Some Industries Can Benefit from the Anti-Counterfeit Measures of Other Industries

by Kim Loughead
Director, Product & Solutions Marketing
Axway

The good news is that many of these industries are tackling the problem head-on, and what they have learned can be applied to the control valve market as well.

One of the key learnings across these industries is that sharing information with partners is critical to gaining control over your supply chain.

Valve Magazine, “the only magazine for users, specifiers, buyers and distributors of North American valves and related products,” published an article last month addressing the problems associated with counterfeit or suspect products in the control valve industry.

Suffice it to say, the control valve industry is in good company. Many manufacturing industries suffer from the same problems: unscrupulous suppliers peddling substandard products, uncontrolled secondary markets, and outright counterfeits. The good news is that many of these industries are tackling the problem head-on, and what they have learned can be applied to the control valve market as well. For example, the technology industry has created a group called the Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abetment (AGMA), which has developed guidelines for procurement and channel management recommendations to help identify, prosecute and reduce counterfeiting and diversion. Other such organizations exist in the pharmaceutical, automotive and aerospace industries.

As mentioned in this article, one of the key learnings across these industries is that sharing information with partners is critical to gaining control over your supply chain. This may be simply sharing sales data and repair records. Some industries where public safety is at risk from counterfeits are going so far as to uniquely identify production units and track the chain of custody of a unit throughout its life. This includes pharmaceutical and aerospace. Standards are being developed such as GS1 EPC Information Services (EPCIS) and SPEC2000 to help industry partners effectively share data. The GS1 standard is cross industry, and may also be applicable to the control valve industry.

The actions recommended in the article are in line with what is recommended for other industries. I would add to this, however, a channel management strategy and technology to ensure you have the capability to track and scorecard your suppliers against the terms of their agreements. This will give you the evidence you will need to take action if you find abnormalities. I would also emphasize the need to share more information across your partner network to gain greater visibility and control over your supply network.

(Photo by Michael Cornelius: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cornelii/ / CC BY-SA 2.0)

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