Solving Supply Chain Challenges with Hyperledger Sawtooth

Published : Aug 28, 2019

Supply chain challenges

  • Consumer demand for transparency, sustainability, and fair trade have increased the complexity of global supply chain management (SCM). It requires businesses to overhaul non-integrated supply chain systems to match rising customer expectations. Recent technological advancements have the capacity to resolve various supply chain challenges. One such advancement is distributed ledger technology (commonly known as blockchain technology). It can eliminate critical glitches in the supply chain with features like traceability and provenance tracking.

    Leading manufacturing and retail businesses are recognizing the impact of blockchain technology on supply chains, especially Hyperledger application development. They are exploring opportunities to accurately trace assets, improve transparency, and enhance licensing of services, products, and software. Blockchain and automated smart contract payment solutions provide effective mechanisms to achieve such goals.

    Challenges in the supply chain industry 

    • Stagnant, expensive, and resource-hungry processes 
    • Opacity and trust issues
    • Improper management of quality and compliance
    • Complex data management and integration
    • Counterfeits and fraud
    • Unreliable and insecure data

    Benefits of blockchain for supply chains 

    • Traceability and transparency
    • Real-time tracking
    • Faster transactions
    • Trustless chain
    • Error and fraud elimination 
    • More secure, cost-effective, and efficient

    Significance of Hyperledger Sawtooth for better SCM

    Hyperledger Sawtooth is an enterprise-grade blockchain platform suitable for developing industrial solutions. It improves SCM with traceability and provenance tracking, which include factors like temperature, humidity, and location tracking. It provides businesses the ability to share information with customers and build more effective relationships. In addition, the Sawtooth platform is ideal for developing custom supply chain solutions for specific use cases. 

    Hyperledger Sawtooth’s Benefits for the Supply Chain Industry

    Streamlined Procure-to-Pay Processing with Smart Contract

    One of the biggest challenges in SCM is the need to frequently follow-up customers for payments while processing time-consuming invoices. Sawtooth resolves this issue by introducing automated delivery and payments with a digital contract (smart contract). Blockchain application developers deploy a smart contract solution across an enterprise and integrate with its logistics providers and banks. The smart contract then provides proof of delivery to the logistics carrier and trigger automatic payment and invoicing through the bank. 

    Increased Visibility and Cost-Efficiency

    Sawtooth can effectively address challenges in tracking purchases across business partners, subsidiaries, and other supply chain stakeholders. Sawtooth achieves it by constantly refreshing its distributed digital ledger after each transaction and incorporating data from every stakeholder. As a result, stakeholders can see complete purchase volume regardless of whoever directed the activity. It also avoids the requirement for every user to share their operational data with others.

    Improved Data and Results

    Hyperledger sawtooth’s distributed ledger technology increases the accountability and traceability of a variety of supply chain data.  It enables effective tracking and management of resources at each level of the chain, which provides better forecasts, enhanced inventory management, and greater accuracy.

    One use case of the sawtooth platform in supply chains is seafood traceability. 

    Also Read: 

    Fulfilling Enterprise-level Needs with Hyperledger Application Development

    Developing Education-to-Employment Verification Solution with Hyperledger Fabric

    Revolutionizing the seafood supply chain

    Here’s an example of using Sawtooth to record the journey of seafood from the ocean to consumers.


    There are many problems associated with traditional seafood supply chains. They include error-prone manual record-keeping, inappropriate food storage conditions, unregulated fishing operations, and seafood fraud like mislabeling. These issues compromise food security and product quality while posing threats to the seafood industry’s economic security.


    The solution includes the deployment of a Sawtooth based application and the integration of IoT sensors with objects, like fish, ready for transportation. It enables trackable ownership, possession, and parameters like location, temperature, humidity, and motion. Eventually, the buyer gets the provision to check all the recorded information and ensure its credibility and accuracy.

    Advantages of Blockchain-Operated Supply Chain

    • Transparency to establish trust across the entire supply chain
    • Equal opportunities for suppliers and reward mechanisms for good practices 
    • Automated processes and operations for cost and time efficiency
    • Complete visibility of products for vendors as well as consumers 

    Concluding thoughts

    Redefining the seafood supply chain is one of the many real-world use cases of Sawtooth. It can make a significant impact on the global supply chain standards. A variety of businesses are exploring blockchain to ascertain the credibility and accuracy of transactions, shipments, and goods, as well as to create funding opportunities.  We now need to explore where to head from here to realize the new possibilities created by blockchain. 

    We are a blockchain application development company with expertise in providing blockchain solutions to a variety of industries. In supply chain management, we can develop blockchain based applications to enable efficient and secure end-to-end visibility and surveillance throughout the supply chain. 

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