Blockchain in Business and Supply Chain

Manufacturing of a product is an extensive process. As an end customer, the process might seem simple- procure the raw materials and assemble the product. In reality, the procurement of raw materials and it’s assembly involves many vendors. For instance, let’s consider the example of a laptop. The electronics and the body of the laptop are provided by separate vendors which then arrive for assembly. The assembly is handled by a different individual/party altogether. Branding, etc is handled by another supplier. Now, with so many different parties involved, the follow up process is going to be extremely complicated. Not to forget, the strict time lines to be maintained. In such cases, one needs to ensure that the entire process is supervised, bringing the various vendors under one umbrella until the product is ready.

How is this being handled?

This is handled via Supply Chain Management (SCM). One can define SCM as the process which encompasses the activities of planning, controlling and execution of a product’s manufacturing in a manner which is most efficient. Assessing the demand, planning, procuring raw materials, assembly, storage, transportation and managing the logistics for the same are some of the activities that are a part of SCM. On a small scale, this process wouldn’t require much management but once the demand for a product increases and the production scales up, SCM needs to be employed, otherwise once can lose track of inventory and time lines.

 Currently, one of the best SCM product available in the market is SAP ERP. Developed and distributed by the German company SAP SE, SAP ERP is a software utilised by businesses to handle their operations and customer relations. Irrespective of the efficiency promised in such software, there is always a complexity that might arise due to various reasons, like lack of cooperation between the many vendors, transparency of the process and asset handling. It could be months before the product reaches the end user. Losing track of any item is highly possible. This is where Blockchain is handy.

Supply chain on blockchain network.

The reach of a Blockchain application is so vast that it would be able to cover every small aspect of the product manufacture and distribution. It would ensure timely updates, available to all parties at the same time. Another major advantage of implementing SCM via a Blockchain is the transparency and authenticity of the information. The tampering of data is nearly impossible without disrupting the chain or being caught by the users. A Blockchain would act as a shared database of information important to the supply chain which would ensure that all parties involved are on the same page, irrespective of their physical locations. This also ensures that the parties become accountable for their contributions in the chain which helps maintain trust and cooperation among them. Blockchains also help maintaining reportability since the system is transparent and available to all approved users. A permissioned blockchain would ensure the trade secrets of the manufacturer remain within the approved list of parties to access.

How can you plan and implement supply chain on blockchain network for your company?

The blockchain system can be implemented with the help of Architects well versed in the technology. For instance, the Lead trainer at Ashwin Institute (Ai), Mr. Ashwin Kumar, Head of R&D, is a consulting architect at various MNCs. He has helped implement and execute many permissioned blockchains, in various companies, to help streamline their processes.

Alternatively, you can also learn blockchain core and implement it to restructure your processes efficiently. 

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