This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Supply Chain Management series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and supply chain management.
In this interview we speak with Irene Woerner, CEO and Co-founder of emTRUTH, to understand how her company is using blockchain to transform the supply chain management business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind emTruth. Why and how did you begin?
IW: Throughout my career, I have always been driven by intellectual curiosity and solving interesting problems. emTRUTH is my second startup. I wanted to do something meaningful that I liked, with people that I liked. emTRUTH builds solutions that inspire trust, because those are our values as a company and as people.
My co-founder and I saw blockchain as a fundamental technology component that supports our core mission. Specifically, blockchain cannot be deleted or edited, only appended. This inherent structure, that is cryptographically supported, lends itself well to industries that need authenticity, traceability, compliance and cybersecurity; all of which contribute to more trustworthy products and processes.
2. Please describe your use case and how emTruth uses blockchain:
IW: emTRUTH has many specific use cases like traceability of complex products down to raw materials and secured data sharing and collaboration for maintenance, repair and overhaul. In the broadest sense, today’s supply chains are global and complex. Additionally, the industries we serve, like aerospace and defense, have complex products that are increasingly connected and creating a lot of digital artifacts.
Most systems we see today are process-centric like ERP, MRP, testing, etc. These process-centric systems and associated data are critical, because they help individual companies optimize specific processes. However, a product passes through many systems, processes and companies during its lifecycle. Today’s supply chains require secure data sharing and collaboration between many companies and systems. This is the gap that emTRUTH addresses. emTRUTH provides a secure and trusted platform that harmonizes disparate data and provides trusted stakeholders a more efficient and effective way to share and collaborate.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
IW: One business case is for new product introduction. emTRUTH customer is a tier 1 supplier to OEMs. For a new OEM product, tier 1 supplier uses emTRUTH BlockTwin, as a NIST CUI compliant platform to capture all required digital artifacts that are contractually required from sub-tier suppliers. These suppliers were geographically distributed, and there was an aggressive time to market schedule. All the digital twin data (i.e., what is it made of, where has it been, what was done to it) was captured in blockchain through secure sharing and collaboration. This business case resulted in greater than 10x return on investment, because of the time saved by team members when compared against traditional approach that required a lot more checking and chasing.
Another business case is an additive manufacturer who uses emTRUTH BlockTwin to tie physical product to its digital twin in blockchain. Product has a secure unique identifier built into the product itself, and this identifier is tied to its digital twin (e.g., 3D models, machine settings and parameters, powder certification, etc.). Each physical product is delivered to a customer with its accompanying digital twin. emTRUTH provides a competitive differentiator for them.
4. What other blockchain use cases in supply chain management are you excited about?
IW: We knew other industries had the same challenges for authenticity, traceability, compliance and cybersecurity. I’m excited about emTRUTH applications in other verticals like healthcare and food. We are already collaborating with medical device companies to address their business needs and have started discussions with companies in food. This cross pollination of technologies and best practices is very productive for customers.
I’m also excited about our new solution, BlockGuardian, that uses our patent-pending distributed ledger technology stack. BlockGuardian provides cybersecurity for any connected device. We showed our working prototype, on a widely available commercial IoT platform, to a large defense contractor, and they immediately saw how it could help.
5. Where will emTruth be in 5 years?
IW: We like to focus on emTRUTH core competencies and partner with innovative companies that have solutions complementary to ours. These partnerships allow us to offer a more complete solution to customers, and I believe we are much stronger together.
In 5 years, emTRUTH will have widely adopted enterprise solutions, at scale, in production for many industries and will help create more trustworthy products with more trustworthy processes. We will continue to innovate with our solutions so customers can focus on their core competencies. We are part of their trusted supply chain.