Infographic: Transforming Fuel Authentication

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Fuel authentication programs are continuing to grow as national governments and fuel companies alike combat worldwide fuel manipulation that results in revenue losses equaling $133 billion a year. Revenue losses are incurred when stolen, adulterated or defrauded fuel is sold on the retail market at premium prices, affecting everything from brand reputations to government tax revenues and the environment. Check out the infographic at the link below for an animated look at how Authentix is transforming fuel authentication with technology and data.

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Four Reasons Why Commercial Branded Fuel Companies Need a Fuel Protection Program

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There’s no denying it: oil and gas is big business, and it directly or indirectly impacts pretty much everything around us. Stock markets rise and fall because of it, nations go to war over it and most transportation modes used today would be crippled without it.

Young mother with baby boy at the petrol station refuelling the car.

Which means that, on a global level, commercial oil and gas companies have a tremendous responsibility to:

  • Prevent manipulation and maintain quality in their supply chain
  • Keep the marketplace fair for all stakeholders
  • Consistently deliver genuine branded products to customers
  • Protect brand reputation and value
  • Protect market share, revenue and profits

Commercial oil and gas companies can accomplish these goals by implementing an effective branded fuel protection program.

Authentix has over 25 years helping companies design, implement and enforce fuel marking programs while providing a fully transparent and traceable solution. In most existing programs today, legitimately branded gasoline and diesel fuel is uniquely identifiable by dosing the fuel with a proprietary, invisible and government approved chemical marker at concentrations as low as parts per billion (ppb). Once marked, the fuel can be qualitatively or quantitatively analyzed for either instant field confirmation or alternatively, in a nearby laboratory. Depending on the analysis method, Authentix provides clients with customized analyzers tuned specifically for the program.

The analysis methods detect a baseline level of the unique marker in the fuels. In the case of a field test, if the fuel sample detects an absence of or an insufficient level of marker concentration, inspectors can determine that illicit, non-branded fuel has been added to the supply. For enforcement purposes, these same fuel samples can be re-tested in the regional laboratory to confirm the original findings and enable the brand owner the ability to enforce compliance using forensic evidence.

By marking the company’s branded fuel supply with these covert markers, inspectors are able to detect even minor amounts of dilution, substitution or quality issues. The results enable brand owners to strengthen market transparency and predictability – providing an auditable confirmation of brand integrity and volume reconciliation between terminal loading and retail sites, therefore securing the supply chain.

Our customers have proven benefits from adopting advanced fuel authentication solutions in four key areas:

1. Deter Illicit Activity and Reduce Unauthorized Fuels

It’s no secret that adulterated fuels consistently work their way into the supply chain. The lure of profit by nefarious operators entice the mixing of lower quality and lower cost fuels into branded fuels, allowing greater profits at the pump. In some cases, the operators will report false fuel volume and tank levels, under measure the amounts, falsify transportation documents, and later sell the “missing” product.

An effective fuel authentication program has proven to drastically reduce these illegal tactics overall as well as help identify inadvertent quality problems due to improper dosing or blending of additives at terminal and retail sites (caused by equipment failure, human error or negligence.)

Understanding where and when the supply chain gets compromised and having accurate and timely information enables our customers to regain control and take corrective action to prevent future manipulation.

 

2. Grow Revenue and Market Share

When illicit activity starts dropping after program initiation, the brand owner will experience increased demand for higher value branded fuel, leading to a boost in sales and bottom line, and creating an impressive return on investment (ROI) for these programs.

Authentix has been a fuel authentication solution partner for many of the top fuel retailers around the world for decades. In one case, we signed on a U.S. based Fortune 20 branded fuel customer in 2002 that had recently acquired the retail operations of another large branded fuel company. Implementing a new fuel protection program for this customer came with a few challenges, including: adding over 10,000 stations to the retail network; consolidating two branded additives to one third-party additive package; using more than 100 unmonitored, third-party fuel terminals; and continued divestiture of company-owned stations to franchise ownership.

Since originally developing and implementing this program, Authentix has marked more than 200 billion gallons of fuel across all of the United States, and our customer has seen more than a 1500% return on investment from program cost to revenue recovered.

This customer has also noted a seven percent decrease in failure rate (in adulterated fuels), which is directly attributed to a reduction in the commingling of non-branded gasoline with branded product.

3. Protect Brand Promise and Reputation

Consumers who are loyal to a brand deserve the high-quality fuel product expected, and it’s up to both the commercial oil and gas provider and retail operators to meet or exceed those expectations. Compromised fuel can lead to engine damage, lack of vehicle performance, costly repairs, environmental damage and ultimately the loss of consumer trust.

