Blockchain in the Supply Chain

by | Apr 30, 2018

Bloomberg recently reported that South Korean electronics giant – Samsung – intend to use blockchain in their global supply chain. Samsung SDS, the company’s IT division, have been reviewing the technology and are looking to reduce supply chain costs by up to 20% by introducing it.

In today’s global market, supply chain management can be an incredibly complex task. Depending on the product, some supply chains are made up of hundreds of parts, multiple locations, numerous transactions and have several entities involved. 

The chain may extend over numerous weeks and without the right skills and training will often result in a lack of transparency.

There is a school of thought that blockchain could be the next big thing to transform the supply chain and logistics industry, and Samsung are not alone in having an agenda that includes its future use. 

 

A blockchain is effectively an open distributed digital ledger that has many applications and can be used for exchange, contracts, tracking and payment – the latter being its most prominent use right now through the cryptocurrency – bitcoin.

With blockchain, every transaction is recorded on a block and across multiple copies of the ledger. They are distributed over many computers, which makes it highly transparent. It is also highly secure as every block links directly to the one before and after it, and with there being no single authority it is extremely efficient and scalable.

Blockchain should be ideally placed to serve the critical factors within a supply chain, such as visibility, reliability and integrity, as everybody holds the same version of the ledger and records cannot be erased. It is also possible to transfer large funds without the need of a traditional bank, which can be considered a major advantage for a global supply chain.

The use of blockchain, in conjunction with big data, is already improving the flow of on-demand stock management within a number of major global businesses, although it is not universally understood.

The Supply Chain Academy, in conjunction with partners, are offering some solutions that will help to raise awareness of how blockchain and big data can be used within the modern supply chain.

Both our Supply Chain Innovation Event on the 21st June, and our New Supply Chain Executive Programme, include  insights into how you can use  blockchain and big data to increase your company’s performance and reduce costs.

For more information on these important topics, or to find out how the Supply Chain Academy can add leverage to your supply chain in many other ways, please email info@supplychainacademy.org.uk or call 01708 259450.

 

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