How Neurored is Impacting $8.1 Trillion Supply Chain Industry Using Blockchain

We’re all familiar with the buzz around blockchain and advanced track & trace systems and its potential impact on the industry, but sometimes the real progress of this technology gets lost in the media frenzy. At Neurored we have made it our mission to implement these enabling technologies to delight our customers by being the highest rated Supply Chain Management App on Salesforce Market Place (AppExchange).

To understand how Neurored’s App works, it is necessary to first understand what a cryptographic hash is:

A cryptographic hash function is a special class of hash function that is extremely difficult to reverse engineer, making it suitable for use in cryptography. It is a mathematical algorithm that produces an output (called ‘hash value’ or simply ‘hash’) of a fixed size irrespective of the size of the input (often called ‘message’). The only way to recreate the input data from an ideal cryptographic hash function’s output is to attempt a brute-force search of all the possible inputs to see if they produce a match.

Main properties of a cryptographic hash function are:

  • The same message always shows the same hash
  • It is fast in calculating the hash value of any message
  • It is infeasible to find a message from its hash value except by trying all possible messages
  • A small change in a message leads to a hash generation that is completely different from the old hash
  • No two messages will have the same hash value

In the context of our App, we use hash and keep them in an immutable way on the Blockchain (token) with the purpose of recognizing the same “message” all along the different stakeholders of the Supply Chain. This message could be in the form of Files, QR Codes or Beacons.

From a technical point of view, our App is highly secured as we have developed a solution to integrate any Salesforce Organisation with Blockchain through OpenID.

1] FILE VERIFICATION & TRACKING

Through file verification and tracking, Neurored aims to tokenize Salesforce files to avoid fraud by tracking undesired changes on the files created or received. Our software verifies the original creator of the file on others’ Salesforce Orgs with the file we receive or upload on our own Salesforce Org. By plugging into this BlockChain App to your Salesforce Org, you will provide your employees and partners with an infallible tool to verify if the shared files remain as the original after any peer-to-peer transfer. If the verification is positive, they will keep on going with the business activity and raise the alarm & freeze when not.

Here is how it works:

  1. The original creator uploads or creates a new file on its own Salesforce Org and the file is automatically triggered to generate a hash on the Blockchain with some metadata associated.
  2. The original creator can now share the file through an online or offline service by using any device.
  3. Multiple peer-to-peer transfers happen with the file until the last recipient receives the file and uploads it to its own Salesforce Org to verify the original creator of the file and other users who are also sharing the same file.

One practical example is Bill of Lading (B/L) which is issued by the carrier. Our software will verify to other stakeholders of the supply chain if the B/L file they have uploaded into their own Salesforce Org is the one that was originally created by the carrier.

2] QR CODE TRACKING

QR codes also known as Quick Response Codes, are two-dimensional bar-codes that can be read through a smartphone camera to directly open a website. QR Codes have been used in inventory management and manufacturing to get information about price, serial numbers, part numbers, dates, etc. but Neurored’s QR Code Tracking application can do much more than just getting information about inventory.

Neurored’s QR Code Tracking module allows businesses to track cargo when the shipments are going through different organizations. The main advantage of having a QR Code module is that it has the capability to upload and update the data every time the code is scanned. Our software generates a QR code associated with the token on Blockchain associated with any record on your Salesforce Org, for example, shipments or cargo. The QR Code will then be printed and attached to cargo as well as documents in order to track GPS positions where ever the QR Code has been scanned.

QR Codes can be scanned from any direction providing 360-degree scanning. They can store 100 times more information than the conventional horizontal bar-code and helps in reducing cost as it doesn’t require investment in heavy scanning machinery. Implementing such QR Codes on blockchain is what makes QR Code Tracking application unique. Neurored’s specific focus on QR Codes for Supply Chain Tracking and its secure integration with the Salesforce environment and BlockChain makes it a robust Supply Chain solution.

