The blockchain is a newly emerging technology that has a lot of potential in industrial applications. Although the technology is already well-known as the source of cryptocurrencies, this application isn’t the only one that can benefit the world. Already companies have delved into developing their own blockchains for use in industrial and commercial applications. SAP users aren’t lagging behind with as many as 20% of those that use the software already undertaking their own blockchain application development. Still, wider adoption tends to be more reserved since most businesses aren’t sure how blockchain can be incorporated into their business practices. Here, we’ll discuss a few tips for companies that want to use blockchain, but don’t know how their supply chains could benefit from the new technology.
Tracing Food Products
The food and beverage industry has mainly been one of the energetic adopters of blockchain technology thanks to early successes with its use. Specifically, Walmart has stated that it intends to use blockchain to track its incoming supply from growers to shelf. This initiative comes in response to the unfortunate E. coli outbreak in lettuce during 2019. Walmart’s track-and-trace system uses the blockchain to be aware of the transit points that a particular inventory item has gone through. Buyers can then track their produce from the grower directly to their plates accurately, in the interest of transparency.
Smart contracts are also another of the benefits that blockchain offers to businesses. It’s not like a typical contract you’d encounter while trying to get access to an MRI scan provider in your city, for example. No, smart contracts are actually well-written code that stores and verifies that something was done at a particular date and time. Once verification is successful, it can auto-execute rules, such as transferring payments and updating inventory records. This methodology streamlines supply chain management issues, including ensuring that suppliers are paid quickly, and that inventory records remain up to date. Because both suppliers and the company itself have access to the blockchain, it encourages transparency and accountability to both suppliers and businesses alike.
Authentication of Drugs
Counterfeit drugs can be more than just a cut into a company’s budget. It can negatively impact their reputation as well. Blockchain is providing a way for drug companies to authenticate that they indeed produced a particular product. SAP has a blockchain solution dedicated explicitly to authentication that the pharmaceutical industry can benefit from. Drug manufacturers can validate pharmaceutical shipments through a public cloud system named the Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences. The solution hopes to help with compliance under the US Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCA).
Not Just for Supply Chain Management
As you’ve realized, blockchain is a versatile technology, but it also has the potential for a lot of use outside of the supply chain environment. There have been advances that propose a voting method that relies on blockchain and another that might impact public spending of funds. Blockchain isn’t just a private-sector tool but can be useful in the public sector as well. With time, we’ll see this technology rise in prominence and importance as more people start to realize just how beneficial it can be to the improvement of people’s lives.