Technology News

Will Blockchain Revolutionize Supply Chains?

Blockchain technology is a great way to enhance your supply chain management, and with the use of smart contracts, you can make sure different suppliers are meeting their obligations - this is a global system for mediating trust and selective transparency and could potentially transform your supply chain.

IBM Resources

Companies

  • Cognizant Technology Solutions is an American multinational corporation that provides of custom information technology, consulting and business process outsourcing services. Cognizant is a leading provider of information technology, consulting and business process services. Our dedicated employees…

  • Supply chain management solutions from IBM deliver supply chain planning and execution capabilities across the extended enterprise, enabling companies to anticipate, control and react to demand and supply volatility within the supply chain. Managing how and where you fulfill orders, how much inventory…

  • Company Quicklook

Many businesses know that supply chain management is vital to success.

After all, if you can’t get your inventory where it needs to be - as quickly as possible - you could be in trouble.

Being able to manage your supply chain in an open and easy manner is vital.

You want to streamline the process as much as possible for maximum efficiency.

Interestingly, blockchain technology offers some help in this area.
Rather than thinking of blockchain technology in terms of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, it’s time to consider other applications. While currencies based on blockchain technology offer their own advantages, few of us think of other applications for this development.

However, there are scientists and others looking into various uses for blockchain technology. And one of those uses is in supply chain management.

Blockchain Technology = Perfect for Supply Chain Management
Blockchain technology is all about the distributed public general ledger. This is what makes it perfect for supply chain management.

In a recent article for Harvard Business Review, you can read about how well blockchain works when it comes to the supply chain.

One of the biggest problems faced by companies with complex supply chains is a lack of transparency. Sometimes, if you have multiple suppliers across multiple states and countries, it can be hard to keep track of everything.

Pinpointing issues can be difficult because of all the moving parts. This is where something like blockchain can shine, according to the Harvard Business Review article.

Because of the way transactions are recorded and tracked using blockchain technology, it makes it much easier to see everything happening in real time. It’s possible to monitor transactions, and the general and public distributed ledger means that you get updates and see what’s happening every step of the way.

Members of the network can see what’s going on as it happens. Plus, this system helps keep all those involved accountable for their end of the bargain. It’s a great way to get the whole picture, as well as drill down to individual aspects of the supply chain.

Smart Contracts and Using Blockchain Supply Management
One of the reasons blockchain technology is so great for supply chain management has to do with the fact that smart contracts are a major part of the system.

There are several potential business applications for blockchain technology. One of those applications is the use of smart contracts.

With smart contacts, all the interested parties can see the terms of the agreement. On top of that, the agreements enforce themselves. In order to move forward, certain expectations have to be met. When the signatories meet those expectations, the contracts can be fulfilled.

Download: Rethinking Enterprises, Ecosystems and Economies with Blockchains

This is a great way to enhance your supply chain management. With the use of smart contracts, you can make sure different suppliers are meeting their obligations. You can see deliveries at multiple locations, and track shipments based on the fulfillment of smart contract terms.

And, because it’s all managed with a public distributed ledger, it’s easy to see what’s going on. In many cases, current supply chains still operate using reams of paper.

While some things are tracked in computers, you often need humans to go in and update systems before you can see what’s happened.

The combination of paper and the need for someone to update information in a system can mean that you might not have the most recent transactions. It might take hours - or even days - before a system is updated.

Smart contracts help eliminate some of that uncertainty and lag. Smart contracts are autonomous and automatic. That reduces the potential for human error and increases your access to timely and valuable information.

Integrating Payment with Blockchain Technology
For most people, the first introduction to blockchain applications was the popularity of Bitcoin. And financial transactions are still one of the bonuses of working with blockchain technology.

Blockchain transactions are secure and instant. On top of that, they often cost less. Traditional payment processors charge fees and it can take multiple business days to complete a transfer of funds.

With the help of the blochchain, these transactions happen faster and cheaper. You don’t even have to be working in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to get this to work. Some countries in Asia are testing out payment possibilities with blockchain technology.

It’s possible to upgrade supply chain management with the help of blockchain. Smart contracts could be arranged to take care of payment automatically, at the same time deliveries are made. The whole thing becomes part of the same transaction that is executed in an efficient and transparent manner.

Are Business Owners Ready for Blockchain Supply Chain Management?
It seems like using blockchain technology for supply chain management would be a no-brainer.

However, there is some resistance to this adoption. After all, this is a public ledger. It means that some business owners would have to be willing to let others get a peek at what’s happening.

Just because blockchain offers a distributed public ledger, however, doesn’t mean that you have to share everything with everyone. It’s possible to use blockchain technology to set up private and closed ledgers.

If you want, you can create a distributed ledger that is more private. You still have access to the information and can make smart contracts, but the distribution is limited. You only have it sent to the interested parties.

Business owners need to see that the benefits outweigh some of the drawbacks. Once business owners and entrepreneurs see what blockchain technology can do to help them streamline their businesses, they will be more likely to adopt it in a way that allows them to get the most out of their supply chains.

What about Government Regulation?
A growing number of states are recognizing smart contracts and intelligent signatures as digital signatures - and therefore legal and binding.

