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New Technology Helps Reduce Counterfeit Goods and Product Diversions

Label printer Outlook Group and LocatorX, a technology company developing accurate and flexible tracking technology, have teamed up to launch the LXConnect platform, the primary portal into the LocatorX product suite for product scan, movement, authentication and location information.

The companies said the platform offers businesses a new way to secure global location tracking to reduce losses from counterfeits and supply chain diversions for consumer packaged goods and manufacturing companies. Outlook Group will use its high-speed variable digital presses to print a unique LocatorX certified QR Code on product labels and packaging, as well as for cases and pallets before they leave a client’s manufacturing plant.

LXConnect creates a “digital birth certificate” when a product is manufactured, followed by constant monitoring of a product’s location, journey and change of ownership–updated to every stakeholder in the product’s lifecycle, including the customer. For retailers, LXConnect provides automated, real-time inventory management, as well as engagement with customers. For consumers, LXConnect provides the history, origin and authenticity of products purchased, giving them peace of mind against counterfeiting or damage from any unknown disruptions throughout the customer journey.

Outlook Group has printed billions of custom linear and matrix barcodes on labels for companies in the consumer product, food & beverage, retail and medical industries. The partnership now allows Outlook to leverage the certified QR Code to add a security layer built on a “Defineable Blockchain Log” that provides manufacturers with a verified ledger of all product movement and events through the entire supply chain.

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“Our mission is to help our customers trust, track and find the most important things in their lives,” Scott Fletcher, president and CEO of LocatorX, said. “LXConnect is designed to provide visibility as to where a product has been, who has touched it, and what ‘events’ it might have had–damage, diversions, shrinkage, temperature fluctuations–throughout its lifecycle.”

Fletcher said they have already signed the first customer to take advantage of this partnership–a multi-billion dollar CPG brand that will utilize Outlook’s broad breath of printing and packaging services and the Certified QR Code’s secure log of information to prevent counterfeiting, diversion, and fraud.

The companies noted that counterfeit goods cost the U.S. economy $370 billion to $570 billion and internationally $770 billion to $960 billion every year, according to a 2015 report by International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy. Companies also lose money on genuine goods when they can’t accurately track their movement through the supply chain. Trafficking genuine goods outside of official distribution channels through unauthorized wholesalers and distributors, also known as product diversion, potentially costs makers of consumer products as much as 4.5 percent of sales, according to a study by Deloitte they cited.

Kevin Hayes, president of Outlook Group, located in Neenah, Wis., said LocatorX’s certified QR Code “allows us to augment our core offering with security and enhanced features to stand out from the competition.”

LocatorX, headquartered in Atlanta, is also developing a molecular-sized location tracking device. The device is based on the patented solid-state Miniature Atomic Clock technology created by a nanomaterials lab at the University of Oxford, for which LocatorX has exclusive rights.