Supply chains refer to the network ok key players involved in an industry before you get a product for your consumption.
The party’s right from sourcing of raw materials, processing, packaging, and distribution involves the various parties.
Let’s take for example an apple from India.
A farmer does the planting, hiring laborers to spray, tend, and water the plants. When fruit is picked, it’s graded and packed for export. At the airport, there are the health inspectors and so forth.
So, the supply chain is a mesh of numerous interactions that support the sourcing, processing, and channeling of an end product, from points of origin to consumers.
One question: Assuming I live in the United States, can I tell the farm that produced the apple?
Can I tell the reputation of the health inspector at the ports?
Can I tell the time the fruit exactly left the farm?
You’ll answer no to most of this.
But, with technology, it is easy to get the yes’s for all the above!
The solution lies in exploring the solutions with immutable Ledgers. That’s where the Blockchain comes in. Beyond playing the core function of facilitating Cryptocurrencies, Blockchains have application capabilities that are limitless.
Here are excerpts from projects whose exploration domain zeroes on supply chains. But before then, what are the key problems that plague the supply chains that Blockchains can offer a superb fix?
- Tracking Sources.
The ordinary massive production of goods makes it impossible to track product origins. Blockchain records make it a very easy task. In overall, the costs of tracking drops drastically and the changes appear in the form of improved customer relations. Great customer relations give value to the brand name which company’s struggle so much to retain at its best.
In a practical sense, a Blockchain-based supply chain system facilitates the tracking processes for the information through sensors attached to products or Radio Frequency Identification tags-RFIDs. This reduces the occasions arising for delays in paperwork as issues are identified and resolved faster.
- Drastic Reduction of Administrative Costs.
The records within a Blockchain based Supply chain are reusable for different sets of queries. Being digitized enables real-time tracing while eliminating faults like duplication and mistaken records. The best leeway also comes at the points of payment.
Payments through Crypto are a great avenue for the supply model since it’s faster and accurate with little or no administrative backlog of both records and costs elements.
The net effect is a chain with an improved inventory management system with minimized costs for courier services.
- Trust Establishment.
One key factor in product and brand trust lies in stakeholders being able to share the standards of manufacturer’s technologies.
With Blockchains embedded in supply chains, transparency is reinforced from the value derived from data sets that are inter-operable, yet with high tamper-proof systems. The essence of a supply management system is to evolve towards the reduction or elimination of frauds and errors.
Every party in the supply chain is generically invited to play safe and create value through utmost integrity, that yields trust across the entire chain and culminate into a win-win scene for the stakeholders which increases the factor of consumer vis a vis partner-trust
Projects with Blockchain Solutions to plugin to Supply Chain Shortfalls:
Blocko kicked off with Coinstack and further explored and rolled out the Aergo Enterprise.
Aergo Enterprise is a Blockchain product with limitless possibilities for unlocking data silos while retaining very high levels of data integrity.
After intense efforts into the construction and design, the Aergo Enterprise is already rolled out; where existing customers will have opportunities to port their existing programs onto the new platform with ease. Aergo is a hybrid network of the Blockchain with complex and enhanced features for:
- High standards of performance with reinforced data security and efficiency on consensus. As a point of departure from initial Blockchain products (Coinstack, Hyper ledger, and Corda), Aergo is not entirely private and that where its feature of being hybrid sets into open data silos. The open framework allows assets exchange including information products and registries for supply chains that are tokenized. The tokenization is attained using the Merkle Bridges, that seamlessly facilitates B2B transactions within a “trustless environment”
- Project scalability-by fostering ease of development. With it comes opportunities for expanded use cases for unleashing the value within each domain of applicability. Aergo makes it easy to develop and deploy on the Blockchain via custom tools.
With Aergo scalability, developers can create hashed algorithms from other independent Blockchain and port to the main Aergo Blockchain, still retaining the immutability of Aergo Public Blockchain.
