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Rapid-fire pitch: Northstar Venture shows how to speed up invoice processing

North American trucking companies have $140 billion in outstanding invoices at their customers on any given day. With an average payment time of 45 days, a faster method of invoicing shippers so trucking companies can “manage their cash flow and continue to pay their truckers, their employees and keep the lights on,” is needed, stated Bill McGraw, president of Northstar Venture Technologies.

Enter Northstar’s blockchain solution, Settlement Trust. As demonstrated at MarketWaves 18, McGraw says Settlement Trust records all stages in a contract’s fulfillment so that invoices are generated more rapidly.

During the demonstration, Settlement Trust was integrated with order and delivery management software from Routeique.  Routeique’s chief executive Mike Allen says his company looked to Northstar “to bring us into the blockchain world without remaking the software and to make us more interoperable – creating that level of trust with others in the market.”

Routeique’s software, which is used by large food manufacturers, distributors and retailers, will allow customers to place orders, combine other orders, map delivery routes and even monitor temperatures in real time.

Each of those stages in the order fulfillment can now be recorded via a blockchain where any trusted party in the transaction can check where their contract is at in each step. Having those steps recorded and verified instantly means quicker turnaround on invoices. “What we’re really driving toward is for the invoice to be approved as rapidly as possible,” Allen said.

Electronic data interchange and application programming interfaces are now used to digitally record supply chain events. But blockchain will allow Routeique to “be more interoperable between systems and work with bigger companies that have multiple systems,” Allen said.

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Michael Angell, Bulk and Intermodal Editor

Michael Angell covers maritime, intermodal and related topics for FreightWaves. His interest in transportation stretches back several generations. One great-grandfather was a dray horseman along the New York waterfront and another was a railway engineer in Texas. More recently, Michael has written about the shipping industry for TradeWinds, energy markets for Oil Price Information Service, and general business topics for FactSet Mergerstat and Investor's Business Daily. When he is not stuck in the office, he enjoys tours of ports, terminals, and railyards.
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