Five Advantages of Using Blockchain in Supply Chain Management

5 min read

In today’s globalised world, supply chain management plays a critical role in the success of businesses across various industries. However, traditional supply chain systems are often plagued by inefficiencies, lack of transparency, and susceptibility to fraud.

Blockchain technology has emerged as a disruptive solution to address these challenges, offering a decentralised and transparent ledger system. According to a report by Gartner, blockchain technology has the potential to reduce supply chain costs by 20% and improve traceability by 91%.

Enhanced Transparency and Traceability

One of the primary benefits of blockchain technology in supply chain management is its ability to provide enhanced transparency and traceability throughout the entire supply chain process. By utilising blockchain’s immutable ledger, each transaction and movement of goods can be recorded and tracked in real-time. This transparency ensures that stakeholders have access to accurate and up-to-date information regarding the origin, movement, and status of products.

For instance, in the food industry, blockchain can be utilised to trace the journey of a product from farm to fork, allowing consumers to verify the authenticity and quality of the food they consume. This transparency not only enhances consumer trust but also enables companies to quickly identify and address any issues such as contamination or recalls. Deloitte highlights that blockchain can enhance transparency in the supply chain, allowing for better tracking of products and ensuring authenticity.

Improved Supply Chain Efficiency

Blockchain technology has the potential to streamline supply chain operations and improve overall efficiency by eliminating manual processes, reducing paperwork, and minimising delays. Smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with predefined terms written into code, can automate various supply chain tasks such as payments, inventory management, and compliance verification.

By automating these processes, blockchain enables faster transaction processing and reduces the risk of errors or discrepancies. Additionally, the decentralised nature of blockchain eliminates the need for intermediaries, leading to cost savings and faster decision-making. The International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that global spending on supply chains using blockchain will reach $6.8 billion by 2024, demonstrating widespread industry recognition of its potential benefits.

Enhanced Security and Fraud Prevention

Security and fraud prevention are major concerns in supply chain management, particularly in industries where counterfeit products and unauthorised tampering can pose significant risks. Blockchain technology addresses these concerns by providing a secure and immutable record of transactions.

Each transaction recorded on the blockchain is cryptographically linked to the previous transaction, creating a tamper-proof audit trail. This makes it extremely difficult for malicious actors to alter or manipulate data without detection. As a result, blockchain technology enhances the security of the supply chain ecosystem, reducing the risk of fraud, theft, and counterfeiting. A study by Accenture indicates that 77% of aerospace and defence companies are exploring or implementing blockchain technology to enhance their supply chain operations, citing improved data security and transparency as key drivers.

Optimised Inventory Management

Effective inventory management is crucial for minimising costs and maximising operational efficiency in supply chain management. Blockchain technology can play a key role in optimising inventory management by providing real-time visibility into inventory levels, movements, and locations.

Through the use of IoT devices and sensors integrated with blockchain technology, companies can track the status and condition of their inventory throughout the supply chain in real-time. This real-time visibility allows companies to better forecast demand, optimise inventory levels, and reduce excess inventory carrying costs.

Increased Trust and Collaboration

Blockchain technology fosters trust and collaboration among supply chain stakeholders by providing a decentralised and transparent platform for conducting business transactions. By sharing a common, immutable ledger, all parties involved in the supply chain using blockchain can access and verify the same set of data, reducing the risk of disputes or discrepancies.

Moreover, blockchain enables secure and efficient data sharing and collaboration across organisational boundaries. This facilitates closer collaboration between suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and customers, leading to smoother supply chain operations, faster problem resolution, and ultimately, greater customer satisfaction.

Conclusion

In conclusion, blockchain technology offers numerous benefits for supply chain management, including enhanced transparency, improved efficiency, enhanced security, optimised inventory management, and increased trust and collaboration among stakeholders. As businesses continue to recognize the potential of blockchain to revolutionise supply chain operations, adoption of this technology is expected to accelerate, driving greater efficiency, transparency, and innovation across the global supply chain ecosystem.

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Rabeea Mansoor 2
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