However, even with this growing acceptance, there are still some regulatory hurdles to clear.

Regulations and adoption vary by country. So if you are an international country, you have to consider how that impacts your ability to use the blockchain as part of your supply chain management.

And it’s not just the government you have to worry about. Industries are prone to figuring out best practices and developing their own standards. The way blockchain is used in business will need to move forward with industry-wide standards, as well as take into account regulation from various government entities.

Of course, there is also likely to be some pushback from the established financial industry, especially as payments are incorporated into smart contracts used in supply chain management.

However, the wave of the future appears to be blockchain technology. There’s so much that can be done, and done faster, that it’s hard to ignore the benefits of the blockchain.

This article was originally published on Due.com.

Image: BlockchainTechnologies

How Blockchain Works
A distributed database running on multiple servers continually checks the security and integrity of each transaction or data entry. Blocks chained by hash values and incentivized proof of work provide a foundation for distributed trust in blockchain.

Download the Paper:  Blockchain’s Smart Contracts

Article Topics
Trends   Technology   Software   Blockchain   All topics


Comments
Be the first to post a comment.
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login.

 
Latest Technology News
Five Keys to “Click and Collect” Order Fulfillment
To meet consumer demand for more convenient delivery options, many retailers have adopted the buy online and pick-up-in-store (BOPIS, or "click-and-collect") order fulfillment model.

5 Ways to Assess Your Warehouse Technology Needs
When looking to leverage new technology, each warehouse must assess their business and determine the solutions that offer not only best practices that are tried and true for today’s customers, but also…

Material Handling Tips For Maximizing Warehouse Space
Warehouse storage space is expensive, so it makes sense to make the most of your warehouse storage capacity in order to reduce carrying costs and increase material handling efficiency.

Swisslog Optimizes Efficiency at the North Pole
Swisslog automation and software is making Santa's job easy...


 

24|7 Pro Team

The 24|7 Team is your direct pipeline to solutions for your business challenges. It's your opportunity to have supply chain and logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information.

The 24|7 Team will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

1
  Choose a topic for your RFP

Transportation RFP/RFI

The Transportation RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your transportation challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific transportation challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect software or system can be an indomitable challenge. Using this transportation/TMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

Warehouse/DC Management RFP/RFI

The Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your WMS challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific WMS challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect WMS solution can be an indomitable challenge. Using this WMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your WMS Request for Proposal list.

Supply Chain RFP/RFI

The Supply Chain RFP is your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and receive free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information. It simplifies finding a pool of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list. The companies in the Logistics Planner have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up, and your request is totally confidential.

Software/Technology RFP/RFI

The Software/Technology is your direct pipeline to solutions for your logistics information technology challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific technology challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request. Whether it's WMS, TMS, Mobile or Cloud, our pros can help.

The companies listed below have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up. Your request is totally confidential.

Executive Education RFI

The Logistics and Supply Chain Education RFI can help you identify the schools, coursework, continuing education, distance learning and certification opportunities available from leading logistics educational institutions.

Upgrade and improve your logistics and supply chain skillsets. Whatever route you choose—advanced degree, executive education, certification or distance learning—the time and money you invest in your education today can pay off in continued career success tomorrow. Contact leading universities and professional institutions for the information you need to prepare for the future.

Third Party Logistics RFP/RFI

This 3PL Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Information (RFI) can help you find the 3PL and 4PL providers that can meet your specific 3PL service challenges and needs. The 3PL companies below will provide free, no-obligation third-party logistics advice, solutions, and information.

Ask your 3PL questions, you'll get answers. Simply complete the information, and detail your 3PL challenges. Then, check off the third-party logistics companies that you want to review your request.

1. Choose an RFI topic.
2. Enter your contact information and challenge.
3. Select companies and optional categories.
4. Submit.


2

Your Information



Your Challenge, Problem or Request *

3

Select Transportation Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • One Network
  • Pitt Ohio
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SEKO Logistics
  • SMC3


Select Relevent Categories

  • Air Freight
  • Intermodal
  • Motor Freight
  • Ocean Freight
  • Rail Freight
  • TMS

Select Warehouse/DC Management Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Swisslog
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Auto ID & Data Capture
  • Automation
  • Conveyors & Sortation
  • Lift Trucks
  • Packaging & Labeling
  • Pallets & Containers
  • Shelving & Racking
  • WMS

Select Supply Chain Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • 3PL Central
  • Amber Road
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • APICS
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Global Trade
  • Inventory Management
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainability

Select Software/Technology Companies

  • Select All

  • 3GTMS
  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • BluJay Solutions
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Swisslog Logistics
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • ERP
  • Sales & Operations
  • Sourcing/Procurement
  • Optimization
  • Transportation Mgmt
  • Warehouse Mgmt

Select Executive Education Choices

  • Select All

  • Graduate Courses
  • Online/Distance
  • Executive Education
  • Certifications
  • Undergraduate
  • Seminars
  • Associations
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows


Select Third Party Logistics Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Purolator
  • SEKO Logistics
  • Westfalia Technologies


4
 

24|7 Company Profiles