Another example of the effectiveness of a branded fuel protection program is Coral Gas, a major LPG retailer in Greece. When initially engaging with Authentix, Coral Gas wanted to ensure the integrity of the automotive liquefied petroleum gas (Autogas) sold through its network of retail stations, especially the franchised stations. Ultimately, the goal was to protect their reputation as the market leader and to assure their consumers of the high quality of their automotive LPG fuel.

Coral Gas selected Authentix to help them increase sales of high-quality Autogas, protect the quality product and maintain the public’s confidence in the brand. Authentix now protects Coral Gas from any  vulnerabilities in the Autogas supply chain and uses covert molecular markers and analyzers to identify issues and continually customize the program to the company’s changing needs. Authentix’s technology solution was launched as a pilot phase at a few retail locations in 2017, with a full program launch and the expansion throughout the retail network in 2018.

4. Gain Competitive Advantage

Employing a fuel protection program can also give commercial oil companies a competitive edge. Consumers as well as most retailers throughout the supply chain want legitimate, branded fuel, and the demand increases once the program is implemented and successfully deployed.

Word travels fast among consumers and industry insiders about which retailer is serious about providing quality fuel versus those who turn a blind eye to their product being compromised. Through years of experience implementing dozens of fuel programs throughout the world, Authentix finds that those companies who closely monitor the integrity of their branded product are ultimately rewarded and can cement their place among the top contenders for consumer loyalty over the long term.

Download Blog PDF Here

Authentix. The Authority in Authentication.

Working with governments, central banks and commercial companies, Authentix provides custom authentication solutions tailored to meet specific business challenges. Our core capabilities in developing and manufacturing proprietary chemical markers, designing analytical instruments and devices, and applying interdisciplinary chemometric models are enhanced by data integration, analytics and program management.

With over 25 years of experience in government and commercial fuel authentication, Authentix helps ensure local economies grow, banknote security remains intact and commercial products have robust market opportunities. Contact us to speak with an expert.

Top 5 Reasons for Nations to Implement a Fuel Integrity Program

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Oil Refinery, Chemical & Petrochemical plant at sunset.

The oil and gas industry is one of the largest and most profitable, and governments throughout the world rely on fuel excise taxes to help fund public projects and social services to its citizens. The impact of diverted, diluted and illegally trafficked fuel within a country’s borders results in lost tax revenue, poor quality product, environmental issues and ultimately reduced services and benefits for citizens. In 25 years of experience implementing fuel integrity programs across the globe, Authentix has found in many cases more than 30 percent of fuel volume is manipulated or adulterated for the purpose of tax avoidance and illegal profits, reducing tax collections as well as public trust.

However, many governments have taken action and implemented an effective national fuel integrity program which curbs fuel fraud, shores up lost funding, restores confidence in the nation’s fuel supply and increases public funds available for infrastructure and social services.

Authentix helps governments design, implement and enforce fuel integrity programs by providing a covert, yet fully traceable solution. In a successful fuel integrity program today, legitimate gasoline and diesel fuel is uniquely identifiable by dosing the fuel with a proprietary, invisible and environmentally approved chemical marker at very low concentrations, often at parts per billion (ppb). Once marked, the fuel can be qualitatively or quantitatively analyzed at various points in the supply chain for either instant field confirmation or alternatively, a forensic molecular finding in a regional laboratory. Depending on the analysis method, Authentix provides clients with customized analyzers tuned uniquely for the program.

The various analysis methods deployed by Authentix detect a baseline level of markers in the subject fuels. In the case of a field test, if the fuel sample reveals an absence of or the presence of a certain marker, field inspectors can make some immediate determinations as to whether illicit fuel has been introduced to the supply chain and in many cases, where this has occurred. For enforcement purposes, these same fuel samples can be re-tested in the regional laboratory to confirm the original findings, enabling the ability to enforce compliance using forensic evidence.

Fuel integrity programs have proven time and again to be very beneficial for governments and citizens alike. Below are five primary benefits to enacting a national fuel integrity program:

1. Protect and recover lost tax revenue

Illicit trading has long been problematic in the fuel industry. Fuel products present a lucrative opportunity for those who wish to deliberately manipulate fuel supplies for illicit gain. Price arbitrage presents an easy money making opportunity at very large scales.

An effective fuel marking program can help governments curb illicit activity and recover lost tax revenue while enabling a significant return on investment.

In the Republic of Serbia, for example, fuel stations and vehicle registrations were increasing, while taxable sale of fuels were decreasing — pointing to fuel fraud. In 2013, they discovered that 1,434,000 tons of diesel fuel were consumed versus 902,000 tons sold wholesale by oil companies. That’s 37 percent of fuel volume unaccounted for.

In just five months after implementing a fuel integrity program that marked more than 930 million liters of fuel, the Serbian government saw significant evidence the program was working — diesel and gas sales volume increased 18 and 14 percent, respectively, and excise revenues increased by more than € 34 million when compared to the same period the year before. And, from 2013 to 2018, excise and VAT revenues have increased by € 720 million.

