Following are key milestones in SCR’s history, as told by SCR’s original founder, Randal Fischer.
As an original cofounder of SCR Technologies, I’ve had a commitment to accomplishing SCR’s mission from long before our company itself was created. It was born out of the pain of profound human loss, nearly thirty years ago. I had suddenly found myself compelled to bury a wonderful, young wife in the frozen February earth of Kansas. I vowed, over her fresh gravesite, that someday I would accomplish something for society worthy of this amazing person whom so many were unexpectedly giving up, as a casualty of cancer. Executing on SCR’s purpose is in pursuit of that commitment.
In 2007-08, I was privileged to provide consulting services to the world’s newest, and now largest, economic transparency initiative. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative had just inaugurated its Oslo-based Secretariat. Engaged to advise that Secretariat and the EITI’s Chair, I dug into the fiscal disclosure mechanism that had already been architected for this multi-stakeholder organization. In early 2008, I delivered an address in Astana, Kazakhstan, speaking before a completely local group of interested citizens. This was outside of the formal EITI Kazakhstan address that I gave to a larger, international audience. For my smaller, local audience, I presented a talk titled, ‘Money, Molecules and Motion.’ My concept was this: fiscal transparency under the lamppost of an industry’s extractives sector (where oil, gas and other minerals are produced) cannot be conferred onto the molecules. Hydrocarbons and other natural resources move through complex value chains. There is a need, and an opportunity, to foster transparency – as one tool for nurturing sustainability – all through the value chains that bring to markets the products created out of such resources. The smaller, local audience entirely ‘got’ the message. This was the birthplace of what cofounder Mark Seaholts and I first named Linked Tag Tracking Technologies, or LT•3, later created as SCR.
In listening to our enterprise customer prospects, we always ask this (complex, but central) question: Is there some key information – which now you don’t have but would dearly like to have – whereby, if you could have it, and where that information could be verifiably bound to your product(s) at the granular product-item level, you judge that such nature of information would have real and positive competitive or economic value to your organization? We find responses fall into a few categories for information pertaining to: Compliance (both mandatory and voluntary); Product Authenticity; and Supply Chain Risk Metrics, including for Sustainability measures.
SCR’s central idea, around which we have created a patented general purpose technology, is the following. By exploiting the graph/network-structure of enterprise value chains, like supply chains, SCR-client companies can, in fact, propagate any nature of metrics – what we call Supply Chain Knowledge, or SC•Kn – through even very complex supply chain networks. And, further, they can bind those propagated metrics to all product-states as the product evolves through the supply chain, all the way through to the end-product. And, of high importance, all this can be done at the deep, granular product-item level: this product on this store shelf, now. The customer can know, truly and verifiably, the Story of a Product™. The customer can know what s/he is voting for when buying this product. As created, SC•Kn at the product-item level is a new kind of business knowledge. Likewise, consumers’ interaction with this new knowledge generates other kinds of new knowledge; it also creates network effects. Perhaps, this is close enough to the proverbial Holy Grail of Advertising. That’s the idea.
State of Progress
Founded in 2010 as a Delaware corporation (we’re considering conversion to a B-corp), SCR has created an IP portfolio, including patented inventions that underpin our general purpose technology. In 2012, working with prominent semantic web technologists, we completed an elegant proof-of-concept for this technology – which is like a supply chain version of a combined LinkedIn (for companies) and Google (for stakeholders). By early 2014, working with world-class network scientists and using NoSQL technology, we extended the PoC system to a visually pleasing graph-based system. It is this system that we now have available for online demonstration.
SCR has developed a smallish, but highly effective top leadership team, comprised of: William G. Lowrie, Chairman; Professor José M. Sierra, head of SCR’s Cambridge, MA technical office (and also with the MIT Geospatial Data Center); and Randal B. Fischer, CEO (and the named inventor of SCR’s disclosed technology). As at Q1-2016, SCR is putting finishing touches on our trust model, which includes an optional module with blockchain technology. Soon we’ll be ready to introduce our first MVP – in form of the enterprise-facing SupplyLense™ platform. We are actively seeking our first corporate partner with which to collaborate, for instance, working within a tightly defined supply chain test environment.