3) BLUETOOTH LOW ENERGY (BLE) BEACONS TRACKING

Neurored can also work in tandem with IoT technologies for helping businesses with powerful real-time cargo tracking solutions. As an example, Neurored’s software aims to run shipments with tokenized BLE Beacons. Beacons are battery powered small Bluetooth radio transmitting devices. They transmit radio signals on a regular interval and Bluetooth enabled devices can scan and display those signals once the beacon is within the range. BLE Beacons transmit a small amount of data in regular time frames which consumes less power, hence the name Bluetooth Low Energy.

The BLE Beacons are attached on the cargo of the shipments which allows businesses to track GPS positions, temperature and many other parameters through any Bluetooth enabled devices including mobiles, tablets, and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth access points.

BLE beacons are an innovative cargo tracking solution which can also be read without being in direct line of sight. These beacons are very cost effective and require minimum effort for installation. Neurored’s focus on the Salesforce Platform for delivering more customized solutions to their customers is what makes us unique.

Does your business need to improve its tracking? Get a live demo by connecting with us here!

Blockchain for Commodities Tokenization

In recent years, technologies such as Blockchain are revolutionizing our society at an exponential speed. In just 10 years, Blockchain went from being essentially what supports cryptocurrency transactions to technology with diverse applications for countless businesses. Naturally, the Supply chain and Logistics industries have developed use-cases solving intricate issues that companies have been facing.

 

Neurored uses blockchain to tokenize commodities thereby digitalizing the Global Supply Chain.

 
Neurored is the leader in delivering real production environments of Blockchain technologies for Global Trade, leveraging the unique combination of the leading cloud platform – Force.com and the leading permitted blockchain technology – Hyperledger Fabric. Our solutions (described below) enable global trading partners to operate with a substantial level of trust, while simultaneously avoiding commercial fraud exposure that is unavoidable in equivalent paper-based processes or unsecured digitized processes.

COMMODITIES TOKENIZATION (DIGITAL ASSETS)

By taking advantage of Hyperledger Fabric, Neurored’s platform allows tokenizing commodities by leveraging the security that Blockchain provides. Indeed, trading companies can incorporate key documents to Neurored’s secure Hyperledger, saving them both a great amount of time and money by exchanging a trustworthy proof of ownership.

For instance, one application involves the tokenization of Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (WR) issued by authorized warehouses. This process, therefore, accelerates the trading of commodities stored in a warehouse, without requiring any movement of the assets themselves. Digitization of WR encourages trading partners to make secure transactions (WR endorsements) of commodities stored in warehouses and other storage facilities such as silos. Trust between trading partners is based on the digital process and the technology itself, which makes actual commercial fraud impossible. In a similar way, Bill of Ladings (BOL) issued by Break Bulk Shipping Lines can be tokenized to accelerate trade of commodities in transit on vessels.

SECURE MARKETPLACES

Neurored also develops custom marketplaces for its customers in which sellers and buyers can trade commodities through the exchange of these tokens. Our Blockchain ledger of published prices (sale and purchase prices), availabilities, quality parameters, schedules, and orders, encourages trading partners of commodities marketplaces to trade in a safer way.

In addition, our marketplaces seamlessly enable demand and supply of products to meet by agreeing on terms such as price, availability, and quality. By requesting the contribution of a trustworthy third party (e.g. inspection service, warehouse management service etc.) to certify the agreed-upon conditions, the exchange of goods can be carried out in a reliable and unbiased manner.

SECURE FACTORING

Neurored has also built a Blockchain ledger of trade documents (Order, Invoice, BOL…) and related approval processes which enables traders to provide financial institutions more trust over their commercial operations in order to obtain better discount rates for their factoring operations.

At Neurored we have an indefatigable desire to innovate and bring organizations involved in Global Trade the tools allowing them to do business in a highly cost-efficient and sustainable way, as well as gain a competitive advantage by implementing state of the art technologies. Blending blockchain into our cloud platform, thereby enabling easy navigation between the physical and digital dimensions of a business, is just one of the innovations we have conceived.

Get a live demo by contacting us here.