2. Prevent subsidy abuse

Subsidy fraud is also rampant in the oil industry. Criminals divert fuels such as kerosene, which in some countries is subsidized and reserved for the poor, and then use them as adulterants in higher taxed fuels. They may also outright smuggle these subsidized fuels to higher priced
markets and pocket the money.

Since 2014, Authentix has been providing an advanced fuel integrity program to a national fuel supply company in the Middle East. The government backed company, one of the largest in the world, manages the distribution of petroleum products to major and remote bulk plants through pipeline networks, trucks and marine shipments. Through its own internal monitoring process, the company suspected that subsidized, low or non-taxed products were being smuggled into the country, illegally blended with the legitimate supply and sold to unauthorized entities during the delivery process.

The Authentix fuel integrity program has been highly effective and confirmed the scope of the smuggling problem within a very short time after deployment. As a result of the program, fourteen smuggling-implicated plants were closed, which led to a sharp decrease in smuggling at the country’s border. Also, export permits were revoked for the companies involved in illicit activity. The demand for this illicit fuel decreased, and the nation continues to save hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies every year as the program continues to expand.

3. Protect fuel quality and the environment

Illicit or smuggled fuels can wreak havoc on engines, leading to major repair costs to vehicles over time. Most detrimental of all, these fuels can cause environmental damage from increased levels of emissions, elevated carbon monoxide and other regulated airborne particles, all of which can be harmful to the environment and public health.

When dangerous pollutants accumulate in the air in concentrations above legal limits, they can cause irreparable harm to the public − especially to children, the elderly and the ill. These elevated pollutants can also damage crops, vegetation and other property. Even if only short term, pollutants can cause eye and throat irritation, breathing difficulties or other adverse respiratory symptoms. In the event of long-term exposure, the results are far more damaging including cancer, heart and lung disease and compromise to immune, neurological and even reproductive systems.

4. Deter illegal traders and system abusers

While the lure of easy money will always entice illicit activity, it’s proven that a successful fuel integrity program enables national governments and state owned enterprises to identify, enforce and curb criminal behavior. Once an Authentix fuel integrity program is deployed and word of inspections, enforcement and prosecution spreads, the volume of adulterated fuels will decrease and lead to a surge in the sale of legitimately taxed fuels. This, in turn, increases public revenues and benefits all.

In the Serbia example mentioned above, government officials announced on national television how the fuel integrity program led to a €139 million increase in fuel excise revenue for the first full year after deployment versus the previous year when no program was in place. There was also a reported 700% drop in the sale of base oils, a well-known, low quality, low cost adulterant often added to the supply of diesel fuel for illegal profits.

5. Promote trust in government officials

Implementing an effective fuel integrity program is a great way to give citizens what they deserve — a stable economy, a healthy environment and a trustworthy government maximizing resources for the benefit of its people.

And part of having increased public funding and economic stimulus often means more people working and increased economic gain. When implementing a national fuel integrity program, Authentix becomes a partner of the national government and supports the local workforce by hiring and training a local “in country” workforce to administer and help run the programs on a day-to-day basis.

Download Blog PDF Here

Authentix. The Authority in Authentication.

Working with governments, central banks and commercial companies, Authentix provides custom authentication solutions tailored to meet specific business challenges. Our core capabilities in developing and manufacturing proprietary chemical markers, designing analytical instruments and devices, and applying interdisciplinary chemometric models are enhanced by data integration, analytics and program management.

With over 25 years of experience in government and commercial fuel authentication, Authentix helps ensure local economies grow, banknote security remains intact and commercial products have robust market opportunities. Contact us to speak with an expert.

Authentix Named One Of CIOReview’s Top 20 Most Promising Oil And Gas Solutions Providers

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ADDISON, TexasJuly 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Authentix, Inc., a U.S.-based technology solutions provider specializing in supply chain security and authentication programs, was selected as one of the top 20 most promising solutions providers in the oil and gas industry by leading enterprise technology publication, CIOReview.

Every year, CIOReview analyzes the growing marketplace of service providers and awards the best-in-class with this prestigious award. This is done as a service to chief information officers with the difficult task of choosing the right partners to leverage the significant technological innovations to boost prosperity in their long-term growth and digital transformations. The exclusive list of vendors was selected by a distinguished panel of CEOs, CIOs and VCs, industry analysts and the editorial board of CIOReview after exhibiting excellence in offering efficient solutions and expertise in the oil and gas industry.

“Authentix secures the integrity of global commerce by verifying the authenticity of physical products through advanced technology solutions and connecting the output of that information to a robust, digital information platform. This provides our clients with insightful analytics to ensure the integrity of their fuels, minimize fraud, and increase market share or tax collections. We are honored to have CIOReview recognize Authentix for our proactive innovation in these complex environments, our proven sector expertise and the ability to help our clients gain a distinct competitive advantage,” states Kevin McKenna, CEO of Authentix.

