What are the advantages of digital authentication?

Authentication technologies play a pivotal role in protecting brand reputation, value, market share and above all trust of customers. As counterfeiters use new methods and technologies for duplication it has become highly critical for legitimate manufacturers to utilize the power of digital authentication.

Digital authentication technologies are being widely used by companies across the globe to tackle the problem of counterfeiting. Some of the widely used digital authentication technologies comprises of bar codes, QR (Quick Response) codes, RFIDs, taggants etc.

Among these authentication technologies bar codes and QR codes are being massively used by organizations to secure their products and safeguard and manage their supply chains.

As per a trade report, “The barcode sector of the technology segment constituted the highest share in the anti-counterfeit packaging market; and is projected to grow at a second-highest rate during the forecast period as it is highly preferred for brand protection in almost all industries but especially in personal care & cosmetics products. This is due to the information and code embossed over the barcode and does not allow the covert data to be displayed on the label, making it difficult for counterfeiters to copy. A barcode helps companies to integrate product lines and reduce the total cost of ownership.”

QR codes or 2D bar codes are not much different from bar codes except that they can store much more information compared to a normal barcode. Both these machine-readable codes can be scanned with handheld devices and mobile phones. Perhaps, one of the biggest advantages of these digital authentication technologies is that they provide quick and convenient authentication in real time.

Here are some benefits of digital authentication technologies:

1.Real-time authentication: Digital technologies like bar-codes and QR codes offer instant authentication of the product in real time. This means that you don’t have to wait much in order to check the genuineness of the product.

2.Stores large amount of information: From the name of the product to manufacturing and expiry date, nutritional value and much more, bar codes and QR codes can store a large amount of information which reflects on the screen once scanned. It helps the consumer and other stakeholders in the supply chain to know about the necessary information related to the product.

3.Unique for every single product: Bar codes and QR codes are unique for every single or individual product manufactured by the company. Thus, these solutions give a unique identity to each product in the supply chain and ensure their comprehensive and detailed monitoring.

4.Can be amalgamated with physical authentication technologies: Holostik which is a pioneer in anti-counterfeiting technologies in India offers a unique smart security hologram which includes a QR code and a hologram for two-phased authentication of the product. Quite evidently, one can’t deny the great quality of digital technologies to easily amalgamate with physical technologies.

Why track and trace technology is important for securing supply chains?

Counterfeiting, tampering or adulteration can take place at any part of the supply chain. Counterfeiters can sneak in at any stage and can make counterfeit copies of the genuine product or can tamper with its packaging and contents.  A supply chain is the network of all the individuals, organizations, resources, activities and technology involved in the creation and sale of a product, from the delivery of source materials – from the supplier to the manufacturer, and the final product delivery to the end user.

Organisations and company owners can take the necessary measures to secure their supply chains. Different technology tools can be used as effective solutions to secure supply chains. Since the supply chain encompasses different stages, therefore, it is difficult to individually monitor each of them. Moreover, it is manually not feasible to examine loopholes or any errors in the supply chain.

Of late, different kinds of technologies are being used to secure and monitor supply chains. The amalgamation of IT-enabled authentication technology and holographic authentication technology is being used by companies worldwide. A good example is the use of barcode or QR code technology which not just digitally authenticates the products but also links it with different IT-enabled solutions like track and trace.

Track and trace system is one-of-its-kind technology which helps in tracking and tracing the product throughout the supply chain. The technique provides a unique identifying code (bar code/ QR code) onto each product after it has been packaged. This enables individual products to be tracked from production to the end consumer and helps manufacturers significantly reduce counterfeiting by ensuring products can be easily identified.

Digital authentication through a QR code and barcode take place on the individual product, pack, case and pallet level. Variable and unique QR codes are difficult to copy and thus provide security on each level of the supply chain. Holostik is a pioneer of anti-counterfeiting solutions and provides a range of holographic and digital authentication solutions for securing products and supply chains. Its security holograms enabled with digital authentication solutions help in providing a multi-layered security approach to the product and the company’s supply chain.

Track and trace solutions

The importance of securing supply chains with track and trace technology

People who are victims of theft, robbery, fire, flood or other disasters often complain about the powerlessness they have over the situation. The gruesome situation can create an enormous amount of financial burden and can cause irreparable loss to the individual and organisations.

But just as individuals can take necessary measures to protect their products and properties similarly organisations and company owners can take the necessary measures to secure their supply chains. Different technology tools can be used as effective solutions to secure supply chains.

One of the biggest threats faced by companies is the problem of duplication. Counterfeiting or duplication can take place at any stage of the supply chain. Since the supply chain encompasses different stages, therefore, it is difficult to individually monitor each of them. Moreover, it is manually not feasible to examine loopholes or any errors in the supply chain.

Of late, different kinds of technologies are being used to secure and monitor supply chains. Particularly IT technology in amalgamation with holographic technology is being used by companies worldwide. A good example is the use of barcode or QR code which not just digitally authenticates the products but also links it with different IT-enabled technologies like track and trace, supply chain management, reward management, inventory management, marketing campaigns and other functionalities.

Digital authentication through a QR code and barcode take place on the individual product, pack, case and pallet level. Variable and unique QR codes are difficult to copy and provide security on each level of the supply chain. Holostik a pioneer of anti-counterfeiting solutions and provides a range of holographic and digital authentication solutions for securing supply chains. Its security holograms enabled with digital authentication solutions helps in providing a multi-layered security approach to the product and the company.

