Track and trace software is made to prioritize real-time visibility of the entire supply chain, as well as end-to-end traceability of products. The best software should also have the ability to integrate with other systems, scalability to accommodate growth, and a user-friendly interface for ease of use. Additionally, it needs reporting and analytics capabilities to provide insights that can help improve business processes and decision-making.
We’ve used our advanced review methodology to test a handful of track and trace software options for ourselves. Here are our top choices for the best track and trace software:
1 Sepasoft - Best Overall
Why We Chose It: Sepasoft’s Track & Trace Module is our top pick because it provides complete visibility into the movement of goods and materials throughout the supply chain. With this software, companies can easily track the movement of their products from the point of origin to the end consumer. This ensures that all goods are accounted for and can be traced back to their source in the event of a recall or quality issue.
Sepasoft also offers tools for monitoring production processes and ensuring that all products are manufactured to the highest standards of quality. This includes features like batch tracking, which allows companies to track the production of specific batches of products and identify any potential issues early on in the manufacturing process.
The Track & Trace Module is just one part of this customizable MES software offered by Sepasoft, allowing companies to have full visibility and control over their production processes. By using a complete MES software like Sepasoft, companies can improve their overall efficiency, reduce errors, and streamline their operations.
2 Antares Vision Group Supply Chain Visibility (rfxcel) - Best for Serialization
Why We Chose It: Antares Vision Group Supply Chain Visibility, previously known as rfxcel Track, offers end-to-end traceability, giving companies the ability to track their products from the moment they leave the manufacturing facility to the point of consumption.
One feature of Antares that we find particularly impressive is its serialization capabilities. The software assigns a unique identifier to each product, allowing for complete traceability and accountability. Antares also has advanced encryption and authentication protocols to ensure the safety and privacy of sensitive data. This is crucial for industries such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and food, where data breaches can have serious consequences.
3 Metrc - Best for Cannabis
Why We Chose It: Metrc is our top pick for track and trace within the cannabis industry. Aimed at government and state agencies, this software uses RFID technology for tracking and real-time inventory management, ensuring precise and efficient monitoring of cannabis products throughout their lifecycle. This system is meant to help businesses maintain compliance with state and federal regulations in the heavily regulated cannabis industry.
One of the key strengths of Metrc is its ability to integrate with other software systems which cover other stages of the marijuana industry, from cultivation to retail sales. This feature allows for continuous tracking of the entire lifespan of cannabis products.
4 TrackRX by TrackTraceRX - Best for Pharmaceuticals
Why We Chose It: TrackRX is our top pick for pharmaceutical companies seeking track and trace capabilities. It offers a high level of security with advanced encryption and authentication protocols to protect sensitive data, a critical feature for industries handling confidential medication information. Its ability to provide real-time VR-driven data, reducing capital investments and man-hour costs in drug traceability, further underscores its effectiveness as a traceability solution.
5 TIBCO Track and Trace Accelerator - Best for Business Intelligence
Why We Chose It: TIBCO Track and Trace Accelerator is part of TIBCO Spotfire, a full business intelligence platform. This Accelerator uses event processing software for efficient and dynamic tracking of logistics processes. Its configuration-driven process allows for quick modification of states and rapid introduction of new logistics products, significantly reducing the time required for updates and adaptations.
We found the real-time dashboard feature is particularly beneficial for operations staff, providing a comprehensive view of network health and highlighting exceptions that require attention. This enables proactive management of logistics processes and improves the efficiency of operations.
What is Track and Trace Software?
Track and trace software provides companies, particularly manufacturers, with real-time product distribution and logistics updates through the use of technology like radio-frequency identification (RFID) and barcoding. This type of supply chain software is primarily used for one of two reasons: determining the location of merchandise or equipment and confirming the arrival of shipped packages.
The history of tracking items through production has been well-documented, as logistics depends upon knowing where inventory is and was. Outdated traceability methods relied on pen and paper, then manually updated spreadsheets. Today, track and trace software creates a single, paperless platform where all logistic data can be reviewed and analyzed in real time. Businesses can always know where their merchandise is going or where their equipment has been.
