Certis makes foray into digital world with new record-keeping service

Security firm Certis - best known for the uniformed physical presence of its officers - is entering the digital world.

It officially launched a new digital record-keeping service yesterday and is hoping to woo clients keen to increase security across their supply chains.

The new Certis Secured Digital Records, which makes use of blockchain technology, is currently being piloted with three local companies.

Blockchain technology refers to a digital record in which data is stored in virtual "blocks", each of which has its own digital fingerprint. When data is modified, this fingerprint is altered and the changes are visible to everyone who has access to the blockchain.

This transparency makes it easier for users to detect if any data has been tampered with.

It also means consumers can check if companies' marketing claims are backed up by the data, said Mr Fuji Foo, who is vice-president (business digitalisation) of Certis' technology services.

For example, any company may claim that its products are certified organic or halal, he said.

If all the data related to a product has been captured on the blockchain, customers can scan a barcode and see that a genuine halal certificate has been issued.

The technology would also allow companies a paper trail of even the minutest details to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Mr Foo gave another example of biological specimens, which often have to be kept at a certain temperature and humidity.

Sensors that keep track of such conditions can upload this data to the blockchain, and due to the nature of the service, companies can be sure that what they see is what actually happened.

One local firm trialling Certis' new technology is SMC Nutrition, which specialises in products such as infant formula and sports nutrition powders. General manager Mike Lim said the company wants customers to be able to check that its products really came from its plant.

He added that the company also wants to monitor "quality-related information" - such as the source of its ingredients - along the supply chain.

"(We) need to be in the forefront of such technology to allow us to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and to give us the first-mover advantage into some of these markets," he said.