Unisys Sets Sites on Global Track and Trace

Rolls out solution aimed at bridging the gap between supply chain security and business effectiveness

Rolls out solution aimed at bridging the gap between supply chain security and business effectiveness

Blue Bell, PA — October 19, 2004 — Technology services and solutions provider Unisys Corporation has debuted solutions that it says balance the roles of security and business effectiveness in supply chain management by leveraging capabilities made possible by radio frequency identification (RFID) and other technologies.

"Security and efficiency aren't short-term issues that can be addressed by simply putting RFID tags onto the sides of shipping containers," said Joe McGrath, president and chief operating officer at Unisys. "For more than 10 years, Unisys has been working with customers around the world to create cost-efficient and secure supply chains. We believe the real payoff for clients is going to be seen in bottom-line benefits and competitive advantage."

Unisys said it has conducted more than 20 implementations and pilot projects to track, trace and secure goods and assets for government and consumer product and airline organizations. The provider is working with customers such as Sara Lee Branded Apparel, Sara Lee Coffee and Tea North America, Motorola and the U.S. Department of Defense on supply chain security issues.

That experience includes running one of the world's largest RFID-based in-transit visibility networks — a "factory-to-foxhole" implementation across 1,300 nodes in more than 20 countries for all branches of the U.S. military. It also includes being selected to lead more Operation Safe Commerce pilot projects than any other solution provider — two at the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey and one each at the Port of Seattle/Tacoma and the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach. Operation Safe Commerce is the first large-scale public-private effort to improve the security of containerized shipments entering the United States from overseas.

At the core of the new solutions is Unisys' 3D Visible Enterprise (3D-VE) methodology, which, the provider said, gives companies a holistic view into the cause-and-effect relationships between shifts in technology, business processes and strategy.

The provider said its Global Visible Commerce Solutions are designed to help companies increase the value of their supply chains by building near-real time views and proactive alert mechanisms into their global supply chains, similar to a jet fighter's cockpit dashboard. Value is driven by reductions in inventory, out-of-stocks and total landed cost, as well as improvements in customer service and the ability to quickly adapt to disruptions.

By making the tracking and tracing of goods and assets more visible throughout the extended supply chain, Unisys said it is helping companies battle growing threats of counterfeiting, theft and contamination, as well as giving them the ability to more effectively comply with big-buyer and regulatory mandates. The solution is tailored to meet the specific needs of government and companies in the life sciences, consumer product, retail and transportation industries.

The Unisys solutions, which are designed to provide supply chain visibility from manufacturer to store shelf, include the following components:

  • Secure Supply Chain: Vulnerability assessment, strategic planning and implementation of new processes and technologies for in-transit shipment security, perimeter security, facility access and border crossings, port security, worker and visitor credentialization, identity management, and data integrity and sharing.

  • In-Transit Visibility: Supply chain optimization starts with tracking and tracing — the ability to know what's where at all times and where it has been — and virtual warehousing, which extends visibility beyond organizational walls and allows near real-time in-transit inventory allocation. This also includes data management and analytics for real-time exception handling, automated triggers and early-warning notifications.

  • Anti-Counterfeiting: Prevention (stopping counterfeiting before it happens), detection (finding counterfeits already introduced into the supply chain), and response (triggers and actions when threats are detected or suspected).

  • Asset Tracking: Effective management and utilization of assets requires visibility into asset location.

  • Compliance Management: Changing regulations and big buyer mandates for RFID adoption and vendor performance management have made compliance a top priority, along with international trade management and security.
Additionally, the solution includes the following services:

  • Assessment and Planning: Value assessment and business case development, RFID strategy, pilot design, technical design, and risk and business continuity assessment.

  • Implementation: Design and deployment of track and trace, or RFID-based systems and networks. Implementation emphasizes business process change to help ensure and maximize benefits.

  • Infrastructure Outsourcing: Full management of computing and network technology for maximum operational efficiency, with tight IT security to provide data privacy and integrity.
The Global Visible Commerce Solutions include an application architecture that integrates best-of-breed software and devices. The solution uses technology from Microsoft, Manugistics, Intel and Proforma, and it integrates with the Oracle E-Business Suite for ERP and supply chain management applications. The solution is compliant with EPC Global and ISO standards, according to Unisys.