The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic highlighted the importance of communication as millions under quarantine sought social connection and the latest updates regarding the pandemic.
In light of the event’s impact on the supply chains, some without access to a mobile device found it difficult to procure one during the crisis.
Flavio Mansi, CEO at IGWT Block, spoke with Benzinga regarding his mission to cut costs and increase efficiency in the supply chain for the mobile phone industry.
Too Many Touch Points
“Phones are touched by an average of seven companies, each one of them pretty much doing the same thing over and over again,” Mansi said. “The process adds cost and time.”
PCS Wireless, one of the largest phone distributors in North America, as part of an effort to reduce inefficiencies in the industry, created IGWT Block, a blockchain platform that disintermediates the ecosystem of mobile phone buyers, sellers, and vendors.
In the firm’s early stages of development, Mansi identified trust as the overarching issue plaguing the industry.
“We started looking at different things, trying to source the fat out there in the industry,” the CEO said. “We asked what was preventing people from buying and selling phones directly amongst themselves, and we found over and over again that it was a lack of trust.”
According to Mansi, people don’t know what they’re actually purchasing. That’s why there is such a reliance on store-based transactions.
“You don’t know what the condition of your phone is. You don’t know if it’s working properly.”
Benzinga is covering every angle of how the coronavirus affects the financial world. For daily updates, sign up for our coronavirus newsletter.
Disintermediation Takes Form
Mansi spearheaded the development of an agnostic technology, a downloadable mobile phone app that runs diagnostics, and allows transacting parties to identify whether a device is worthy of exchange.
The process can be broken down into the following three steps:
- Buyer purchases a phone and places funds in escrow.
- The seller ships the phone and the buyer runs the diagnostics.
- A smart contract is executed and the funds are transferred.
“If anyone is being deceitful in any way, the money reverts back,” Mansi said. “The smart contract is governing the transaction as opposed to us having to put ourselves in the middle and mediate disputes amongst them.”
The technology is built for B2B, C2C and B2C applications.
“You download the application and run diagnostics on the functional and physical characteristics of the phone. Then, you can even ship the phone to wherever Verizon or AT&T tells you.”
Proof Of Concept
IGWT launched Glyde.com, an e-commerce solution, that facilitates the buying and selling of verified phones.
“It’s a way to prove the blockchain experience and hopefully entice other e-commerce sites, vendors, merchants, or retailers within the mobile phone industry.”
According to Mansi, COVID-19 showed how badly supply chains can affect mobile phone commerce. The solutions provided by IGWT and Glyde will help make the industry more efficient.
“We’ve built everything in terms of scalability, so I think we’re well-positioned to help the industry become more efficient and accommodate large volumes of players.”
Photo by Tyler Lastovich from Pexels.
© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.