Authentix operates fuel marking programs on five continents helping governments protect fuel tax revenues and leading branded fuel owners protect the integrity of their products. These programs consist of proprietary markers in refined fuels that can detect and prevent grade swapping, adulteration, and tax avoidance from the introduction of illicit fuels. Also, the company offers an information and data management platform to aggregate operational data, provide field test results and reporting tools for insights into potential issues within the supply chain and what types of actions need to be taken and when. Additionally, Authentix supplies marking programs for crude oil pipelines, fuel quality inspection services, and remote sensor monitoring of measurement devices in the fuel supply chain.

About Authentix
As the authority in authentication solutions, Authentix helps customers thrive in supply and distribution chain complexity. Authentix provides advanced authentication solutions for governments, central banks and commercial products, ensuring local economies grow, banknote security remains intact and commercial  products have robust market opportunities. The Authentix partnership approach and proven sector expertise inspires proactive innovation, helping customers mitigate risks to promote revenue growth and gain competitive advantage.

Headquartered in Addison, Texas USA, Authentix, Inc. has offices in North AmericaEuropeMiddle East, and Africa serving clients worldwide. Authentix® is a registered trademark of Authentix, Inc. For more information, visit https://www.authentix.com.

Contact: info@authentix.com

Advanced Technology: Informing & Empowering Fuel Authentication Programs

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The financial impact of fuels stolen or adulterated every year is estimated to be over $133 billion, creating fuel manipulation and fraud concerns for commercial fuel companies and government agencies. Fuel manipulation has a significant impact on branded fuel companies, decreasing revenue and threatening brand reputation and competitive advantage. Similarly, fuel fraud affects governments through lost tax revenue and the exploitation of subsidies. These concerns can be mitigated through advanced technologies for fuel markers, devices and the resulting data and analytics.

Methods of Fuel Manipulation

“The financial impact of fuels stolen or adulterated every year is $133 billion.”Ernst & Young Fraud Report on Oil & Gas, 2017

While fuel manipulation can occur accidentally through equipment failures or human error, it is most often an intentional act of adulteration, substitution, diversion or smuggling.

ADULTERATION — adding a lower quality product to the fuel in an attempt to increase profits. Adulterants may include:

  • Lower taxed or subsidized fuels
  • Inferior products (e.g., waste oil, solvents)
  • Lower grade products
  • Stolen petroleum products

SUBSTITUTION — substituting one product for another and misrepresenting its quality or classification to sell for a higher price, typically non-branded or differentiated fuel sold as premium.

DIVERSION/SMUGGLING — diverting product from the intended supply chain and recipient as it crosses various points in the supply chain, including national and state boundaries or between control points. Transport is one of the biggest risks in fuel supply chain management:

  • Subsidized products are diverted during transport and sold as premium
  • Fuels are smuggled to higher priced markets

Fuel Markers, Devices & Analytics: The Technology Behind Fuel Authentication

An effective fuel authentication program uses advanced technologies to help governments and commercial fuel companies improve operations, increase revenue, diminish toxic emissions and protect the integrity of fuel in the supply chain. The concept is simple − by adding a unique marker, the fuel obtains a unique fingerprint. Using the appropriate analyzer, the fuel is then identified as legal or adulterated.

Fuel markers are used to distinguish different types or brands of fuel and can take different forms, each serving a specific purpose. For example, markers injected into the fuel can allow for end-to-end supply chain tracking. When the fuel reaches its destination, quality control processes test for markers to ensure the supply chain hasn’t been disrupted and the fuel isn’t compromised. Quality control testing can take place in the field (station or terminal) with handheld or mobile devices or in a laboratory setting, depending on the needs of the organization.

OVERT VS COVERT — Overt markers are typically colored dyes that are visible to the eye and may be imitated or replicated. Covert markers, on the other hand, can only be identified by a highly sensitive detection device. At Authentix, we develop and employ only proprietary and unique covert markers to ensure the highest security and effectiveness.

RECOGNITION, OPTICAL AND MOLECULAR — Authentix offers three different categories of covert markers which vary in complexity and use.

  • Recognition markers are captured by custom-matched antibodies and are then detected by a reader or test kit. Detection can be in the field (qualitative) or laboratory (quantitative). Industry accepted and commercially proven, these markers provide a substantial barrier to entry and use low marking levels.
  • Optical markers use covert organic chemicals that emit a detectable fluorescent light when excited and are visible only with a highly sensitive field detection device that provides near-instantaneous results.
  • Molecular markers exploit the unique mass spectrum of chemical entities, enabling lab-based qualitative and quantitative analysis. The forensic lab device used by Authentix is a customized gas chromatography mass spectrometer (GC-MS), the globally recognized gold standard for court-defensible forensic analyses.

