Universal standards for expressing and interpreting data underpins making supply chains more transparent and traceable. Supply chain data exists in abundance but is often siloed in different systems and formats, making visibility murky at best, particularly between the links of the chain. Supply chains are complex, and the difficulty of facilitating end-to-end transparency contributes to some of the supply chain industry’s biggest headaches.
Advancing the digitization of the supply chain
The supply chain of the future demands a universal language for sharing data, that is interoperability of data throughout the supply chain.
As a step toward achieving this interoperability, EPCIS (Electronic Product Code Information Services) was developed as a global GS1 standard designed to share detailed product information about physical or digital objects throughout the supply chain, whether business to business or toward end consumers.
By using the Core Business Vocabulary (CBV) in conjunction with EPCIS, parties exchanging EPCIS data get more than basic raw data. The CBV adds semantic meaning to the data relative to the real-world object and gives the parties a common language to understand that data. This enables interoperability, allowing for the seamless sharing of granular item-level data and detail (i.e., answering the what, when, where, and why questions that meet consumer and regulatory demands for accurate and more detailed product information, etc.) between players in the supply chain.
Kezzler’s platform natively supports the CBV for all track & trace events, and the existing EPCIS framework has greatly simplified our integration with partners, such as Rockwell Automation and Laetus. Advancing the seamless interoperability of the digitized supply chain, though, will rely on the evolution of the EPCIS framework.
EPCIS 2.0: Powering the next-generation supply chain with interoperability
Next-generation supply chain visibility and transparency demands greater interoperability than the existing EPCIS 1.2 standard provides. The EPCIS 1.2 standard is already broadly employed across Kezzler projects to integrate with other suppliers in the value chain but has required the development of custom extensions to achieve what EPCIS 2.0 will enable with its standardization.
EPCIS 2.0 builds on the previous version of EPCIS, adding support for REST APIs in JSON format, which moves the standard toward better alignment with technologies the world is already using and ensures a greater likelihood of uptake and adoption. This will open the door to new functionality and applications for use cases across sectors and enhanced traceability capabilities.
Among the additions, we look forward to is a standardized way to document certifications relating to the product and its ingredients, an essential building block for supporting digital product passports.
Kezzler works with partners, such as Arviem, to monitor the conditions of a product in real-time, using IoT devices to measure temperature and humidity fluctuations during transit. Now we will be able to receive and share such data without inventing our own syntax.
Although the Kezzler platform has long been able to manage any type of custom data point and format, we welcome the opportunity to adopt broader standards that allow for easier integrations and supply chain visibility. We are ready for the forward-looking changes EPCIS 2.0 will introduce.