Supply chains are under assault from all sides. Demand is outstripping supply, there aren’t enough truck operators, our ports remain overwhelmed, and inflation keeps ticking upward. Supply chain managers have been under extraordinary pressure to keep goods flowing amidst these pressures over the last several years. As a result, “The Great Resignation” is even more acute in the supply chain and logistics industry.
Companies are grappling with further supply chain challenges, from cybersecurity threats to the need to coordinate siloed, disparate systems, especially given the demand for remote and hybrid work environments. Luckily, some solutions promise to transform supply chain management. Of course, the C-suite is always searching for creative ways to attract and retain good supply chain talent. But more than ever before, they are also motivated to take a fresh look at all their systems and processes.
Especially as the stock market falters, companies are not necessarily eager to make big capital investments. But if a new solution can significantly enhance security and efficiency, reduce risks, shave days or weeks from delivery times, AND reduce workplace stress – then it makes sense to invest. Particularly if the solution can often be layered onto existing platforms – avoiding the cost and commitment of a completely new enterprise system.
Blockchain technology is delivering all these benefits. While some supply chain issues are out of a company’s hands, improving and streamlining those elements that can be controlled is giving supply chain managers much needed breathing room, increasing their ability to manage unusual circumstances while providing powerful new tools.
Blockchain is essentially a new kind of database, one that encrypts the data it tracks into “blocks” that are written to one continuous chain. It is further secured by the fact that the chain is not stored on one computer or server but distributed across the Internet. When a change needs to be made, no existing blocks are altered, but another block is added, meaning the database is tamperproof and provides a built-in audit trail.
By bringing separate systems into a single online database there are no delays and no miscommunications. With data everyone trusts, authorizations and verifications take place in seconds, not days or weeks, and layers of intermediaries can often be eliminated. Secure online chats allow for instant communication with vendors and partners, which build stronger relationships.
Next Level Benefits
Once the entire supply chain is digitally tracked, it can be analyzed on a whole new level. Artificial intelligence and machine learning allow companies to anticipate and remediate bottlenecks anywhere in their process.
With a blockchain SCM platform, “smart contract” functions can be added to automate transactions once certain conditions are met, allowing for unparalleled speed and transparency across areas such as purchasing and payments. Smart contracts can also ease audit requirements and streamline regulatory compliance.
WaveDancer is a company that began by implementing worldwide logistics and asset tracking solutions for the United States Government and is now applying its proprietary Maverix Blockchain software to corporate supply chain management across several industries. As daunting as the supply chain challenges have been over the last two years, companies like WaveDancer offer a bright ray of hope that blockchain technology can go a long way to defuse the major stressors that are slowing goods and burning out industry leaders. Learn more or talk to a blockchain expert now about your supply chain challenges.