In an industry as competitive and fast-paced as Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), standing out from the crowd requires innovation and adaptability. The cracks in the CPG supply chain were exposed long before the global pandemic struck, but the events of the past year only exacerbated the weaknesses. Paper-based systems crumbled under pressure, recovery efforts stumbled, and supply chains worldwide ground to a halt. It was clear that traditional software
solutions fell short, merely parroting buzzwords without offering real solutions. In this landscape of disruption, inflation, and ever-changing regulations, a beacon of hope emerged: TraceGains and its networked ingredients marketplace.
Founded in 2008, TraceGains recognized that the CPG industry needed a reimagined supply chain platform accessible to businesses of all sizes. Their vision was to create a solution that harnessed the power of curated international data sources and the network effect, fostering greater efficiency, resilience, and sustainability within the business ecosystem. By connecting individuals and information, TraceGains empowers teams to work smarter, offering global technology solutions that reduce supply chain risk, accelerate business processes, and provide data control. Equally as important, users have answers at their fingertips so they can make decisions and act without delay. Remarkably, Brands typically find nearly 80% of their suppliers already on the TraceGains Network, enabling instant connection and collaboration. If not, TraceGains rapidly gets the percentage up to increase value.
Coming into this year, TraceGains is seeing essential shifts in innovation and new product development. Companies are taking a different market posture, and experts are sensing that this year will be a positive change, away from reactive postures due to supply chain disruptions. See the TraceGains CPG Food & Beverage Industry Survey to determine how companies improve. TraceGains started the year with a fresh point of view: the supply chain had been breaking for years. A fragile string of strained relationships recorded in filing cabinets was giving way to a dynamic global network. TraceGains held the keys to the path forward.
They have recently deployed an innovative Networked Product Development (NPD) module helping manufacturers accelerate product innovations built on the unique TraceGains Network architecture. And fortunately, as manufacturing brands and suppliers entered 2023, the focus returned to innovation.
TraceGains Gather™ serves as the epicenter where professionals in R&D, procurement, quality, and regulatory departments join forces with suppliers and co-manufacturers to bring innovative products to market safely. With access to thousands of supplier locations and data sources, this dynamic platform facilitates vendor qualification, precise sourcing of raw materials, items, and ingredients, sample requests, specification negotiations, and automated document collection.
“TraceGains is revolutionizing CPG supply chain agility by giving users immediate access to data, insights and information they need to act and make decisions. Millions of individuals working across hundreds of thousands of processing sites rely on a vast network of global suppliers, making rapid and reliable information exchange mission critical at every step of the farm-to-fork journey.” Says Gary Iles, SVP Marketing and Business Development at TraceGains.
For 15 years, TraceGains has been at the forefront of providing holistic networked solutions for global brands, enabling speed and control over compliance and product development. The network, comprising over 61,000 supply chain locations and 450,000+ ingredients/items, fosters agility, resilience, and sustainability, making it a crucial component of the modern supply chain ecosystem.
The strength of TraceGains lies in its powerful solution, which addresses the interconnected nature of the global food and beverage supply chain. For instance, when conflicts or natural disasters disrupt the availability and pricing of specific ingredients, the ripple effects are felt throughout the entire industry. TraceGains takes the guesswork out of locating alternative materials and verifying their reliability, offering data-driven solutions that map global risk and regulatory alert data directly to specific ingredients and suppliers. This accelerates sourcing changes, equipping companies with the tools they need to manage ingredient cost and availability effectively.
As a networked ingredient marketplace, TraceGains Gather™ provides buyers and suppliers with an efficient platform for connection and transactions. When economic challenges or supply chain disruptions arise, the community turns to TraceGains for enhanced business efficiencies, collaborative supplier relationships, and the discovery of new ingredients meeting demanding specifications. This organic growth of the network, driven by the network effect, benefits all participants by increasing the overall value and opportunities for connection. The TraceGains Network has evolved into the largest Food & Beverage network globally, serving as the go-to gathering place for industry professionals.
It’s important to remember the interconnected nature of the global food and beverage supply chain in this context. When the conflict in Ukraine first erupted, there were immediate and obvious impacts on the availability and price of sunflower oil, for example. But the secondary effects are no less significant, as prices and availability have also been impacted for viable substitutes such as canola and soy oils, which in turn were affected by drought conditions in Brazil. Grain prices, likewise, have a disproportionate effect on animal feed, driving price increases in proteins and dairy. The bottom line is that suppliers, material manufacturers, brands, and everyone in between have had to become nimbler, not only in finding new sources of supply but in qualifying and onboarding new suppliers and ingredients.
To ensure seamless collaboration, TraceGains has invested significantly in their patented PostOnce® technology, which serves as the backbone of their platform. This innovative technology allows suppliers to effortlessly share documentation with all their buyers, eliminating repetitive tasks and streamlining processes. Any changes made to documents automatically cascade to the intended recipients, ensuring everyone has access to the most up-to-date information. The PostOnce® technology empowers CPG suppliers to fulfill information and documentation requests from all customers simultaneously, leveraging the power of the TraceGains Network.
By embracing TraceGains Gather™, teams can bid farewell to static tools and embrace a networked platform that automates and streamlines supply chain collaboration. Standardizing data and digitizing information and documents facilitate seamless tracking and transform them into valuable digital records. These records power configurable dashboards and reports, providing crucial business insights and fueling faster, better product innovation. To maintain accuracy and relevance, TraceGains’ Standardized Documents and Forms are overseen by an Advisory Board consisting of industry experts from leading brands and suppliers.
Towards the Future
As TraceGains continues its journey, the focus remains on growth and innovation. The company remains committed to its customers, investing in further enhancing enterprise capabilities. Additionally, TraceGains actively engages with the vibrant food and beverage startup scene, ensuring emerging brands have access to cost-effective solutions that allow them to leverage the power of TraceGains. Aggressive moves in the UK, EU, and Latin America highlight the company’s dedication to global ESG standards.
Already making waves in the industry, TraceGains Gather™ offers foundational capabilities as a free service to the Food & Beverage and Dietary Supply Chain. In July, the company will introduce new paid services, enabling smaller companies and startups to access enterprise capabilities and unlock the full potential of TraceGains. Furthermore, the upcoming launch of supply chain maps will empower users to visualize supplier locations and nearby resources. With multiple tiers of service, companies and suppliers can seamlessly integrate their operations into the TraceGains ecosystem, enjoying the enhanced features that suit their needs.
In a world where connectivity and adaptability are paramount, TraceGains Gather™, their networked ingredients marketplace, stands as an indispensable and transformative component of the CPG supply chain. Through collaboration, innovation, and a dedication to empowering businesses of all sizes, TraceGains is revolutionizing the industry, paving the way for a more agile, resilient, and sustainable future.
SVP Marketing and Business Development