Globalization has taken supply chain into unchartered waters and far-flung places. But that’s not really new. What is new is the heightened level of customer expectations. Customers expect their orders to be delivered on time. They really don’t want to hear about the delays in your supply chain that are causing delays in your estimated (or promised) delivery dates.
It’s almost as if to keep your customers happy, you have to be able to predict disruptions to your supply chain before they occur. And just how would you do that?
The Blockchain Potential
Of course, blockchain can’t predict the tsunami in Thailand that delayed your rubber shipment. Or the dockworkers’ strike that impacted major ports from New York to Houston and delayed the arrival of the circuit boards you were expecting.
Still, blockchain does have the potential to accelerate your supply chain and make supply chain management (SCM) less cumbersome, simpler, more secure, and … well … manageable.
According to a recent article from IDG that appeared last month in Computerworld, “Blockchain will be the killer app for supply chain management in 2018. The distributed ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrencies is now poised to disrupt supply chain management – especially in the global shipping industry.”
Hype Becoming Reality
In that same article, we learned that: “In January, Maersk and IBM announced a joint venture to deploy a blockchain-based electronic shipping system that will digitize supply chains and track international cargo in real time. The new platform could save the global shipping industry billions of dollars a year by replacing the current EDI- and paper-based system, which can leave containers in receiving yards for weeks.”
So what they’re saying is that EDI- and paper-based systems are becoming or will become obsolete because they’re downright inefficient. It’s hard to argue with that. Tracking international cargo in real time? Heck yes! That would surely be helpful. It might not mean that the hurricane at sea doesn’t delay your shipment. But at the very least you’d be able to give your customers advance notice of the delay, which might just assuage them. And if using current systems means that containers are sitting for weeks in shipyards, but blockchain can fix that, well…that has tremendous potential.
What’s more, blockchain technology can provide real-time visibility into the workflow, tracking production at every step across your shop floor. And we’re seeing blockchain in potential in other areas such as food safety verification, fraud and theft prevention, and the payment reconciliation process.
Explore Blockchain with Us
Blockchain technology is relatively new, so we won’t pretend to have all of the answers. But as a company that implements ERP software systems for manufacturers and distributors, Strategic Systems Group (SSG) will continue to report on blockchain developments. We have a keen interest in understanding the role that blockchain will play in streamlining and securing SCM for our clients.
For more information, call us at 310.539.4645 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to speaking with you soon.