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Blockchain In Supply Chain Explained: How It Can Benefit The Industry?

The supply chain happens to be quite a rich and comprehensive industry. It nests an array of ‘intermediary’ niches. Since it is growing at an incredible pace, the requirement for incorporating blockchain is also surging exponentially.

Let’s have a look as to how blockchain has the potential to improve traceability, audit processes, data integrity and pretty much every aspect associated with supply chain management.

Since we are talking about expansion and growth, it is worth mentioning that blockchain possesses the ability to facilitate new business models that can empower the entire niche. For instance, the issuance of tamper-proof documents, digital identities, and payment processors require data integrity. None of the data structures offers it better than blockchain.

The industry is quite scattered, thus making different solutions incompatible with each other. Since there are multiple players in a blockchain use case, incorporating unanimously accepted ledger would result in a great deal of information sharing. In addition to this, the system would also be less prone to errors.

There are plenty of inefficiencies in the niche right now. This issue is significantly alarming where perishable goods are involved. By diminishing the ‘wastefulness of resources’ and increasing data transparency, we can cut off the operational costs. Ultimately, the end-users will benefit, and companies will be able to lure in more prospects.

 

Blockchain Platforms Used In Supply Chain

After realizing the benefits of using blockchain, several established supply chain companies have started using it. Here are some of the most popular use cases of blockchain within the supply chain industry.

 

Bext360

This is quite a unique yet futuristic initiative. Bext360 happens to be a Denver-based startup. It offers a blockchain-enabled machine for coffee beans. Their solution provides comprehensive traceability for every bean. It also suggests improvements in the entire cycle by comparing the quality at the time of preparing the drink with what it was at the time of harvesting.

This facility is not only for franchise managers. Even end-users have the luxury of tracking every bean before drinking.

Bext360
Photo by Kartic Rakhra on Getrevue

 

Hyperledger Sawtooth

It is quite a generic framework that facilitates seafood tracking. In this blockchain supply chain use case, programmers make use of a variety of sensors. These are vital for detecting and transferring the information related to the location and time of the catch. They store critical data on a public ledger. In this ledger, every buyer can view a detailed provenance of the very piece he is buying.

In recent years, the seafood industry has experienced several negativities due to various factors. Sometimes the fishermen do not use quality equipment to catch the fish. This causes a delay before they are available in the open market. There are times when oil spills contaminating the whole lot. Usually, end consumers are still forced to eat it because there is no way they can guarantee the quality of fish.

Hyperledger Sawtooth is indeed a revolutionary development in this regard. It does not only add provenance in this lifecycle but also facilitates secure use cases.

Hyperledger Sawtooth
Photo by Vineet Singh on Pinterest

 

Food Security

Unfortunately, ever year, there is an outbreak of Ecoli in the World. It becomes quite difficult to determine the point in a complete lifecycle from where the bacteria might have entered the chain. To curb it or at least enhance the traceability, Walmart and several other retailers have started using blockchain supply chain use cases. These help them to make food consumption securer for their customers.

Such an initiative will not only offer provenance for every food item available to the consumers. Moreover, it will also make transfers from one place to another easier for companies.

blockchain and food security
Photo by Victoria Melnychuk on Applicature

 

Martine Jarlgaard

She happens to be a fashion designer. Furthermore, her initiative is quite futuristic. The fashion industry is quite clumsy, and as end consumers, we have no idea about the complexities these designers have to deal with.

Martine has embarked on a mission to bring more transparency. This blockchain supply chain use case will allow designers to have peace of mind that anyone in the industry can’t copy their works without giving credits. Furthermore, the customers can also view as to what stages the garment has gone through before hitting the market. So, for instance, if you are against animal abuse, you can track whether any animals were harmed during the manufacturing of a product you are about to purchase.

 

The Future Of Blockchain In Supply Chain Management

You must have guessed by now that the future of blockchain in supply chain management seems quite promising. Since this industry has nested plenty of use cases, the potential for innovation is also quite huge.

One of the core issues for which government agencies and other companies are also considering blockchain implementation is the counterfeiting of drugs. With the help of this technology, we can embed barcodes on individual tablets. At the same time, we can track them down throughout the cycle, thus ensuring that every piece is original and not tampered.

The automobile industry could also experience a major disruption soon with the help of blockchain. It is not only about tracing the lifecycle of a car and making it easier and safer to buy used cars. Thousands of components make up a vehicle, and we cannot be sure of anything unless there is an impenetrable ledger for recording everything that is the things that they produced and transported. Thankfully, blockchain addresses the concern perfectly and places every stakeholder in a win-win situation.

Since most of the market leaders are currently running on traditional technologies for inventory management and have invested a huge sum in them, they are hesitant to move towards blockchain. It is worth mentioning that implementing blockchain does not mean you have to revamp the entire underlying technology. It could be integrated with your current solution as well, or you could start by replacing one use case at a time.

Plenty of industrial giants have understood the importance of implementing blockchain use cases, and this has led to the initiation of several consortiums. This is quite good for end consumers and companies as well since they can scale exponentially and collaborate.

Supply Chain and Blockchain: A Dynamic Duo Blockchain and supply chain
Photo by Rajarshi Mitra on Blockgeeks

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