Managing supply chains can be tough. Traditionally, conventional databases have been used to track supply chain transactions. Now, blockchain poses a new solution: what if we could track supply chain transactions live, and with confidence that the information is correct?

What if supply chains could become transparent?

Blockchain, Explained

Blockchain technology is a form of distributed ledger technology (DLT) that tracks transactions live and is peer-to-peer. It is decentralised, which means that no one person owns or controls it, and can be both public (permissionless) or private (permissioned). A blockchain is formed from a series of ‘blocks’, each of which contains transaction data and have a timestamp.

Essentially, information on the blockchain is resistant to change, because it is impossible to alter information without consensus of the majority in the network.

To put it a bit simpler: the blockchain stores information. No one person can change it without everybody in the network viewing it, and the majority agreeing. This is because nobody solely controls the entire network.

But Why is it Better for Supply Chains?

As a result of its permanent nature, Blockchain promotes:

  • Transparency
  • Traceability
  • Visibility
  • Decentralisation

Which ultimately translate into one thing: Trust.

When information does not line up, there’s a lack of trust in the supply chain relationship. Businesses are built on trust. In traditional databases, conflicting information and lack of traceability mean distrust.

Therefore, it is difficult to reliably say, “We are an ethical and responsible company,” without the data to back it up. While a company’s every intention might be to be ethical and responsible, confidence in supply chain actors is lacking.

Lack of confidence comes from lack of ability to trace the supply chain. Supply chain risk comes in several different forms: financial risk, chaos risk and market risk. Ultimately, blockchain ‘solves’ each of these problems. By having visibility of the supply chain, live and reliable, to the entire network, you minimise confusion, financial risk and opacity of market trends.

Who Should Use Blockchain?

Do you have a business with a supply chain that you need to track reliably? If the answer is yes, then your company could benefit from blockchain.

Because it’s permanent and reliable, blockchain can be – and has been – implemented in sectors such as voting, mineral mining, energy, food and wine. CSIRO has also created several comprehensive reports on the benefits and risks of implementing blockchain in your business.

Blockhead’s STAMP™ (Smart Tracking Asset Management Platform) technology uses blockchain to provide supply chain transparency. It tracks the supply chain and verifies that products are responsibly, ethically and sustainably sourced. BHT’s focus is on the mining sector, however it is possible to use STAMP™ in a variety of sectors and to track a variety of commodities. Above all, their goal is to provide transparency and visibility into previously opaque supply chains.

Click here to find out more about BHT and how they can help you.