“Every company, city, and country is becoming digital, navigating disruptive markets, …(and the) role in the digital transformation has never been more important.” – John Chambers, Former Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems.
The era we live in today is a digital age where all industries have embraced and entered this digital world in some way. Industries get to harness the potential of digitization in various shapes and forms, thus making the best of this evolution.
The supply chain industry is no different and today, they rely heavily on digital technologies to ensure accurate data to help with delivery while optimizing resources. 

Image Reference Source: https://www.clearspider.com/blog-digital-supply-chain-transformation/
Digital Transformation and the Supply Chain Industry

Managing the supply chain is a large and complicated area, which is chaotic and filled with multiple challenges. There is a lot of manual work which costs time and money and in a way is a futile exercise with excess paperwork. 

Each stakeholder would want to manage their own paper work, ledger and data which could make things more complicated and in order to make sense of this data, a third party would need to be involved especially for bookkeeping.
Source: https://www.ecommerce-nation.com/future-iot-devices-ecommerce/

This would seem like a nightmare considering the large scale of globalization which has engulfed the markets. Providing in-time, safe delivery while maintaining supply chain transparency is becoming more tedious. Combining digital technologies would increase the efficiency, reliability, speed and transparency between the manufacturer, supplier and service provider.
In 2019, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain services will be enabled and will have an impact on most organizations. Blockchain and IoT can transform supply chains. However, this transformation will not happen overnight and will need experimentation on the part of companies to ensure the induction phase is smooth before expanding more.
Source: https://hackernoon.com/Blockchain-iot-for-supply-chain-1b07d4afd614

Blockchain Technology
Blockchain is a system of maintaining ledgers which can be traced and audited for collaboration in a secure fashion. This technology has great potential to help transform supply chain management as it stores and manages data, while allowing decentralized and autonomous transactions. This way it helps companies build and maintain customer trust while securing the data as well.

Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT is a network of intelligent physical objects and things which can connect to a network in order to send and receive data. In a business, data is of prime importance as based on the accuracy of data major decisions can be taken. If the analysis is incorrect due to bad data, it can mean a big loss for companies. 

Source: http://searcherp.techtarget.com/definition/supply-chain-management-SCM
It is believed that by 2023, Blockchain will support the global movement and tracking of $2T of goods and services. Logistics and transportation companies are projected to spend about $40B each on IoT platforms.

Improving Supply Chain through Blockchain and IoT
In the supply chain industry, IoT and Blockchain together, can provide multiple benefits for all stakeholders. In the past there have instances where a glitch in the supply chain has led very unpleasant consequences. For example:

  • Spread of E-Coli virus due to spoiled lettuce
  • Consignment of meat stored incorrectly causing the shipment to go bad
  • Delay in delivery due to unforeseen traffic and roadblocks
  • Cancelling delivery as it cannot be delivered due to freight/customs issues

IoT and Blockchain technologies can help push the companies in the right direction and can also help save them millions of dollars. They can drive supply chain management to the next level using multiple sensors, GPS, remote temperature control, asset maintenance, operations monitoring and so on.
Let us have a look at a few key factors that the combination of these two technologies can deliver and help improve across the supply chain industry:

Real Time Supply Chain Visibility
It does not matter if the buyer or seller is in some remote location of the world. It does not matter if there are multiple parties involved in completing this transaction. Now there is end-to-end visibility of the supply chain right from order being placed till it is finally delivered.
Even if the stakeholders are globally dispersed, real-time visibility is possible to track goods and consignments, thanks to IoT devices, as they move through the supply chain. This information is uploaded on a Blockchain framework which allows all participants to access the necessary information. 


Image reference source: https://www.zetes.com/en/technologies-consumables/iot-in-supply-chain
Global Supply Chain Financing
One of the main threats of digitization is the increase in cybercrime. People are vulnerable as vital data is out there for thieves to hack into. It is only fair that they would be apprehensive about sharing data for online payments and overseas transactions.
On the other hand, transactions with clients based in other counties is also more tedious owing to the paperwork and bureaucracy which also leads to delays in international payments and dealing with regulations of multiple countries. Discrepancies here would mean significant delays or cancelling the entire order.
In such situations, IoT and Blockchain has significantly improved the landscape of international transactions. They speed up the movement of the goods, reduce the paperwork, prevent fraud and result in a more secure and efficient transaction. A previous cloud trail also makes it possible to speed up the payment process as once the programme has been set, regular and timely payments can be made automatically.
Source: https://blogs.oracle.com/profit/the-benefits-of-iot-and-Blockchain-for-the-supply-chain

Regulated, Controlled and Reliable
In certain industries like the F&B or pharmaceutical sector, consignments need to be transported at exactly the right temperature and at exactly the right time. Once the shipment leaves the warehouse it was not possible to control these factors.
IoT feed makes it possible to monitor the temperature, the quality and even the fastest and safest route to the destination. Modifications in temperature settings can also be done remotely. Sensors also make it possible to know when a container or transport vehicle is due for maintenance.
Blockchain technology and IoT ensures the data captured and received is tamperproof. Hence the security of the information is always guaranteed. This would not only be a boon to the medical industry but also any industry transporting sensitive or commodities of high value.

Data Analysis
As mentioned earlier, data plays a crucial role in any business and industry. IoT and Blockchain make it possible to share data securely with all stakeholders. This data can be analysed for new insights into their supply chain.
This data analysis helps realign sourcing and distribution networks as well as make changes and improve on the design of the supply chain. This data can also potentially solve complex supply chain problems.  

Final Thoughts
Tamperproof records, thanks to Blockchain and everything being connected between the real and digital world, thanks to IoT, helps reduce friction by eliminating third parties. Presently, Blockchain and IoT together are disrupting a lot of industries as this combination has been very powerful and effective.

Customers today are very concerned with fast delivery and exceptional personalized service. Companies have little to no choice in leveraging the digitized methods to provide customers with enhanced services.
If you would like to discuss the possible ways to innovate and transform your supply chain, you can contact the App Scoop mobile app developers and app development team on: https://www.app-scoop.com/contact-us.html.

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