The use of blockchain in supply chain 4. 0 aims to reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction and better source suppliers. In order not to jeopardize its security, the scalability of the blockchain is limited, but a scalability requires an adaptation to new technologies. Blockchain is a perfect fit for the supply chain and offers new perspectives to supply chain 4.0 players.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a technology for storing and transmitting information, based on blocks linked to each other in a totally decentralized, secure and transparent ecosystem. The information is made tamper-proof, even if it can be modified. All traces are kept in the blocks so that organizations can access the history of changes.
In blockchain, there is no leader, everyone is at the same level of information. The certified data remains confidential to the company, in the private blockchain. When this data is externalized, it appears in the public blockchain and becomes accessible to everyone.
In the same way that it is possible to follow the traceability of the food we consume thanks to the farmers who communicate their information in all transparency, the data on the origin of the raw materials, the progress of the production and the follow-up of the delivery are accessible today.
Each of the systems involved in the chain stores part of the overall information and serves to certify the authenticity of the data. This step makes it possible to secure the information when it circulates.
What are the applications of blockchain in the supply chain?
Above all, data collection remains a prerequisite that can be a hindrance for some companies, especially those that are not yet ready to take the turn of the digital transformation induced by new technologies.
The collaboration between IoT and blockchain is inseparable. The IoT collects information through connected objects, the blockchain shares it with all users. The main interest lies in the tracing of raw materials, production and suppliers. Next comes cost control and then tracking of goods.
All this information is transmitted between the customer and the producer thanks to EDI, avoiding the risk of human error, for example when entering a transport order. The information provided by the IoT comes mainly from:
- of sensors,
- of GPS,
- of cell phones,
- scanner guns,
- of connected applications.
From this comes the data stored in the blockchain, which will then enable KPIs, dashboards and physical implications to virtual processes.
What benefits can blockchain bring to the supply chain?
We can summarize quite easily how blockchain is beneficial to the supply chain. With proactive systems in place, blockchain communicates transparently. Decision making is facilitated since it is properly documented in real time. Because customers also have access to information, they are more likely to trust the brand.
Not only does the blockchain provide visibility on the supply chain, but it also guarantees a high level of security, both by the very principles of information stored in distinct blocks, and by the automation that reduces the risk of human error.
As such, since data processing is handled by multiple workstations, expensive servers become unnecessary and costs are further reduced. The blockchain thus responds to economic and environmental issues.