If you're involved in managing a cold chain operation, you're likely very familiar with temperature loggers - those little disposable gadgets that go in the box and record the temperature of the shipment throughout the trip. At the end of the trip, someone checks the device to see whether the shipment stayed in the right temperature zone. We've devised a simple test to see if loggers are a sufficient solution for your company. Try saying the following statements out loud:
"I'm Not Really Worried About 100% Visibility"
Most trackers rely on the receiver to visually check the indicator, or to plug the logger into a computer, download the temperature log, and send it to someone else. Most organizations do not get 100% of the data back, nor to do they have any way of knowing what the logger actually displayed when the box was opened. So if loggers are part of your "visibility" solution, you're likely operating at substantially less than 100% visibility.
"I'm Okay Finding Out Problems Too Late"
Since loggers don't transmit data real-time, no one knows if there was a problem until the shipment is over and the box is opened. At that point any damage has been done and it's too late to take action, whether that means rescuing the shipment or expediting a replacement. The recipient has a product they can't use, which probably means an angry phone call directed at your organization.
"I'm Not That Interested In Improving Operations"
Loggers generally log temperature (and maybe humidity) and that's about it. If a shipment is spoiled it's practically impossible to do any sort of root cause analysis, or to correlate data from different shipments to identify variations that might indicate an underlying problem with temperature control. Did the shipment overheat on the tarmac waiting to load onto the aircraft? Was the box opened on the loading dock? Was the refrigerated container set to the wrong temperature? You'll never know. So you'll never fix the real problem.
Or Maybe You Need Real-Time Tracking
Here's the test: if you found yourself blushing and stammering while reading those statements then you probably need more than a simple logging solution. In that case you might want to consider an always-connected tracker system like Tive. Tive will constantly monitor your goods, send alerts if something goes wrong, and collect data that allows you to analyze your operation start to finish. While loggers meet QA compliance requirements, they really aren't a supply chain tool. While QA is concerned with record-keeping and traceability, supply chain managers are about action - saving that shipment, fixing that problem. So if you had trouble reading our statements out loud, we recommend you take action and find a solution that helps you keep your cold chain running.