BUSINESS CASE

Learn how Sky Republic can augment your existing infrastructure

Improve product traceability & provenance throughout the extended supply chain

Corporate supply chain executives are seeing the possibilities of enterprise blockchains. A survey conducted by Chain Business Insights of global supply chain professionals (published May 2017) finds that 43% intend to introduce blockchain/DLT into their supply chains over the coming year, and another 20% within the next two years.

The use case cited most often in the CBI report was “track products moving through the supply chain,” followed by “share information with suppliers” and “track payment information such as purchase orders.” This finding reflects one of the primary areas for blockchain investment: improving supply chain transparency and traceability. The report goes on to conclude that blockchain has the potential to enhance trust between supply chain partners, improve data security, reduce transaction costs and increase supply chain velocity.

CASE SNAPSHOT

Potential benefits for various industry sectors

LIFE SCIENCES &
PHARMACEUTICALS

Track drugs end-to-end from development to healthcare providers & dispensaries

Real-time visibility into drugs’ current status & location

Comply with government regulations

Reduce risk of counterfeit drugs reaching patients

Share clinical trial data with interested stakeholders & regulators

MANUFACTURING

Real-time visibility into availability & location of materials from suppliers

Accurately predict when goods will arrive & in what condition

Facilitate JIT planning & inventory management

Reduce wastage & product defects

Improve quality controls to prevent fraud, theft, & counterfeiting of parts & materials

TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS

Reduce costs & errors through greater automation of manual tasks, paperwork

Real-time visibility into shipment status, routing, & delivery

Improve customer satisfaction through greater on-time delivery & shipment prioritization

Work in tandem with data from IoT devices

Reduce opportunity for theft and fraud as shipments change possession

FOOD INDUSTRY

Breakdown information siloes & improve data sharing

Greater visibility & transparency from farm to table

Improve food safety & enable faster response to recalls

Quickly identify source of contamination

Reduce wastage & operational costs

The Sky Republic Platform can help parties record all the details of their transaction, including price, date, location, quality, certification, and other relevant information. The availability of this information within a smart contract can increase traceability of material throughout the extended supply chain, lower losses from counterfeit and the gray market, improve visibility and compliance over outsourced contract manufacturing, and potentially enhance an organization’s position as a leader in responsible manufacturing.

A key benefit of the Sky Platform for supply chain networks is that it can establish a shared, secure record of information flows; a ‘shared version of events’ across networks for supply chain transactions, processes and partners. Not only does this ‘shared version of events’ enable improved traceability and product integrity, but also greater supply chain efficiencies, better multi-party collaboration, and streamlined resolution processes when exceptions or disputes occur. Furthermore, Sky contracts can be deployed to further streamline exception handling and introduce new forms of supply chain process automation.

Each party to a transaction has a complete copy of the smart contract and its ledger, and parties can view only specific data elements based on their defined roles and access privileges. When an electronics original equipment manufacturer (OEM) purchases components from another country, for example, information about the bank holding a letter of credit, third-party logistics (3PL) providers, customers and regulators can also be updated via the shared ledger. The physical flow of goods between parties, the transfer of ownership of the components and the stream of forecast data can all be tracked in a synchronized manner. These updates occur through peer-to-peer replication, and as a result, each participant’s ledger synchronizes with minimum lag time.

Sky Platform can augment EDI assets and help implement new supply chain technologies, for example Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for improved logistics processes monitoring. The Sky Platform can be used to provide a synthesized record of all information flows. This level of shared visibility will offer organizations an opportunity to optimize multi-party supply chain processes and augment current infrastructures.

Establish provenance

By helping trace the provenance of goods, the Sky Platform can help companies detect counterfeits and conflict minerals, thus protecting their brand reputation. Avoiding counterfeits helps to ensure that customers get the brand quality and experience they expect. Likewise, the Platform can trace raw materials purchased by process manufacturers and assure they don’t come from conflict zones, protect brand reputation and simplify regulatory compliance.

When supply chains are several tiers deep, managing components and compliance can be difficult. Suppliers can be far removed from finished goods. With the Sky Platform, however, data can identify and follow components wherever they go. Proof of ownership, location in near real time, even the condition under which goods are transported can be captured, shared and stored to become a trusted audit trail.

Enhance pharmaceutical compliance and traceability

In the life sciences sector, pharmaceutical companies often struggle to track drugs through the development life cycle from clinical trials through global supply chains— resulting in a lack of traceability and transparency. Defeating factors resulted in 30% of drugs sold in developing countries being counterfeits (Center for Disease Control).

As a pharmaceutical drug moves beyond the R&D phase of its life cycle, the Sky Platform can provide visibility and end-to-end traceability through the global supply chain. As drug units are fitted with electronic serial numbers (as part of the Drug Quality and Security Act), the identifiers can be encoded on a smart contract to establish the drug’s footprint. As the drug moves through the supply chain, intermediaries can validate receipt of the drug and provide updates (e.g., date shipped, end customer). As the drug’s transaction history grows, its transcript can be provided to the government regulator as needed to comply with reporting regulations and pinpoint the drug’s current status and location.

