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Revolutionizing Retail: TradeBeyond’s AI-Powered Supply Chain Innovation

Words Rusen Kumar

Eric Linxwiler, Senior Vice President at TradeBeyond, discusses the company’s latest advancements in AI technology following the acquisition of Pivot88, aiming to revolutionize supply chain management.

In an exclusive interview with AI Reporter, Eric Linxwiler, Senior Vice President at TradeBeyond, delves into the company’s latest AI-driven advancements. Following the acquisition of Pivot88, TradeBeyond has launched cutting-edge AI enhancements designed to streamline supply chain traceability and compliance. Linxwiler shares insights into how these innovations are set to revolutionize documenting the chain of custody, assessing compliance risks, and ensuring every link in the retail supply chain is meticulously vetted.

Introduction to Innovations

Could you explain TradeBeyond’s latest AI enhancements and how they build upon the acquisition of Pivot88?

Our new advanced AI traceability enhancements dramatically streamline the process of documenting chain of custody for each order, while proactively assessing compliance risksand ensuring that every link in a retail supply chain is properly vetted.

This new functionality was made possible by ouracquisition of Pivot88, a leader in quality and traceability within supply chain management. By integrating Pivot88’s advanced AI into TradeBeyond’s end-to-end multi-enterprise supply chain platform, we’ve been able to introduce these first-in-market traceability tools. Our new AI-powered chain of custody management suiteis just the first of many innovations on our product roadmap. We are excited to continue integrating AI into groundbreaking solutions that we plan to introduce to the market soon.

Technical Details

What specific AI technologies are being employed in the new enhancements for chain of custody management?

In our new enhancements for chain of custody management, we employ sophisticated AI technologies including advanced text recognition and document scanning. These technologies are capable of processing multiple documents linked to each transaction up to the Nth tier of the supply chain. The AI conducts a thorough analysis of the information against the set chain of custody requirements, and identifies any discrepancies or gaps that might exist, ensuring every detail is accounted for.

Compliance and Regulations

How does the AI facilitate compliance with international regulations like the UFLPA, and what other regulations are you focusing on?”

The AI facilitates compliance with international regulations by ensuring full disclosure and verification of the chain of custody for each item in an order. TradeBeyond’s AI analyzes all provided documents to establish a comprehensive chain of custody and to identify any gaps. Additionally, it cross-references all collected information against multiple external databases to identify potentially blacklisted companies, such as those involved in prohibited activities under regulations like the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). Under that law, retail businesses must be able to provide a detailed chain of custody in order to demonstrate that the goods they import did not involve labor or materials from blacklisted regions and entities.

Document Management

Can you describe how the AI-powered tools automate the gathering and verification of documents needed for chain of custody?

Our AI-powered tools automate the gathering and verification of documents essential for establishing the chain of custody. For every transaction, documentation such as invoices, bills of lading, and shipping advices are uploaded intoTradeBeyond’s platform. The AI employs text recognition to capture relevant data for the chain of custody. It generates alerts and notifications if there are gaps or if incorrect documents are submitted. Once the proper information is collected, the AI tool analyzes it against external ESG compliance databases and flags any potential risks. This centralization within TradeBeyond facilitates the provision of necessary documentation to customs departments when required.

Risk Assessment

How does the early assessment feature work to identify compliance risks, and what metrics or data does it analyze?

The early assessment feature of our AI analyzes data against multiple external ESG databases that list risky companies, including for compliance with the UFLPA, specifically those that have operations or conduct business in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This involves analyzing critical information such as the names and addresses of companies. This proactive approach allows TradeBeyond to identify and mitigate compliance risks early in the supply chain process, ensuring all partners and transactions adhere to the highest standards of ethical and legal compliance.

Blacklist Checks

Could you detail the process used by your AI system to check against multiple databases for black-listed companies and individuals?

Our AI system’s process for checking against multiple databases for blacklisted companies and individuals is thorough and multifaceted. Firstly, the AI identifies all parties involved within the scanned documents and cross-checks these against both third-party databases and any internal blacklists our clients may use. This ensures a comprehensive screening that aligns not only with global standards but also with individual client specifications.
Upon detecting a potential match, the system issues warnings or failure notifications. This allows users to review these findings easily, as the AI marks the specific areas of concern directly on the documents. Users can interact with these detections by confirming or rejecting them, providing invaluable feedback that helps refine and enhance the accuracy of our AI models continuously.

Crisis Management and Alerts

How do the AI-powered alerts function in identifying missing information or documentation, and what are the steps taken for immediate corrective action?

When the AI detects missing information or discrepancies in the documentation, it immediately triggers an alert. This alert notifies all relevant stakeholders within the platform, detailing the nature of the issue and suggesting corrective actions. The system then tracks the resolution process, ensuring that no further steps are taken until the issues are reviewed and addressed.

Impact on Stakeholders

What impacts have your clients and vendors experienced since implementing these AI enhancements in terms of efficiency and compliance?

These AI enhancementssignificantly reduce the work involved incomplying with global due diligence laws. The ability to instantly verify the completeness and accuracy of documentation as soon as it is uploaded by the primary vendor dramatically reduces the risk of non-compliance. This early detection allows for the collection of all required chain of custody documentation well before goods are shipped. This not only eliminates costly holding fees at ports but also prevents stock shortages in the marketplace, enhancing overall operational flow and customer satisfaction. With over 8,000 shipping detainments valued at more than $3 billion already under the UFLPA, the need for this solution was clear.

Challenges and Limitations

What challenges have you faced in developing and deploying these AI tools, and how have you addressed them?

Developing and deploying AI tools in the complex field of supply chain management has presented several challenges, primarily around the technical limitations of existing market solutions. To address these, we have formed a dedicated team across the company, pulling in global talent and identifying internal team members who possess the right skills and mindset. These team members receive targeted training and exposure to ensure they are well-equipped to handle the intricacies of AI deployment.
One significant technical challenge has been balancing cost and accuracy—developing AI models that perform efficiently at scale, capable of processing thousands of documents quickly and accurately. Additionally, the lack of established solutions tailored to our specific needs has led us to invest heavily in research and development. We have created our own models that are both generalized and flexible, reducing the need for customizations or extensive retraining for each client’s use case. This ensures that our AI tools are not only innovative but also adaptable to evolving client needs.

Future Developments

Looking forward, what additional functionalities or improvements are planned for TradeBeyond’s platform?

TradeBeyond intends to introduce a series of AI innovations that will further enhance our platform. Planned for launch in 2024 and beyond, these innovations will expand our capabilities in traceability, quality, and other key supply chain processes. We are particularly focused on integrating predictive analysis and advanced risk assessment features. These will allow our clients to anticipate potential issues and address them proactively, thereby ensuring smoother operations and enhanced compliance. These forthcoming developments reflect our commitment to remaining at the cutting edge of supply chain management technology, continually seeking new ways to deliver value to our users.