A Victim in the Healthcare Industry

For this manufacturer of a highly-respected international brand of nutritional supplements, consumer safety and supply-channel integrity were being undermined by an organized collusion within the company.

The Issue

The client first attempted to ensure distribution-integrity and product-authenticity by affixing a barcode label to the top of the container in which the nutritional supplements were packaged.

This barcode matched a product identification code number which was stamped on the inside of the container lid, the lid itself being heat-sealed to the container.

Criminal elements within the organization were then scraping-off the product identification code from the inside of the lid, resealing the lid to the container, and removing the barcode label from the top of the lid. The retail-consumers themselves did not know about the product identification code on the inside of the lid, or that the barcode label and identification code allowed them to verify authenticity, or that it enabled the manufacturer to track distribution channels and ensure that product sales were authorized.

The losses to the manufacturer were three-fold: loss of revenue due to illicit internal sales; loss of brand integrity due to internal fraud; and loss of current and future customers due to consumer fears about the prevalence of counterfeit products in the market.

The Solution

After thoroughly researching the problems, and knowing the unique challenges faced by this client, Origins Technologies developed a customized strategy which addresses successfully both internal fraud and external counterfeiting.

A customized nano-dot is produced and hidden at designated place on the product. This dot is virtually impossible to see without having been intentionally directed to its exact location and position, and the particles within the dot cannot be read without magnification instruments. The nano-dots themselves are unique, and are impossible to copy – indeed, not even the manufacturer can replicate the one-time-only random pattern of particles within the dot. During the packaging process, at which time the nano-dot is affixed to the specified place, the positioning of the dot and the arrangement of the particles are photographed and stored in a database. Only a very limited number of key personnel within the company have access to this information.

The Result

The client is now able to determine where in the distribution chain internal piracy is occurring, while a simple inspection processes allows authorized personnel to ensure that every product is genuine.