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The logistics surrounding effective supply chain operations are notoriously complex. Especially, in our rapidly advancing, always-on world, where real-time product distribution and delivery has become the norm.

The award-winning team at Modum leverages blockchain technology to deliver cutting-edge supply chain solutions across the globe. Having started with the pharmaceutical (pharma) industry as their pilot project, they aim to, over time, also roll out tailor-made solutions across the other major sectors, in line with their vision of improving all of our planet’s key supply chain operations with emerging technologies.

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And, Modum is sharing its success with the general public. The modum digital token (MOD), which represents profit participation and company voting rights, was launched during an initial coin offering (ICO) earlier this year and can now be traded on selected cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Challenge

Supply chains represent the networks between enterprises and their suppliers to produce goods, distribute them and deliver the finished products to customers. Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the professional field which focuses on developing and implementing supply chains that are as efficient and economical as possible.

Businesses aim to optimise their supply chains so that they can gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, flowing from the improved efficiencies and economies in their operations. But, supply chain managers face multiple challenges, on an ongoing basis, to fulfil these objectives.

In an ever-globalising world, products need to be moved over greater distances, and faster, than ever before. Because of the logistical vastness associated with extended networks, it has become extremely difficult –if not impossible- for businesses to, singularly, own or control the whole distribution process.

Therefore, reliance on third-party service providers and suppliers within the same supply chain, is necessary; each focusing on their own, core competencies. But, the segregation of responsibility and control introduces multiple risks to the process of moving products from their inception to the final destination.

And, in the pharma industry, such risks are multiplied. Not only do pharma supply chains have to contend with the key challenges faced by all other industries –e.g. time, cost, security & tracking- but, also tight regulations surrounding the storage and transportation of medicines.

On its website, Modum fully explains the regulations outlined by the European Commission for the distribution and transportation of medicinal products for human use. The major challenge posed by these rules is the onus of proof, where pharma distributors are required to track, review, record and report, amongst other stipulations, the temperature conditions which the medicines were exposed to during transportation.

But, on the flipside, it is also estimated that approximately $3 billion is wasted annually, in the EU, for unnecessary cooling during the conveying of medicines. Due to a lack of suitable monitoring technologies to date, pharma distributors choose to err on the safe side; even where, in 60 percent of shipments, cooling is not necessary, just proof that ambient temperature requirements have been complied with.

The Solution

Powered by blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), Modum provides a supply chain solution to the pharma industry, which not only ensures statutory compliance, but also significant cost savings over the active-cooling methods currently in use.

The Modum solution consists of four, high-tech elements, working in perfect harmony; an environmental sensor device, a smartphone application (app), an analytics dashboard and smart contracts on a blockchain.

Modum’s sensors are fully programmable devices which are included with each shipment of pharma products. They are configured by the user according to the range of environmental factors to be measured and activated at the start of the journey. From thereon, the sensors track and record the conditions –such as temperature fluctuations- which the shipments are subject to, from start to finish.

The Modum smartphone app allows logistics teams to connect and activate sensors quickly and efficiently. It also permits the receiving party –be it the next supply chain partner or the customer at the final destination- to perform immediate data readouts, without even opening the package, when the shipment reaches them. The application further allows for easy integration of the Modum solution into existing logistics operations. By scanning the sensor’s QR code and the package’s tracking number, the sensor is connected effortlessly to any parcel, while the alarm criteria are set remotely.

An analytics dashboard allows logistics teams to program shipments, also to gain a wealth of insights regarding the tracking and review of the consignment throughout its journey, by means of bulk analysis, or specific filtering. It further permits quality assurance teams to pre-configure settings for specific products and facilitates automated responses by the program, such as notifications, product returns, or reshipments in the case of deviations.

The smart contracts -which are built into the Modum solution- secure the logistics data of each consignment, with decentralized blockchain technology, wherever in the world the shipment may be traveling at any given time. Bespoke instructions, pre-coded into the smart contracts, can also prompt actions within the supply chain, such as the automatic triggering of specific logistics processes, as and when the shipment reaches specified stages along the way. Pharma clients specifically, use Modum smart contracts to store temperature thresholds for their products in transit. If temperatures outside of these limits are recorded, a notification is sent to the sender and the receiver of the consignment. Smart contracts also create secure, immutable and auditable records of shipment conditions to meet customer and regulatory interests.

The MOD token

To raise capital for the purposes of developing and bringing the Modum solution to market, the Company offered its own MOD crypto token –of the Ethereum ERC20 type– for sale during an ICO which ran from 1-22 September 2017.

Holders of the MOD token are entitled to participate in the future profits of the Enterprise, also to vote regarding Company matters.

In the MOD Token Overview published on their website, Modum reports that, of the total token supply of 27,266,200 MOD, 64 percent were sold during the crowd-sale. The remaining 36 percent is locked in a smart contract, to be released upon future, public voting, regarding the matters specified in the overview, and upon reaching the milestones defined in the Company’s whitepaper.

The MOD token can be bought and sold on public cryptocurrency exchanges. It is currently available at BinanceKuCoinMercatox and EtherDelta.

After its ICO earlier in the year, MOD traded at $0.48. It currently trades at $6.70, a considerable growth in value, over a period of approximately three months.

The Team & The Partners

The Company, modum.io AG, was founded in 2016 and describes itself as a tech startup, developing systems to improve supply chain processes by combining the best of blockchain technology and IoT.

As it is based in Zürich, Switzerland, between the “Crypto Valley” in Zug, a hot-spot for fintech and cryptocurrency innovation, and Basel, a European pharma hub where Novartis and Hoffmann-La Roche are headquartered, the Company believes that it is perfectly located to bring its innovative solution to market.

Modum is under the capable leadership of its CEO, Simon Dossegger, who holds a Master’s degree in Robotics; the COO, Dr Stefan M Weber and CTO, Sacha Uhlmann. The rest of the team, board of directors and advisory board, consist of, amongst others, two professors, two doctors and several other highly qualified industry professionals and academics, of whom a full description is given on the Company website.

During 2016, Modum won the first prize, out of 850 startups from 40 countries, at the Kickstart Accelerator contest in the future and emerging technologies category.

Conclusion

Modum represents a modern solution and exceptional commercial use case for the traditional, stubborn supply-chain challenges, especially in the pharma industry.

And, on top of that, with the advent of mail-order, online pharmacies, where medicines are delivered directly to the end-consumer, it is estimated that an additional 20 million pharma shipments each year, will occur in the EU alone.

Deeply rooted in cutting-edge blockchain technology, where decentralized control, autonomy and immutability are the key cornerstones, the Modum-solution promises a great outlook as far as the challenges of current, and future, pharma distribution logistics are concerned.

The solid fundamentals are further underpinned by an award-winning management team and favourable market acceptance of the Modum concept, which is clearly demonstrated in the exemplary price performance of the MOD token in open cryptocurrency markets.

References

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