5 achievable benefits from adopting Blockchain technologies in Supply-Chain Management

By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin, the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology. Looking towards the Shipping industry - using technology from other industries and putting them together in a new context provides incentives to explore the Blockchain technologies. Read the example on how Maersk, the world´s largest container shipping company makes use of Blockchain technologies to improves their workflow.

The full article is previously published​ at GoodtoSEO​​. Innovation in the maritime industry ​is about identifying and utlizing opportunities presented by technology as well as managing its challenges. Future ports - Opportunities and challenges​ 

1. Enhanced inventory management 

Blockchain provides a holistic and permanent record of every single transaction that takes place in your supply chain process. Moreover, it enables you to connect to each party in the value chain – be it suppliers, production sites, distribution centers or even the retail partners. 

The records that are stored are accessible by ​​everyone within the network. As everyone holds the copy of the information, there is no confusion or disruption created in the supply chain process. This, in turn, leads to enhanced inventory management. 

Let’s take an example of Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company. The company make use of blockchain technology to exchange event data and handle document workflows. 

In 2014, the company, Maersk​, found that one simple shipment of goods from East Africa to Europe can go through 30 people or organizations, comprising 200 interactions and communications. 

However, Blockchain technology can help the company to manage and track the paper trail of over tens of millions of shipping containers around the world. By digitizing the supply chain process, companies involved with inventory can reduce fraud and errors, total time spent on products transit and shipping. 

2. Improved data security 

Information like invoices and contract details that are exchanged in any supply chain process is highly confidential. Communicating this information using traditional methods can be quite risky, as they can leak easily in a number of ways. On the other hand, blockchain keeps the floating information secured with the best cryptography techniques. 

As explained to you earlier, it is built with secure blocks. These blocks are nothing but the copies of the documents that are chronologically stored as well as linked to the previous blocks. This eliminates the chances of your information getting hacked. This is because a hacker would have to change hundreds of copies at the same time, which is next to impossible. 

So, if you are looking for an option that can shield your supply chain data against such cyber attacks, blockchain has to be your ultimate pick. 

Let’s take one such example of IBM company that offers its Watson IoT platform with an alternative to managing IoT data in a private blockchain ledger that is integrated into Big Blue’s cloud services. 

Another company, Ericsson’s Blockchain Data Integrity service offers fully auditable, compliant and trustworthy data to mobile app developers, who are working within GE”s Predix Paas platform. 

3. Better transparency and traceability 

The blockchain that works within the supply chain is able to provide you with all the data relating to or the status of your transaction. For instance, how the goods are made, where they are shipped from, how they are managed and much more – all the information is stored in the blockchain-based system. Moreover, as the data is permanent and can easily be shared with your supply-chain network, it gives them a comprehensive tracing and tracking abilities. 

For instance, if you own a pharma company, you can use this information as a proof of legitimacy for products in your pharmaceutical shipments. Not only you, but even the consumers get benefits here, as they are able to find out more about the products they wish to buy with the details like where they been sourced from, whether it has been preserved in the right condition or whether it is original or not. 

In short, total transparency is developed, which is obviously a major benefit that you can get while using the blockchain for your manufacturing industry. Similarly, tracing will give you, as well your supply chain network, peace of mind that the entire supply chain process flows smoothly. 

In fact, a good example here is SyncFab, the world’s first peer-to-peer industrial marketplace for manufacturing. The company is using Blockchain technology to revolutionize the way buyers connect with manufacturers. This technology helps SyncFab to connect. 

A good example here is SyncFab, a manufacturing supply chain blockchain – the world’s first peer-to-peer industrial marketplace for the manufacturing industry. The company aims to connect buyers directly with hardware manufacturers saving them time and maintaining transparency. 

4. Automated supplier payments 

Blockchain also facilitates the transfer of funds to any corner of the world. You don’t need to indulge in the traditional banking methods. Transfers can be made possible directly between the payer and the payee. The entire system of paying through the blockchain is secured and above all, it is done quickly! You don’t have to wait for a day or even for an hour. It is that quick. 

Once the digitally-secure transaction data becomes a part of blockchain agreements and your network agrees on the terms and conditions, the smart contract can begin automation of the commercial process. 

Through this, you can be sure that what was promised is delivered and what is delivered is paid for. Even Bank of America Corp. and Mastercard, Inc. have already moved to adopt blockchain technology and have over 48 blockchain-related patents and applications. 

5. Enhanced customer engagement 

The blockchain is much more than a storage technology. You can analyze the data to create forecasts and predictions, which can further help you solve the lags in the supply chain. Not only this, but the analytics can also contribute to boosting customer satisfaction. You can use the blockchain database to find ways of building a delivery timeline. 

Moreover, even the customers can access the blockchain data to some extent. For instance, a clothing brand can give the customers access while showing them an approval form or a labour union sheet. Sharing such data creates a transparency, which ultimately results in loyalty and creating long-lasting customer relations. 

One such example of the company that makes use of Blockchain for customer engagement is Digital2Go (D2GO), a US-based consumer engagement and marketing intelligence firm. The company aims to leverage this advanced technology in marketing, especially consumer engagement. 

Blockchain can prove to be a game-changer for the manufacturing industry ​

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