What is Event-Based Traceability?

Wholechain is designed to help businesses achieve end-to-end supply chain traceability, which is defined by the United Nations Global Compact and Business (UNGC) and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) as: 

The ability to identify and trace the history, distribution, location and application of products, parts and materials, to ensure the reliability of sustainability claims, in the areas of human rights, labor (including health and safety), the environment and anti-corruption.

Wholechain tackles traceability breaking up complex supply chain webs into a series of steps - which we call events. Events capture the who, what, when and where of each activity a product undergoes in its journey to consumers, in addition to customizable data unique to each supply chain. We’ve strategically aligned our event types with GS1’s Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standards to make sure data is compatible with the global trade ecosystem businesses are already working within. 

The combination of blockchain-based data collection, simple desktop and mobile app user experiences, and robust storytelling with Sourceview, means more trust and accountability between stakeholders within the supply chain as well as with consumers. Here's a summary of each of the events that comprise our traceability system: 

Note: While the details of all the events that describe the movement of your products will be visible in Wholechain, the events written onto a blockchain are CommissionDecommissionSend and Receive, which form the immutable chain of custody from source to consumption. 


Commission

A Commission event represents a product coming into existence in its documented supply chain. It typically occurs at the farthest upstream point of the traceability journey - either the point of harvest, or the first time that a product is being documented as itself.

How it works: 
  • A Wholechain user creates a Commission event from a product's current inventory page using a template. 
  • The record of the commissioned product is written onto the blockchain to show the origin point of every supply chain.
Example: 
  • A salmon coop commissions a vessel's harvest of salmon as it is sold to a seafood broker.

Decommission

A Decommission event represents when a product exits the traced supply chain. A common example of a decommission instance is when a product is consumed (i.e. a customer purchases the product from a store). Another example would be if a product is damaged, destroyed, or for some reason needs to be removed from circulation.

How it works: 
  • A Wholechain user selects the item they wish to decommission, and is prompted to provide a reason for decommissioning.
  • The Decommission event record is written onto the blockchain to show the ending point of every traced supply chain.
Example: 
  • A product is purchased by a customer at a retail store.

Transfer

A Transfer event represents product movement internally within a company's various business locations, or partner facilities while the company maintains custody. Products maintain their physical properties in a transfer, they simply move from one location to another. 

How it works: 
  • A Wholechain user selects the item(s) they wish to transfer, and selects the transfer date(s). 
  • The user only has the option to pass the Transfer event along to another internal business location that has been set up in Business Settings, not to any external Network Partners. 
Example: 
  • A product moves from a cold storage facility in one location to a processing facility in another location, both of which are owned and managed by the same company. 

Send (+ Receive / Reject)

Send and Receive events represent when products are sent from one Network Partner to another. Logging a Send event moves product item(s) from a company's current inventory to its sent inventory tab with the status "pending" until the recipient Network Partner either receives or rejects the record in Wholechain. A Receive event is logged when the receiving Network Partner confirms receipt of the product, though the receiving party also has the option to reject it if any information is inaccurate. 

How it works: 
  • Option 1: a Wholechain user selects an item from their current inventory, and selects the recipient Network Partner as well as dispatch date. 
  • Option 2: a Wholechain user creates a Batch Send event from the Sending & Receiving page, where they can send multiple products and items at once. 
  • The recipient of each send record has two options: 1) receive, if the Send event matches what was physically received, or 2) reject, if the Send event record is inaccurate. 
  • Both the Send and Receive events are written to the blockchain. 
  • If the record is inaccurate or missing information, the recipient will reject it, which will notify the sender to correct and resend.
Example: 
  • A shrimp processor ships 3 pallets of shrimp to a distributor’s warehouse, and the distributor confirms receipt of the product and records. 


Aggregate

An Aggregate event documents when multiple discrete products are physically grouped together, typically for the purposes of shipping or storing. The individual items being aggregated are typically identified by the pallet, container other logistical unit in which they’re grouped. With aggregation there is always the intention to disaggregate the items again later downstream towards consumption. 

How it works: 
  • A Wholechain user selects multiple product items and creates an aggregation, grouping them together while retaining their individual properties, and has the option to assigned them to logistical unit or SSCC for shipping.
  • The aggregated product can now be transferred, sent or just stored as an aggregation. 
  • At any point a user can reverse an aggregation in their current inventory by disaggregating the item back into its original items. All aggregations are reversible
Example: 
  • 50 cartons of strawberries are aggregated and loaded onto a pallet for shipment, later to be disaggregated back into the original 50 cartons of strawberries.

Disaggregate

A Disaggregate event is the reverse of aggregation - where discrete, individually traceable products from an aggregation are separated. Disaggregation can only occur after aggregation. Nothing about the individual items is inherently changed, they are just broken down to be treated as individual units again. 

How it works: 
  • A Wholechain user selects the aggregation they wish to disaggregate, and the products are separated back out into the same discrete products they had been prior to aggregation. 
  • An aggregation must occur prior to a disaggregation event in the supply chain.
Example: 
  • 50 cartons of strawberries are disaggregated from a pallet at a retail store to be placed on the shelf for individual sale.

Transform

A Transform event describes an activity that irreversibly changes a product, transforming it into a new, traceable output product with a new Primary ID (i.e. a new serial number or lot number). It could be that raw materials are combined, cut or melted to make a new product, or that a product is packaged for consumption. 

How it works: 

  • A Wholechain user selects the item(s) they want to transform from their current inventory, and is prompted to specify the output product, template (set up in the templates page) and transformation date. 
  • The user can enter the output product details manually or via CSV upload for multiple items. 
  • The new product appears in the Current Inventory of that product page. 

Examples: 

  • At a seafood processor, a lot of whole sockeye salmon are processed into three distinct production lots of packaged sockeye salmon fillets.
  • Traceable harvests from multiple fishing vessels are irreversibly combined into one container of whole sockeye salmon upon landing.

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