With the development of online trading and the emergence of new markets, representatives of the logistics business realized that globalization brings not only new opportunities, but also new challenges for the industry. Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex, and commodities' delivery time is becoming a major competitive factor.
The introduction of modern IT-systems of accounting and tracking of supplies proved to be an effective but insufficient measure. Such solutions can streamline information flows within the company -- but as soon as it interacts with several firms, the newer systems are powerless. Shipping data synchronization between enterprises takes valuable time and leads to a significant amount of unnecessary paperwork.
The blockchain technology can solve this problem.
Unified Supply Register
If the information transfer from one supplier to another takes so much time, then why not switch to storing data in a single registry? The blockchain distributed registry technology is perfectly suitable for solving this type of problem for several reasons:
- Information stored in the chain of blocks is inalterable - companies can fully trust the data published in the register;
- Each company pays only for the amount of computing it requires – there is no need to pay for the overall IT infrastructure;
- All participants in the logistics chain can see detailed information about the movement of goods.
One of the latest examples of the implementation of this concept is the BlockGrain start-up, which has been designed to streamline data exchange between participants in the grain supply chain. Using a single platform on the NEM blockchain allows farmers, logisticians and brokers to interact effectively with each other. The system capabilities include storage of information on grain stocks, conclusion of supply contracts and tracking of operations for the delivery of goods.
New opportunities for customers
The ability to track the goods from the manufacturer to the counter is convenient not only for businesses, but also for buyers. The advantages of the blockchain technology become particularly apparent in combination with the ability to quickly find information about a particular commodity unit.
For example, the Gese startup uses distributed registry technology to store data on the production of alcohol products. To verify the authenticity of a bottle of wine in the store, the user should simply place his smartphone over the NFC-tag or scan the QR-code on the label. The Gese application instantly gives the buyer all available data for that particular bottle: the date of production; the harvesting year; and other manufacturer information. In the same window, the user will be able to see the reviews and similar offers as well as the ability to compare prices with nearby stores.
The blockchain technology came out just a few years ago, but the world is already on the verge of its widespread introduction. Transformation of the logistics business is already taking place today: robots are sorting Alibaba's orders, The American retail network Walmart, together with Hyperledger are all working on the implementation of the blockchain system into their accounting systems. And in January 2018, Amazon opened the first unmanned store.
Logistics and retail are undergoing profound changes aimed at increasing the speed of processing orders as well as automating the process of buying and delivering goods. The blockchain technology is a solution that can radically simplify the supply chain and increase the transparency of information about products.