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Traceability tools

About the report

This report was written by Peak 63 on assignment by Circular Movement and Textile & Fashion 2030
in spring 2023, to support Swedish textile companies in the implementation of digital systems for
traceability and supply chain mapping, a rapidly growing field where new solutions are presented on
a weekly basis and new regulations are radically changing the game radically over the next couple of

The analysis in this report is based primarily on four sources: Extensive web searches for traceabilityrelated tools, a textile industry webinar on traceability, and interviews and email exchanges with tool providers, industry organizations and textile companies. A small base of scientific research was
gathered as background to the report, but since the market for traceability tools is quite new and
rapidly growing, and the level of implementation in textile industry is still quite low, we have not
found extensive research sources to cite or refer to.

When referring to digital tools for supply chain mapping, product data exchange and building
product/data traceability, we have not found a concise, standardised, research validated language.
Therefore, there are a several different expressions and concepts mentioned in the report. As a
general description of tools that contribute to traceability, we use the term Traceability Tools. This
term can be interpreted in a wider sense to include other types of tools and systems that contribute
to traceability or have some of the characteristics for traceability integrated.

Purchasing a traceability tool in four steps

  1. Define your traceability tool needs
  • Involve people from different functions and departments of the company.
  • Use the guidance report Traceability tools for textile supply chains to get
    a common knowledge base.
  • Identify the key challenges that the tool should solve.
  • Create a priority list.
  • Map your IT environment and potential traceability data exchange points.
  • Identify internal work processes, goals and policys that might affect your
    choice of tools.
  • What kind of materials, products and supply chains are you tracking?
    Should you choose textile-specific, or more generic traceability tools?

2. Identify possible tool providers

  • What types of tools can solve your key challenges?
  • Are there specific functionality or integration requirements you need to meet?
  • Use the tool list to find tools matching your needs.

3. Compare different tool options

  • Create a list of questions for the supplier based on your needs.
    Example questions are available in the guidance report.
  • Meet with your nominated suppliers for demo and Q&A sessions.
  • Summarize the results

4. Decide and implement your tool

  • Discuss the different options with key internal stakeholders and decide your way forward.
  • Set up an implementation plan together with the chosen tool supplier.
  • Make sure to have the resources for the agreed implementation, internally and other concerned.

Four main tool types of traceability

  • Supply chain mapping systems
  • Product/material traceability systems
  • Physical tracer technologies
  • PDM and PLM systems