Looking at supply chains ten decades ago, the system was quite simple. In that time, commerce was more local than global. Since then, the supply chain has grown incredibly complex and is in need of improvement to keep up with the increasing demand of consumers. Two of the most significant problems that exist in the supply chain today is, transparency and the ability to investigate illegal or unethical practices.
A solution to ease the supply chain process is by implementing blockchain. When most hear the word “blockchain” they often associate it with “Bitcoin”. Although bitcoin and blockchain go hand in hand, blockchain has many applications. Blockchain can be used to exchange, track, and pay within the supply chain process.
With blockchain, every transaction is recorded on a block, and the copies are forwarded over many computers. This makes the information highly transparent to customers or buyers. Additionally, the information is incredibly secure. Every block is linked to the block before and after it.
All over the world, you can find companies who are adopting blockchain into their own supply chain, for example, the Australian vehicle manufacturer, Tomcar. Through the use of Bitcoin and blockchain, Tomacar is able to transfer funds anywhere in the world without the use of a traditional bank. This provides an incredibly convenient option for globalized supply chains.
Another company adopting blockchain into their supply chain process is Walmart. To keep track of its pork from China, Walmart uses blockchain to keep a record of where each piece of meat came from, where it was processed, where it was stored, and when it will expire. Other leaders in the food industry like Unilever, Nestle, Tyson, and Dole, are adopting a similar application of blockchain.
BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining firm, is using blockchain to better track and record data. With accurate data logged, BHP Billiton is able to have more efficiency internally and more effective communication with their partners.
As mentioned before, transparency is an ongoing issue within the supply chain. Project Provenance hopes that with the use of blockchain they can open with their consumers and show that their values of environmental stewardship and sustainable manufacturing align with those of their consumers.
Overall, blockchain can help to increase both the efficiency and transparency of the supply chain all while creating a positive impact on multiple aspects of the supply chain, from manufacturing, to delivery, to payment.