With supply chain management becoming increasingly important, companies are starting to implement blockchain tech in order to improve their supply chains. In a few year’s time, the companies that don’t modernize their supply chains will be put at a serious competitive disadvantage at the global level.
How does Blockchain Technology Improve Supply Chain Management?
One of the strongest reasons for incorporating blockchain technology into a company’s supply chain process is the added benefit of transparency. Data sets that were previously unavailable to companies, retailers and consumers are easily traced in blockchain-powered applications. Data such as price, date, location, quality and certification are just a few of the things that can be recorded on the blockchain.
For a more relevant example, let’s take a look at this report which demonstrates the benefits of tracking tuna from shore to plate. In this case study, fishermen in Indonesia upon catching fish would send an SMS to register their catch. Those fish, once registered, would be given a permanent and unique ID. From there, the fishermen would then transfer the caught fish to a supplier. The entire process is logged on a blockchain and verifiable.
The benefits of this transparency can be taken all the way through to the consumer level.
Imagine being able to walk into your local grocery store, heading over to the fish section, picking up a piece of yellowfin tuna, and being able to track it all the way from Indonesia. The case study demonstrates this process by affixing an NFC-enabled sticker to a can of tuna. The consumer can then scan the sticker with a smartphone application and track the item’s journey from the ocean and all the way to the supermarket shelf.
Blockchain in Supply Chain Management Isn’t Coming, It’s Already Here
While a majority of large companies are looking into the financial implementations of blockchain technology, an increasing amount of research is going into supply chain management. Currently, large companies such as Walmart, UPS and Folgers have either implemented blockchain technology into their supply chain or are seriously researching the possibility.
In Walmart’s case, for example, through a program called FoodTrust, employees can scan mangoes using the in-store application and trace the fruit from the farm it came from all the way to where it is stored in their stock rooms. Not only does this information help educate consumers on where their food comes from but it can also go a long way when it comes to tracking tainted food and mitigating damaged inventory.
On the same topic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) recently released a blueprint that is centered around using blockchain technology to increase food safety in the supply chain. The FDA stated that:
The New Era of Smarter Food Safety represents a new approach to food safety, leveraging technology and other tools to create a safer and more digital, traceable food system.
One of the ways they are hoping to achieve this is by implementing an internal digital technology system to receive critical tracking events and data from the participants within the supply chain system.
Blockchain and Supply Chain Management is a Perfect Match
As the world continues to grow, supply chains grow with it and the complex problems relating to scalability are uniquely solved by blockchain technology. If you have been following all the recent developments at ARK, then you are familiar with Protokol. ARK launched Protokol as a premiere blockchain enterprise services provider.
Protokol combines the highly-adaptable ARK blockchain platform with business transformation and solution delivery expertise. In regards to supply chain management, Protokol offers everything necessary from consultation all the way to development and support.
If you are looking for ways to incorporate blockchain technology in your supply chain, reach out to Protokol, and book an appointment.
While the challenges associated with transforming large and small businesses are inherently complex, the solution within blockchain technology is simple and elegant.