Last month, I spoke at “The Conference: CRN’s Annual Symposium for the Dietary Supplement Industry” in Southern California. More than 120 executives from the dietary supplement business attended, representing suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers. The annual three-day gathering is the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s premier event, covering the latest trends in the supplement industry.
Universal quality standards quickly emerged as a recurrent theme. Nagging concerns persist about regulations, new ingredients such as CBDs, standard terminology, product registries, and document sharing. Unlike the automobile and pharmacy industries that have “locked-down” their supply chains, the dietary supplement industry remains as fragmented as ever with thousands of disconnected players.
Three years ago, we identified a series of pain points surrounding the sourcing of materials, managing suppliers, and tracking documents. It became clear that automating these processes and setting standards for terminology and communication would revolutionize the industry.
In analyzing what had occurred in other industries, one thing quickly became apparent: for communications, automation, and standards to develop, there would have to be a network. But for this to work, the network had to include everyone. Networks can’t be forced onto an industry by a committee or trade organization.
Realizing how difficult it is to get an industry to adopt a network, I began looking for a partner and found TraceGains. By a stroke of good luck, TraceGains was on the same path we were on — working to fix a broken supply chain. However, TraceGains has been working the problem longer — for more than a decade — and has had great success in the food and beverage industry. We decided to combine our efforts and take the work we’d both done in their respective industries and create a single product built on a single network. This only works when the problems are very similar (they are) and the suppliers sell to both industries (they do).
In my talk at CRN, I described the TraceGains Network and the speed with which it’s grown — almost doubling in the past 12 months. Today we have 7,000+ supplier sites, 100,000+ items, and nearly a million documents. A supplier only needs to post a document once and it’s available, and automatically transmitted, to all their connected customers. Terminology is standardized, reducing confusion. And, good news for the supplement industry, about 40 percent of your suppliers are already on the TraceGains Network.
Managing documents, automating processes, and tracking expiration dates is only possible if there’s an active network. TraceGains is the only company that has a network in place today. Please give us a call and let us tell you more.