COVID-19: Smarter Sorting Platform Can Help Supply Chains Stop the Spread

by | Apr 6, 2020

Smarter Sorting’s patented technology allows COVID-19 disinfectant manufacturers, retailers, and transportation partners to optimize supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic with accessible, accurate data. Additionally, to help stop the spread of the pandemic, Smarter Sorting is sharing—free of charge—a data set of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved COVID-19 disinfectants that supply chain stakeholders can use starting now.

For consumers who use disinfectants to fight COVID-19, product purchase decisions often boil down to two questions.

-Will it kill COVID-19?

-Is the disinfectant safe to use?

Before a consumer can ask those questions, however, the supply chain that brings that product to market must provide the answers.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak has thrust the retail supply chain into a state of shock and exposed a system that is ill-equipped to meet consumer needs. As manufacturers struggle to meet production demands, retailers scramble to fill store shelves, and consumers face the consequences of an overwhelmed and depleted system.

Furthermore, essential, well-known disinfectants (such as bleach and hand sanitizer) have steadily disappeared from grocery store aisles, leaving disinfectant supply chain stakeholders—such as manufacturers, retailers, shipping companies—with even more questions to answer.

• How fast can I get this product to a store shelf after I produce it?
• What are the regulatory considerations to consider when shipping this product?
• Can it be mixed with another cleaner I have because I’m running low on supplies?
• How long should a disinfectant remain wet on a surface to ensure it kills COVID-19?

The archaic supply-chain system we presently utilize is not well-suited to answer these questions accurately or quickly. Additionally, the stark reality is that manufacturers and retailers who hope to bring new products to the marketplace to meet surging consumer demands are typically left with one of two inferior choices.

(1) An onerous product registration process that requires weeks—and even months—before a potentially lifesaving product can reach shelves (forcing consumers to go without).

(2) Products are rushed to shelves with inadequate consideration for consumer safety.

 

Smarter Sorting knows there is a better way as we fight COVID-19 together.

In the near term, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, the company is sharing—free of charge—a data set of EPA-approved disinfectants. This is currently the only available source that maps EPA Registration Numbers (EPA Reg. Nos.) directly to Universal Product Codes (UPCs).

As the only company in possession of such accumulated data, Smarter Sorting hopes to empower supply chains with better information to make better decisions.

How do we acquire this information? For starters, Smarter Sorting doesn’t primarily rely on human beings for answers and system inputs, as the current system does. Rather, our company utilizes a combination of technologies that includes computational chemistry, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

This technology tandem results in product data that is far more accurate, quickly assembled, and readily accessible—a data structure we refer to as the “Product Genome.”

 

Knowing that ‘what’ is ‘what’

In essence, the Product Genome is not only a product’s chemical and physical makeup but also how these attributes apply in the real, regulated world.

The Genome is created and authenticated using just a handful of pertinent product inputs by the manufacturer (such as chemical makeup). Upon registration, this information is instantly made accessible to the full supply chain (brands, retailers, and transportation partners).

Genome is essential for determining what works—and what doesn’t—when it comes to COVID-19 disinfectants, as well as how the product is safely and compliantly handled by suppliers, retails, and transporters (from manufacture to disposal).

Perhaps most importantly, genome data allows retailers and brands to spend minutes on a product registration process that used to take days (or even weeks/months), meaning effective disinfectants can reach consumers much faster.

Imagine these real-world scenarios with a supply chain that has access to Product Genome data:

• Retailers could advise customers whether a disinfectant is compatible with another product.

• Transportation companies would know how a product should be handled on an airplane when delivering emergency supplies.

• Manufacturers could potentially modify disinfectant formulas based on the latest scientific research, and instantly convey changes across the supply chain.

Smarter Sorting hopes that by sharing what we’ve learned about COVID-19 disinfectants that we will help strengthen the supply chains that keep our communities healthy and safe.

We’re in this together, so let’s get to work.

Think better data lead to better decisions?

Get in touch. We welcome allies. Stopping the spread requires we all put our heads together.