FIELD VS LABORATORY — Devices and analyzers can vary in the types of results produced, as well as the location the analyses occurs. In the field, for example, Authentix uses handheld devices and mobile applications that are easy to use and can collect large amounts of data quickly that is then uploaded to an information system. The Authentix Information System (AXIS®) rapidly produces actionable insights that flag suspicious results, increasing the chances of preventing future manipulation. Lab-based testing is often used if a fuel sample collected in the field produces a ‘failed’ or ‘suspect’ result. Conducted under strict guidelines, this testing can provide excellent forensic analysis or confirmation.

Key Considerations of Fuel Protection Programs

QUALITATIVE VS QUANTITATIVE

A qualitative analysis is used to quickly verify the presence of a marker by producing yes/no results. A quantitative analysis provides additional insight into an amount (percent) of dilution or adulteration that may have occurred. Authentix works with its customers to determine the need for instantaneous results or more detailed results, or in some instances, both.

PORTABILITY

Manipulation and fraud decrease dramatically when overseers are in place, enabling real-time enforcement. Authentix can deploy teams equipped with user-friendly devices into wide geographic areas to serve as an effective deterrent.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE

Fuel authentication programs can also help decrease the impact fuel manipulation can have on the environment and public health. As a rule, all Authentix markers comply with the United States Clean Air Act, comprising carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen (CHON) which allows marked fuels to retain their performance specifications, emissions characteristics and environmental compliance.

PROPRIETARY VS PATENTED MARKERS

When choosing a program, it’s important to know if the solution uses patented or proprietary markers. When applying for a patent, for example, the composition of the markers is accessible to anyone who wishes to detect or replicate them. To further increase marker security, Authentix only uses proprietary markers that are confidential and virtually impossible to reverse engineer.

DATA & ANALYTICS

A monitored and digitized fuel integrity program provides useful data to mitigate the risks of fuel moving through the supply chain. Using AXIS®, Authentix collects and analyzes data from different applications and disparate data sources. Insights gained help anticipate future challenges, identify new threats and accelerate detection, providing a significant competitive advantage through predictive analytics.

Authentix. The Authority in Authentication.

Working with governments, central banks and commercial companies, Authentix provides custom authentication solutions tailored to meet specific business challenges. Our core capabilities in developing and manufacturing proprietary chemical markers, designing analytical instruments and devices, and applying interdisciplinary chemometric models are enhanced by data integration, analytics and program management.

With over 25 years of experience in government and commercial fuel authentication, Authentix helps ensure local economies grow, banknote security remains intact and commercial products have robust market opportunities. Visit www.authentix.com.

Download Blog PDF Here

Digital Advancements Improve Fuel & Data Integrity — And Answer Tough Supply Chain Questions

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Fuel integrity failures lead to significant revenue losses, brand damage, environmental pollution, poor vehicle performance and increased consumer complaints. To avoid these industry challenges, many branded fuel companies and government agencies are implementing fuel authentication programs throughout the supply chain. As more of these programs are implemented worldwide, stakeholders are finding significant return on investments as fuel quality is greatly improved, revenue and tax collections increase, and the overall integrity of the downstream supply chain is confirmed.

Digital Transformation in the Fuel Supply Chain — Right Data, Right Time

“Digital transformation in fuel authentication programs such as Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices that communicate directly with our data analysis and reporting platform, AXIS®, can reduce data collection and reporting time in the field by 50 percent or more. The automated data uploads increase the speed and accuracy of data entry, eliminating errors resulting from manual processes used in the past.”Jeff Conroy, Chief Technology Officer, Authentix

The responsibility of managing the complex fuel supply and distribution chain falls on multiple stakeholders within a commercial brand or governmental agency. The value added through a reliable flow of accurate and timely data provides actionable insight for these stakeholders to measure and reconcile information quickly and enforce, react and remediate fuel fraud. In national fuel integrity programs for example, the agencies responsible for the collection of fuel excise taxes use data analytics to quickly detect the introduction of illicit fuel in the supply chain and, through fast enforcement action, increase tax collections and provide tremendous societal benefits.

Additionally, reliable digital data flow enables branded fuel owners to answer critical business questions about their downstream retail operations. Using a fuel marking program, coupled with digital data analytics, can ensure that premium additized fuel products are being distributed correctly under the right brand retail operations.

