Serialization initiative makes progress towards uniform track and trace model

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

Serialization will be required in the US next year and in Europe in 2019. (Image: iStock/Oleksiy Mark)
Serialization will be required in the US next year and in Europe in 2019. (Image: iStock/Oleksiy Mark)

Related tags: Standardization

The initiative brought together competing vendors working “side by side,” focusing on a common goal of creating industry-wide standards.

Founded in 2015, the Open Serialization Communication Standard (Open-SCS​) Group is made up of sector companies working to standardize packaging line serialization​ and aggregation data exchanges.

Current member companies include, Advanco, Antares Vision, OCS, Omron, Optel Vision, Systech, TraceLink, and Werum IT Solutions, as well as several pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The charter of the group was focused on setting and defining the mission as well as the initial points of action – to make sure we were all in synergy with other standardization bodies such as GS1, Open UA, etc​.,” Adriano Fusco, Marketing Director for the Open-SCS Group, and Antares Vision's Strategy and Development Director, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.

"This helps us avoid any duplication/overlapping with other standardization initiatives that would, ultimately, only result in confusion rather than progress​,” he added.

Following the group’s most recent meeting in Princeton, NJ, the organization has reported that it is making progress towards its end goal: developing an open source standard in the Packaging Serialization Global Name Registry and a set of subscription-based work products.

Fusco said the meeting was incredibly productive. “Experts of competing vendors were sitting side by side all cooperating for a common goal and contributing with material that often contains their proprietary know how​,” he added.

However, the main challenge will likely be continued availability of the specialists of each vendor to drive the project. 

We are in a moment where the demand of the market is very high and dedicating such critical resources to the group rather than to the internal development is very difficult​,” explained Fusco. “In other words, the main challenge is that we’re all incredibly busy​.”

Moving forward, Fusco said the path is still long,as the number of use cases to work on will continue to grow. “Different regulations, different data, ERP systems, procedures will require a exceedingly thorough work​,” he added. “There are scores of scenarios, factors and variables to consider as we move toward something that can be seen as comprehensive​.”

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