Level Four (L4) serialization—which is to say software targeting enterprise-wide digital ID management. The company offers a platform to create and manage unique digital identities given to a product by means of any form of data carrier, such as a barcode or data matrix, QR code, or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), among others. The purpose of this digital identity is to trace a product’s journey at various points in the supply chain, helping to understand the origin of the product, its batch/lot number, or its expiry date, among many potential data points. These digital IDs are often applied at the item-level as in the case of pharmaceutical products (where the requirement for traceability at the saleable unit level is increasingly mandated by regulations such as the DSCSA in the U.S. or FMD in the EU) or they may be applied at the aggregation level, such as at the case level when transporting, for instance, bananas. The identity enables organizations (commercial and regulatory) to understand the precise journey of every individual product in the supply chain, enabling precise targeting for recalls, reducing counterfeiting, and increasing consumer confidence, among more. Arviem is an IoT supply chain tracking supplier, offering proprietary cellular devices for tracking the condition and location of goods in-transit, with the aim of uncovering supply chain inefficiencies, damage or spoilage in transit, and deviations from planned product routes, amongst other use-cases.

Current State of Market


There is extensive marketing by technology vendors around the idea of item-level traceability in the supply chain, but little clarity on how this is achieved affordably and how frequently data is actually collected on the product as it moves through the supply chain. Furthermore, frequently item-level traceability is cobbled together from the product offerings of different suppliers: for instance, real-time transportation visibility providers (such as FourKites or Shippeo) use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)-based data such as product Stock Keeping Units (SKU) or Purchase Order (PO) number to match a product to a transportation mode, thus tracking the product in-transit, but these solutions are siloed between different systems and the data is never joined up. Large ERP providers such as SAP can offer different parts of an end-to-end supply chain visibility solution (i.e., serialization in-house or through partners, as well as real-time tracking through partners such as Roambee), but data is often siloed to a particular ERP module, and item-level data is not joined up to aggregation or shipment-level data. This goes against the idea of needing a single source of truth for data on a particular product, and this is where the Kezzler and Arviem partnership breaks new ground by filling in the gaps of their respective technologies and by offering a single joint solution enabling visibility into the product from its origin to the recipient of the product.

This is how true end-to-end visibility in the supply chain will increasingly be achieved. The supply chain visibility market is sometimes held back by confusion around the capabilities of different technology types and the marketing of each one as the ‘definitive’ solution to supply chain visibility; the reality, however, is that enterprise customers require more varied hardware and software technologies to address different pain points. In addition, enterprise customers are already generating extensive quantities of supply chain data but are for the most part either not using it/making limited use of it, or requiring extensive systems integration to understand and derive insights from it. Ensuring that signals currently emitted by the supply chain are heard and merging them with new technology can provide the same benefits at a much lower cost and with less disruption to a company’s operations. To this end, partnerships between different types of hardware and software vendors will increasingly be an attractive way forward for enterprise customers, helping them leverage and use existing data, and complementing, rather than overhauling, existing systems and operations. The ability to link the item or case level from digital IDs to the aggregation level is a key step in advancing how companies achieve full end-to-end and real-time visibility into products in their supply chain.

End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility


Real-Time Transportation Visibility (RTTV) software vendors are among those companies looking to expand the extent of their tracking and monitoring capabilities, with several high-profile partnerships with Tive (e.g., FourKites, project44) showing a willingness to ingest more Internet of Things (IoT) data to provide more granular data on a product in transit. ABI Research is also aware of a few RTTV software vendors looking to partner with serialization and digital ID providers with the aim of offering an integrated visibility solution to enterprise customers, providing additional value by creating a digital twin of a product’s journey at every stage of the supply chain. Digital IDs and real-time track/trace solutions are the two key software components enabling supply chain visibility, and they will increasingly be joined to provide a full view of the journey from point of origin to end consumer while going through different modes of transportation, different types of facilities, and different types of stakeholders in the supply chain along the way. As such, vendors offering real-time track/trace solutions should examine how they can partner with vendors offering digital ID solutions, helping to close the visibility gaps and providing a single source of truth for a product’s journey in the supply chain. 



Companies Mentioned