How Verte’s Blockchain-Backed Operating System Helped a 3PL Provide Better Customer Experiences [Case Study]
Verte’s 750k warehouse in Atlanta leveraged blockchain to provide visibility to its clients product journey.
The pandemic was a major catalyst in accelerating the digital transformation journey. After it began, Verte’s customers started to ask how they could gain trusted input into the product journey in an unknown and changing environment. It was clear that there was a real need for backend technology to further boost the supply chain ecosystem.
For Verte’s Atlanta-based 3pl, knowledge is power. The ability to provide customers with provenance is vital — to track and trace materials, products, and services that can impact the entire supply chain across industries. For the retail industry, blockchain is a game-changer for transparency.
Once information is stored on blockchain, it cannot be deleted or changed; this kind of interface enables an ongoing ledger of information all across the supply chain. This accountability ensures better supply chain finance management, inventory management (forecasting for future demand, allocation by expiration-date, real-time updates of SKU count, and more). Additionally, blockchain allows a customer to see the entire journey of their product, which leads to retention; this traceability is key to improving customer relationships. When a blockchain framework is adopted by all service providers, there is a smoother handover from the freight provider to the warehouse, and from the warehouse to the freight provider. Providers can track when the product was received and shipped.
“It was important for us that our systems were secure and not susceptible to hackers. Verte’s entire enterprise is backed by the trust that blockchain technology enables. Our warehouse customers can create a synchronized, decentralized supply chain system that allows them to query the blockchain to locate inventory and maintain accurate, accessible information on origin, sizing, materials, price history, and more. This adds clarity and certainty to the e-commerce process, improving both vendor and customer experiences. Our fulfillment center’s Warehouse Management System and Order Management System operate on blockchain, ensuring total transparency of a product’s journey, no matter if it’s in our Atlanta hub or in one of our partner warehouses.”Padhu Raman – Verte CPO
Blockchain and Data
Verte was also hoping to improve in areas such as integrating functional views of warehouse setups, machine learning, and artificial intelligence-guided route optimization. Verte invested heavily in intelligent automation for infrastructure managed services, Application Performance Monitoring, and Dynamic Application Security Testing to protect and improve the security of our customer data.
Verte uses Big Data and analytics to better cater to the digital needs of customers.
One area where there has been an incredible impact is the democratization of data. Standard reports are in pull mode, but they can be linked to more complex analysis when required. Verte invested in Big Data analytics, where complex data sets are analyzed to improve supply chain performance, revenue, and customer analytics.
Customers can use this data in various functional areas, utilizing Big Data analytics to improve sales targets, customer retention, operational efficiency, and financial performance. Furthermore, Verte enabled middle management to use big data analytics, increasing branch-level delivery performance in the last mile sector.
Padhu Raman, Chief product Officer says, “The biggest advantages we give our warehouse customers are automated processes and visibility. The opportunities to finetune operations and optimize costs are also significant benefits. Our active partnership with the AWS teams has also enabled us to move many applications to the cloud. We’ve also found cost effective analytics solutions to democratize our data consumption.”
Blockchain, Finance, and Contracts
The ATL warehouse and Verte’s integrated network of partner warehouses are responsible for flow of goods. There could be occasions where suppliers fail to deliver goods intact or on time, leading to potential time-consuming disputes and punitive legal recourse measures.
Verte’s blockchain technology avoids such scenarios because it allows parties to negotiate smart contracts with suppliers that clearly define terms, conditions, and the mode of functioning, while further mandating intelligent data collection and control via sensors of all goods.
Steve Bullard, EVP of operation at the ATL warehouse also believes that supply chains will evolve and use IOT and wireless communications, which will help track choke points. AI/ML will sharpen their forecasting models and help both manufacturers and service providers with better planning.
Moreover, blockchaIn allowed the Atlanta warehouse to offer a new solution to financial compliance regarding digital payments. Seamless, public-private permissions display sensitive information only to authorized parties, while storing all data on the ledger. Owners set unimpeachable rules that all participants must follow, ensuring total compliance and validity of transactions. This simplifies any financial transaction that may occur between a retailer and its partners.
By using Verte’s blockchain visibility platform, the ATL warehouse was able to streamline both communication and operation workflow. It increased process productivity by 3X times, saving costs and escalating growth.