“Only one in four (25%) professionals believe they have the data needed to assure their brand’s fuel integrity.”Downstream Fuel Manipulation: The threats that could cost you, Oil & Gas IQ, 2018

Authentix has been a pioneer in combining physical fuel marking programs and the collection and automated analysis of supply chain data, and it has led the way on this digital transformation.
Advancements in digital technologies have made fuel authentication programs and the resulting data analytics easier to collect, secure and provide both enterprise and mobile reporting capabilities for its customers, driving improved supply chain security and integrity. Instead of gathering, entering and storing data manually, as in the past, Authentix field inspectors use portable, handheld analyzers digitally connected to the cloud. These advanced mobile
devices record supply chain data and communicate directly with our cloud-based data analysis and reporting platform, AXIS® (Authentix Information System).

The slow collection and reporting velocity of manually supplied data greatly increases the risk of fuel manipulation. Today, with advances in mobile or electronic telemetry data collection technology, AXIS® can enable users to quickly correlate fuel supply chain data with other correlated data from field devices and lab-based results for rapid response capability. For over 20 years, Authentix has been executing data reporting for our customers in real-time, analyzing supply chain results and creating actionable insights for improved program management and decreased opportunities for fuel manipulation or adulteration.

How Does AXIS® Work?

AXIS® is an integrated set of software applications designed to aggregate, store, analyze and present data from multiple and disparate sources to solve for potential supply chain integrity problems. Accessible through a remote web application, the system also presents dashboards and user-configurable reports to enable data-driven decisions and confident actions. Collected data could include geolocation, date and time of collection, retail or terminal IDs, and other identifiers and contextual data.

These identifiers ensure data integrity by establishing a chain of custody and providing contextual informa- tion to ingest and analyze. The correlation and analysis processes generate alerts and insights to ensure any needed revisions and optimization. For example, contextual data (e.g., truck tracking, bills of lading, retail pricing, etc.) provides insights beyond simply providing fuel integrity confirmation. It can also help determine how, when and where fuel supply chain fraud has occurred.

The insights and analytics provided by a robust information system like AXIS® can help prevent supply chain interruptions, program stoppage and lost revenue, while employing strict cybersecurity controls to ensure IT environment security. By generating answers and recommended actions through data analytics, AXIS® helps commercial brand owners and governments better understand and secure their fuel supply chains for the long-term.

Understanding Your Fuel Supply Chain

  • What has happened? Historical data is gathered — including store and terminal IDs, and date and time stamps — and correlated with similar data. Through data analysis, patterns and anomalous behavior become evident, potentially indicating manipulation or fraud. These descriptive insights are used to flag those incidents.
  • Why did it happen? Diagnostic insights from sales and supply chain data can help determine how a retail location received illegal or illicit fuel and point to specific transactions and individuals involved. Using that data, AXIS® can help users ascertain if all the non-compliant retail stations in a designated region received their fuel from the same terminal, implying that the exceptions noted could be quality control problems and not fraud. Data such as temperature and voltage records also help field inspectors monitor portable device performance, flagging potential servicing requirements that may be needed.
  • What will happen? Authentix is accelerating digital transformation for customers with a focus on advancing predictive analytics capabilities. For example, AXIS® can correlate and analyze program data and other external data sources to spot patterns and anomalous behaviors. This provides unique insight into new threats and accelerates detection and learning to provide a significant competitive advantage.
  • Can it be repeated? Prescriptive insights can help define possible actions needed to prevent fraud, enabling branded fuel companies and governments to create processes and improve supply chain management.

Leveraging Data Analytics to Drive Actionable Insights

Organizations often discover illicit fuel in certain markets, such as tax-evaded fuel sold as premium or transit fuel outside of an intended designated region. Comprehensive, end-to-end fuel authentication programs — from marker injection at the terminal down to field or lab testing results, and data analytics and resulting actionable insights — empower organizations to discover the origin of illicit fuels and prevent these events from happening in the future. By providing contextual information, Authentix fuel authentication programs help pinpoint trouble spots in the fuel supply chain that would not be discovered through normal security audit processes. With the technology to collect, upload and aggregate data using portable web-based devices, the workflow becomes truly automated, assuring greater fuel and data integrity through increased insights and accuracy.

“There is still a global underestimation of the vulnerability of paperwork, and many of the world’s largest companies are failing to recognize the risk of fraudulent or inaccurate documentation — not just their products.”

— Downstream Fuel Manipulation: The threats that could cost you, Oil & Gas IQ, 2018

Authentix: Accelerating Digital Transformation for Competitive Advantage

Authentix’s 25 years of industry experience and advanced technology provides customers with a distinct competitive advantage. Our secure marking technology, flexible implementation, proactive program support and actionable insights through the AXIS® platform, help customers thrive in a global economy. For more information, visit authentix.com.

Download Blog PDF Here

Authentix® Receives Export Achievement Award From the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration

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ADDISON, Texas, May 20, 2019 – Authentix, Inc., a U.S.-based technology solutions provider specializing in supply chain security and authentication programs, was presented the 2019 Export Achievement Certificate (EAC) on May 16, 2019, by the United States Department of Commerce for the company’s continued success and expansion in international markets.