Note: In recent years, track and trace has been used interchangeably to describe shipment tracking. If you need a solution solely to track packages, please view our list of the best shipping software.
Features of Track and Trace Software
- Inventory management: Tracks all information about items you build, buy, store, or sell
- RFID, QR code, and barcode tracking: Various methods of automated tracking based on scanning technology
- Visual trace graphing: Gain a visualized overview of where products are and where they have been; create custom links between tasks such as parent-child, bi-directional, and peer-to-peer
- Warehouse management system (WMS): Coordinate inventory movement and employee actions throughout a warehouse or distribution center
- Recall management: Create specified workflows for directing recalls or stock withdrawals
- Historical data analysis: Review past inventory data to identify trends and areas for improvement
Best Track and Trace Software Benefits
Businesses that utilize track and trace software can enjoy some amazing benefits, including:
More Accurate Inventory
First, track and trace software helps businesses keep tabs on their various property, from merchandise intended for sale to field equipment. This inventory traceability can assist manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in understanding how their products are moving along the supply chain. The adoption of tracking technology like barcode or QR code scanners greatly increases the visibility of inventory.
Additionally, track and trace software provides paperless tracking, further streamlining the entire traceability process. And apps compatible with mobile devices allow access to traceability records from anywhere in the world.
Better Anticipate Customer Demands
Knowing your inventory levels in real-time has another advantage: anticipating and planning for customer demand. Reviewing historical track and trace data is one way to gain valuable insight into future buying decisions, leading to more accurate manufacturing requests when it’s time to restock.
Real-time tracking also helps customers to follow their own orders as they await delivery. The more accurate the information, the happier consumers will be. And a satisfied customer is more likely to make another purchase with your company, write a positive review, or recommend your products by word-of-mouth.
Compliance with Local Safety Laws
Certain products cannot be shipped except under strict safety and traceability regulations. For example, pharmaceuticals and explosive materials are both tightly controlled to avoid possible accidents. Since different localities have their own safety regulations, it’s important to track different compliance requirements based on where you do business.
An increase in inventory visibility provided by tracking and tracing tools saves significant time and money when dealing with local and international safety organizations. For instance, a delivery driver can use their mobile device to access track and trace software on the go to prove compliance with traceability regulations while dealing with different government entities.
Easier Recall Management
In the event of a recall, every affected product needs to be accounted for to prevent possible injury or accidents among the public. Track and trace solutions make managing product recalls easier by containing records of all products that your company handled. This data can act as proof of compliance and help your company avoid the common risks of product recalls:
- Consumer safety endangerment
- Disruption to business continuity
- Financial penalties and fines
- Civil lawsuits
- Criminal charges prosecution
Track and Trace by Industry
Several industries depend on track and trace solutions to control their supply chain:
- Manufacturers: As part of manufacturing execution systems (MES), manufacturers can see where any product is during the manufacturing process
- Distributors and repackagers: Since distributors are focused on moving merchandise en masse, it’s important to always know where items came from, where they are, and where they are going to avoid costly delivery errors
- Food service: Food traceability measures have to be compliant with requirements set by the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA)
- Pharmacies: Pharmaceutical distribution processes must be compliant with the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which requires detailed traceability measures for the transport and sale of all medications and controlled substances
- Dispensaries: Like pharmacies, dispensaries face strict regulations for distribution and need accurate track and trace methods to show compliance with all local safety requirements
It’s not surprising the industries which most rely on tracking and tracing technology are those facing the strictest health and safety regulations. However, track and trace tools can benefit all types of industries by streamlining inventory control and improving customer relationships.
Track and Trace vs. Seed to Sale
Since track and trace solutions are on the rise amongst dispensaries, it’s no wonder there has been some confusion between this and seed-to-sale software. Both increase manufacturing and supply chain compliance. Both provide detailed traceability measures to businesses. Of course, the greatest difference between the two is how track and track software is designed for multiple industries while seed-to-sale is almost exclusive for cannabis cultivation.