 

 
 

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Digital Collaboration Is Accelerating The Future of Logistics

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I recently enjoyed the privileged experience of a personal tour of the Port of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, whose Master Plan aims to, “ enhance the port as an economic engine for job growth of family-sustaining jobs that reflect the composition of our community.”

To bring this into focus, the port will double its capacity to 900,000 TEUs, construct 100,000 sq ft of warehousing to support a 21% increase in breakbulk capacity, and double its auto transport capacity. Much of these goals have risen from the recent widening of the Panama Canal, which can now accommodate ships carrying 13,000 TEU containers.  That’s nearly triple the number of containers on a single voyage… and this is merely one economic region of global trade in the world! These increases in global trade are however placing the industry’s participants under increasingly greater pressure.  Pressure to deliver, on time, in the budget, claim free.

Documentation management which has historically operated in a peer-to-peer manner has been placed under greater stresses over the years as the number of participants in a typical international shipment transaction has grown. Manufacturers, wholesale traders, freight forwarders, lenders, insurers, inspectors, customs officers…all parties to each transaction, must have visibility into the history of the documents that show proof of delivery for each respective step in the process.

Our team at Neurored consistently heard ideas like this from our customers, and so we built a fully multi-modal, global track and trace Control Tower, the centerpiece of our cloud-based Global Supply Chain & Transportation Management solution.

What began as single sets of documents, gradually became replicated and shipped to each peer via parcel shipping services, as each participant expended more and more labor costs attempting to organize their very own version of “the truth” for any given shipment.

Transportation Management Systems historically operated within a given mode of transportation.  Supply Chain Management Systems tended to focus on the costs and sourcing of physical goods, challenged by the notion of delivering a fully landed price.

Meanwhile, the logistics industry evolved to attack this problem, developing Third Party Logistics into its very own niche.  These 3PLs became the concierge service of international trade…shipment status was now a single call away, regardless of the mode of transport, because you now had a single contact.

But here we are in 2018, a time when our homes tell us when a visitor arrives before they even land on our doorstep, our cars can tell us exactly what type of service they’re about to need, and parcel package delivery is gradually becoming crowd-sourced.

For all consumer deliveries, we can open up a phone app or web browser, and have a very clear sense of when that delivery will arrive.

With Neurored’s Control Tower, our customers see all of their shipments, everywhere in the world, with status updates occurring in a matter of minutes throughout each day.

Therefore it is absolutely no surprise to anyone, that buyers and sellers of global trade, are ready to demand, the same level of visibility and transparency. Our team at Neurored consistently heard ideas like this from our customers, and so we built a fully multi-modal, global track and trace Control Tower, the centerpiece of our cloud-based Global Supply Chain & Transportation Management solution.

Just a few months ago, Hurricane Harvey was bearing down on the city of Houston, Tx.  One of our customers operates two terminals there, importing cement. Leveraging Neurored’s Control Tower, our customer was able to quickly identify assets at sea, engage in digital communications to divert them out of harm’s way, and commence the safe shutdown of these facilities until the storm had passed. Thanks to Neurored’s Control Tower, our customer was able to proactively protect their assets both at sea and on land, and with a little help from above, the terminals were back up and operational within 24 hours! With Neurored’s Control Tower, our customers see all of their shipments, everywhere in the world, with status updates occurring in a matter of minutes throughout each day.

Our most innovative global trade clients have engaged in a very powerful new capability, a FinTech tool which exposes the chain of custody we already provided them, now made available to all participants of each shipment through a secure, transparent, private Blockchain solution we’ve developed on IBM’s Hyperledger architecture.

As our customer base began to encompass more types of global trade participants, we began to see even greater opportunities to create value.  These opportunities form the basis of Digital Collaboration. Our freight forwarding customers are sourcing quote requests from shippers, while simultaneously managing their customer, asset owner, and lead relationships, completely online in secure communities. Manufacturing and wholesale trading customers are planning shipments, and comparing quotes to freight marketplaces like Freightos, with which we have seamlessly integrated. But transaction and relationship management is really just the foundation for the biggest disruption we are now delivering in international trade.

