In a business world full of endless possibilities, sustainability is key. Every business in every industry looks for tailored solutions that can complement and accelerate their long-term vision while meeting challenges head-on. And thus, there is a need for new-age technology that can help businesses thrive in the digital world, keeping them ahead of the curve.
It’s not much different for the Supply Chain Management industry. One of the most crucial aspects for any organization, supply chain management is the backbone on which the entire flow of goods and services, including storage, movement, and end-to-end order fulfillment, rests. This includes the complete handling of these goods and services right from when they are just raw materials till they are delivered to consumers as final products. In implementing every meticulous step in this chain, several challenges arise that need constant and real-time management. Some of the challenges include:
- Managing rising costs through the supply chain network with the pressure of meeting profit margins. These include costs for raw materials, labour, energy, international shipping logistics costs, and more.
- Operational risks due to the volatile nature of political, environmental, economic environments can lead to delays.
- The pressure of data management and cash flow management
- Keeping constant and real-time checks on quality control.
Blockchain technology is the answer
Blockchain uses digital ledgers shared between independent computers where supply chain participants can record all transactions relating to their raw materials, components, production processes, assemblies, etc. This can help manufacturers, suppliers and retailers maintain transparency while keeping complete track of the origin and quality of the products from the source until they reach the customer. With the use of consensus mechanisms and cryptography, the entire network remains highly secure, leaving little to no chance for hackers to breach through.
With blockchain, the ability to track a product’s overall lifecycle improves the efficiency of all the supply chain players across the network. The scope to trace defective products right at the onset makes it easier for the players to control quality, thus combating loss of revenue and maintaining grip over their reputation and trust in the market.
With the Internet of Things (IoT) networks and smart contracts, data on temperature, etc., can be stored easily. Blockchain stakeholders also get real-time access to these contracts that further leads to enhanced traceability establishing an integrated supply chain. It’s no wonder that a study published on MarketsandMarkets™ has shown that the ”
global blockchain supply chain market size is expected to grow from $253 million in 2020 to $3,272 million by 2026. ”
A backbone for the F&B industry
Blockchain comes as a great advantage for supply chain management within the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry. It gives them the power to have total control while maintaining the quality of the products and goods by tracking their flow at every stage. The traceability factor, as mentioned earlier, greatly helps in minimizing costs by strengthening overall quality control checks and eliminating the chance of any data transfer errors. This also helps to create sustainability in the long run because better quality and on-time deliveries mean less wastage of resources, both goods and time. And protecting these two resources helps to make the entire process a sustainable and lucrative one. An additional, albeit significant benefit to suppliers, is that the scope for origin frauds and wastage gets eliminated. A substantial market rise in the global Blockchain in the agriculture and food supply chain is projected to reach $948 million by 2025
The entire process of blockchain technology, when applied to supply chain management within the F&B industry, helps businesses thrive while also benefiting the end consumer. Restaurants, for instance, who need constant quality checks on their food supplies, particularly when it comes to the quality of fish, chicken, etc., need specific temperature checks and proper storage conditions all the way through. With Blockchain, restaurants easily track all that and more. They can even track where and in what conditions the poultry or fish was bred, stored, and shipped.
Equal benefits to consumers
The focus on the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle has gained tremendous popularity in the recent past. So much so that there are successful businesses that specifically deal with tailoring everything from an individual’s food consumption to their exercise routines to sleep patterns, and so much more. Today’s consumers have a lot more knowledge and insight into what they are consuming. Blockchain as a technology can be leveraged here, benefiting all parties – the manufacturer, supplier, and consumer.
With blockchain, individual customers and consumers can also access the data of the entire lifecycle of the food they consume. For instance, a consumer will be able to access data of a fish’s entire life cycle, from its origin at the ocean to what is presented on the dinner plate. Blockchain uses sensors and cameras that track the whole process so consumers can feel safe and in control of what they consume. Using blockchain to monitor a fish’s life story will also help producers safeguard their reputation by simply discarding inferior products.
Blockchain will drive credibility and public trust with the shared data and increase traceability to meet desired standards. Universal automation through the supply chain will bring about greater prospects for vendors while eliminating the need and cost of hiring intermediaries.
To conclude, we can safely say that blockchain as a future-driven technology service is well on its way to revolutionizing the supply chain management industry, leading businesses into an efficient, sustainable, lucrative, and secure digital future.