At a glance, here are the features that come along with the Aergo Enterprise:
• Simple administration interface – Aergo is easy to master with easy integration and porting of external Blockchain with simple clicks, easy-to-integrate, one-click provisioning of custom Blockchain. Aergo is easy to monitor, with its dashboard with menus to identify authenticities, single transactions, and blocked ones.
• Aergo has development kits similar to SQL/PL program and data manipulation handlers that facilitate integration with smart contracts and payments management. The management of nodes under Aergo is made simpler under the configuration and permission settings. You can adjust access permissions as well those for data deletion as well as management of documents.
• Support to Internet of Things.
Blocko made provision for its initial customers to migrate along into the Aergo platform. That meant large firms retained their customer bases. Essentially, the shift from Coinstack to Aergo was in a nutshell, an upgrade of features; the Blockchain remained the same across both.
A Use case for Blocko under the Hyundai Motor Group’s
Hyundai Motors has an ICT subsidiary under one of their MOUs with a prime purpose for tracking their inventory via Blockchain technology. The Blockchain project has been rolled out as a Baas (Blockchain as a Service) for keeping track of automobile parts and histories.
• In details, The Blockchain will show the details of previous owners, vehicle age since the year of manufacture as well as mileage at any point. Through the Blockchain and smart contract integration, users within the automobiles industry are targeted with a very easy to use platform showing automobile logistics, manufacturing of parts and tokens for the users.
Over time, Hyundai will extend performance to other fields with potential details. The data will assist in the management of vehicle lifecycles, UBI (Usage-Centered Insurance) and MaaS (Movement-as-a-Service).
- IBM Food Trust
IBM Food Trust is built on the Blockchain. The benefits to participants are:
- All the participants within the network get an opening to an ecosystem of food that is both smarter and safer. Users with authority to access the system instantly get their hands on data within the supply chain starting with the elements from the farms, stores and eventually the consumers.
- In detail, all history and actual location of a food item can be gotten regarding the stakeholders. You can know the farmers, the processors, distributors/ retailers, inspectorate regulators and also the consumers. It only takes an instant to access all the information uploaded into the Blockchain. IBM food trust also includes information regarding any certification within the processes.
- IBM food trust works as a SaaS, which is Software as a service with a solution for trust. The aim is to foster the trust as opposed to creating a hindrance to it. In essence, safer food, longer product shelf life, lowered wastage levels, and traceability’s that is near instant.
IBM Food Trust – Working mechanism.
IBM’s Food Trust works as a systemized solution. It’s cloud-based on the IBM Blockchain. In the system, over a million food items have the data stored and accessible by being shared all across the Blockchain with the Hyperledger Fabric. Participants access the data in a shared, permanent, and transparent model.
Developers have shared that with the deployment of Blockchains, the average costs of a product being recalled can be reduced by 80%.
The challenge with fraud in the international food market is estimated to b range from $10-$15 billion every year. The main culprit being inorganic and cheap foods being presented to end consumers as expensive organic ones.
There have also been instances where meats from other animals have been packaged and labeled as chicken, beef or pork while in reality, they were not. IBM, therefore, creates a trustless sphere where consumers are at ease with access to the primary source of the product through its data. And that cascades uniformly through the various parties within the entire cycle of supply
- Waltonchain RFID
Waltonchain RFID is a project syndicating Radio Frequency identifiers and the Internet Things within the supply chains. Waltonchain refers to the interconnections as the Value Internet of Things (VIoT) in long, Value Internet of Things.
What challenges face the supply chains management that Waltonchain can offer solutions?
International supply chains are amazing, that’s why we have things manufactured from far ends finding a way into the lifestyles and economies around.
The most are unfortunate thing however is that they are riddled with numerous inefficiencies. The inefficiencies range from communication challenges, fraudulent practices and unnecessary fragmentations within processes.
