Their responses provide an insight into the current state-of-play across different industry sectors and indicate the value that companies put on serialization when it comes to fighting -product and brand piracy.  Commenting on the survey outcomes, Reinhold van Ackeren of METTLER TOLEDO PCE says: “From our research, one thing is quite clear: serialization of products will grow. In some cases, such as the food sector, it has already become a significant area for investment outside of the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry where it originated. Not only does serialization help to protect against counterfeit products entering the market, but it can also secure against grey market sales and help identify breakdowns in the supply chain.”

Setting the stage for serialization


According to the World Customers Organization (WCO), counterfeits make up a total of around seven percent of world trade. The economic damage caused by this for both manufacturers and brand owners amounts to hundreds of billions (EUR) each year. In 2015 alone, counterfeits in the global ¬smartphone market resulted in lost ¬sales of around 45 billion EUR.

¬While serialization solutions cannot stop counterfeiting, they are a powerful weapon in the fight against product and brand piracy – as the results of the METTLER TOLEDO PCE Track & Trace Survey make clear. 

Key takeaways from the survey results are:

• A majority of the companies surveyed anticipate new serialization requirements. A third of those surveyed would welcome legal requirements on serialization for their own industry. 

• Large retailers could become key market drivers for serialization solutions through requirements for their suppliers.

• Companies consider the most important advantages of serialization to be protection against brand and product piracy and greater transparency in the logistics chain.

• A majority of those surveyed admitted that they or their industry were already affected by counterfeiting; a quarter of these respondents even reported massive disruptions.

• There is a need for information as to what opportunities serialization offers in the fight against counterfeits and unauthorized sales channels, as well as to what the limits of these solutions are.

• When implementing serialization, companies consider the total package, including hardware, software, and service. Flexibility and ease-of-use in software -are particularly important to them.

• Experience in serialization projects ¬that have already been implemented is a top priority ¬when selecting a project partner. 

• The IT infrastructure required to manage serialization data in the medium and long-term ¬is¬ frequently underestimated.

• More information is needed on how end-to-end verification can be implemented at the product level with partners across the supply chain.

• High implementation costs make it difficult to introduce serialization solutions for ¬products with a low price -point.

The results of the survey are available now to download for free, from