ASPA raises concern over the use of barcode stamps in liquor industry

ASAP ( Authentication Solution Providers’ Association ), the leading body of authentication solutions providers has recently raised concern over the efficiency of plain barcoded stamps on liquor bottles which can be easily copied and can lead to horrendous hooch tragedies.

In a recent move, the body has asked the U.P state government to review the current excise policy and the implement a concrete solution recommended by global anti-counterfeiting industry.

According to Mr U.K. Gupta, the UP-excise department had replaced the highly secure holographic tax stamps with plain bar-coded stamps as per the state’s 2018-19 excise policy to implement track and trace technology. Devoid of any physical feature the barcode are not an effective measure to deter tampering and counterfeiting.

He also said that the state government must review the present excise policy and must recommend a solution that is recommended by experts and bodies of the global anti-counterfeiting industry. The move will help in ensuring consumer safety, convenient authentication, plugging leakages in the supply chain and enhancing the revenue exchequer.

Different international anti-counterfeiting bodies recommend the use of a combination of physical and digital anti-counterfeiting technology to curb the problem of counterfeiting.

It should be noted that the state of U.P was one of the first states to implement holographic tax stamps and now they are being used in most states in India.

Source: Times of India

How can liquor industry secure their products against counterfeiting?

The high number of deaths caused due to hooch tragedies took the entire nation by storm. Counterfeit or low-grade adulterated liquor lead to many deaths in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and quite lately in Assam where the hooch tragedy claimed 150 lives.

As per franchiseindia, “India’s alcohol industry is the third largest in the world with a value of $35 billion. The industry is divided into three categories: Indian Manufactured Foreign Liquor (IMFL), beer, and homemade liquor. Revenue in the Alcoholic Drinks market amounted to US$67,661m in 2018. The market is expected to grow annually by 7.9% (CAGR 2018-2021).”

Due to the massive market for alcohol in India, counterfeiters are using it as an opportunity to sell counterfeit alcohol. Counterfeiting of alcohol has considerably increased with the import of high-quality liquor of globally famous brands. Most of the duplicators use old bottles to refill them with counterfeit alcohol. Along with this they also copy packaging and paste new tax stamps and labels on the bottles.

Holostik has been providing advanced anti-counterfeiting solutions to excise departments of many states in India. However, as per new excise policies, many excise departments have replaced holographic tax stamps with barcodes to ensure track and trace technology.

This has led counterfeiters to easily copy the bar codes and use it on liquor bottles. Perhaps, one of the biggest disadvantages of bar codes and QR codes is that they can be easily copied and pasted on counterfeit products to make them look real.

Holostik has been suggesting a combination of physical and digital security to safeguard liquor products. A multi-layered approach towards securing liquor helps in minimizing the risks of counterfeiting to a large extent, this means that if even if a forger is able to copy bar codes then he would not be able to copy the holographic label. Its like two-edged sword which helps in tackling counterfeiting effectively.

Highly efficient digital authentication solutions from Holostik

Product authentication is important to determine the genuineness of a product. Authentication is a process through which a human or system verifies the originality or duplicity of any product. Authentication is essential to effective security as it equips the user to check the originality of the product. Holostik has been a pioneer in providing its clients unique and secure holograms which are impossible to copy or duplicate.

The holograms work as a unique identity of genuineness. The scanning of the hologram will immediately tell the customer if the product purchased by them is genuine or fake. The holograms reflect a unique identity of genuineness. A hologram can incorporate overt, covert, forensic or digital features for authentication.

However, among the many authentication features the most used authentication feature is digital which includes barcodes, QR codes, RFIDs etc. According to a trade report, “The barcode sector of the technology segment constituted the highest share in the anti-counterfeit packaging market; and is projected to grow at a second-highest rate during the forecast period as it is highly preferred for brand protection in almost all industries but especially in personal care & cosmetics products. This is due to the information and code embossed over the barcode does not allow the covert data to be displayed on the label, making it difficult for counterfeiters to copy. A barcode helps companies to integrate product lines and reduce the total cost of ownership.”

The customer can also ensure the security and validate originality by scanning the QR code using a scanner, sending the display number via SMS, or through the website. The customer can ensure security and authenticate the product by scanning the QR code using a scanner, sending the display number via SMS, or through the website.

In order to understand the overall process of product authentication let’s understand the complete process in detail:

  1. First, the customer purchases the product enabled with the smart hologram or smart label that has a QR code or barcode.
  2. At the time of purchase, the barcode or QR code is scanned to check the authenticity of the product.
  3. Post-scanning, the customer receives the message about the genuineness of the product.
  4. Simultaneously, the manufacturer also receives the message about the scanning of their product.

Holostik not just provides real-time authentication but also moves a step ahead by equipping manufacturers with the track and trace technology through which one can keep a tab of his or her products in the supply chain. The technique provides a unique identifying QR code or barcode onto each product after it has been packaged. This enables individual products to be tracked from production to the end consumer and helps manufacturers significantly reduce counterfeiting by ensuring products can be easily identified. Holostik’s track and trace systems have been designed to ensure the best print quality and the highest level of efficiency.