Using "Track & Trace" to Track and Trace Tobacco Products in Line with Regulations
12. 11. 2020
In May 2019, Article 15 of the EU Tobacco Products Directive entered into force. It imposes an obligation on everyone, all natural and legal persons, engaged in the supply chain of tobacco products to maintain records of all movements of tobacco products so that they can be tracked and traced throughout the Union. One of the largest Slovenian wholesale companies, Tobačna Grosist, also had to adapt to the requirements of this Directive. For the needs of tracking and tracing, we have established our own system for creating and sending notifications to the EU’s central repository.
Tobačna Grosist is an exclusive agent and distributor of tobacco and consumer products, and a provider of logistics services. A daughter company of Tobačna Ljubljana, it is one of the largest wholesalers in Slovenia. Its modern warehousing and distribution centre is located in Črnuče, Ljubljana. The company cooperates with retail chains, service stations and kiosks, as well as smaller shops and catering establishments (HoReCa outlets). Altogether, they supply goods to more than 3,000 retail and catering establishments across Slovenia.
Equipped with Our Solutions Since 2009
The beginnings of our cooperation with Tobačna Grosist date back to 2009, when the company decided to install a new warehouse management system (WMS) to coincide with moving its operations to a contemporary warehousing and distribution centre in Črnuče. Tobačna Grosist keeps a tax warehouse of tobacco products as well as a so-called domestic warehouse of tobacco and non-tobacco products. These two warehouses each have their own SAP system, which we connected with our WMS System. We introduced two parallel lines of dispatching tobacco products to ensure faster processing of orders. The products are first picked by the Touch-to-Pick (T2P) system, whereby the picker confirms the right picks by touching a screen. At the end of the line, additional manual barcode scanning of products takes place for every picked cardboard box, thus ensuring supplementary control of the picked goods. The cardboard box is then glued and closed automatically, and an appropriate identifiable code (unique identifier) is attached.
Compliance with the EUTPD Ensured
Article 15 of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (EUTPD), which entered into force on 20 May 2019, imposes an obligation on all natural and legal persons engaged in the supply chain of tobacco products to maintain records of all movements of tobacco products so that they can be tracked and traced throughout the Union. The information in these records must be transmitted via appropriate technology to the EU’s central repository in a timely manner, and authorisation for the movement of goods must be obtained. For our client, we established our own system for creating and sending notifications for the needs of tracking and tracing – the Track & Trace solution. For the reception of goods in the warehouse, we maintained two lines where 2D Track & Trace codes are captured. The reporting model was conceived in such a way that the notifications are sent both to the primary repository (Movilizer) for the tax warehouse and to the secondary repository (Dentsu) for the domestic warehouse. With the Track & Trace solution, our client’s operation complies with the EUTPD.
One-Step 2D Code Scanning
Upon implementing the Track & Trace solution for the needs of the EUTPD Directive we also upgraded our client’s controls on both lines of goods dispatch. Instead of the manual scanning of EAN codes, there is now a single-step automatic identification of all of the 2D codes in one cardboard box. In addition, we also introduced weighing of the cardboard boxes picked.
Building Long-Term Partnerships
The rapidly changing environment requires companies to respond quickly and to adopt new approaches. Knowing our client, as well as having an open, partnership relationship, enables us to respond quickly and efficiently to our client’s requests for updates and new solutions, to proactively advise them, and to make appropriate improvements.