Technology has always been the key driver in the evolution of supply chain management.

Customers are becoming more interested in a company’s processes. As a result, companies have to become more transparent and honest with their customers. This is beckoning in a new type of supply chain: the digital chain or Supply Chain 4.0.

McKinsey defines Supply Chain 4.0 as “the application of the Internet of Things, the use of advanced robotics and the application of advanced analytics of big data in supply chain management.” Essentially, this means getting machines and programs to do what humans previously have: from manufacturing, to transferal of data, to basic problem-solving.

Supply Chain 4.0 represents a change in the way supply chains function and are traced. In addition to robotics, IoT and big data, the new supply chain incorporates blockchain as a reliable method to display transparency to customers.

Accurate tracking in the new supply chain

Supply chains are long and convoluted. Because of this, information often gets lost along the way. Measurements become incorrect or product completely disappears.

Let’s say that your company mines minerals. A specific amount leaves the mine. However, when the product arrives at the end point, it’s different. As a result of the chain’s complexity, it is difficult to discern where, exactly, it became incorrect.

Blockchain is ideal for situations like these. It’s permanent, tamper-proof and decentralised. This means that you can:

  • look at the supply chain
  • pinpoint mistakes and inaccuracies, and
  • know that the information is correct.

Why is digital better?

The digital chain takes the difficulty out of the supply chain process.

Almost every point is automated or digitalised.

AI and machine learning makes data collection and problem solving easier, so the machine does the hard work and calculations for you.

Blockchain transforms a supply chain into one that’s easy to trace. It also removes intermediaries from the situation. This cuts costs and improves time efficiency.

The traditional system is outdated. It’s often paper-based, difficult to track and unnecessarily complicated. It relies on human interaction and labour. Supply Chain 4.0 incorporates digital data storage, communication and production.

The benefits of digitalisation

Digitalisation makes supply chain management easier and simpler. Industry 4.0 technologies are perfect for this. They can therefore help make the process visible, ethical and accurate.

Blockhead Technologies uses blockchain technology to trace supply chains from beginning to end. Our focus is on the mining sector. STAMP, our flagship product, also easily integrates with existing systems. To find out more about STAMP, click here.