As of 2020, the complexities of the supply chain have only become more prominent with the global network that most companies are operating within. Sure, technologies have facilitated most of this process, but with the amount of parties that may be involved in the development of a single product, it is no surprise that many companies still seek optimizations within the supply chain. Take Bayer for example, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical and life science companies. Imagine the scale of packages that are both entering and leaving their warehouses on a day to day basis. With today's modern technology, tracking just the location of a package seems outdated. As does scanning each package with a QR code. For this reason, Bayer has recently revealed their latest innovation: the smart label, developed in partnership with SODAQ, Vodafone, Arm, Murata and Altair Semiconductor.
With a label barely thicker than a few sheets of paper, this cutting-edge technology contains a battery, (i)SIM, microprocessor, modem and antenna. Yes, you heard that right - a few sheets of paper. The implications for future businesses implementing such technologies are manifold. The supply chain itself is introduced to a new dimension of traceability with additional elements such as precise GPS and time of box opening, amount of box movements and further integrations such as temperature monitoring. Such a development may thus provide a effective anti-tampering possibility that may prove to be of much value in the pharmaceutical industry. The best part? The label is capable of three year worth of operation and automatically connects to the best available cellular network, on an international scale.