The Silicon Review
“TruDoss offers a digital platform to use distributed ledgers for the benefit of asset values. It creates an instant history of past paper and digital communications.”
We’re thrilled to present TruDoss, a digital platform that speeds decision-making and execution in asset supply chains based on a rare presentation of historical and real-time data. TruDoss includes a SaaS-enabled, display-and-review database with distributed ledger (blockchain) node. The company was founded in 2018 in the United States and Switzerland.
Rob Chepak (Co-founder) spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. Have you always been passionate about supply chain management? Tell us what inspired the foundation of TruDoss.
TruDoss exists to serve global supply chains experiencing a challenging period of fragility cause by outside shocks and design philosophy.
Supply chains have been a low investment priority for years. Too many businesses engineer them for efficiency at the expense of resiliency and reliability. So-called ‘Asset Light’ companies outsourced whole segments of their production supply chain to pursue profitability. They also use focused factories, centralized distribution, and supply base consolidation.
This creates trade-offs. Traditionally, there are four competing metrics in supply chain optimization — cost, speed, security, and reliability. Over-emphasis in one area creates downside risk in others. If my business wants to speed up delivery, for example, then costs go up. When external disruptions upend the balancing act, as with COVID-19, then supply chains become less reliable, less secure, and less predictable.
TruDoss challenges the traditional notions about supply chain balance. We believe supply chains can be fast and secure or cost effective and reliable. We can break down information siloes, reduce friction among data sources, drive transparency using advanced search technology, and secure sensitive information against tampering.
Q. What can you tell us about the TruDoss supply chain management solution?
It solves two problems. First, we fix “information creep” in supply chains. Information naturally grows within supply chains over time. Not just grows. It explodes. Paper format, digital format, etc. There’s never going to be less data. Second, a lot of supply chains already have valuable information. The challenge is finding it.
TruDoss handles these challenges incredibly well. Because we’re data collection experts, we can collect information from disparate sources quickly. We use a lot of different tools to do this, and the benefit is speed. Data collection projects that take weeks get reduced to days; Projects that take days get reduced to hours.
Second, we make sure our customers don’t forget about all the good information at their disposal. Historical data is generally under-valued. We try to bring it to life on the platform. As Shakespeare wrote, “What’s past is prologue.”
We combine real-time data with historical information about the entire supplier ecosystem to help customers make informed decisions about sourcing, customer commitments and regulatory requirements. True supply chain integrity is not achieved by EDI and ERP systems alone. Information has to move across businesses and systems without losing integrity.
What does all this mean day to day? Our supply chain customers share documents with suppliers, regulators, and customers with significant improvements in data quality, speed, version control and counterfeit protection. They have the critical information in a supplier’s history to guide their actions using advanced search technology previously reserved for big banks.
Q. That’s not all TruDoss does. What are your other focus areas?
Supply chain management is one of the four verticals that benefit from the seamless integration of robust SaaS document management and blockchain. The use of TruDoss technology for real estate title protection, for example, is far superior to the old-fashioned research used to issue title insurance. It is weeks faster at a fraction of the cost. Blockchain can be a game-changer for more than 30 million art transactions each year by improving the process for verifying the authenticity of each piece. The information associated with natural resources has been mired in paperwork forever, and creating a distributed ledger environment there is another value-added feature for a global industry. Finally, our use of ‘Depth of Vision’ is a perfect combination of our document capture and chain of custody capabilities, which are critical in today’s import/export environment. We can help any manufacturing company quickly create visibility into the supplier’s supply chain and accurately forecast disruptions weeks before they impact the assembly line.
Q. ‘At TruDoss, we believe in making tradable assets more valuable, liquid, and enduring through investment in information packaging and delivery.’ Would you like to elaborate on this a bit more?
The party with the best information usually wins in complex asset transactions, whether that’s selling a piece of art or sourcing for a big supply chain. Our founders learned their trade in corporate mergers and acquisitions. We have managed more than 500,000,000 pages of valuable information for M&A due diligence so we know there are similar questions about documents representing valuable assets in any industry: Is it the last version, the only version, or has the document been altered before disclosure? This is where blockchain comes in. A distributed ledger eliminates this concern as every iteration of a document, along with the person who “touched” it, can be recorded to the distributed ledger. Suppose someone presents a document that has not been given a ‘digital fingerprint’ on the blockchain. In that case, TruDoss can flag it as not being part of the chain of blocks representing the file’s certainty and history. We’re like an instant historian for asset values. We collect source documents, validate them with blockchain, then give you high level search tools for due diligence.
Q. Are there any new focus areas? Please share an overview.
We’re always looking for new technologies to build into our platform. We continue to invest in new ways to use distributed ledgers. We are interested in digital certificates of origin or authenticity as a byproduct of our rigorous chain of custody process.
Q. Forming and managing innovation teams is overwhelming. That said, how do you keep your decision-makers focused?
We love tackling hard problems. We are a SaaS organization that thrives on working with brave companies to solve data challenges. Our work on the first virtual data room lowered the cost of an M&A transaction by hundreds of thousands of dollars and cut the time to close by weeks and months. It wasn’t easy at first. A lot of companies were happy with old methods of due diligence in M&A. But, we found some great partners who were just as ambitious as us. We know we can replicate that.
Q. Where do you stand as a company in the current market landscape? And what are you doing to stay ahead of the curve?
We’re ahead of a lot of companies simply because we have commercialized a blockchain product. It’s backed by 24/7 customer service and we can usually start uploading asset information in 30 minutes or less around the world. Our intellectual property and commercialized platform places us in an early position as a thought leader and a company that has delivered a real solution supported by a fully certified global document management company. We have always maintained the position that a working product that delivers value has a place in the business of asset valuation and management.
Q. How do you plan to transform your company into a future that is unfolding before you?
Twenty-five years ago, some wise people had three ideas about how the internet would evolve. The term SaaS did not exist and you were unhappy because an email that someone sent you would take so long to download. Those three ideas were: the internet will get faster; content will get richer, and that information will take up a lot more space wherever it is stored, and finally, not everything sent will be safe. Those three ideas drove change. Today, distributed ledgers (blockchain) are just at the beginning stages for practical applications. Creating immutable records of valuable assets has never been more critical. Every asset can now be bought, sold, or traded globally. Having absolute proof behind the underlying data will not go out of fashion any time soon.