Bext360: Start-Up in Sustainable Supply Chain Digitization
Founded in 2015 by Daniel Jones, Bext360 is a SaaS (software as a service) platform that provides traceability, authentication and sustainable intelligence. It offers a platform for every user and every step in the supply chain, from origin to consumer. Application Programming Interface allows for the platform to be integrated in websites, supply chain management systems and point-of-sale systems.
What it does:
Bext360 is a startup that utilises machine vision and artificial intelligence. It locates and provides high-quality agricultural products, such as coffee, directly from the source. This creates transparency within the supply chain and encourages companies to be more honest about where they are sourcing their products. Bext360 then makes payments directly to farmers, communities, banks and other stakeholders and utilises blockchain technology where possible. Blockchain technology also creates an added layer of traceability and data storage.
It’s system can then trace the products or services all the way to the consumer from the source, allowing the end consumer to directly interact with who provides the goods. This system then comes full circle, allowing the wholesalers and retailers to embed the technology into their own sites, marketing and supply chain management systems.
Blockchain technology emerged in 2016 and allows data to be stored globally on thousands of servers, becoming a more efficient way to share information and data between businesses. It is difficult for just one person to control the network, making it more secure and hard to hack.
Blockchain allows for real-time visibility, providing transparency and immutability therefore regaining trust and control to the supply chain. Blockchain is slowly being integrated into technology in the supply chain as it makes it more transparent and allows companies to regain trust from their customers if they can show directly where they are sourcing their products.
Companies now have a responsibility to be more transparent with their suppliers and consumers. Consumers are demanding honesty from suppliers now more than ever. Bext360 is implemented worldwide and therefore can trace and receive data about dozens of suppliers.
It’s system greater increases business intelligence and provides a sustainability metric. These measure aspects of sustainability like environmental, social and economic and tracking the process of all three. More specifically, a sustainability metric can measure things such as; water and materials use, waste management and energy efficiency. With the data received using blockchain technology, Bext360 can measure and trace environmental damage caused by a particular process or service.
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.