The value of blockchain and supply chain analytics is undisputed, and the capabilities of blockchain technology are starting to become available two small and midsize businesses, as well as large corporations, such as Walmart. Supply chain analytics can have additional value when used in conjunction with blockchain technology, providing invaluable, accurate insights and refining the supply chain, but supply chain Executives must first understand the limitations of today’s blockchain technology supply chain analytics.
Blockchain Appears Beyond the Reach of Small Supply Chains
Blockchain technology is often associated with large corporations, but it holds value when applied to small and midsize businesses as well. Blockchain is an incorruptible resource and ledger for activities, and analytics can become a bigger part of blockchain technology, increasing and guaranteeing the safety and integrity of “blocks.” This is an essential step in taking advantage of blockchain technologies, especially cryptocurrencies, which some consumers and supply chain partners will be using within the next few years as a primary currency. Analytics will be integral to using blockchain to small businesses to prove blockchain value.
Blockchain and Supply Chain Analytics Are Applicable to Shippers
Blockchain and supply chain analytics are applicable to shippers for the need for better transparency and visibility in the supply chain. Even the most robust plans for continuous improvement in the supply chain will fail without data-driven insights, so blockchain and supply chain analytics can team up to ensure accuracy in reporting, as well as ongoing benchmarking. Think about it. Supply chain managers that have access to information to make informed decisions and improve productivity. On the transportation side of things, supply chain analytics and blockchain will increase transparency into freight management and customer service levels. It can be applied to track supply chain assets, monitor performance of machinery and systems, and track consumer feedback, asserts Sue Troy of the Internet of Things Institute.
An Introduction to Blockchain and Its Potential Benefits and Drawbacks in Supply Chain Management
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How Do Blockchain and Supply Chain Analytics “Build a Better Mousetrap?”
The allure of supply chain analytics involves the ability to identify cross-transactional relationships and use such information to make better decisions. For example, patterns in demand forecasting may be analyzed to denote which products are more likely to sell in the future and in specific markets. Meanwhile, blockchain technology provides an endless resource for tracking information. Since information cannot be “edited after entry,” blockchain puts the power of analytics on an incorruptible pedestal. This results in the following benefits of using blockchain and analytics to improve supply chain processes.
- Automation is built on repetitive actions, and since blockchain locks information into an incorruptible resource, automation can take hold more easily.
- Error-free data has the potential to reduce unexpected expenses by keeping all parties informed, increasing collaboration throughout the supply chain.
- Performance measurement of activities, as well as keeping a record of past, current, and project performance, will increase labor management efficiency, boost worker productivity, and move more product with fewer resources.
- Contractual obligation adherence increases as vendors, suppliers, carriers, and contracted parties understand their obligations. Blockchain and supply chain analytics can be used together to identify issues that may result in failure to meet such obligation and increase performance along the way.
- Reduction of counterfeit product is a major risk in the modern, digital supply chain. Blockchain’s ability to identify the complete history of a product, as well as analytics to denote problematic operating and shipping processes, can alleviate the concerns over a counterfeit product and ensure all raw materials and components are sourced properly. Analytics also help to identify cases of attempted fraud or unethical activities, validating the blockchain, says Innovation Enterprise.
- Simplified claims settlements derive from better customer service levels and knowing exactly when a shipper or carrier is responsible for the liability of a shipment.
- Reduction in costs of compliance occurs as companies are capable of storing, retrieving and monitoring shipping processes and reducing paperwork in completing such activities. In turn, payment processing grows faster, and productivity increases.
Leverage Clean Data to Streamline Use of Blockchain Now
Although analytics and blockchain increase informational awareness and break down data silos, they share a common problem. Inaccurate data processing and manual data entry can result in the introduction of errors in the system, diminishing the value and potential impact of these technologies on all sizes of supply chains. The only way to avoid is this problem lies in working to increase data integrity, accuracy, and accountability now. Supply chain executives should begin the process of implementing automated, cloud-based technologies now.