Our most innovative global trade clients have engaged in a very powerful new capability, a FinTech tool which exposes the chain of custody we already provided them, now made available to all participants of each shipment through a secure, transparent, private Blockchain solution we’ve developed on IBM’s Hyperledger architecture. And we built our app completely native on the Force.com platform by Salesforce.com, ensuring our clients gain the benefits of continuous innovation beyond our own. Now, shippers are achieving far more competitive financing, because the manual work of peer-to-peer workflows has been eliminated.

Freight forwarders are even empowered to bring the full suite of these features to their customers, recognizing that their role is shifting from mere broker to technology solutions provider.


Contact us for further discussion.

Neurored’s Blockchain Innovations Mean Finance Advantages for FF’s Customers.

Innovative Freight Forwarders are now providing comprehensive trade finance solutions to their customers, by taking advantage of the Neurored Trade Finance BlockChain.

Importers and Exporters now have an alternate mechanism to finance their trading operations. Rather than time-consuming, traditional trade financing provided by banks, trade is now being financed by Freight Forwarders, enabled by this innovative Neurored technology.

Freight Forwarder customers will get Credit Lines to finance their trading activity and automate payments directly from their newly established Credit Line.

The Neurored Trade Finance BlockChain solution takes simultaneous advantage of well-aligned conjunction of logistics and technology services, which we describe below:

  • Customers leveraging Freight Forwarder logistics services can negotiate more favorable incoterms for their counterparties. Importers will be able to buy FOB from their suppliers, which will clearly open the scope of suppliers who agree with these terms. Exporters will be able to sell CIF to their customers, which will also open the scope of buyers who agree with these terms.
  • Leveraging Neurored integration with the Ebury Fintech Platform for Import-Export finance and B2B Cross Border Payments, Freight Forwarder customers will get Credit Lines to finance their trading activity and automate payments directly from their newly established Credit Line.
  • Leveraging the combination of the Neurored Supply Chain Network and BlockChain technologies unifies all supply chain participants (Supplier, Freight Forwarder, Buyer, Inspection Entity, etc), enabling each to upload their respectively required documents into the BlockChain, ensuring all commercial terms have been addressed.

This transparency leads to Suppliers being paid directly from Ebury Credit Lines when commercial terms have been met and registered in the Blockchain.

The Neurored Trade Finance Solution has many advantages over the traditional Letter of Credit, which we explain below:

  • A Letter of Credit creates trust through the banks of seller/buyer counterparties. The banks are the participants who review all of the documentation to make sure commercial terms have already been addressed before processing any payment. This is heavily intensive, manual paperwork and consequently has a high cost.
  • The Neurored Trade Finance Solution creates trust thanks to a combination of technologies provided by Neurored and greater logistics capacity provided by Freight Forwarders. The final result is a process with less cost, where documents are uploaded and reviewed by all participants of the supply chain, keeping track on the BlockChain of all the documents and approval process required before doing a payment. Simultaneously and very important to note, the process also has the added advantage of achieving lower freight costs when counterparts charge you for them.

Contact us for further discussion.

Illustration classifying L&T players according to risk adoption on business models and differentiation on technology.

A Glimpse into the Future of the 3PL Industry.

Illustration classifying L&T players according to risk adoption on business models and differentiation on technology.

Illustration classifying L&T players according to risk adoption on business models and differentiation on technology.

In our last post, we opened the subject about the wrong-called “new disruptors” of the logistics and transportation industry.

In this post, we will try to make a classification of players to show our vision on how and why disruption is going to happen across the industry.

The combination of new business models with modern technologies will reformulate, bottom up, the once-and-again recurrent strategic topics; will displace traditional players and raise the expectations of customers to new standards. We have illustrated this with a 2×2 matrix that crosses the dimensions of business model and technology, to discretizes players, closer or farther, to the maximum value performance.

TRADITIONAL 3PLs

Players running Traditional Business Models using Standard Technologies. They keep a conservative position in terms of risk-taking and don’t run or even have a differentiation plan through digital transformation. Unless they may have already developed a strong competitive edge, they will face a dilution of yields due to the exposition to price competition. Trapped in this category we find most of the 3PLs today: immobile companies to the changes, challenges, and opportunities in the industry during the last years.