Most party actors adhere to internal processes and of course specialized Information Technology systems which have no form of sync at any stage. That creates silos of information that have no coherence, yet the product remains to be same. In the final end, you cannot tell with certainty if a product is an original or counterfeit.
The point is, with traditional fragmented systems, records are pretty easy to falsify and edit as well. Therefore, how can we get fault proof authenticity of goods in the market?
The contemporary tracking systems are okay but have lower effectiveness. In fact, that’s what has comprised the counterfeit product within the entire globe amounting to approximately $500 billion annually.
Waltonchain RFID comes in to inject the immutable nature of records that torrent along every stage of transition within the supply chains. The point of distinction between Waltonchain is the embedding of the radio- frequency technology. Its pioneer, Charlie Walton, invented RFID.
Virtually, Waltonchain deploys the power in RFID tagging as a means to trace the movement of goods across the globe. The embedding of the Blockchain facilitates a real-time variable where users can have all the data accessed at any time. Eventually, dissimilar ERP systems will be merged to project a single channel of authenticity among all the stakeholders.
The prototype for the Waltonchain RFID tag.
An inherent WTC token performs a pivotal role within the Waltonchain’s main-net, that’s within a system of governance. It warrants the forking of sub chains tailored for the specific needs of supply chain management procedures and end-user needs.
In summary, the merging of hardware, being the RFID tagging alongside the Blockchain and IoT is an idea that has been received with great optimism. Walton Chain RFID has every opportunity to succeed. In China, the partnerships have picked on well further beefing up the confidence of better supply management systems.
What is VE (VeChain?)
Its platform with a design intended to inject efficiency into the procedures within a supply chain system. The main aim is to enhance the entire procedures. The gist with VeChain is the deployment of DLTs (Distributed Ledger Technologies) which are tamper proof.
Essentially, Product retailers and even consumers are able to gauge authenticity by tracking the logistics for inventory. The cycle monitored starts with the end of production and streaks through the distribution channels up to when consumers receive the goods.
Bottom of Form
Development of the VeChain Platform
VeChain started simply as an ERC-20 submissive token by then called VEN. A rebranding of saw the emergence of VeChain Thor in early 2018.
By August 2018, developers rolled out a Blockchain for it swapping initial VEN to the VeChain initial tokens.
Applications for VeChain
The main and potential use of VeChain is to weed out counterfeits. The platform uses a program that is based on the Blockchain. It monitors products life-cycles and is able to track all the transactions related to an item.
The user just requires to scan the product code via the VeChain platform. You can then tell if for instance the Rolex watch is a genuine one or else. Vechain cases if use extend beyond the food industry to automotive and pharmaceutical
One key note with VeChain is that it’s a public Blockchain that is available for third parties to code and deploys some Daaps (decentralized applications)
The Working Modalities of the VeChain Verification Network
Every physical stock is fitted with a unique digital number for identification, that’s derived from the VeChain DLT system. All the unique digits are recorded within the system. VeChain also facilitates the NFC (Near field communication) system. Users can scan the information on a product even when the physical location is not within proximity. That allows the monitoring of products that are sensitive to temperature changes like batches of perishable foods. The same can be attached to smart contracts which can trace the same temperature variables over periods of time.
The immutability of data entry by Blockchain technology facilitates the trustless system. The trustless element is derived from the fact that once data has been recorded, it cannot be erased.
How to add records To the VeChain’s Blockchain
Information is uploaded via the Proof of Authority Protocol that works via consensus. The VeChain consensus has an algorithm that has both centralized and decentralized input elements. The developers and managers have selected Masternodes which operate as part of their large clients. For one to be eligible as VeChain Masternode you require a minimum stake of VET tokens $25 Million, that’s approximate $ 85,000.00
The Masternodes will eventually be 101 in total, charged with validation of transactions.
For one to hold VET tokens, one creates an account by downloading a wallet supporting the token. They have wallets downloads both iOS and Google Play version that favors android users.
