Blockchain is easily the most exciting technology right now. It’s restraint to data modification and the assurance of high security makes it even more appealing. But are organizations harnessing the true potential of blockchain? Meet Bob Betts, an enigmatic persona who’s worked in the information technology field for over twenty years. Having the opportunity to work on some of the most challenging business and technological problems, Bob’s projects include the first- and second-generation IBM PCs, Worldwide Military Command and Control System, the NASA Hubble Space Telescope, and the NASA Space Station Freedom. But more importantly, Bob is better known as the founder of BLOCNETS, a company that’s unleashing the power of blockchain technologies.
In a conversation with Bob, we learned more about BLOCNETS. Here are the excerpts of the interview:
Let’s start off with BLOCNETS
BLOCNETS is committed to bringing the power of blockchain technologies to supply chains around the world. We address the gaps that exist in today’s supply chain applications using secured distributed ledger technologies to create true peer-to-peer networks for our customers. Using BLOCNETS products, organizations of all sizes can obtain unprecedented levels of transparency, security, and accountability across their extended supply chains, revolutionizing their business performance.
How does your product and service measure up?
Today’s supply chains are incredibly complex as intricate webs of suppliers, partners, and customers exchange “things of value” including goods, services, data, and documents often across international borders. By putting your supply chain on the blockchain, you encode each transaction into a block of digital data as the parties agree to the details. Each block is connected to the one before it and after it, creating a permanent and immutable history of every product from origin to sale.
Thanks to this shared record, reconciling disparate ledgers becomes a thing of the past. Information is shared across a private network on a need-to-know basis. And transactions are permanently recorded without the risk of anyone deleting or altering any information. The result is a more trusted and efficient supply chain that reduces time delays, added costs, and human error that plague today’s supply chains.
“BLOCNETS has an intuitive, user friendly interface. We are currently working with a key vendor to incorporate this tool to securely exchange contractual and technical data, and are experiencing an increased level of collaboration and communication with this vendor as a result.”
–Kenneth W. Sullivan, Ph.D., P.E. President and CEO at Micro Craft, Inc.
Share with us three experiences that have brought you here.
Over the last past 16 years, I have been re-engineering companies and their supply chains using the most advanced tools available (the products that are top of the Gartner Magic Quadrant). Yet these products failed to address one of the central issues, the extended, multi-tier supply chains.
The second would be realizing that nearly all the supply chain products available to us have a base technology that is over 40-years-old. No one would drive a car this old, but companies continue to spend millions of dollars on this technology; it’s all that is available.
Another experience was when I was working with a large manufacturing company that was having trouble delivering the product at cost and on time. Their supply chain had over 500 unique companies, supplying over 1,600 components. I asked the director of supply chain for the supplier compliance with their ASNs. The person asked me; “what is an ASN, a new product numbering scheme?” This experience drives me to ensure all BLOCNETS applications have an “assist” mode, where they can assist the supply chain staff in the process, data analytics, and ascertaining potential issues and remedies.
Current market demands are sky-high, how do you stay relevant to your customers?
BLOCNETS has multi-industry supply chain domain experts on staff. Many of these people have 20+ years as operating supply chain executives across the industries. Additionally, the entire design and implementation of the system are focused on the operational use. So, our system does not require months of training to become competent. It is designed to be used “out of the box” by the user with minimal (30 minutes of orientation) training.
If you could change one thing about the company, what would it be?
I would have hired/contracted a CFO sooner. Managing the financial daily takes much more than most people realize, especially in a cash-tight startup.
Leading the way
Bob Betts, Founder
Bob is the founder of BLOCNETS and the primary intellectual property contributor. In 1985, Bob was introduced to supply chain management when he was assigned to resolve a plant level microprocessor shortage at a PC assembly plant. Since then, he has worked globally on some of the industries most sophisticated and extensive global business networks with companies including IBM, SONY, Mitsubishi, and others. He has conducted projects for the Army Materiel Command, the Army Aviation and Missile Command, and Rock Island Arsenal. He is also active as a founder and board member of the MIT Supply Chain Innovation Forum.
Prior to BLOCNETS, Bob founded and managed MAINSTREET APPLICATIONS- an integration and SAP based consulting company. Additionally, he held management and executive positions with several companies including IBM and SAP. Most recently, Bob was the Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain for SAP, where he was responsible for moving SAP from 5th to 1st ranked by supply chain revenue. For the last twelve years, Bob has been working with CPG/Retail companies, aerospace and defense contractors, the U.S. Military, and medical device manufacturers integrating SAP with newly emerging technologies including Kinaxis, Logility, and SAP HANNA. During this time, he has had the opportunity to speak at multiple business and technology conferences, has co-authored two books, and is co-holder of 64 U.S. technology patents.
“At BLOCNETS, we understand the real-world supply chain management problems your organization faces.”