In established industries, such as the shipping one, companies need to innovate to stay ahead of the competition.
Companies need to evaluate their levels of digital competency to stay competitive in the market and accept it rather than fight against it to gain a competitive advantage.
The best measure to understand if and how much digital transformation impact the business is to use data analysis.
Digitalisation will evolve rapidly in the future, depending on circumstances, but at a lower speed in the marine industry in comparison to the finance industry.
In this case study, we will listen to Kristian Voohhonski, discussing digital transformation and covering essential points, such as the following: Companies must evaluate their levels of digital competency to stay relevant in the market and accept it rather than fight against it to gain a competitive advantage; one of the best measures to understand if and how much digital transformation impacts your business is to use data analysis; digitalisation will evolve rapidly in the future, depending on circumstances, but at a lower speed in the marine industry in comparison to the finance industry.
Kristian Volohhonski, co-founder of eTEU is sharing with us today his thoughts on the importance of digital transformation and the way it shapes businesses and offers them a competitive advantage.
Moreover, Kristian shares insights about eTEU and how these solutions create value for the marine industry.
Last but not least, Kristian discusses the future of the marine industry, shares his thoughts about the most influential digital technology and how he predicts digital transformation will evolve in the next decade.
Read on to find out more about digital transformation, eTEU and what’s to come.
1. Hi there, can you please, introduce yourself?
Hello, I am Kristian Volohhonski, co-founder of eTEU. We manage documentation workflow in one space - generate, edit and transfer documents through the eTEU platform. We transfer documents instantly and leave an immutable audit trail with the help of blockchain technology.
2. Thank you for introducing yourself. Now let’s jump right into the main topic of conversation: Why do you believe digital transformation is essential?
Digital transformation is essential because technology keeps advancing forward unlocking new ways to solve existing challenges. For businesses, especially in an established industry like the shipping one, this means that to stay ahead of the competition the companies need to innovate.
An industry that relies on traditional methods such as paper, which is widely used in the shipping industry, has a big potential for disruption especially as companies and institutions are implementing digital signatures, moving away from paper in general - this promotes the transformation further from an interest to a genuine need.
Furthermore, digital means of conducting business have changed significantly with COVID, when people began working from home extensively, and the alternative to traditional methods such as in-person meetings, working from offices and conducting paper-based transaction was put on halt, and even today some companies have embraced post-COVID work culture.
3. How can your solution help other organisations in the logistics industry?
eTEU helps companies move away from paper and traditional methods used in the shipping industry, and embrace digital transformation. Turning documents into digital assets that cannot be exploited (changed during the transfer process) allows companies to rely on technology and implement a more efficient way to transfer original documents, such as the bill of lading.
This way companies can avoid delays, and fraud and reduce costs associated with the process of creation of documents and transfer. For example, today companies in the industry rely on physical post couriers.
4. Thank you for the insights and perspective! Now, how would you say your solution creates value for the industry?
We are providing value in terms of digitising the document management and transfer processes. This way the companies can move away from paper, reduce human risk potential and prevent delays. Companies that are looking to digitise their business processes would be able to increase efficiency by generating templates on the eTEU platform (or simply uploading them into their digital work cabinet) and using them as digital assets that maintain their original format.
After that simply transferring the asset from one party to the other is extremely simple, while at the same time an immutable audit trail is saved on the blockchain. This way the actors can see what actions were done, and what time, as well as be assured that the original document is not manipulated in any way.
5. What else would you advise logistics organisations in the marine industry to do to achieve more progress in digital transformation?
I think it is important to evaluate their levels of digital competency to stay competitive in the market. If the institutions in their regions recognise digital signatures and documents, then leaning into digital transformation rather than fighting against it would provide an edge over their competitors.
On the other hand, pushing international institutions to promote digital transformation, and work on replacing legacy technologies would be helpful for the industry overall. When it comes to analysis, of course, documents are not the only aspect that is disruptable within the industry - things like the use of IoT, cargo tracking, and usage of more environmentally friendly energy, are all valuable things to analyse for the company internally.
In addition, having a company-wide open attitude towards experimentation and testing is helpful when it comes to digitisation.
6. What is the most influential digital technology in implementing digital transformation currently?
I would say that is Web3 technology. Blockchain has changed the way we approach user data and digital transformation in general. For example, the NFT technology, while on the one hand has a bit of a stigma to it due to its uses in the art sphere, on the other hand, the technology itself is fundamentally very interesting…. I believe that this is the technology that allows us to move away from paper and step into the digital age entirely. Documents used in shipping that need to maintain their original formats, but also similar documents in other industries - proof of purchase in real estate, birth certificates and whatever else that has the need to maintain the specific format and is released in a limited amount.
Besides NFT technology there are other aspects of decentralised technology that are changing the way we are approaching transformation.
7. Do you believe digital transformation is fundamentally changing the marine industry?
Absolutely, we can see that with international institutions following suit and changing the regulations to catch up with the changes in the maritime industry. For example, DCSA has approved the initial standards for the digital bill of lading (https://dcsa.my.salesforce.com/sfc/p/#2o000000YvHJ/a/7T000000bnvz/uliMKNmUOPewLwK2K5SdERjg7WSS8C7Fs7v8UYQiPTg).
8. That’s a very interesting insight into the marine industry. Moving on, how would you say a client’s board knows if the digital transformation is working? How do you suggest measuring effectiveness?
I would say that the company can probably track it through the demand of its clients or employees using a specific digital service. Probably the best way to track it would be through data analysis.
9. Before we wrap this up, we’d like to hear your thoughts on how you see technology evolving over the next five years.
… I think the technology is growing exponentially with every year the progress accelerating further. I would say, specifically about the shipping industry, we would reach somewhat of a leap into the digital age in the industry. Elements like the electronic bill of lading, vessel tracking, IoT use in shipping and so on. Things will not be stopping or slowing down, however, due to the industry being quite well established and very big, the process might be slower than in some other industries like finance.
There are a lot of factors at play - jurisdiction, leadership and so on. However, if the big players do decide to fully lean into the digital transformation then the change will be faster.