After creating the wallet, a user can now buy and exchange VET tokens users must first create an account by downloading a wallet that supports VeChain.
Every holder of the VET tokens is eligible to earn the VTHO tokens which are the currency that fuels the dApps within the network of VeChain.
Business Partnerships with VeChain.
VeChain has many partnerships, at present there is one with Kuehne & Nagel, an International logistics firm, based in Switzerland. Another notable one is with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), that’s one of the biggest four firms in the professional domain of accounting, audits, and assurance. Sure, board advisors under VeChain have worked for PwC.
The third partnership for VeChain is with the People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC), with an asset base of more than $126 Billion. It also involves the Government of China.
There’s a fourth Partnership for VeChain involving DNV GL a multinational firm for risk management and assurance.
Other notable ones are with China’s tobacco industry as well as the BMW.
Origin Trail is a Blockchain project for sharing data for supply chain platforms. It facilitates the sharing of data that is secured and transparent in a seamless way. Firms exploring it have an open platform to build upon their accountability, increase as well as secure brand efficiencies. The prime purpose of Origin Tail is to offer a protocol that is singly built on the Blockchain to offer seamless interactions for supply chains across the entire globe.
The premise in Origin Trail is based on two fundamental weaknesses of the conventional supply chains:
- Fragmentation of data for supply chains, this renders collaboration between firms very tough.
- The lack of a decentralized resolution for supply chains.
Origin Trail is deployed on the ODN (The Origin Trail Decentralized Network) Blockchain with supply chain data shared across several nodes in the entire globe. Node owners benefit from trace tokens for the process of handling and encrypting data for other users. Therefore the relationship between data suppliers and consumers is maintained via tokens.
The Nodes within Origin Trail receive the incentive and maintain the following features:
Discovering & connecting functionalities
Checking consensus for the Supply chains.
Performing the quality checks for data this is inclusive of replicated records
The filtering, storage, management and relaying of data within the supply chain.
Wabi is a virtual token whose target is to offer safety for products channeled to consumers.
It has amazing abilities to integrate with third parties, where the token is authorized for transactions with loyalty tokens fuelling the sustenance of the entire system.
One applicability for Wabi tokens has been under the Techroch project.
Under Techroch, the application deploys as tamper- proof labels attached on the product, while the system pairs them with consumable goods. Therefore, the product is traceable at any time
With Wabi, key formulations of milk for human infants are protected. Wabi also targets to harmonize tokens from several other protocols with time.
Human beings have always endeavored to make the world a better place. Since the internet revolution, many steps that been made towards making the dreams a reality. However, such has not been without setbacks due to unforeseen risks that pounce on the ambitious projects. The nature of supply chains is that data is fragmented within the individual stakeholders. With our trade going global, it creates a great impetus to explore technological solutions that that that embedded within them.
The Blockchain has been hyped as being the next huge revolution after that of the internet is here with us. Already, we’ve had its original proof via the Cryptocurrencies that have been around for a decade by now.
But, our question remains. Will the Blockchain offer the desired solutions with respect to the supply chain woes? What will change over the next decade? The curiosity of human efforts remains. Already, most of the projects have rolled out their value propositions via the white papers and followed that with setting up the usual stuff. The hardware, the coding and even the gospel of getting people from the conventional mindsets to accept the revolutionary Blockchain opportunities. A critical look at the Blockchain projects within the supply chains depicts a form of uniformity: there is the breaking up of data silos, reinforcing seamless access while at the same time maintaining the authenticity of users, products and of course the value creation.
The Blockchain projects have come at a great era already. Why? There are other adjacent technological milestones that have been achieved to a greater percentage. We already have seen their results. The internet of Things, Virtual reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Blockchain app developers should leverage upon them and move the stake forwards.
Finally, the era of data silos in supply chains is outdated. The globe trade is all set to be it. Therefore the procurement industry and in specific the supply chains to be specific should not be left behind, at any step.