Transparency-One and Microsoft announce blockchain service for supply chain transparency
Source-to-store supply chain transparency solution, Transparency-One, has partnered with Microsoft to provide blockchain capabilities for its platform.
Transparency-One customers will now have the option to add an additional layer of security to their data by storing critical supply chain information, captured in Transparency-One, in Microsoft Azure's Blockchain Services.
Blockchain heightens the security of the data stored in Transparency-One by creating a ledger of all transactions between supply chain partners, and making it immutable.
With this technology, all transactions, including any updates or modifications, are immediately recorded and stored in the blockchain. Blockchain data can immediately be accessed by designated supply chain partners, providing full transparency at each step of the supply chain.
“Blockchain is a powerful technology that can play an integral role in helping businesses achieve end-to-end supply chain transparency, in any industry," said Frédéric Daniel, Chief Technology Officer of Transparency-One.
“Transparency-One maps the complete supply chain down to the raw material, and blockchain ensures that every step of the process is permanently recorded, providing an even higher level of data security.”
Shish Shridhar, Microsoft Worldwide Retail Industry Solutions Director, commented: “Blockchain is a transformational technology with the ability to significantly reduce the friction of doing business and transform supply chain solutions.”
“Transparency-One's value proposition to map the entire supply chain, track compliance, and provide analytics to proactively manage business risks, combined with the Microsoft Azure's Blockchain Services, will enable organisations to ensure the security and integrity of supply chain data.”
The blockchain services build on Transparency-One's supply chain digitisation and mapping technology. Brand owners, retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers along the entire value chain can use the Transparency-One solution to discover their end-to-end supply chain networks, share and exchange relevant product, component, and facility information, and analyse performance.
The platform can manage a range of supply chain data, including:
- Chain of custody: mapping of the complete supply chain
- Product integrity: product composition, quality, testing, and safety information
- Supplier compliance: supplier and facility details, country of origin, certifications and audits
- Documentation for regulatory compliance
Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution
Founded in 1952, Grupo Espinosa has been relentlessly supporting the publishing industry with producing more than 100 million copies every year – whether its books, magazines, catalogues or single-order custom prints. No project is big or small for Grupo Espinosa, as the facility can scale up on demand and their turnaround times are highly competitive. Grupo Espinosa works with on-demand digital press or offset press, in paperback with glued softcover binding, PUR softcover binding, stitched paperback binding, binder’s board, hardcover, saddle stitched, Spiral or Wire-O. Equipped with the experience needed for a product to leave the plant ready for distribution, Grupo Espinosa delivers anywhere inside or outside Mexico. Traditionally starting off as a black and white printing press, Grupo Espinosa has experienced transformation first hand – from colour to digital offset printing. Currently, Grupo Espinosa is also looking at making capital investments into audio books to match with the increasing demand.
So how did a seemingly local operation in Latin America become a world-renowned printing facility trusted by hundreds of clients? As Rogelio Tirado, CFO of Grupo Espinosa for the last six years says “It all comes down to our market experience and our dedication to quality”. With nearly 70 years behind them, and located in Mexico City, Grupo Espinosa has two major locations – one spanning 75,000 square metres and the other about 45,000 square metres. Both locations are controlled by a single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system ensuring speed, consistency and quality of work. Tirado says this isn’t their only competitive advantage. He adds “Our competitive advantage is the relationship we have with customers and the trust they put in us with their intellectual property”. Speaking of trust, global publishing giant Macmillan Education exclusively partners with Grupo Espinosa for their Latin America operations, as part of Macmillan’s decentralized hub strategy. Having a facility that offered the full spectrum of service – from storing digital content to printing and distributing – was one of the major requirements for Macmillan, and Grupo Espinosa was recognized as the leading printing hub for providing this 360 infrastructure. Another factor that has led to success for Grupo Espinosa is the absolute focus on quality and time. The staff are committed to providing the best quality in the best possible time, without causing wastage of resources. Sustainability is a huge factor playing into Grupo Espinosa’s operations, and they’ve created a healthy environment with the sustainable use of paper and energy resources as well as keeping their employees – most of them associated with the organisation for over 10 years – happy. He adds, “In order to be truly successful, you need to be good to the environment, employees, suppliers, and your customers. But most importantly, you need to be sustainable, you need to have proper working conditions, pay proper salaries, proper prices for paper, source the paper from sustainable sources, pay your taxes, basically be a good global corporate citizen and that's probably one of the biggest achievements that we have.”