France-based Trace One is a world leader in complex supply chain collaboration between retailers and suppliers. Meeting with Antoine Daviet, product marketing director of Trace One, Mr. Daviet shed light on Trace One’s watchful position in a “world that moves very quickly,” and how the company ambitiously and accurately “detects retail developments in advance” and aims to prepare the entire sector for the changing demands of consumers.
The world of mass retail has changed at a record pace over the past decade. Faced with evolving consumer habits–driven in particular by the mass digitization of commerce but also due to an emergence of new concerns on the part of consumers–retailers must constantly review their strategy. They must be ready to adapt to the expectations of their customers, whether those be arising from a concern over well-being, the environment, transparency, local economies, or something else.
Trace One’s business solutions provide a solid foundation for companies in the midst of this permanent whirlwind of trends. It has pioneered the development of powerful software tools customized for retailers and manufacturers alike. From that initial idea to products hitting the shelves, Trace One’s digital solutions facilitate and streamline collaboration between supply chain partners every step of the way. They also open an invaluable communication pipeline. “Some trends take,” says Daviet, “others don’t. Things are on the move all the time, and we have to distinguish between underlying trends and each other’s communication strategies, ” he explains.
“Retail is a very fast moving world. Our job is to adapt to changes, to anticipate them, and to provide data-driven information to our customers on emerging themes.” Daviet also notes that the main trends of the moment relate to eco-packaging, digital and local commerce, product scoring, and new trends in market digitization. Trace One is receptive to these potentially transformative themes, and continues to “position itself upstream” in order to give its retailer partners that same forward-thinking perspective.
Daviet returns in particular to the question of packaging, which has become central to retailers in recent years. In five years, the world of retail (including industrial sectors) has had to reckon with looming environmental concerns and consider questions of packaging recyclability, plastics use, and how ultimately to reduce plastic packaging altogether. “Our role is to support our partners so that they initiate new programs as early as possible,” says Daviet, adding that Trace One supports French retailers who have signed the National Pact on plastic packaging.
“We focus on certain themes and constantly expand our solutions options,” continues Daviet. This is especially important, as trends can feed off each other, like the current boom in product scoring applications, best known of which is Nutriscore. Among the enumerable areas of commerce that scoring has already established itself, the Trace One team expects in particular to see scoring soon expand further into the domain of product packaging and recyclability. “We are extremely attentive to it,” says Daviet. As soon as we see something take hold, we will be ready to update and further develop our applications “.
“We are always looking for opportunities to better understand customers and to offer new services”, summarizes Daviet. The quest is made all the more exciting because these new paradigms are aimed at a better quality of life and a healthier environment. “Now is the time to find solutions that offer concrete improvements to the retail model. And that gives meaning to what we do, ” he concludes.