Blockchain for Advancing the Supply Chain for Industries

Posted by : Mudit Kumar | 26-Nov-2020

  • blockchain for supply chain management

    Supply chain executives need inventive solutions to driving efficiencies and responsiveness to shocks and excel in the age of digital transformation. Surprises from unpredictable variables are ever-present threats. They range from temperature change and geopolitical developments to changing business dynamics. However, businesses can evolve supply chain processes into smart workflows with the advancement of the blockchain supply chain development. They can achieve new levels of responsiveness and creativity. They can challenge siloed processes to discover efficiencies, enable the teams to adopt and execute, and leverage new technology like blockchain, AI, and IoT. The combination of these technologies can unlock various transformational opportunities, including demand preparation, order orchestration, and fulfillment at any stage of the value chain.

    Blockchain for Supply Chain Management Advantages

    Enhanced Responsibility in the Supply Chain 

    The visibility that is one-up/one-down proves to be a constrain in supply chain networks. With a distributed ledger technology that provides a decentralized, single version of the truth, a blockchain-based supply chain provides participants with greater visibility across all supply chain operations.

    Establishment of a Robust Supply Chain

    One unforeseen occurrence can cause a spiraling series of supply chain disturbances. Smart contracts, executing automatically only upon fulfillment of pre-defined market requirements, can ensure efficiency in supply chain solutions. They provide accurate insight into activities in almost real-time and maybe the opportunity to take steps faster.

    Also, Read | COVID-19 Calls for Establishing Supply Chain Visibility with Blockchain

    Blockchain Supply Chain Management Application Across Industries

    Supply Chain Management based on Good Practices

    Companies seeking to imitate Starbucks and other brands’ equitable and environmentally sound corporate practices can seek the potential of blockchain technology. Blockchain enables complete visibility in details across several stages of product development.

    Theoretically, manufacturers, farmers, wholesalers, retailers, and distribution systems input each input data while documenting and checking their positions in the chain. While doing so, they create an automatic log that provides irrefutable proof of the provenance of a commodity.

    Retailers and service providers can operate with a notable objective with a shared, end-to-end trail of farming certifications, factory reports, product identifiers, and other details. With confidence, they can reassure buyers that they get authenticity. They share the values of consumers that food, clothes, and other resources should be sustainable and that good manufacturing happens under permitted labor conditions and with minimum environmental impact.

    Such a supply chain shows that an organization can perform better than others in branding. It also offers a chance to share a new story with retailers, utility providers, and other organizations. With an authenticity that reinforces their ties with consumers, they can sell themselves effectively.

    Also, Read | Developing a Blockchain-based Traceability System for the Food Supply Chain

    Management of Supplier information in a Trusted Environment

    Blockchain enthusiasts have not much talked about supplier information management. Fascinatingly, blockchain explicitly addresses critical concerns. Manual sorting, hefty paperwork, long onboarding periods, and risk control challenges are the key issues. A blockchain solution can successfully address these challenges by providing openness, stability, confidence, and reliability in identities. Besides, it can assist these cross-industry challenges to be addressed by a creative solution, one that leverages a modern business paradigm.

    Also, Read | Blockchain Application Development In the Manufacturing Industry

    Efficient Information Sharing in Mining Creates New Opportunities

    Blockchain technology addresses several issues with existing information-sharing technologies. Essentially, it builds a network of participants to help develop a blockchain infrastructure. It is capable of handling high-value assets around the supply chain, from the mine to the final customer, including industry-leading mining, technology, and banking firms. Companies engage in a shared network to exchange data, removing the requirement for data and transactions to be handled by a reputable third party.

    A blockchain network provides members safe access to the underlying real-time data. Participants maintain their data access, confidentiality, and ownership. Under the protection rules, it all exists on their servers, and they define the access for who sees the data. However, they can also exchange knowledge easily with their related counterparts. Subsequently, it enables parties to make strategic decisions that are much more effective and quicker.

    Each type of participant in the supply chain can see its related advantages. For example, mining firms gain insight in real-time as to when their funds are heading to the planned receiver via the portal. For banks on the blockchain network, improved liquidity control get support by the ability to grant and monitor letters of credit for assets in real-time.

    Also, Read | Mining Supply Chain Meets Blockchain for End-to-End Tracking

    Permissioned Blockchain Solutions in Healthcare Information Management

    For all to read, all information on a shared blockchain, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, becomes accessible. On the other hand, only permissioned participants can read from a permissioned/private blockchain network. It encourages the security of confidential details about a company’s relationship with its limited partners and vendors. It also influences all customers to exchange important information about the products themselves.

    In the case of prescription drugs, theoretically, anyone with permission in the supply chain can trace their goods to the customer from the raw materials.

    The immutable yet being a transparent ledger feature of blockchain technology mean that the data is ‘owned’ by no single entity. It encourages trust in all parties in the network and can come in use for regulatory purposes as a system of record.

    The use of this method can also determine the source of contaminated products involved in recalls and resolve the problem.

    Also, Read | Use Case: Solving Supply Chain Management Challenges with Blockchain

    What Role Do Smart Contracts Play

    The advantages of smart contracts go hand and hand with the blockchain.

    Fast and Consistent

    Smart contracts are digital and automatic. It means you don’t have to waste time processing documentation, reconciliation, or error resolution, written in manually filled papers. Software coding is often more precise than the legalese written in conventional contracts.

    Create Trust

    Smart contracts immediately conduct transactions in compliance with predetermined laws, and all participants exchange encrypted records of such transactions on the blockchain. Therefore, no one has to doubt whether the occurred data changes are for personal gain.

    Strengthen Security

    The archives of blockchain transactions remain secured, which renders them quite challenging to hack.

     In the distributed ledger, an information block links to its previous and subsequent record blocks. It thereby implicates that changing any information requires the whole chain to validate changes.

    Ensure Cost-Efficiency

    Smart contracts eliminate intermediaries so users can trust the observable data and the infrastructure for transaction execution properly. Thus, there is no requirement for an extra party to confirm and check the terms of an agreement.

    Also, Read | Making Supply Chains Smarter with Blockchain Smart Contracts


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About Author

Mudit Kumar (Writer)

Mudit has been working with Oodles since 2017. He writes about technologies that not only disrupt the digital space but also influence the physical world. Initially, he explored revolutionary technologies like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and AI (Artificial Intelligence). Now, he focuses on unfolding the elements of blockchain technology, given its potential and edge over others.

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