Matthew Rosen is the mastermind behind the exciting new technology, TraceRX. In this interview with AidEx, Rosen explains how technology can empower supply chains like never before, and essentially improve the efficient delivery of humanitarian relief.
Tell us about your product and how you came to develop it?
The TraceRx platform is a simple to use system designed to track and trace any commodity across a fractured supply chain at a granular level. I shared the frustration of the dedicated organisations whom I was trying to serve seeing their resources lost to inefficiency and corruption. After years of devising and supervising custom solutions for international relief organisations, I was certain that technology could offer the means of empowering those customers to do more.
What’s your product’s USP?
“Empowering your supply chain”. To us and our clients this is so much more than just a tag line. The conventional, analog way of seeing a supply chain is as a static series of connections that produce or deliver the commodity. We see the supply chain as dynamic nexus, an essential component of our customers’ mission. With a smart supply chain, valuable insights can be communicated in real-time to drive key decisions.
Why has nothing like this been invented before?
We have had to wait for technology to reach the level it is now. We also have had to address ‘last mile’ technological delivery challenges in some remote areas.
How will it benefit the humanitarian sector?
“Corruption prevented 30 per cent of all development assistance from reaching its final destination. That quote from Ban Ki-moon delivered in 2012 is still very relevant today. Many of the stories we hear about corruption and scandal involving humanitarian aid have come about because the supply chain history could easily be manipulated. By digitising the supply chain and delivering information in real time we are empowering the supply chain and creating new paradigms for the humanitarian sector.
How important do you think apps are becoming for the humanitarian industry?
I think there are apps in the marketplace, like TraceRx, that do improve the humanitarian industry. Although I do not believe that everything can be solved with an app, the ones that augment the underlying real-world principles of aid and development are, in my opinion, of vital importance.
In what ways do you believe the digital revolution is changing the humanitarian and development sector landscape?
The world is moving faster in a myriad of complicated and interconnected ways. The number of inputs that have to be considered in any endeavour are nearly overwhelming. Filtering that much information, especially if it comes in a fractured, corrupted or delayed manner, to make key decisions and then execute those decisions on a global and sometimes immediate scale requires assistance. Technology now has the means of augmenting our reality in so many exciting and innovative directions. The digital revolution continues to inspire the best in mankind to strive beyond our current landscape towards a bold new frontier.
To what extent is this impact positive or negative?
Impact is in the eye of the beholder. For those participants in the humanitarian and development sector that embrace technology to go out and do better; to bring education to the world, harness resources, stop corruption then it is positive. However, it is easy to allow technology to dehumanise the landscape. There are those who could lose sight of the value proposition that technology delivers to the human condition, in those instances the impact could be devastating.
How do you market a product that is using new technology unfamiliar to professionals in the humanitarian sector?
We don’t see our technology as new or unfamiliar to professionals in the humanitarian sector. We have designed our platform based upon the actions that these professionals are already carrying out. We want the user experience to be as simple and inviting as possible. In that way we hope that they will spend less time acclimatising to the technology and more time benefiting from it.