Supply chains are in a constant state of flux, as products move through various stakeholders over its journey from the production house to the consumer. Irrespective of the vertical, logistics is a complex process that suffers from transparency and visibility owes, which leads to service providers gaming the system to improve margins at the expense of the end-consumer.
Serve.io, a last-mile logistics startup is looking to set the record straight by removing middle-men from the supply chain equation and create transparency in its working. “We are creating a global economy by allowing users, service providers, and business to work without middle-men,” said Roman Tsarovsky, CTO at Serve.io. “We focus on last-mile logistics and have developed technology for big logistics players like UPS and GrubHub that allow for managing and dispatching order management.”
Tsarovsky spoke about the numerous platforms that exist in the logistics space that take commissions in excess of 30%, which he felt were unfair to the end users. “Platforms upcharge businesses, who do it to the service provider delivering it, by levying a service and processing fee, which finally is combined and ends up on the consumer who pays for it all,” he said.
It is here that Serve.io sees the potential of blockchain. Tsarovsky had an elegant example to go with explaining why - “A pizza store making $11 pizza will at the end receive a net $8.20, a service provider who is delivering wants $4 but is upcharged by $2.10. The user would have to pay for the platform fees, delivery, and customer service which brings it to $24 for an $11 pizza.”
It shows that in a $24 transaction, the pizza store ends up gaining just over $8 for the pizza, with platforms charging nearly 40% of the final value as fees. Tsarovsky insisted that with a global service economy running on blockchain, this practice would drastically reduce.
Serve.io has built out its technology and is leveraging its experience in the logistics space to create a global marketing campaign that can help launch its solution worldwide. “We have worked with a lot of big players in the industry, and we are using the feedback we get from them to solve logistics issues and hurdles,” said Tsarovsky.
Tsarovsky felt that the biggest obstacle to traction would be about educating businesses on the impact of blockchain over supply chains of the future. Bad publicity over the meteoric rise of cryptocurrency and its subsequent fall has created skepticism over blockchain, especially with companies that did not have a formal initiation towards the technology.
“Explaining to businesses about our blockchain protocols and onboarding them to establish a global service economy is our main focus,” said Tsarovsky. “Because each individual business will be branded in themselves and we are essentially the engine that powers the technology, they will advertise themselves, and we gain customers that way.”
Blockchain can work wonders for consumers, who are being fed misleading information about products and brands through advertisements, as businesses increasingly concentrate on marketing themselves right, rather than making the right products. For instance, blockchain and the transparency it brings, can essentially weed out fake reviews given to products and companies. Blockchain being the supply chain artery would mean that users can order a certain product from a specific store, and be confident of its quality, know the stakeholders handling the product, and also be informed of the exact time of the product’s arrival.
At the end of the day, the idea behind Serve.io is to create a perfect delivery experience for the end-users. “There are a lot of things that are broken in the current state of logistics, where businesses focus on their profits and try to maximize it at every opportunity. Though they do care about their customers, it happens that customers always come last. We feel the customer should be the priority and that everything should be done with regard to that,” said Tsarovsky.