Blockchain Supply Chain

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Blockchain for
Supply Chain

A drive towards transparency

Every business has a supply chain. It can involve the linkage of parts, products, services, processes, individuals, departments, organisations and companies, almost any key component of the business. Supply chains are critical and supply chain management is essential for a successful, profitable enterprise. Yet there is a huge and variable array of technologies supporting those linkages. People and processes still connect using phone calls and faxes through to email, spreadsheets, phone apps and latterly, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Analysts agree that blockchain technology will be the enabling platform to provide full end-to-end digital connectivity across the entire supply chain.

Wherever you are on your digital transformation journey, you can embrace our B2B blockchain technology to build transparencyimprove security and reduce your supply chain costs.

Could your business benefit from blockchain?

As industry and commerce continues the digital transformation journey, data from supply chains often becomes the key to a successful, scalable and sustainable business. Examining the following areas is critical to achieving end-to-end visibility and improving the integrity, quality and transparency of supply chain data.

Do your business processes cross divisional or organisational boundaries?

Can cross-system discrepancies impact operations?

Does your business rely on periodic or batch reconciliations?

Do you or your customers need provenance and traceability or an improved audit trail?

Would you like real-time visibility into multi-party transactions or processes?

Do you have less than full trust in the supply chain?

Do you use expensive intermediaries?

Blockchain – the perfect vehicle for supply chains

Blockchain is a digital transaction ledger – a growing list of records called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. It is a distributed database that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. The blockchain records transactions in blocks across several computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without breaking the cryptographic signing of each block. While blockchain was originally associated with Bitcoin and enabling the management of cryptocurrencies, the fundamental concept is to manage ANY transactions, digitally.

There are four main properties of blockchain that make it a perfect vehicle for supply chains and supply chain management.

Secure

Immutable

Transparent

Decentralised

Corruption in the supply chain is a significant management challenge and can take many forms including false provenance, fake goods, number of items and payments. Fortunately, one of the intrinsic features of blockchain technology is the security of the data, which is cryptographically and chronologically sealed into blocks, making the data extremely secure and difficult to get at.

The inherent immutability in blockchain means that no one can change any of the data once it has been added. But mistakes happen and business blockchains offer a way for data input errors to be corrected – not possible for public networks. With both networks, the transaction needs to be verified, and the users of the network will be in control. Even if someone tries to make changes to the data, it will cause an avalanche effect, immediately alerting the relevant authorities, and preventing any internal or external hacking into the system.

In the shipping and major logistics industries, there are several large consortia using blockchain-based supply chains. However, many enterprises just need more business-to-business supply chain validation and provenance-based authentication.

B2B Blockchain Supply Chain Infographic

B2B blockchain platforms provide traceabilityend-to-end connectivityreal-time logistics tracking, and smart contract management. Processes including negotiation support and procurement can also be connected via blockchain to build trust and confidence with new suppliers, partners and colleagues. Everyone on the network is accountable for their actions and any activity in the supply chain based on a blockchain platform can be visible or selectively visible by the designated authoritative personnel.

Decentralisation is a core concept of blockchain technology. This means that any type of data on the ledger does not have a sole owner but rather, everyone on the blockchain owns a part in it. In a supply chain, the challenges are usually around the falsification of data where procurement, suppliers or shippers are not always trustworthy and honest. They often falsify the data and it is difficult to prove the data is not authentic. With blockchain systems, anyone making changes is always identified and consensus must always be reached on the changes.

The number of different systems, processes and technologies used to run any given supply chain is almost too large to comprehend. Digital transformation will converge on a limited set of enabling technologies including the Internet of Things, AI, big data, advanced analytics, cloud computing, 3D printing and blockchain.  These technologies will be the basis for advanced development and deployment of the digital supply chain.

Choosing the right blockchain technology platform

Given the investment requirements, we have so far only seen the largest supply chain companies becoming early adopters of blockchain technology. To make this a more accessible capability for companies of any size, our Haidrun blockchain was developed to lower the costs and barriers to implementation.

The intrinsic features of B2B blockchains can solve many of the challenges found in the existing supply chains, however, the Haidrun platform also solves many limitations of the early generation blockchains too. Haidrun uses the latest generation container-based architecture to deliver the scalespeed and efficiency required for enterprise applications as well as the ability to be deployed locally, in an on-premise data centre or in a cloud setting. The platform can be easily integrated into other blockchains and enterprise platforms using its dynamic block sizing and standard REST APIs.

As well as supply chain, other sectors including healthcare, telecoms and insurance are finding valuable use cases for business blockchains to upgrade insecure and costly databases, payment platforms and digital systems. You may be surprised to find that some major enterprises have already started to incorporate blockchain, including Walmart, Pfizer, AIG, Siemens, and Unilever. But others have held back, waiting for more secure, cost-effective B2B blockchain platforms.

We have developed the Haidrun B2B blockchain platform specifically to meet these enterprise challenges.

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Speak with our industry-leading experts today on how our B2B Blockchain Platform can benefit your enterprise.