MODERN 3PLs

Players running Traditional Business Models using Modern Technologies. They keep a conservative position in terms of risk taking, but at least they have a differentiation strategy through digital transformation. Fell into this category we find most of the so wrongly termed “new disruptors”. As well, any Traditional 3PLs adopting modern technologies will end up here. However, in the case of 3PLs, technology will not make a real difference if they keep performing a traditional mix of core competencies.

In the case of Digital Brokers -Uber Freight and Flexport for example- they don’t even offer a traditional mix of core competencies. As result, this group invests in new technologies but they don’t know what to do with the emerging paradigms and how to make a profit with the new opportunities.

FREIGHT MARKETPLACES

Players running New Business Models using Traditional Technologies. We consider them the first disruptors of the modern industry, a business-driven disruption: they emerged with new business models adopting a new mix of core competencies by using traditional technologies. Examples of Freight Marketplaces are DAT, TruckStop, and Freightos.

BLOCKCHAIN 3PL NETWORKS 

Players running New Business Models using New Technologies. They will do well soon as they understand the new paradigms of change, and thus, they are more ready than others to take advantage successfully of the new great opportunities. Blockchain 3PL Networks will be likely the protagonists of the new paradigm-driven disruption: new technology plus new business model to perform the maximum known value.

Whether you can see where your company is today or not in this matrix, in Neurored we are enthusiastic about the upcoming transformations in our industry. Contact Us for further discussion.

Blockchain and Supply Chain Management

Blockchain paradigm is changing the way many goods are transacted between business and in the markets.

This post brings you an executive comparative of the differences in key aspects between the traditional supply chain and a Blockchain-based supply chain, echoing an approach from the insightful article about Blockchain and SCM recently published by the expert in SCM transformation Mr. Roy Sanjeev, Global Transformation Leader in Chevron | E&Y | ExxonMobil.

 Traditional Supply ChainSupply Blockchain
LedgersProprietary of every link. Available only for the owner.Shared between the links. Available to any link with credentials.
Information FlowIntermediated. Every link of the chain is a bottleneck for the information flow.Disintermediated. Information flows openly in a permissioned manner.
Assumed RiskIncreases in every link.Is reduced as more links adhere to the ecosystem.
AgilityEvery link increases trust erosion and technology integration costs.As links go Blockchain the trust increases and technology integration costs decreases.
Relationships between stakeholdersBilateral and chained.All connected.
NotarizationInformation of transactions needs to be verified as it flows from link to link, through the use of test certificates, bills of lading, letters of credit etc.Information of transactions across the ecosystem resides inside the Blockchain system as every transaction happens on a distributed ledger perfectly notarized.
Title transferEasy for any property whose ownership is controlled by the Blockchain.
TraceAuthenticity of transactions is compromised by the lack of open and trustworthy information provided by links.Transactions can be traced with authenticity throughout all the stakeholders.
IrrevocabilityTransactions may be contractually manipulated or distorted to suit one party, increasing the risk and untrust.Transaction histories are shared with the whole ecosystem and are always available, eliminating the chances of being hacked also eliminates the chances of being manipulated or distorted.
Smart-contractContracts agreed don't mean be complied with, so the focus is not only in the partnership but on compliance and the need to “check the checkers”.Smart Contracts can not be bypassed so there is no need to focus on compliance.
TruthMultiple sources of truth not always sync.
Single source of truth available to all actors in the ecosystem.
Audit TrailPartially and atomically recorder by every link related to its transactions with other links.Recording and bringing information from each and every transaction to all actors in the ecosystem.

“Leading experts are predicting the Blockchain technology adoption to be in the following chases (1) early adoption during 2016-2017 (2) Growth during 2018-2024 and (3) Maturity from 2025 and beyond. It is important for leading supply chain strategists to form a POV on the applicability of the Blockchain technology to their own supply chain from a strategy perspective”.  Roy Sanjeev.

Source: Referred article