In clinical trials, multiple stakeholders require access to review results. Data safety management boards review and monitor results for adverse events, while sponsoring organizations and regulators monitor interim data sets for early potential indicators.

The Sky Platform can provide the ability for collaboration across interested stakeholders (e.g., institutions, sponsors, regulators) by storing clinical trial results. The Sky Republic solution can be a cost-efficient platform, not solely operated by a singular entity, that can be entrusted to store the immutable results to help negate selective reporting and outcome switching while also providing the ability to be accessed for reporting and analysis purposes.

When the clinical trial begins, the collected information could be stored in a smart contract with minimal disruption to the research organization performing the study. The research organization could either build/adopt a  smart app to log the observed results, or connect to an API that redirects information from existing systems to the smart contract for immutable auditing and stakeholder visibility.

When the smart contract is used to store specific and standardized clinical trial data (e.g., dosage, vital signs), it becomes immediately transparent to all parties that have been permissioned to access the data. As such, if any patient’s identifiable information is stored in the smart contract, it would be immediately visible to all parties. Alternatively, the Sky Platform can shield underlying patient identities, and reattach them if the identity needs to be known. This disconnect between the patient and their associated distributed data can be achieved through the Sky Platform’s public-private key mechanism.

Once the selected data is posted to thesmart contract, clinical trial stakeholders can run reports on the available information. Furthermore, smart contracts could be created that can trigger specific actions in response to certain data events, which could automatically send notifications to the data safety management board and other interested stakeholders.

Enable real-time visibility & inventory optimization for manufacturers

The Sky Platform can reveal where an asset is at any point in time, who owns it or is handling it, and what state it’s in. With that data, organization can better predict when goods will arrive and in what condition. Benefits accrue up and down the supply chain, from just-in-time planning and inventory management to dispute resolution, reduced wastage and quality controls.

A supply chain with continuous, real-time access to a chain of events can optimize iteratively. An auto manufacturer, for example, could track the thousands of parts that travel through countries, factories, and suppliers to manufacture a single car. Gaining awareness ahead of time that a supplier’s shipment is actually a partial order, the manufacturer could take steps to reshuffle internal inventory, complete it from a different supplier or adjust pricing. It can re-route a container to a different warehouse, even share a warehouse, truck or loading dock to optimize efficiency.

Smart contracts create visibility into where things are, but also traceability, showing where things have been. Tracking the provenance of goods reduces risk and raises the bar on quality in production and distribution. Manufacturers can know that the metal they receive has the right mixture of alloys. Wastage and defects are diminished; so too are fraud, theft and counterfeiting.

Increase accuracy of transport & logistics tracking

Ocean shipping companies, truckers, third-party logistics providers and other freight forwarding companies could all leverage the Sky Platform to manage freight tracking, thereby providing buyers, sellers, and officials with a mechanism to track goods shipped around the world. Products traveling across borders may require review and approvals from up to 30 parties before arrival, creating a large amount of paperwork and creating opportunities for fraud at multiple points in the process—leading to billions of dollars in fraud each year in the maritime sector alone. Through collaboration with customs authorities, a shipping company could streamline the approvals process by creating a secure record of transactions and approvals and reduced the time needed to transport goods.

Information can be more widely shared to enhance decisions at all levels of the supply chain and optimize in the moment. Information can even be dynamically permissioned. The contents of a container, which are typically not shared with dockworkers out of concerns about theft, could be shared as circumstances warrant. In the case of a storm or strike, containers on the dock that hold goods subject to damage could be prioritized and safely stored, and as operations resume, optimized across facilities to avert delays.

The Sky Platform could also work in tandem with data from IoT devices used in transportation and logistics. Business transactions surrounding the shipment of freight could be automated using smart contracts. This would improve upon traditional contracts by enforcing the rules controlling the transfer of currency or assets once specific conditions have been met according to the terms of the contract.

Improve food traceability

The Sky Platform can help break down information silos to improve visibility and traceability from the farm to the table. The food supply chain comprises countless players that are functionally and geographically diverse. Many of these entities are largely unaware of each o  ther, and have very different commercial agendas. This fragmented structure inhibits the free flow of information up and down the supply chain.

Many of the critical issues impacting food safety such as contamination, food-borne illness, waste and the economic burden of recalls rest though on a lack of access to information and traceability. Companies continue to maintain paper documentation of food safety and quality checks, as well as supplier information, impacting the speed at which a recall can be defined and executed. Identifying the root cause and understanding the full extent of affected product may take several months. Downstream companies may not be notified for several days, weeks, or even longer, and corrective actions can be delayed. It can indeed take weeks to identify the precise point of contamination, causing further illness, lost revenue and wasted product.

With the Sky Platform, when a problem arises, the potential is to quickly identify what the source of contamination is since one can see across the whole ecosystem and where all the potential points of contamination could be – using the data to pinpoint the source. In so doing it enables food providers and other members of the ecosystem to trace contaminated product to its source in a short amount of time and stem the spread of illnesses.

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