Implementing Blockchain in Supply Chain is it needed? Blockchain in the supply chain is promoted as a way to increase trust and visibility.
At different levels, companies are committed to implementing transparency, fair trade, and sustainability in customer purchasing decisions. However, complex and non-integrated supply chain networks make it difficult to apply these principles.
A large number of organizations have started to integrate Blockchain into supply chain management to make all processes more transparent and better organized.
According to Statista, 55.3% of logistics service providers say they have invested money in Blockchain technology in this sector.
Supply Chain Challenges at Present
Insufficiency of End-to-End Visibility
The lack of transparency can cause cost and customer relationship issues, which can negatively influence a brand name. Blockchain technology offers a solution that the product provides provenance tracking.
The system participants, including suppliers, manufacturers, couriers, and end-customers, are permitted to access this information, which helps to establish trust between them.
Lack of Supply Chain Risk Management
The company’s processes are usually exposed to different types of risks, such as fraud and code of conduct violations. Effective risk management programs are essential to effective supply chain management.
Blockchain makes it possible to accurately track the product. This helps to forecast many risks in the chain and lets all parties act properly
Ripple Effect Due to Extended Value Chain
Due to complex supply chains that are continuously extending, many organizations face significant variability risks. A few layers of stakeholders, including suppliers, distributors, and consumers, significantly increase the supply chain risk.
Blockchain provides scalability through this scalability any large database is accessible from multiple locations around the world.
Sudden Demand Changes
The fastly-transforming environment needs businesses that can respond to sudden demand changes on an increasing frequency rapidly. It requires a technology that could automate the processes and timely adjust them to changes required. Blockchain is the answer.
A powerful duo of Blockchain and the supply chain can help reduce errors and avoid product delays. Blockchain can eliminate fraudulent activities, and increase consumer/supplier trust. However, the benefits of Blockchain for the supply chain do not end here.
Extra Costs Due to Fraud or Product Duplicacy
Blockchain provides real-time product tracking, this helps significantly decrease the overall cost of moving a product in a supply chain.
By strengthening the traceability, in situations such as product recalls or quality issues, companies can isolate a problem accurately, minimizing cost spend trying to locate its root cause.
Blockchain Appliances in Supply Chain Management
Perfect Traceability and Tracking
Blockchain technology is often used to record product status at each phase of its lifecycle. It helps to track processes starting from the initial stage of production.
The world commercial giant Walmart actively use blockchain technology to monitor meat sales in China. And yes, it goes about each separate piece of meat.
The system shows where the meat comes from, processes each step of its journey to a customer, and records everything in the supply chain up to the sale date.
Anytime the company can access information about who has sold the meat and who has bought it, what can be useful in peculiar cases. So implementing Blockchain in supply chain can overcome the problem of tracing and tracking.
A smart contract is a program that utilizes Blockchain to execute the agreement. You can integrate smart contracts into your supply chain management to prevent fraud or other interference.
A smart contract is a software program that utilizes Blockchain to accomplish an agreement. Blockchain stores the program so that smart contacts can only work based on its programming.
The smart contract works only according to its programming and can automatically trigger specific events. An item delivery for example recorded in the Blockchain can trigger payment.
A smart contract also contains information about which participants can act on a specific type of data. For instance, a shipper cannot register an item serial number mismatch, while a receiver can.
An excellent example of smart contract usage is TransActive Grid. This Blockchain-based application aims at tracking and redistributing power from solar panels in a neighborhood.
An app allows automating the process of buying-selling of solar energy. The system is created on Ethereum, which is usually used for building smart contracts.
Establishing trust between all participants is key to the effective supply chain functioning. In a Blockchain, every participant has a copy of a ledger and knows where each item originated.
Everybody has access to information about who has owned it before and when. Nestle a world-famous brand is a good example of Blockchain in a food supply chain. It is already using Blockchain to monitor the provenance of food ingredients in many products.
On the other hand, Blockchain enables customers to see the provenance of goods — from the source point to end consumption what allows. It helps establish trust between a target audience and a brand. Thus implementing Blockchain in supply chain can built trust between a consumer and a brand.
Permission and Consensus
Blockchain is often explained as “one version of the truth” for each product. It is a system of records that is aimed to capture proof of money transactions like bills of lading and money transactions.
It covers all stages of the supply chain – from serialization, and shipping to receiving and installation – each is tracked automatically. This system is built on principles of trust, transparency, and audibility.
All participants have access to the same information. In case, if one of the participants’ endeavors to perpetrate fraud, then he/she is automatically out of sync with a system and identified as a threat. It works as an effective deterrent to malware behavior.
Transparency in Transactions
Now all transactions can be maximally transparent anywhere in the world – no need to use traditional banking. Money transfers can be easily made between a payer and payee within a few minutes. You need not longer wait for days since with a Blockchain-based system, and everything happens much faster and safer.
Tomcar is an excellent example of this solution. To pay to its suppliers this vehicle manufacturing company uses Bitcoin. The company makes all agreements with its suppliers based on standard terms. The benefit of using Bitcoin is in the cost savings.
Even though the company tries not to use too much Bitcoin, it considers Cryptocurrency as a great solution that allows significantly saves costs. However, Cryptocurrency is international; some governments have started finding it as an innovative way for organizations to invest.
Product Condition Monitoring
Some kinds of products, like food or medicines, are susceptible and have specific needs. The product storage conditions, such as temperature, humidity, or vibration, can be recorded by sensors and stored on a Blockchain.
If one of the parameters deviates from a norm, then it will be immediately tracked by the Blockchain participants. In this case, a smart contract can automatically solve a problem by triggering needed actions. Therefore implementing Blockchain in supply chain can monitor the product condition at different stages.
Nowadays, companies actively use RFID tags to store information about products in supply chains. Commonly, they are automatically processed by IT systems and used for smart contracts in logistics.
RFID-tags for cartons or pallets preserve information about the location and date of delivery. Logistics partners use specific apps to search for these tags and bid for a delivery contract. The participant offering the best rates and service gains a deal. After this, a smart contract can monitor the status and final delivery performance.
Blockchain Traction in the Supply Chain
Many companies face the challenge of extraordinarily complicated supply chain management that also weakens other internal processes. However, Blockchain technology has the potential to solve significant glitches in traceability and surveillance along the chain.
It enhances efficiency across all operations of the flow of goods, information about the storage and shipping of raw materials, delivering finished products from one point to another, and more. The results are greater collaboration, streamlined inventory management, better asset usage, and more.
Sure, there are challenges to overcome in terms of cost factors and securing multiple stakeholder buy-ins, but Blockchain has the potential to provide a new and improved level of traceability to the supply chain.
Implementing Blockchain in supply chain can revolutionize it. Blockchain technology disrupts current supply chains by adding a level of trust in transactions.
Various use cases, such as monitoring and traceability along the supply chain, improving compliance, deterring counterfeiting, and increasing operational efficiency lead to the adoption of the blockchain.
If your organization wants to create or enter a large corporate network, simplify complex supply chain processes, and improve business relationships with suppliers and distributors, you are probably ready to invest in blockchain. Getting started with specially designed predefined blockchain applications in the cloud can speed up the value of your blockchain project.