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Supply Chain Industry Updates

‘Uniquely Suited’ to Address Supply Chain Challenges

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  • Blockchain provides a “single source of truth” throughout the supply chain, an IBM technologist notes.
  • In consumer goods, complex last-mile deliveries are among the challenge areas that could benefit.

Blockchain technology can help organizations build “unprecedented supply chain visibility and efficiency” in sectors as diverse as consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, according to a paper written by a top IBM technologist and shared this week by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).

“Blockchain is uniquely suited to address collaboration, data sharing and visibility across a supply chain ecosystem,” wrote Paul Chang, IBM global blockchain industry leader. “It works by connecting vetted and approved participants to a shared, distributed ledger that provides a single source of truth about goods as they travel across the supply chain.”

Chang cited a statistic that “78% of companies surveyed say that increased visibility into end-to-end product movement is a major benefit of blockchain.” In an era when resiliency is worth its weight in gold, any technology that increases supply chain transparency is bound to catch supply chain professionals’ attention.

“Blockchain offers unique opportunities for supply chain reinvention that transforms entire business ecosystems.”

In addition to helping organizations track the physical movement of goods from one end of the chain to the other, the other benefits of blockchain include the abilities to combine data on the flow of goods and financial transactions and to automate processes across companies, Chang said. In the consumer goods arena in particular, blockchain can help companies cope with fast-moving and changing demand, brand differentiation in crowded markets and complex last-mile distribution.

“Today, supply chains are playing an increasingly central role in the creation of competitive and disruptive business strategies,” Chang observed. “Blockchain offers unique opportunities for supply chain reinvention that transforms entire business ecosystems. Leveraging the trust and transparency of blockchain, supply chain partners are collaborating in unprecedented ways to grow the market, build new revenue streams and automate across companies.”

To access Chang’s paper as well as others concerning supply chain management, visit CSCMP here.

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