Guest post: Skuchain boosts global COVID-19 response with innovative solutions

Date Updated: Thursday, June 18, 2020

This is a guest post from Rebecca Liao, co-founder and executive vice president at Skuchain.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing effort to mitigate its health and economic impact have brought into sharp focus the need for a coordinated, transparent response among diverse public and private organizations. We all want to make whatever contribution we can, and at Skuchain we saw an opportunity to bring our technology to bear on a key problem facing those engaged in sourcing, manufacturing, and distributing vital products and supplies. Providing essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals or helping ensure uninterrupted supplies to food banks is in large part a supply chain and trading challenge, a challenge we are particularly well positioned to help meet.

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Skuchain provides an end-to-end platform called EC3 for global value chains, empowering participants with control, visibility, financing, and logistical tools that reduce friction and boost efficiency. We build on blockchain technology that underpins collaboration, compliance, and verification, while maintaining privacy and providing confidence for all involved parties. We help get things done, from sourcing through financing, manufacturing, and delivery.

Applications for blockchain technology are being found in many diverse use cases, but particularly in healthcare where there’s a natural fit with complex supply chain management and operations. We saw a great opportunity to bring our experience and our suite of supply chain products to bear on the global response to COVID-19.

The sort of large-scale collaboration required for effective local, national, and global response to a pandemic can be constrained or even blocked by complicated processes, requirements for cross-border coordination, opaque operations, and lack of liquidity. Information is key, but access to information required by each of the collaborating parties can be problematic—the data may not be available, or it may be withheld because it contains sensitive data that owners are slow to disclose. In addition, supply chains without established financing programs suffer from lack of working capital to support a company’s cash conversion cycle.

We answer those issues and more with coordinated workflows, secure as-needed visibility into data and operations, verified data for compliance processes and access to more competitive and faster sources of financing. We bring a collaborative resource planning environment that provides privacy and security, while enabling all participants in the supply chain to work with one another safely and effectively, as though they were part of a single organization sharing a private enterprise resource planning system.

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We have made available several solutions that are providing just-in-time flexibility to manage inventory, remove blocking issues, and coordinate related transactions. The solutions help build dependable supply chains that include strategic sourcing programs for critical components, support for capital liquidity and mitigated risk that speeds execution and lowers overall cost of goods, and data sharing with field-level encryption that offers tracking across multiple supply chain tiers.

We’re proud to say we are already making a difference. Our products and services are helping the city of Los Angeles and Miami-Dade County, among others, build their COVID-19 supply chains, bringing the fruits of some six years of our development effort to food and equipment procurement and distribution. Los Angeles will deploy our solution to achieve end-to-end visibility in the supply chain from the manufacturers to the hospitals. “As Chief Logistics Officer for the City, I was tasked with the mission of augmenting hospital procurement efforts using the procurement and supply chain expertise of the City and Port of Los Angeles,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. With respect to the technology, he added, “Blockchain has the potential to reestablish trust in a supply chain that was severely disrupted by the pandemic.” We are also working with Miami-Dade County to facilitate PPE procurement and support local businesses in the economic recovery effort through our supply chain finance solutions. “We are trying to explore innovative methods that could benefit the business community that is tackling this pandemic, especially those [businesses] that are small, minority-owned and disadvantaged,” said Manny Gonzalez, Trade Commissioner for Miami-Dade County.

Skuchain is a small team of dedicated individuals working on cutting-edge solutions. Our time, effort, and collective expertise is precious, so we make sure we’re moving in the right direction, growing our business, and listening closely to our customers. And we’re pleased to help realize the potential of blockchain technologies to provide effective, practical solutions that boost efforts to improve the health and well-being of people around the world during the course the current pandemic.

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