RFID Tracking Solution from SERFIDES Protects Against Grey Import

Articles | By Serfides | 15 May 2013
Original or fake? Surveys performed by Serfides estimate a dark figure of more than 98 percent. Original or fake? Surveys performed by Serfides estimate a dark figure of more than 98 percent. Photo: Andrey Bandurenko /

Code against pirate products

Brand manufacturers are massively affected by counterfeits and grey imports. The estimated damage runs into billions. Increasingly fake products are found accidentally. „Due to the widespread dealer network, conventional methods hardy provide a chance to check the authenticity of goods“, Richard Doll, Managing Director at Serfides explains. „Our solution offers two different advantages: It enables simple authentification and protects against grey imports.“

The OECD estimates that the direct damage caused by traded pirate products will amount 304,1 billion Euros in 2015. Which is the need of trade for solutions against grey imports?

Worldwide manufacturers require a tracking system to protect their supply chain from fake products being smuggled in. Furthermore there's a demand for solutions which help to prevent grey import of regular goods in unwanted ways. Conventional methods such as barcode don't enable localization. We want to close these vulnerabilities which means that processes need to be designed in a way which makes them save from attacks.

Which solution does Serfides offer to enable such a security?

Our system adds information about time and delivery to a unique code which is saved on an RFID tag on the product. At the beginning of the supply chain the tag is mounted on the product and collects further logictical data at other RFID read spots within the chain. The manufacturer can compare this history with his expectations. If for instance the goods arrive in Marseille instead of Rotterdam, this might indicate that they were smuggled in illegally.

You claim that conventional technology is insufficient. Which are the advantages of RFID?

Technical measures haven't been improved for a long time. Seals, logos or holograms can be falsified within a few hours or days and they provide no proof of authenticity. Also analyzing the chemical composition is way too complicated. We claim: It must be possible to proof authenticity without expert knowledge, simply and fast by reading the code with a reader. This means, the verification is carried out at the back-end. No knowledge of product details is required.

Is there a benefit for the retailer as well?

Retail can even solve multiple competitve problems by means of RFID: theft, logistics and pirate products. Thus the aquisition pays off in many ways regarding the ROI: Our IT based system fits into the existing infrastructure. The only slight change is the chip's memory size.

Which partners do you cooperate with?

We're effectively networked with tag manufacturers and we've already implemented an interface with the company Tagnology into which the middleware Tagpilot fits directly. There are more to come. We also see another business field here. We provide the IT system for system integrators that can offer the solutions to their customers as added value.

Key word customer loyalty: Which business models are possible in retail?

Using an RFID tag which is readable with NFC, the end customer could register himself and in this way verify the product's authenticity. In return he receives loyalty points in the shop. From my point of view this solution would constitute a major step forward for retail regarding the technical implementation of customer loyalty.

The complete report was published in the February issue 2013 of the magazine „RFID im Blick".

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 09:48