Applications of labels to trace material flows in multi-echelon supply chains

M.H. Jansen-Vullers, J.C. Wortmann, A.J.M. Beulens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Current developments in society requires increasing information on products at batch level. This holds especially true for the food industry. To be able to meet such requirements, data on the origin of products are an important factor, frequently including details of production conditions in preceding echelons. This paper discusses how code numbers, batches and particularly labels in multi-echelon supply chains can be applied to manage the enormous amount of detailed data which are vital to these usually complex supply chains. The research shows that the concept of labels is much more applicable than commonly understood. First, it enables efficient aggregation of data in complex supply networks. This is important to delimit the start and end of a network and in taking dynamic changes into account. Second, labels add value to the product. In business this concept is already known, e.g. as brand (Champagne, Parma ham) or as quality characteristics (environmentally kind, animal friendly). In information systems, however, application of the concept of a label is only marginally used. This puts too much emphasis on product data at batch level and it is a missed opportunity to contribute to a sound basis for guaranteed product quality
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-312
JournalProduction Planning & Control
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • manufacturing systems
  • management
  • enterprise


Dive into the research topics of 'Applications of labels to trace material flows in multi-echelon supply chains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this