The scrap metal trade may seem like a niche industry, but it's a key component in recycling resources and transforming them into something new.
The basic concept: Someone has leftover metal from a product they've made, a scrapyard ships it to a buyer who can melt it down and use it for something else. It's a billion-dollar industry — that, unfortunately, is plagued with fraudsters who take advantage of humanity's need to recycle our resources.
How do these fraudsters operate? One example: they like to impersonate reputable individuals, or fabricate business histories to trick real professionals into paying them for scrap that doesn't exist.
Scrap Connection (now Tradefox) aims to take on these bad actors by bringing transparency to the industry. By gathering publicly available data from disparate sources, they were able to uncover a story of how trustworthy a company is based on past behavior.
But, while gathering data can be done programatically, they were struggling to analyze and organize the data in a meaningful way for the myriad of companies and business practices in the industry.
I was asked to take the initial idea of collating this data and build it into a scalable, automated, always-up-to-date report that could be accessed by anyone who needed to verify trade partners.
To search for the reports, they can search by name, or choose what they're looking for in a company to help them narrow down trade partners that fit their criteria.
You can check out a publicly searchable version of the reports on the Tradefox website.