AI Solution For Supply-Chain Management
Transparent Path is transforming the way food is delivered.
Simply put, it’s providing real-time transparency, visibility, and predictive intelligence to the food-supply chain — an industry expected to reach $30 billion by 2025.
To do this, the company has partnered with Intel to create cutting-edge sensors. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, these sensors inform food producers when something goes wrong. As a result, they enable those in the supply chain to fix issues in a timely manner, and even anticipate future problems before they occur.
Food waste is a bigger problem that many people realize. Most of us see the food we pick out from grocery stores or farmers' markets. But did you know that $1 trillion worth of food is sent from farms directly to landfills each year?
The main problem is that the food industry has under-invested in data support systems. Businesses lack data on product conditions during transport. And this lack of transparency results in massive food waste.
The food supply chain industry is far behind other markets with respect to data frameworks, standards, and visibility.
Businesses have spent millions of dollars trying to manage their operations and supply chains using fax machines, phone calls, and emails. But these tools are outdated, and they add to the lack of transparent data.
The bottom line: the food supply chain industry has a data problem.
To be fair, efforts are being taken to improve the situation. However, more problems keep popping up. For example:
• When food issues like contamination or damage occur, various links in the supply chain all shift blame onto one another.
• Companies are stuck using legacy systems built 25 years ago, leaving data largely in a silo.
• And imports/exports are dominated by manual input and paper-based systems.
It’s not all bad news, though. A series of four data improvements could significantly reduce waste and streamline the food supply chain process. These improvements are as follows:
1. Gathering more food data economically.
2. Connecting the systems that store that data.
3. Sharing real-time data with all supply chain participants.
4. And operationalizing the data using Artificial Intelligence.
This is what Transparent Path has set out to achieve.
This company has created a hardware and software platform to provide near real-time visibility into food products as they travel through the supply chain. The platform consists of Internet of Things sensors that feed a shared and secure data ecosystem, as well as a predictive analysis module to predict sourcing, transport, or supply chain issues before they happen.
As mentioned earlier, Transparent Path uses sensors sourced through its technology partner, Intel. These are highly sophisticated devices consisting of 4G LTE gateway radios that connect to small sensors.
In a typical shipment, one gateway connects with multiple sensors, enabling the supplier to place sensors at various locations within a shipping container or storage unit. These sensors then monitor temperature, humidity, light, and shock. The gateway gathers this information (along with GPS location) at predetermined intervals and connects via cellular connection with its cloud-based platform.
By 2022, Transparent Path aims to replace these sensors with ProofTags. Through its partnership with Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, the company aims to create these printed sensors that can be scaled to attach to food packages at volume.
These tags will consist of two layers. The outer layer will have a printed QR code that provides the unique identity of the sensor. Using the code and a smartphone, anyone will be able to look up the origin and proof of transit for that item.
The inner layer will consist of an always-on temperature and humidity sensor powered by a printed battery. As long as a gateway is nearby to connect to the sensor, it will transmit environmental conditions to the system.
To complement this hardware, Transparent Path has a subscription-based software platform. It calls this a “Platform-as-a-Service.” This enables customers to create shipments, tag items, and trace custody of food. Customers can also see their product’s current location and if it will be delivered on time.
Transparent Path charges customers for monthly subscriptions of its software and sensors. The company also generates revenue through supply chain advisory services.
Transparent Path started in July 2018. Within a few months, the company partnered with Penta Global, a blockchain development provider, and began testing a number of sensor technology candidates.
In 2019, Transparent Path completed its first successful pilot, tracking apples for a large produce packer in Michigan. Soon after, the company expanded its team and brought on the former general manager of Expedia, a travel website, and a former global user experience lead for Amazon Last Mile logistics.
Most recently, Transparent Path was accepted into the 5G Open Innovation Lab, a Seattle-based incubator focused on computing and 5G connectivity startups.
Notably, the company’s advisory board includes a former senior executive and plant manager for KraftHeinz, Nabisco, and Pepsico, and a former executive with Target and Litehouse Foods.
Eric has guided more than 80 brands throughout his career, including Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble.
He started as a software project manager with General Motors. From there, he became a community and content manager with America Online.
After that, he was Director of Digital Delivery for Possible, a marketing and advertising company. While there, his clients included General Foods, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson.
As Vice President of Delivery for AKQA, a design and communications company, Eric then managed clients including FedEx, Mattel, and the Mayo Clinic. He then became Senior Vice President of Young & Rubicam, a marketing and advertising company, and managed clients including Ford, Taco Bell, and Clorox.
Just before starting Transparent Path, Eric was Vice President of Customer Experience at Xerox, a printing and IT services company, where he managed a $550 million marketing budget.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Xavier University.
Lauren brings experience in food retailing, supply chain systems, and finance to Transparent Path.
Her career began at Merrill Lynch, an investment firm, where she served as a financial analyst and financial systems manager.
From there, she became a merchandising manager with Star Markets, a New England supermarket chain, where she managed a $28 million division.
Notably, Lauren spent nearly four years with Amazon, working as a replenishment manager and Director of Supply Chain Integration. She was responsible for implementing strategy to create supply chain transparency between Amazon and its suppliers.
More recently, she was Director of Client Services with ShipLogix, a transportation management software company. After that, she was President of Day2 Consulting, a company providing strategic merchandising and supply chain advisory services.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Dartmouth University.
Mark has extensive experience in the food industry, marketing for large brands like General Mills and Pillsbury. He also serves on the board of Food Lifeline, one of Seattle’s largest food banks.
He began his career in marketing, serving as Marketing Director for Royal Caribbean, a cruise line. From there, he was Vice President of Global Marketing for Holland America Line, another cruise line.
For the next five years, Mark was General Manager of Cruise Marketing for Expedia, a travel website. He then was Vice President of Cruise Products for Virtuoso, a tourism company.
He earned his Bachelor’s degree in History from Duke University and an MBA from The University of Chicago.
Sunil is a technology veteran with experience in Artificial Intelligence and enterprise cloud computing.
He spent 17 years with Microsoft, working as a business development manager, product manager, and director. He also served in a senior leadership role with General Dynamics, an aerospace and defense company.
Most recently, he co-founded Zsolutionz, a software company focused on computer vision and machine learning projects.
Sunil earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
Paule came to Transparent Path from Amazon Logistics, where they served as global lead for the “last-mile” user experience. Prior to that, they were a senior UX designer with Amazon, focusing on the company’s Kindle e-reader product.
Earlier in their career, Paule was a user experience designer for Microsoft, and held the same position with T-Mobile, a wireless phone company. Paule began as a creative director for IBM.
Paule earned a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the New York School of Visual Arts.
Maria is a leader in the organic food space, and has worked as a sales and marketing leader for top brands including Target, Great Harvest Bread, and Nature’s Path Foods.
She began her career as an account supervisor with Grey Group, a global advertising and marketing agency. After that, she spent nearly four years as a manager at Target.
She then spent nearly a decade as Director of Sales and Marketing with Great Harvest Bread Co., followed by seven years as Executive Director of Marketing and Communications with Nature’s Path Foods.
More recently, Maria was Vice President of Marketing and Communications with Litehouse, a consumer products manufacturer. She then became Vice President of Marketing and Sales with Numi Organic Tea.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Minnesota.