CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
July 16, 2019
CSCMP Notebook

The age of transparency

CSCMP publication takes a look at how supply chains can become more transparent to meet consumers' evolving needs.

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' (CSCMP) latest Hot Topics publication explores how economic, social, and technological shifts are affecting the way consumers shop.

Written by Angela Fernandez, vice president of retail grocery and foodservice at GS1 US, the October Hot Topics report, "Product Information Transparency" discusses how, in the past, consumers purchased products based mostly on price. Established brands and their advertising claims were accepted as fact and rarely questioned. That's not the case in today's digital world where consumers can find information quickly and they expect it to be accurate.

The author explains that now is a perfect time for companies to shift their supply chain business processes by providing more information about their products to keep up with consumer demands. Providing product information transparency can also lead to greater collaboration and trust between retailers and their customers.

The report argues that by providing consumers with more data, companies can create more meaningful connections between the two parties. According to Fernandez, brands need to become more transparent in order to gain consumers' trust and ensure their brands remain relevant into the future. Fernandez notes that the world is at a pivotal point where "data has become akin to a currency exchanged for loyalty. Organizations need to focus on preparing product data for a longer life-span beyond the supply chain."

Fernandez provides examples of consumer-centric strategies companies can use to engage and retain their customers. Recently, the food industry launched an app "designed to make nutrition simple and personalized by allowing consumers to easily learn if a food product complies with their dietary needs." According to Fernandez, the key to creating this consumer-facing platform was the GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), a network of product information that brands and retailers can use to share product data with consumers in real time.

This Hot Topics is free to CSCMP members and nonmembers. Visit, click on the develop tab, and select Hot Topics. You can search for "Product Information Transparency" and purchase for immediate download.


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