The EAC award was originally created in 2001 by the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service division. The award recognizes U.S. based enterprises that successfully entered a new foreign market. Today, the EAC may be given to both first time and experienced exporters that have completed a noteworthy export transaction or that successfully introduced a new product line in a foreign market.

Authentix has worked with U.S. Commercial Service for 13 years as it continues to grow and deliver advanced authentication solutions to commercial companies, national governments, and leading central banks across the globe. With over 25 years serving the international marketplace, Authentix is proud to deliver supply chain security on five of the seven continents.

“The U.S. Commercial Service has supported Authentix’s presence in global markets with local knowledge and experience that connects the right stakeholders and decision makers to our mission to safeguard the integrity of global commerce. With their help, we have been able to grow our footprint internationally and deliver advanced authentication solutions to help our customers thrive in a global economy,” states Kevin McKenna, CEO of Authentix.

The U.S. Commercial Service visited Authentix headquarters in Addison, Texas on May 16, 2019, where Ana Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary of U.S. Operations, delivered the award to Authentix. “Exporting businesses like Authentix are the engine of the U.S. economy. I am pleased to have presented an award for effective export activities to Authentix, and gratified that the U.S. Commercial Service had an opportunity to help facilitate their global success,” said Ms. Guevara.

About Authentix:

As the authority in authentication solutions, Authentix helps customers thrive in supply and distribution chain complexity. Authentix provides advanced authentication solutions for governments, central banks and commercial products, ensuring local economies grow, banknote security remains intact and commercial products have robust market opportunities. The Authentix partnership approach and proven sector expertise inspires proactive innovation, helping customers mitigate risks to promote revenue growth and gain competitive advantage.

Headquartered in Addison, Texas USA, Authentix, Inc. has offices in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa serving clients worldwide. For more information, visit https://www.authentix.com. Authentix® is a registered trademark of Authentix, Inc.

 

Media Contact:
Sonyett Bailey
Senior Director, Corporate Marketing
sonyett.bailey@authentix.com

Assuring Fuel Integrity from Pipeline to Pump

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By Kevin McKenna, Chief Executive Officer, Authentix

Leveraging Data to Drive Actionable Insights

In a recent survey conducted by Oil & Gas IQ, over 200 downstream industry leaders were asked about the importance of supply chain fuel integrity in delivering on their brand promise. Not surprisingly, 76 percent of respondents said it was very important and 19 percent responded it was somewhat important. Despite the importance of this matter, only 26 percent of the respondents said that they had access to the required data to assure supply chain fuel integrity.

This lack of supply chain data and subsequent corrective and preventative actions exposes brand owners to the ubiquitous risk of fuel manipulation. Fuel manipulation can occur through negligence, system failures, or deliberate illicit acts. Regardless of the cause, when it occurs it can have damaging and lasting effects on consumer confidence and the integrity of branded products – resulting in lost revenue and competitive advantage.

View the full Fuel Quality Industry Report
The Looming Risks of Fuel Manipulation

Many think fuel manipulation isn’t happening in their country or market, or that it is happening at a scale that can be considered part of the cost of doing business, perhaps in the range of five percent of the volume of product sold. Our experience at Authentix is that the volume is typically much higher – in many cases more than 30 percent of the volume of product sold. Petroleum products present a lucrative opportunity for those who wish to deliberately manipulate fuel supplies for their illicit gain. Perpetuating the crime is a simple exercise of price arbitrage – obtain a product at a low price and sell it at a higher price. Lower prices can be obtained from outright theft, subsidized products, smuggling, lower grade products, or adulteration of products with solvents, waste oils, or any low-cost liquid criminals can obtain. This is big business that often goes undetected as represented in a 2017 Ernst & Young report that estimated the illicit fuel market to be $133 billion a year.

Minimize Risks with a Comprehensive Fuel Integrity Program

When a comprehensive fuel integrity program is deployed with sampling, testing, analysis and enforcement, our customers have been able to effectively stop fuel manipulation and achieve returns on investment in many cases of over 10 times. A key tool Authentix uses to combat fuel manipulation and facilitate the tracking and authentication of fuel products is the application of unique chemical markers coupled with proprietary analyzers to detect and measure the markers in the fuel. This lock and key combination of markers and analyzers facilitates the rapid and definitive authentication of products throughout the supply chain – enabling you to detect manipulation from multiple sources. To date, we have marked and protected over two trillion liters of petroleum products across the globe to identify and ameliorate issues such as grade swapping, product adulteration, or quality issues (e.g., incorrect additive dosing, water contamination, etc.).

