Early examples of blockchain successes
Ruby's Naturals is an early adopter of blockchain, and has found success with it as a whole.
Ruby's Naturals, Inc. is a producer of specialty frozen food products, including organic frozen treat brand Ruby Rockets and coffeehouse-inspired, ice-cream bar brand Brewla. As part of a commitment to providing healthy, trustworthy treats for kids and families, the Ruby Rockets brand prides itself in using only organic fruits and vegetables, without added sweeteners or artificial food colorings.
Stephen Davis, president of Ruby’s Naturals, said, “For Ruby Rockets, it is important to have full transparency into the whole lifecycle of our products, including ingredients—from farm to finger.”
However, with its previous enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, looking at a product’s history involved a massive, complicated paper trail of spreadsheets, certificates of analysis, and other disparate systems. Davis added, “If someone wanted to know where a batch of strawberries came from, it would take considerable time and effort to provide an answer.”
When it came time to update its ERP system, Ruby Rockets decided to take a more innovative approach using blockchain. With interest growing in the food & beverage industry around blockchain for food safety and traceability reasons, Ruby Rockets recognized that the technology—which would provide a permanent, decentralized record of all product movements—could help streamline its paper trail and drive greater supply chain–wide transparency and efficiency. After conducting industry research, the frozen food brand selected the Omnichain platform, which uses distributed ledger technology to connect the supply chain from end to end.
The Omnichain team worked one on one with Ruby Rockets to implement the platform, which uses a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) model. A BaaS model offers faster implementations and scalability as a company and its supply chain grows, since users can leverage the system and data through any device with an internet browser.
According to Sean Couture, director of operations at Ruby's Naturals, “In under 90 days, Omnichain was able to integrate the platform with our accounting system, purchase orders, inventory management system and online shop, enabling real-time data flow from the suppliers down to the consumer level. Every transaction and product movement is permanently logged and trackable, giving us a straight line to follow, rather than a mesh of documents and spreadsheets.”
Using the Omnichain platform, Ruby Rockets now has complete traceability so it can quickly determine a product’s origins and facilitate food safety management. The company can communicate this level of traceability and instill greater trust in their products to consumers. Moreover, with real-time data between the production and consumer level, Ruby Rockets can monitor the flow of inventory across all sales channels, including its online shop and brick-and-mortar retail partners, which helps with proactive demand forecasting and production planning.
Couture advised, “A lot of food & beverage manufacturers may be apprehensive about blockchain. They may see it as cumbersome, requiring extensive infrastructure and investments. But working with Omnichain, the whole process has been really quick and painless. Since their platform uses a BaaS model, I’m not relying on any external server. I can access all the information I need—when I need it—through just a browser.”
Davis concluded, “In today’s complicated and fast-moving supply chain, food & beverage manufacturers need insight into their product lifecycles, especially to ensure food safety and protect consumers—as well as brand reputation. Blockchain offers that insight and visibility. It is not something to think about later. The technology will be a necessity for companies and brands of all sizes.”