Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management
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Every business is closely observing new technologies like Big
Data Analytics, AI and Internet of Things as we all can see and
understand its rich potentials. However, a new technology that just
appeared on the horizon seems to be not yet understood by many
people and companies. Thereby it is clear for experts: what the
Internet was for communication will be the Blockchain technology
for transactions. With the Blockchain technology a decentralized
transaction register (distributed ledger) is managed by a network
of computers and can be only changed by a predefined consensus
From our previous research we have identified so far four main implications of the Blockchain technology for the Supply Chain Management:
1) Transparency: Public data and information which are accessible at all times and displayed in real time on a Blockchain, increases transparency along the supply chain.
2) Trust: Blockchain technology can replace intermediaries, which implies the technology creates the confidence that data is correct and synchronized at all times. Blockchain technology thus creates a single point of truth within an entire supply chain network.
3) Security: The data and smart contracts stored on a Blockchain cannot be changed or manipulated without consensus among the participants. A single point of failure can be avoided.
4) Automation: Supply chain processes such as payments, customs clearance, data or document transfers can be automated via smart contracts.
Our vision is to deepen the knowledge about the potential of the Blockchain technology in Supply Chain Management together with interested companies and research institutes from the Swiss Alliance for Data-Intensive Services. Every company and industry should understand how this technology works and how it will transform the operations and management of supply chains. Within the group of experts, concrete questions shall be raised and explored in the area of the four identified supply chain topics with the aim to better understand the full potential of the Blockchain technology in Supply Chain Management.