Over the last few years, we have transformed our solutions to merge the physical authentication results from fuel sampling and testing with ubiquitous data sources (e.g., volume flows, pricing information, truck tracking, etc.) to aggregate and analyze data via the Authentix Information System (AXIS®). AXIS enables our customers to proactively operate their supply and distribution chains for competitive advantage. This transformation has been enabled and accelerated by four ongoing industry trends:

  • Increase in data collection, enabled by better connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Cheap computing power and cloud infrastructures available
  • Improved analysis algorithms and inexpensive machine learning software available
  • Excellent open-source software options for data science programming and analysis

Today we are leveraging cloud architecture, simplifying data collection solutions while accelerating adoption of additional IoT sensors, and investing in proprietary data solutions to increase our ability to provide actionable insights to our customers. AXIS delivers insightful data analytics to isolate anomalies, reveal opportunities for fraud, and identify trends in unauthorized product placement, so you can act to maintain the integrity of the supply chain. By extracting the full value of customer, market, and supply chain data, and combining that with the integrity and responsiveness of our people, our customers gain a significant competitive advantage.

Enabling our customers to thrive in today’s complex supply chains requires more than a chemical marker and a device for measurement. It requires nuanced sector expertise and the means to collect, aggregate, and analyze supply chain data from multiple sources. It requires collaborative partnerships to leverage the growing ecosystem of IoT applications and data sources to deploy solutions quickly, and then learn, adapt, and drive toward predictive analytic solutions built on the AXIS platform. All of this contributes to our vision of creating a world of confident commerce – consumers can be confident they are getting what they pay for, and brand owners are confident they are competing on a level playing field to deliver on their brand promise.

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Fuel Quality Industry Report: Downstream Fuel Manipulation

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The threats that could cost you.

 

Downstream fuel supply chains are more complex than ever and the risks to fuel integrity are serious. Authentix partnered with Oil & Gas IQ to survey industry experts on the impact of downstream fuel manipulation and areas for change.

Download the full report

Doing Business on the Blockchain – Applications for the Lubricant Sector

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Jeff Conroy, Chief Technology Officer, Authentix

Mention blockchain and many people will immediately think of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies that have been dominating headlines over the past few years. Although cryptocurrencies are an example of blockchain technology, there are many other uses for the underlying fundamental properties that blockchains provide.

A general definition of blockchain is a distributed, append-only, immutable digital ledger. A blockchain is the connecting (or chaining) of packages of information together in a verified record by a network of users with an agreed upon protocol. This network of users and the record may be publicly available like the well-known cryptocurrencies, or it may be private and require permissions to access like the Hyperledger Fabric that is the basis of many commercially available blockchains for business use.

The protocols in different blockchains may have different advantages for different applications, but the important concept is that the ledger entries (data) are used as the input to a function.  That digital data is used as a set of inputs to a protocol (mathematical functions), the output of which is another set of digital data.  Once calculated (and validated by multiple parties) the ledger of transaction is updated with the new entries (a new block), and the answer to the function is published (added to the chain). These answers for each block are intertwined in the protocol so that all the past entries and the values calculated for the ledger cannot be changed without a different answer being arrived at by the algorithm.  The new blocks would fail to give a correct answer, and nothing would be added to the chain.

The shared possession and processing of the blockchain amongst users acts as a means of instant validation of a historical set of data in that blockchain. No data can go into the blockchain unless it is formatted correctly, processed by the agreed upon protocol, and the new blockchain confirmed by multiple parties as being a valid record given those inputs. In the purely digital world, a blockchain can provide assurance that the all steps taken in a procedure have been undertaken, approved, and immutably recorded for future reference.

However, when we tie a blockchain to the physical world, more elements are needed to ensure a secure record of transactions is produced. While a ledger provides a record of a series of steps or transactions involving digital data, the generation of data such as ASTM test results, API certifications, or volumes of a product shipped between parties must also be done in a way to ensure the data produced is authentic. As in other supply chain solutions, the key is to design the protocol by which the physical to digital transformation of data is robust to accepting falsified data.

In the development of a finished lubricant, a blockchain could be used to carry the complete audit trail in the various production process. For example, the specifications, batch, and quality control results for base materials and additives can be recorded as they are produced according to accredited suppliers’ quality management systems. The procurement of such accredited materials can be tracked, and their use in a blended product verified by the production systems in place at blending facilities. The final QC values of finished goods can be recorded by the approved methods internal to producers or by independent third parties. All information can then be associated with batch, lot, or even individual container identifiers as part of the delivery and distribution process.

With proper physical controls in place, a blockchain can provide a validated audit trail of digital data that would accompany a finished product to verify the authenticity, provenance or properties of the products in the marketplace. When following established protocols for sampling, testing, and distributing physical products, tying a blockchain to a lubricant production process would allow quick verification of compliance. This would replace the disparate information systems, third-party audits and lack of common protocols that make fast and easy validation of materials difficult today.

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