“Using the traditional system, external parties such as laboratories or notified bodies carry out tests, create their own certificate, then email it to you. If a witness is required, they email it to a notified body to be signed, and it can take days or weeks before that document is processed.”
“In our system, the moment a test is performed the laboratory enters that data into the blockchain using their own cryptographic key. It’s instantly available for you, and for your end customer if you want that.
This dramatically reduces delays in the supply chain. For example, if Lloyds is present as a witness at the test site, they cryptographically sign the certificate at that moment so it’s instantly available. As the cryptographic key is carried on your phone, it’s very easy to sign in.”
Tom explains that all test results are digitally secure and instantly transferred to the certificate owner who always has an overview of the status of his product. He can instantly see the tests that have been conducted, witnessed, and if the product is ready to be shipped.
Understanding how Steeltrace allows everybody in the supply chain to instantly communicate is easiest if you compare it to a similar platform such as Facebook. “Because it’s a platform, not a software package, it is possible to exchange data with outside parties instantly,” Tom explains.
“You don’t need email or any external communication. Each Steeltrace user allocates accounts to their external partners (laboratories, suppliers, customers, etc) who connect with them on the platform.”
“Furthermore, the qualifications of each user can be uploaded into the platform, as well as your company certifications. So when a customer clicks on a signature from your company, they can instantly review all your company’s qualifications. It’s no longer necessary to spend time verifying these or vetting a company because the certificates are uploaded by the actual certifying body. We have created compliance by design.”
Improving safety, continuity, efficiency
The Steeltrace platform system includes the order numbers, line items, and project ID’s to the unique ID, saving time for all links in the supply chain.
“The receiver doesn’t have to number or organize the order; the financial department knows immediately that a product has been delivered; the end-user knows the product is certified to be installed. All the hours formerly required to send and read emails, enter PDFs in the system, confirm invoices, ensure products are checked…all that wasted time will disappear. Furthermore, having a secure, searchable database which can instantly trace the source of a product and where more is installed presents a very different risk profile. We expect insurance companies will look differently at companies using this system and recalculate their rates.”
Furthermore, as the number of qualified Quality Managers in the job market decreases, and those that retire take their tacit knowledge with them, the blockchain system removes the problem of how to replace them. All information is securely stored, forever.”
“Steeltrace is now in the Beta phase; the software is working, the blockchain part is working and we’re about to go live. The reaction when I show people the pilot product is amazing. Now that people can see it in action, they realize it’s a much better, easier system that makes so much sense. It’s going to change the way the industry operates.”