Not just hype: use block chain technology to increase supply chain management efficiency

So far, the block chain solution is mainly known in the financial field and has achieved success. However, their unable to argue is far more than this potential, making them interesting in industrial applications. Most importantly, there is a complex structure, a wide variety of participants, and a wide variety of materials, information and fund flow supply chains can become more efficient through this technology.

Speaking of block chains, most people first think of bitcoin. Encrypted currency as the success of speculative objects, is widely known: through data and documentation and tamper-resistant storage, block chains provide the basis of business and cooperation between participants, and they don’t have to know and mutual trust. Because the information is not centrally stored in the database, but by participant redundancy is stored on a large number of servers, it cannot be changed without other people’s attention.

The potential of the block chain has triggered a real speculation from 2015, especially in the financial field: application was developed, Bitcoin and other encrypted currency should break the bank’s power, and virtual IPO should provide funding for start-ups. However, other fields also have outlook for bright projects: For example, IBM and Tyssen Krupp have developed an industrial 3D print open platform, and the company can share construction plans with customers or service providers on the platform to prevent copyright and modifications. Production can be available from factories to users. Another example is a solution that allows for the food source and prevents forgery through this solution.

But like most speculation, there was a temporary illusion after the first fantasy of the block chain: the price of Bitcoin as a speculation indicator was collapsed at the end of 2017/2018, while the market encryption currency collapsed. Due to the wrong expectations, many financial applications such as such enthusiastically proved to be useless or failed. This is similar to the industrial application: too expensive, too slow, too flexible, the benefits of recognition are too small, so users are not interested. Despite the initial investment in this technology: 2018 investment nearly $ 7 billion. However, in the subsequent years, the investment in industrial application technology has declined sharply.

The financial industry has already got rid of this fantasy, and the block chain application has been experiencing new stable prosperity for a while. It is again mentioned that the ratio of Bitcoin is measured as a measure: starting from the low low of about $ 3,000 at the end of 2018, it begins to rise slowly, and the rapid rise in 2019 is around $ 60,000 today. There are many speculations in this regard, but the number and species of the application of financial transactions have also increased: including the so-called DEFI applications (DEFI = DECENTRALIZED FINANCE), most of them based on the Equation, such as Compound, through intelligent contracts and central platforms A protocol for credit transactions; encrypted currency is converted to composite currency (ctokeen) and transactions.

These and other zone chain applications have been successfully consolidated, which is based on the fact that they produce economic benefits: the form of interest or speculative profits. In the financial field, the focus is another benefit of technology: it is mainly to improve efficiency through it. This can be used in public management, such as digital corona vaccination certificates based on IBM and UbircH block chains. But the industry has also appeared a new optimism, which is seen as a magical destruction of the valley has passed, new, more realistic growth is imminent.

Supply chain management as an ideal application

Supply Chain Management is an industrial application that specializes in the block chain. Because there is a prerequisites and challenges in which the technical capabilities are perfect here: Today, the value creation network is usually very complex and contains a lot of participants. The production steps are outsourced to subsequent suppliers, and the latter is in turn to entrust the lower level supplier; In addition, there is a problem with data islands, interface issues, and data security and data sovereignty issues, making it difficult to track the entire supply chain with all participants.

The block chain can be provided here and provide a technical foundation for increasing the supply chain until the transparency of the supply chain until the end customers with its high level of data security and reliability and real-time information. Such trace and trace allows participants in the entire value chain to share the necessary information in a tamper-proof manner, including demonstration of planting methods, compliance with occupational safety and environmental regulations or raw materials source storage evidence. These data and documents cannot be added afterwards. , Tampering or replication, because each operation has been fully recorded and traced in the block chain.

In addition to tracking and tracing, the block chain has another two main applications in the supply chain management: the first is the process automation, such as the charging between the relevant personnel of the so-called electronic invoice. The second is the data exchange problem between participants. The block chain acts as a shared database whose content represents “single fact source”. All relevant participants, including authorities or consumers, by individual and information publishing mechanisms, including authorities or consumers, can access them related to them. An example of this is the cooperation project of Maersk and IBM, which makes the freight container transport in the transportation of global cargo transportation and traceability in real time. Harbor and Pier operators, shipping companies, customs authorities, freight forwarders, conclusions

The block chain has experienced new and sustainable prosperity in the financial sector. But the technology has great potential in industrial environments. Materials, information and capital flows and various actors can connect to the block chain, which is transparently mapped, automatically monitors and control complex chains and networks. This brings huge potential to improve efficiency, especially in supply chain management.