Transparency18 sponsored article:
Intelligent Audit (“IA”) enjoys a perch – a bird’s eye view of sorts – over a global industry with touch points from every port and shipping hub to every porch and office mailbox. The role of the auditor itself creates this perch; auditors exist to systematically validate that all data points and contract terms are correctly applied before approving invoices for shippers to pay.
To do this, IA leverages data gathered from all parties involved in the journey of a shipment. The payoff is total visibility into transportation activity that can help untangle the mess that is transportation data, and this has proven benefits for shippers and carriers alike.
It was from this position that IA explored blockchains. IA studied and considered their implications and imagined what the logistics industry might look like filtered through this lens.
IA was not alone in imagining the scope of change this meant for shipping as it paid close attention to supply chain and trade finance solutions in development by some of the biggest names in the industry: FedEx, Maersk, IBM, the Big Four and many others. There is a clear use for the technology in the areas of authentication and cybersecurity, customs processing, dispute resolution, IoT integration, transparency and tracking, and payment.
As an auditor, IA possesses a unique vantage point that allows them to see what’s missing from the projects currently under development: how to connect visibility and payment platforms and incentivize mass adoption. Simply put, how do people from the smallest shippers to the largest carriers make use of this stuff?
For IA, the answer comes directly from 20+ years as a technology pioneer in the audit space. The solution – Intellichain – is a blockchain developed at the level of an auditor that understands shipping’s various processes and real-world complexities. A blockchain that links the disparate systems and data of constituent parties, from the shipper to the warehouse to the carrier to the banks and anyone else who takes part. A blockchain that can be used to enhance visibility, track shipments and invoice statuses, and facilitate payments.
Much has been written on how the orchestration of p2p networks, merkle-trees, and cryptographic authentication can create ‘triple-entry’ bookkeeping, building a system that confirms and records all transactions (the very definition of a blockchain). It’s not difficult to imagine drastic changes to the auditor’s role as a result of this new technology.
“Blockchains will alter more than how we store and record information; they will also alter what we can do with that information,” says Yosie Lebovich, IA’s founder and CEO. It’s less about the audit process, and more about the management and utility of a living system of record. With IA’s solution, each party touching a shipment will have a transparent record of events which will lead to enhanced visibility, real-time status updates used to proactively address issues, and faster payments with better clarity on disputed amounts. IA is working to bring its proprietary audit and contract compliance algorithm – the core of its industry-leading solution – onto a permissioned Hyperledger blockchain using smart contracts.
With this, IA’s bird’s eye view would extend to each and every stakeholder, across borders, across systems, providing the type of security and reliability people from porches to ports all need in today’s ultra-complex world of global shipping. IA believes that blockchain is the future of the transportation industry, and it will continue to be a pioneer in its evolution.
See Intelligent Audit in action at Transparency18 where they will be demonstrating their solution on Tuesday, May 22nd.
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