DC Innovation Series Examines Counterfeiting and the Technologies Fighting Back

DC Innovation Series Examines Counterfeiting and the Technologies Fighting Back

The first episode for 2021 of the DC Innovation Series, 20-minute talks with supply chain pros examined a fascinating topic that has not been discussed yet by previous guests: Counterfeiting, and the technologies being used to fight against it.

Jefferson Barr, Vice President of Marketing for Systech International, joined Voxware President & CEO, Keith Phillips, for an in-depth look at the role Systech plays in keeping supply chains safe from counterfeiting. Systech’s technology provides supply chain security solutions to some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and consumer brands to protect the value of their brands and the safety of their consumers.

As Jefferson shares in the episode, “If it’s in high demand, it’s going to be counterfeited.”

Counterfeiting is a huge issue for brands and is only getting worse. More than $1.7T worth of goods are being counterfeited or diverted annually and growing by double-digit figures year-over-year. Despite initiatives manufacturers are putting in place to protect their products, fakes are still appearing and show no signs of going away.

Since there is no “silver bullet” in determining the exact technology to prevent counterfeiting, Jefferson recommends once companies know where they are being counterfeited most and at the highest-dollar value, they should look at a layered approach.

RFID, serialization, eFingerprinting and unique seals and markings are some of the tools that brands use to mitigate counterfeiting. “Companies are using a combination of overt (hologram) and covert (eFingerprint) technologies,” said Jefferson.

One of the factors contributing to a significant rise in counterfeiting is the explosion of eCommerce. While online sales have consistently increased in previous years, the global pandemic has caused a drastically accelerated transition to online shopping.

“There is a direct correlation between the spike in eCommerce and the rise in counterfeiting. The barriers to counterfeiting have been dropping throughout the years due to the lower cost of technologies the counterfeiters are using,” he said.

To make matters worse, it’s easy for counterfeit eCommerce sites to reopen under a different name after being shut down, making this a serious and systemic issue for all brands.

“Counterfeiters can make more money than drug traffickers and face less threat of prosecution,” says Jefferson. “All products in high-demand and low-supply, like PPE earlier this year during the onset of the global pandemic, are a perfect storm for counterfeiters. They don’t care if it’s going to hurt someone or not.”

Though a fake sports jersey may have minor threading issues that won’t cause physical harm, the international crime organizations receiving the profits from counterfeits are detrimental to citizens across the globe.

Set aside 20 minutes today to listen to more about what Jefferson shares on this month’s DC Innovation Series.

As a reminder, you can always watch any of the previous episodes, including the final guest of 2020, Victoria Kickham, the Senior Editor at DC Velocity on Voxware’s website. Victoria looked back at the top stories of 2020 and how various events impacted the supply chain. She also talked about what topics will be trending in 2021.

Stay tuned for a special edition of the DC Innovation Series on Thursday, February 11 as the episode will be devoted to some of the top commentary shared by past guests.

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