3 Use cases of Blockchain in Supply Chain Management
The time has come to talk about a use case that is one of the most popular: SUPPLY CHAIN. Firstly, let’s find out what Supply Chain is. It is a network between a company and its suppliers to produce and distribute a specific product to the final buyer. This network includes different activities, people, entities, information, and resources. The supply chain also represents the steps it takes to get the product or service from its original state to the customer. Depending on the product, the supply chain can span over hundreds of stages, multiple geographical (international) locations, a multitude of invoices and payments, have several individuals and entities involved, and extend over months of time.
So what does the supply chain need? Of course, it needs reliability and integrity, which are provided by blockchain and there is no dispute in the chain regarding transactions because all entities on the chain have the same version of the ledger. One of the advantages of blockchain-based supply chain systems over standard databases is that nobody can change the data in blockchain. Another advantage of blockchain is that a retailer can control suppliers by monitoring products from the moment they are moved from a warehouse.
Let’s take a look at interesting aspects of blockchain applications in supply chain management.
Diamond supply chain
The history of blockchain in the diamond industry can go back to May 2015. Back then an Australian entrepreneur Leanne Kemp founded Everledger — a global digital registry for diamonds powered by the IBM Blockchain Platform. One of its main goals was to solve the “blood diamonds” issue. Blood diamonds are not the only issue, as gem retailers are also trying to detect laboratory-grown diamonds. They are less valuable among customers and sometimes are sold as natural ones.
Food & Agriculture
We can take Provenance as a good example. It enables every physical product to come with a digital ‘passport’ that proves authenticity and origin, creating an auditable record of the journey behind all physical products.
Moreover, Retail chain Walmart is using blockchain to focus on food safety, tracking, and traceability. For example, the company is already carrying out tests using the tech to track food products like mangoes from Mexico and pork from China. The system uses sensors to record temperature in a blockchain system. In this way, the company can assure quality and food condition during transit. Last year, it took two months for experts to trace the source of a salmonella outbreak in Mexican papayas. With blockchain, this process can take some seconds.
In the medical field genomic data is used for customized patient diagnosis and treatment. While the pharmaceutical industry can use it for the development of new drugs and therapeutic agents. Macrogen is not the only technology giant looking to apply blockchain tech within the genomics industry. As far back as 2014, an Israeli startup called DNA.Bits announced plans to store genetic and medical record data using blockchain technology.
For example, transplantChain is a medical supply-chain management tool that tracks the protocols and signatures required for organ transplantation. It uses blockchain technology to fix donor matching issues to make the process faster and more efficient. The platform would allow hospitals to select organs within proximity and have them prepared to be transported. The platform would also provide detailed information and the medical history of each organ.
All of this showcase how blockchain revolutionizes supply chains in various fields. And above-mentioned examples are just the little part of them. It is obvious that blockchain and supply chain are like synergy and the whole potential is more than you can find from projects.