CAT Squared is the first manufacturing execution system (MES) provider in the food industry to become an onboarding partner for IBM Food TrustTM, a blockchain-enabled global network of food chain participants that securely connects supply chain data across the ecosystem with trust and transparency.

“In 2018, Walmart mandated all its leafy-greens suppliers to implement end-to-end traceability and referred their suppliers to Food Trust as part of the initiative,” said CAT Squared Marketing Manager Kathy Barbeire. “If any of our customers become part of such a mandate, they will need support connecting to the blockchain platform. We want our customers to know that we are prepared to support them, and we are excited to be the first MES provider to complete the onboarding process with Food TrustTM. We are now taking steps towards providing a fully blockchain-enabled traceability solution for our customers.”

“Blockchain projects require clean, accurate, trusted, verifiable data,” said CAT Squared CEO Vernon Smith. “Much of this data is housed either in a company’s ERP or its MES. It’s commonly known that there are many data-collection gaps with ERP systems because they just don’t have the capability to integrate into the plant floor. To fill those gaps, MES providers must understand the APIs (Application Program Interfaces) necessary to contribute data to a blockchain.”

“CAT Squared is currently working with IBM Food TrustTM to create new blockchain solutions for our customers that leverage standards developed by GS1, an organization that develops global business communications,” said CAT Squared R&D Manager Mark Bowden.

CAT2 FoodTrace

CAT Squared is developing a blockchain solution for food manufacturers that will offer varying levels of supply-chain visibility to three distinct user groups:

  • Food Manufacturer Portal: provides CAT Squared’s customers with a complete view of their plant-floor production data as well as supply chain data.
  • Retail Portal: gives retailers access to select data for mock recalls and freshness tracking.
  • Consumer Portal: shows select traceability and freshness data to consumers via scanning the product QR code with their mobile device. It will also allow manufacturers to offer coupon discounts and view data on what products are being scanned at which retailer outlet.

To learn more about CAT Squared and the company’s approach to blockchain technology, email TellMeMore@catsquared.com.

Kathy Barbeire

Written by Kathy Barbeire

Throughout my career, I’ve helped organizations think of creative ways to (1) harness new technology to maximize effectiveness, (2) collect relevant data to measure and improve performance, and (3) use data to tell compelling stories to customers and stakeholders. In 2015, I became CAT Squared’s marketing manager. In this role, I monitor industry trends to (1) ensure our products are flexible enough to adapt to new industry standards and (2) prepare our customers for new technologies with the potential to disrupt the industry. I’ve represented CAT Squared as a participant in a blockchain learning group that has grown out of Blockchain for Arkansas (BC4AR), an initiative launched by Governor Asa Hutchinson to promote capacity building around blockchain technology. As my own knowledge and capacity grow, I develop new content to educate our supply chain partners and help them prepare for the transition ahead. Prior to launching my career, I graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional and technical writing and a double minor in sociology and information technology. I later returned to UALR and completed the MBA program. Before joining CAT Squared, I applied my passion for data-driven storytelling to help nonprofits define their goals, track program metrics, and engage donors and community stakeholders in their missions to fight hunger, poverty, and homelessness, first as a program manager for the Our House Homeless Shelter in Little Rock, and then at The Salvation Army Central Arkansas Area Command.