Blockchain is already affecting different industries significantly in various aspects. How is it going to benefit the retail industry?
FREMONT, CA: With a massive increase in data and enormous intricacy, the potential effect of blockchain in procurement and supply chain management has started to get more attention. Because of blockchain’s inextricable bond to the bottom line of an enterprise, supply chain proficiency—or the lack of it—is a performance measure that cannot be overlooked. With the new use cases emerging every day, organization has begun to realize the untapped potential of blockchain in dealing with long-standing problems around information sharing, efficiency, traceability.
Information sharing: Using blockchain to break down silos
The supply chain has an increasingly strategic role to play in a retail enterprise. Besides creating inefficiencies, siloed information can also make an organization vulnerable to significant risk. Blockchain solutions make it convenient for the right individuals to access mission-critical data and enhance the data flow within an organization as well as among stakeholders.
Efficiency: Using smart contracts to increase automation
Massive, intricate datasets can mean huge bottlenecks and delays, especially for lower-tier suppliers. Being pieces of code, smart contracts sit within an individual block on a blockchain and do the job of automating the acts after me
eting certain conditions. This defines rules and regulations around a transaction and involuntarily enforces any obligations. Implemented to supply chain management, blockchain empowers enterprises to create a tamper-proof smart contract that involuntarily applies terms of multiparty agreements.
Smart contracts equip the organizations with the ability to streamline and automate anything from purchasing orders and shipping notifications to the management of store inventory and reporting.
Traceability: Keeping a check on the production and procurement process
With the help of blockchain technology, information at every step of the supply chain process is logged in a safe and public database, which no involved party can alter without it becoming immediately apparent to others.
In case something goes wrong during the shipping process, the chain of custody can be easily traced through blockchain to discover when and where the problem has occurred. Comprehensive tracking enables more transparency around the retail products’ production or the sourcing of resources like oil, coal, or gold. Besides adding an additional layer of accountability, the technology also resolves the risks of criminal activity.
Leveraging blockchain is not a solution to every problem that supply chain professionals face. For a solution based on blockchain to be valuable, it needs to scale and have a huge group of active users.