Globalization, while unlocking the potential to share goods across the world, has complicated the supply chain and several mishaps have occurred as a result. The byproducts of the mishaps are policies like farm-to-table, ethically sourced, and fair trade, which are demands from consumers for the supply of quality goods.
Only blockchain technology has a penetration level high enough to disrupt the supply chain and formulate efficient processes. This technology will alter the future of supply chains by ensuring better communication, higher system recovery, fewer disputes, and substantial profits in operational efficiency. The three potential applications of blockchain are:
• The provenance of the product and traceability
The authenticity of the product proves the quality of consumer goods. The process of name-tagging a particular code, which can only be altered by the authorized personnel, is the answer to wails of the consumers. The geo-tagging and time-stamping of goods can be traced back to their origin, increasing product safety, reducing fraud, increasing customer confidence, and making detail forecasting possible. With the use of blockchain technology, numerous players in the industry have traced goods, from luxury clothing to baby food, to their origin.
When products are carried from their source to the destination in a supply chain, they pass through hundreds of hands. The lack of end-to-end integration and extensive use of manual processes allows access to the information within the supply chain, which can be misused by anyone, from the layman to the controller. At present, solutions like “bill of lading” are in use, which requires the people involved to sign the documentation physically. This can be avoided with blockchain technology, wherein an email-like interface interlocked with cryptographic signatures can be seamlessly templated for use among multiple parties. This not only secures the goods but also identifies where exactly the chain is broken.
• Anti-corruption and humanitarian purposes.
Fraudulent players behaving unethically during transactions for humanitarian purposes can be identified with the application of blockchain technology in the supply chain. A higher level of transparency and accountability is created by the sequential process, which avoids any discrepancies related to financial aid not reaching the end-users, as the process of decentralizing subsequent interactions will record each interaction. The record would allow the organization to register that the full amount that did not reach its intended recipient and follow the audit trail to the fraudulent actor.
The blockchain technologies are not only providing us a safe means of transaction and transportation of goods but also helping to create a just and unbiased tool for the supply chain participants. The goal of the innovators is to sail supply chains towards the waters of inclusiveness, inter-operational stability, and integrity.