There are a lot of issues in supply chain management today and blockchain is tackling all of them. Let's talk about food supply chains and blockchain.
Imagine looking at two different batches of apples and wondering why they look different and then scanning a QR code only to find out that one was stored at a different temperature and grown by a different provider. Not only that, but every timestamped change of hands, temperature, humidity and so many other data points point about your food can be tracked with a high degree of accuracy on a blockchain database. This isn’t just for food mind you; this can be for many kinds of supply chains. Food is just a great example where so many extra variables need to be tracked and verified to ensure compliance with health code regulations and it was proven in person when I was at the Futurist blockchain conference in Toronto by HERC. They had QR codes where you could check many different data points about the food that we were consuming. They currently aim to improve food and farming, medical and pharmaceutical, real estate, and precious metal proof. They essentially solve issues of fake information, counterfeiting, tracking, ownership, and more.
Not only will this have a major impact on cost, labor, time, and efficiency, but it will also help us track waste and emissions more accurately so it’s also a huge bonus for the environmentalists.
There are a lot of issues in supply chain management today like ensuring quality and compliance, slow manual processes, expensive, poor inter-departmental communications, amongst many others and blockchain steps in to solve almost all of them. Essentially because everything is being tracked they will be able to ensure the highest quality products, balance market access by ensuring items aren’t going out of stock, data transparency, ease-of-use for consumer access to said data, faster processes and more automation, amongst many more. Again, you can apply this to other supply chains and see how blockchain is revolutionizing this industry and how it will continue to revolutionize our industries and improve our technology.
With more accurate auditing and accounting, avoiding high operational costs, better inventory management, and much less paperwork, you can imagine why supply chains would start to get on top of this. I also recently spoke with Aly Kassam from One Ledger who said they have applications and technology in the works for helping companies to work with supply chains as well using blockchain technology. In fact, there are many awesome companies coming out with great solutions.
Another super important use of the traceability benefits is for tracking and finding the source of food-related illness. Not that long ago we had a huge issue with e. coli in lettuce in North America and in the future, we would be able to track them down exactly without having to make recalls. This would have a major impact on saving money and protecting the public from foodborne illness.
IBM has a blog dedicated to blockchain and the technology they are working on in financial services, food safety, government, healthcare, identity, supply chain, and more. They’ve also teamed up with Chainyard for supply chain management in order to improve supplier qualification, validation, and lifecycle information management. There is so much going in this space right now and we are still at the tip of the iceberg.
It’s interesting how massive projects like Facebook’s Libra which don’t even need to utilize a blockchain do so in such a frivolous way and then we have amazing projects from IBM and all the other great companies I’ve mentioned and I’m sure many more that don’t get their just due.
Be sure to check out some of the case studies by Provenance’s technology ranging anywhere from verifying certifications to increasing transparency in fashion retail: https://www.provenance.org/case-studies
Investing and speculation aside, in blockchain technology is where our future lies.
Learn from some of these great sources I used: