BLOCKCHAIN-BASED TRACK AND TRACE SYSTEM
FOR GOODS LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT
Advanced Technological Solutions to Combat Brand Counterfeit and Generate Supply Chain Trust
Challenge: Alarming State of Grey Market
In Europe the grey import and counterfeit situation is dire. In 2016, in the UK, it was estimated at £13.6 billion, in Singapore $838 million, and in the U.S. $98 billion. At the end of 2020, global counterfeit losses were estimated to be $1.82 trillion.
These trends severely impact the retail industry and lead to a destructive business environment, including a loss of confidence in products and brands from honest and reputable manufacturers/importers, deterioration in the quality of goods and services, and incorrect information about goods and services.
The lack of technical solutions for consumer protection and counterfeit prevention compelled a long-term Unicsoft client to create a product that would provide law-abiding manufacturers and vendors brand protection and fight grey market imports.
Unicsoft’s customer aimed to create a solution capable of documenting all supply chain updates to a single shared ledger to guarantee complete data visibility, immutability and transparency for all supply chain participants.
TECHNOLOGY & TOOLS:
GoLang, React.JS, React Native, Hyperledger Fabric, AWS services, Confluence for technical documentation and gatling for performance tests
Fully-managed product development
Logistics, Distribution, Manufacturing, Retail
Supply chain, Fraud detection, Blockchain, Track & Trace
They asked Unicsoft to develop a track & trace solution from scratch as they lacked in-house blockchain expertise and were seeking an experienced expert capable of making a solid proof of concept for building a blockchain-based solution. We were also able to provide the full range of services required to deliver the project: web, mobile and blockchain end-to-end development.
Solution: Blockchain-Based System for Tracking Goods
The Unicsoft team developed a semi-decentralized solution for issuing and tracking encrypted blockchain-based datamatrix codes as the main layer of protection from grey market imports. The datamatrix codes can be scanned at any point in the merchandise life cycle to ensure the authenticity of the product, track its logistics, and prevent counterfeiting, which effectively solves the grey market issues.
To ensure high-level security and reliability of the system, we created a process for unique marking code generation using cryptographic protection. All product identification codes, geolocation and movements were stored in a blockchain infrastructure and couldn’t be falsified. Blockchain-based storage and protection of data demanded reliable cloud storage, so we proposed our customer to host all applications on Amazon Web Services.
Unicsoft leveraged a bunch of AWS services: CloudFront, CloudWatch, EC2 Container Service, Elastic Compute Cloud, Elasticsearch Service, Key Management Service, Relational Database Service, Route 53, Simple Storage Service and System Manager.
Since the track & trace solution was blockchain-based we needed to run different nodes and certain parts of it. With AWS it was easy to configure such a system by using VPC, auto-scaling, and different types of instances. Also, it was handy to have options to configure infrastructure exactly as we needed according to requirements.
Result: Saving Costs on Counterfeit Goods
Unicsoft’s blockchain-based track and trace system has been successfully implemented in a group of small and medium-sized enterprises and has proved its performance capability within the supply chain management process of goods.
We created a personal cabinet for manufacturers allowing code generation, accounting and analytics, blockchain-based data storage with highly secured encryption of datamatrix codes, mobile apps for manufacturers and customers enabling them to check the authenticity of the goods and report counterfeits, and advanced engineering infrastructure. Our solutions have clean API to integrate with any third-party modules.
- Counterfeit prediction. System provides the manufacturers with real-time information about the movement of goods through the logistics chain to predict counterfeit and grey import attempts.
- IP rights secured. Solution makes counterfeiting and grey market import technologically impossible and protects the IP rights of lawful manufacturers/importers through a unique digital passport.
- Goods authenticity guaranteed. Our solution guarantees the quality and authenticity of the goods to the end-customer, due to controlling the warranty, shelf life, and service life of every product, thus positively affecting manufacturers’ brands on the market.
- Product lifetime analytics. Unicsoft’s system offers advanced business analytics and reporting based on the data collected at all points from a product life cycle: code stamped during production, product scanned during transportation, goods stored in the retail store, goods at the POS-terminal during purchase, and product unpacked at home.
- Increased customer loyalty. Solution enables direct customer feedback, personalized loyalty programs, and individual discounts, improving the manufacturer’s PR and marketing strategies in the market.
- Cost-effective application. AWS gave us an option for very slight configuration of each part of the infrastructure, so we could easily change anything we needed to achieve business goals and thus reduce development costs.
- High reliability and scalability of the system. We used AWS to ensure consistency, security, reliability, convenience, and automatic scalability of the track & trace solution.
Efficient development lifecycle. Infrastructure as Code approach in combination with CI/CD provided us with the possibility to maintain the existing architecture easily and implement new features quickly.
- AWS facilitated cost reduction & streamlined development process. When we started using AWS, our new features which entailed changes in architecture were implemented more than twice as fast as our previous solution. AWS usage helped us to decrease our spend by 30% by moving part of our workers to Lambda Functions. AWS Auto Scaling groups helped us avoid cases when some parts of application crashed due to high load.
Potential capacity of blockchain-based track & trace system for businesses
The Unicsoft team deeply understands the need of different businesses for adopting blockchain-based solutions in the supply chain and devising effective approaches for their delivery and implementation. The range of companies interested in integrating such a platform into their supply chains varies from FMCG and production of construction materials to the agricultural industry.
This solution is useful for the following industries:
- Pharmaceuticals and perfumes
- Fashion clothing and sportswear
- Accessories and elite consumables
- Children’s toys
- Spare car parts
- Aircraft components
- Car accessories, etc.
This creates trust throughout the entire supply chain for multiple market players, as leading global manufacturers ineffectively spend millions of dollars to combat counterfeiting. Please contact us to set up a free consultation to determine how the Unicsoft blockchain program can help your business optimize supply chain management processes and reduce costs.