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Should serialisation companies start seeing other people?

By Andy Martin

Track and trace tech and the pharma industry have been in a long-term relationship for years. But is it time track and trace started seeing other people?

Terrible dating analogies aside, serialisation in the pharma space is at saturation point right now.

I'm helping track and trace (T&T) tech companies build their commercial, product and marketing teams, and what I'm hearing a lot is just how saturated the pharmaceutical market is. The tech has long been used to improve the safety and security of the supply chain in a heavily regulated industry. Because of this, though, most pharma companies have already got partnerships in place with some of the major serialisation industry players. These pharma companies are often (naturally) not wanting to move away from their tried and tested suppliers, with an 'if it's not broken, don't fix it' mindset. 

This means smaller or more emerging serialisation companies are starting to target other industries for their tech…

So what industries do they have their eyes on?

The main place is FMCG.

There's a growing need for T&T in these sectors, and it's all based on being able to follow a high-value product through the whole supply chain.

Say you make wine. Expensive wine. If you're producing and selling a bottle of wine that's got a price tag of $200, you need to make sure that shipment of wine can be tracked from warehouse to consumer. This is mostly to avoid counterfeiting - imagine someone being able to stick the same label on a cheaper bottle of wine from a budget supermarket and pass it off as the real deal. If a customer buys a counterfeit bottle believing it's your expensive wine, drinks it and thinks it's terrible, then that's a customer lost and damage done to your brand and reputation.

It's the same story with luxury goods. With some handbags priced in the thousands of pounds (some even in the tens of thousands), and customers paying for quality and brand name, thorough tracking of the supply chain to avoid the risk of counterfeiting is a worthwhile investment for companies in this market.

What does this mean for going to market?

Because serialisation companies are trying to break new markets, this is having an impact on the kinds of people they're wanting to hire. When breaking into a new market strategic hiring is crucial, so it pays for companies to really consider the people and the skills they're adding to their teams. We're finding that typically companies are falling into two camps.

The first camp are those hiring market experts. Whether it's sales people with existing networks, or a product manager with a deep knowledge of the target market, companies often opt to hire people with experience in the sector they're wanting to break into. So for T&T companies wanting to get into the FMCG space, an FMCG expert might be just what they need. 

Others are choosing to go down the skills route, focusing on the specific skills they need in their team to drive new business generally. This usually comes in the form of experienced sales and business development talent, with strong sales and relationship building skills, as well as that all important adaptability. 

We're certainly expecting to see more serialisation and T&T tech providers breaking into new markets this year.

If you're looking to get the best hires in place to help you do just that then get in touch on