11 May 2022

Why blockchain will play a starring role in the supply chain of the future

With everything from our smartphones to our money going online, it’s hard to ignore the influence blockchain is having on our society. By 2030, experts expect the technology to boost global economies by €1.61 trillion. But with exponentially increased demand for products in all industries, it’s hard to understand how.

All of our processes are going digital, and blockchain is behind it all. From manufacturing to healthcare to even our defence sector, we’re finding quicker ways to transfer information along the global supply chain.

The technology is developing quickly, and there is no better time to get informed about its future. Continue reading for a closer look at how blockchain is solving inherent supply chain issues.

What Is Blockchain Technology

With blockchain tech starting to assimilate into the fabric of our society, it is imperative that we understand what it is and how it works.

Set up as a form of public ledger, blockchains replace the intermediaries for transferring information. The digital ledger uses a variety of methods to streamline transfers and increase their securities.

Blockchains are set up as a network of encrypted blocks that connect to each other. when information is added to the ledger (eg a transaction), it is embedded into its block along with a few other aspects:

  • A unique, cryptographic key
  • The crypto key from the block before it
  • Proof of work or stake

Each of these aspects plays a role in protecting the information contained within the block. In addition, everyone that contributes to the information on the blockchain has a copy of the ledger. With difficult-to-break measures and vision on the public level, blockchains are nearly impossible to alter.

How Does Blockchain Technology Affect Our Society?

As stated above, blockchains act as a digital public ledger. This cuts out intermediaries that could potentially alter or slow down information transfers.

The most widely known use for this is seen in cryptocurrency. Purchases made in Bitcoin or other digital currencies bypass middlemen such as banks or credit card companies for quicker and safer transactions. Not only is the transaction sent immediately but because these intermediaries are skipped, customers don’t experience transaction fees.

While this is a huge improvement to the customer experience, this is not the limit to blockchain’s influence on how we transfer information. We’re seeing the technology effect:

  • How we interact with our everyday objects
  • Transparency within our governments
  • Critical analysis in our healthcare systems
  • Supply chain efficiency in nearly every industry

With the world so reliant on the global supply chain, we are finding major issues with trust, timing, and communication. Blockchain integrated into the supply chain offers several benefits to solve these issues.

Blockchain in Manufacturing

One of the most prominent benefits to supply chain issues comes with integrating blockchain technology into manufacturing facilities having to manage material suppliers, processing and development, outsourced work, and shipping, there are several points of contention that can affect production.

With the use of smart contracts, an immutable agreement within the blockchain between two or more entities, manufacturing companies can ensure that the materials they purchase are up to their standards. It allows companies to trace the origin of their materials and accurately pay for what they need.

Blockchain’s decentralised nature also makes it difficult for companies to sell products fraudulently or under the table. Any movement of materials or products is saved on the public ledger, allowing everyone involved to see where things are going.

Any transfer that goes against the rules of trade is immediately noted, increasing trust between companies.

Blockchain in Healthcare

Now more than ever, we require our healthcare system to work efficiently. However, with recent world events, the supply costs of hospitals have skyrocketed. Errors in the healthcare supply chain, unsurprisingly, could mean life or death.

Blockchain’s immediacy in information transfer keeps healthcare suppliers up to date on their product demand. The sooner producers know how much they need to make, the sooner it can get to patients that need it.

This is exacerbated when integrated with healthcare equipment. When monitoring systems use IoT technology, vital patient information is collected and analysed. This saves time and demand on hospital personnel, allowing them to focus on treating patients.

Blockchain in the Defence Sector

When working with products in the defence sector, it is important to receive the highest quality to ensure the products are used as intended. Malfunctioning equipment in this industry could have serious consequences. Historically, defence companies have had to purchase more than necessary to offset supply chain issues.

Blockchain may play its most important role in benefiting the defence supply chain.

An immutable contract allows defence organizations to accurately receive the products they need.

This not only hastens defence operations but also decreases the cost spent on materials.

Blockchains also prevent supply companies from distributing their products nefariously. Because the public ledger shows the movement of all materials involved, companies can’t undercut their products. This is especially important in this industry, where products can have major societal repercussions.

This technology not only improves the efficiency of this supply chain but also protects vital information attached to the movement of these materials. Blockchain’s decentralised nature makes it difficult for attackers to infiltrate systems. In addition, the ledger’s measure of security protects its information against those that would want to use it to benefit others outside the supply chain.

The Importance of Modernizing Digital Security

We’re finding that blockchain provides benefits in several aspects of our society. In both the private and public sectors, technology is changing the way we transfer tech.

However, with all this information going digital, it’s more important than ever to keep it protected. For more information on how to Read this brief article for details on how to keep your business’ vital data safe, check out our blog on the rapid adoption of digital.

 

Alternatively, register for a free trial on DCI today and discover the variety of defence tender opportunities that awaits.