We’ve written several times here about the importance of the new technology called blockchain. (If you missed those try here for a two-parter outlining the importance of blockchain to supply chains, as well as here for a quick primer blockchain, and finally here for a quick take on blockchain’s benefits to the supply chain.)
Today, we’ll take a very quick look at 3 obvious ways that the folks at ERP consultant Panorama Consulting see blockchain affecting life in the supply chain, in an article found here.
- Blockchain allows for streamlining secure transactions between logistics suppliers, manufacturers and third-party partners. Blockchain as we’ve noted is a secure ledger consisting of encrypted transactions that appears the same to every member of the chain. It lives on multiple computer – not just a single one – where all members have an equal view of all its records, permanently. (For the record, a blockchain has never been hacked, for this reason.) Thus, all members of the supply chain from source to user see the same record of the data. Imagine the possibilities…
- Blockchain makes everything traceable and enhances accountability. With every transaction visible to every party in the chain, blockchain essentially eliminates fraud, waste and duplication. Once data has been added to a chain, it cannot be deleted or altered – only amended, publicly. It promotes integrity of data, intrinsically.
- Overall, blockchain makes most things easier. To quote Panorama’s paper directly: “When it comes to the supply chain market, the use of blockchain simplifies almost everything. It virtually eliminates fraud and reduces errors. Additionally, it becomes much easier to manage inventory, improve partner and consumer trust and identify and fix any potential problems. Courier and payment costs are reduced, and the need for paperwork is eliminated. Finally, the long process of reconciling and auditing separate ledgers from different entities in the supply chain is eliminated.”
You’ll continue to hear and read about blockchain, both here and elsewhere, in the months and years ahead. It’s a topic worth paying attention to for anyone involved in the world of business, transactions and supply chains. Which in the ends means, pretty much all of us.