In this special edition of Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Technology, we highlight announcements made by B2B Industry Specific Network provider TraceLink.

 

B2B Business Network provider TraceLink made a series of product, organizational and partnership announcements this week concerning the provider’s Work Management application orchestrated by the Opus Digital Network Platform. These announcements were made in conjunction with the LogicPharma Europe industry conference being held this week.

Announcements included the launch of new software applications, milestones in collective intelligence, the release of new Opus platform capabilities, additions to partnership ecosystems and the expansion of the leadership team.

 

Major Enhancements

The TraceLink Digital Network Platform was designed for the ability of healthcare and life sciences enterprises to be able to create inter-company digital networks with a class of software applications developed on a low code, no code development environment. This provider’s Opus platform is a next iteration of the company’s item level track and trace and product serialization functionality.

TraceLink Supply Chain Work Management application reportedly allows enterprises to be able to build collaborative supply chain networks across their trading partners to enhance the performance of their integrated supply planning and execution processes.

Announced this week was Product Availability Intelligence, an application designed allow participating companies of the healthcare and life sciences value chain to predict and react to critical medicine shortages reportedly up to 90 days in advance with greater than 80 percent accuracy over current industry information sources. Created in partnership with leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesale distributors, healthcare systems and retail pharmacies, this application applies machine learning to the movement of more than 30 billion serialized medicines across the TraceLink network of more than 287,000 member organizations.

A new Opus Compliance Framework leverages a low-code platform and Opus Event Canonicals to help accelerate the development of individual compliance applications. That includes the ability to analyze and categorize large amounts of EDI and other transactional information.

Enhancements to the platform’s infrastructure, application layer, development environment and UI framework reportedly enable important improvements including companies to be able to elect data residency from data centers in different geographic regions, initially with Frankfurt as the second supported data region, and seamlessly create networks and integrate and exchange information with supply chain partners across data regions. Localization support will be provided for FIGS and multibyte languages. The company’s Opus platform is hosted on the AWS infrastructure network.

 

Management Additions

On the management side, Karl Waldman has been announced as General Manager of the TraceLink Agile Supply Chain Organization  The executive joins TraceLink from roles as Vice President of retail at One Network enterprises, along with senior leadership positions at L7 Informatics and i2 Technologies. Waldman will reportedly lead go-to-market strategy for TraceLink Supply Chain Work Management.

Further announced was the appointment of Stephanie Hart, currently Senior Vice President at Warby Parker, to the TraceLink Board of Directors. Prior to joining Warby Parker, Ms. Hart was the Senior Vice President of Global Operations at Beyond Meat, where she was part of the leadership team that took that company public

 

Announced Partnership with Kinaxis

A joint announcement indicates that concurrent supply chain planning provider Kinaxis and TraceLink have formed a partnership directed at enabling more agile collaboration between manufacturers and their suppliers. TraceLink will join Kinaxis’s Solution Extension Partner program under Kinaxis PartnerLink.

Kinaxis CEO John Sicard indicates in the announcement that this partnership creates new opportunities for direct supplier and manufacturer collaborations. TraceLink would join a growing community of partners with complementary solutions leveraging RapidResponse in various industry sectors.

Reportedly the partnership will connect Kinaxis’s RapidResponse to TraceLink’s upwards of 286,000 unique healthcare and life sciences entities to be able to support advance supply chain planning and collaboration capabilities.

The goal is to allow manufacturers the ability to automatically notify suppliers to high priority planning exceptions. Suppliers will likewise be able to alert manufacturers to supply disruptions from their supply plans.

Of significance is that this is TraceLink’s first major partnership announcement under the new Supply Chain Work Management application and Opus B2B platform.

 

Supply Chain Matters Perspectives

We view these collective announcements from TraceLink as significant in that they formalize a broader effort in moving beyond a network platform focused solely on product traceability and serialization towards broader, industry supply chain unique process collaboration needs related to end-to-end planning and supply chain execution.

The added scope places TraceLink as an emerging competitor to other healthcare and life sciences industry specific B2B supply chain platform offerings, specifically Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX) and Open Text Business Network. Regarding the former, our Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Tech column recently highlighted GHX’s acquisition of Syft®, a provider of AI-enhanced inventory control and end-to-end supply chain management software and services. The company reportedly will become a wholly owned subsidiary of GHX and join its value-based care division’s portfolio of technology services directed at modernizing supply chains.

It is rather challenging to build out a comprehensive offering of industry specific supply chain planning, execution, multi-enterprise collaboration and decision-making capabilities. This is especially pertinent to healthcare and life sciences where uniqueness of processes and supply network complexities are prevalent, and where needs for regulatory compliance and overall process integration remain imperative.  That is why partnerships remain important in overall B2B platform strategy, and the initial selection by TraceLink of Kinaxis as an advanced concurrent planning and collaboration partner looms significant in the months to come.

 

Bob Ferrari

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Added Note: Kinaxis is both a client of the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group as well as a sponsor of the Supply Chain Matters blog.  The opinions expressed in the above commentary are solely that of the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group.