Jim Croce was an American folk and rock singer-songwriter in the 1970’s famous for writing “Time in a Bottle” and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” Both his songs reached the top of the charts.
What you may not know about Croce is that he once worked as a Truck driver. Some of America’s most loved songs were based on his trucking experience. In his song “I Got a Name,” he sings about rolling down the highway and living the dream.
Sadly, the day after this song was released Croce was killed in a plane crash. He never saw how the trucking industry changed, some might say for the worse. Today, owner operators and micro fleets struggle to stay afloat while operating on razor thin margins.
Truck drivers are a critical part of the logistics process. But they commonly face cash flow problems such as not get paid after delivering a load. To manage risk they’re forced to sell their invoices to a factoring company and forfeit up to 5-6 percent of their revenue.
Today, blockchain is giving trucking firms new capabilities. Blockchain-based smart contracts now let you get paid immediately with no risk. Cory Skinner, CEO of blockchain-based logistics platform RoadLaunch and the FactR Digital Wallet said “We make payment instant, with a digitized workflow and almost no cost.”
A Moment of Blockchain Inspiration
Prior to starting his blockchain supply chain solutions firm, Skinner spent five years working for BlackBerry on their manufacturing and supply chain. His role involved connecting BlackBerry’s global operations for manufacturing of their smartphone devices.
“Our customers could see orders and our partners could see shipments in real time,” he explained. Their system was capable of tracking parts back to OEMs. He added, “Blackberry wanted to know where they were getting their parts and if there were shortages.”
Skinner gained additional experience in demand planning and inventory optimization working for firms in Germany and Finland. He helped companies like Apple, Nike, Fujitsu, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia with supply chain, demand planning, order forecasting and replenishment.
It was at that point he realized none of these companies had true logistics visibility. As soon as their orders were shipped, they had no visibility past the dock. At that moment he said to himself, “I think I’m going to do something here.”
RoadLaunch started in April 2017 and they’re now in five countries. His products use IoT for digitizing capacity, intelligent load matching and permissed-based smart contracts. Further, he developed the FactR digital wallet for cross-border settlement, audit and reconciliation, as well as leveraging products like TrueFreight.
A Way to Save Millions
One of RoadLaunch’s biggest success stories is their work with a global medical device manufacturer with a massive problem. Not only did they have millions of dollars worth of medical equipment sitting at hospitals and clinics, their inventory was managed incorrectly. There were lots of invoices and settlement opportunities. Even when they were aware of the equipment, they didn’t have the ability to track the invoices like they wanted.
Starting with a few handpicked products, RoadLaunch onboarded clinics and distribution centers with smart contract-based traceability. Skinner added, “we could then connect their medical devices to show real-time data and blockchain based analytics.”
Now their client is enabled to do micro payments based on a permissions based smart contract. They can know whether a given piece of their equipment such as an MRI scanner is running of not. “They can bill right down to the second if they like,” he emphasized.
The Roadlaunch team can tell your company within 60 minutes whether blockchain is right for you or not. “It’s not always the right solution,” Skinner clarified. If you’re not sure whether blockchain will solve your supply chain challenges, he suggested you check whether you’re experiencing these three common pain points.
Lack of Data Control
“If they’re doing any type of logistics supply chain and their documentation is a complete mess, blockchain can help,” Skinner said. A common problem caused by this lack of control is when documents take too long to generate and are difficult to share.
Through blockchain, Skinner said, “You can automate up to 95 percent of your workflows by making your documents 100 percent digital.” This would significantly improve the efficiency of your logistics supply chain.
Lack of Trust and Visibility
“The second thing to consider is trust and visibility” he said. If you have a mobile App, do you want to connect it to your logistics supply chain? If you have sensors from a third party supplier and there’s a web service, then RoadLaunch could be the right solution for you.
Skinner added “If you have a warehouse management system with data on freight, orders, scheduling and updates to customers, and you’d like to to automate it all Quote to Cash with customized workflows using digital identities, we can help.” This is one of the biggest issues he sees within logistics supply chain.
Cross Border Settlement
The third pain point is cross-border settlement, audit and reconciliation. His said if you’re looking to multi-fiat, multi-escrow, lowered (and near instant) cost settlement, the FactR digital wallet is the perfect solution.
Further, he added, “It allows for almost instant cross-border payment in several dozen countries. It handles 95 percent of all Fiat currencies and can do a thousand transactions a second for almost no cost. FactR works with finance partners to facilitate the whole process.”
Get on the Road to Supply Chain Success
The good old days of trucking may be gone. But modern blockchain solutions are making things better for owner operators, micro fleets and enterprises. If you need more control over your data, better visibility and faster border crossing, then your supply chain can benefit from blockchain.
The Roadlaunch team can tell you within an hour if blockchain is right for you or not. Your savings could be significant. To learn more, visit the Roadlaunch website.