Impact of blockchain on supply chain

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With all of the excitement around blockchain throughout 2018, I was keen to find out about its impact on organisations’ supply chains and their customers.

Recent research from Capgemini has demonstrated blockchain’s potential to transform supply chains on a global scale, and based on current trajectories, our report predicts that experimentation with blockchain will peak in 2020, before entering mainstream supply chain usage by 2025. I spoke with our expert Phil Davies, to find out his thoughts on how the implementation of blockchain within organisations can really impact the supply chain.

How do you think blockchain can support organisations with digital transformation?

“Blockchain will be a key enabler to companies undertaking digital transformation, due to its ability to connect distributed parties in a more secure and agile way. Within manufacturing, we are witnessing the use of blockchain-enabled secure digital threads to shorten the design process.  A ‘digital thread’ is the connected data flow that allows for an integrated view of an asset’s data throughout its product lifecycle, across traditionally siloed functions. This blockchain-enabled digital thread allows organisations to share data across OEMs and suppliers with a high degree of trust, as the data cannot be altered without the knowledge of all stakeholders.”

How can blockchain enable organisations to cut out intermediaries?

“Organisations can set up a peer-to-peer network, in which parties can interact with each other without an intermediary, in a verifiable and secure manner. As this is a trusted platform, the stakeholders can agree to exchange data and authorise transactions without the need for intermediaries. This improves speed of execution and allows faster dispute resolution and a faster payment mechanism for the suppliers involved.”

Do you think blockchain can improve the revenues of organisations?

“Yes – the benefits of blockchain lie in its transparency, traceability and immutability, which can be of support to organisations who are seeking to eliminate or minimise costs associated with intermediaries, such as cost for proof of delivery or an audit process to improve efficiency across the entire value chain. It can also help organisations grow revenues by providing the increasingly demanding and discerning consumers a way to connect with the products and services that they are buying, for example, understanding the provenance and impact of them on the environment.”

Overall, blockchain implementation has the potential to transform global supply chains across all industries, and Capgemini’s research shows that the technology can and is being used for tracking the production, provenance and inventory of contracts, products and services.

Click here to find out more about the impact of blockchain on the supply chain in our latest report “Does blockchain hold the key to a new age of supply chain transparency and trust?”.

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