By Pete Harris, Co-Founder and Research Principal
Read just about any ‘business and the blockchain’ feature article and supply chain is sure to be listed among key use cases. Examples of projects underway include ensuring the authenticity of diamonds, tracking tuna from catch to plate, and ensuring that life-saving pharmaceuticals are transported to hospitals quickly and are maintained in temperature-controlled environments.
The term supply chain can mean different things to different people. Some view the term as purely related to logistics, while others will extend it to the administration related to shipping of goods and financing aspects of trade. There’s also a view that aspects such as end customer eCommerce experience and payments infrastructures are part of the supply chain challenge.
Moreover, the scope of what constitutes a supply chain varies from person to person. Is the provenance of rock samples extracted to test for oil a supply chain application? There’s no doubt that those involved in the project believe it is, and yet there is no real manufacturer or customer involved. On the other hand, from a process POV, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck …
Moving from ideas and experiments to real life benefits is likely to be challenging. When it comes to implementing blockchain technology for supply chains then it will need to be integrated with other existing and emerging technologies – everything from traditional databases, ERP systems to IoT sensors and big data analytics.
At Chain Business Insights, we like to delve a little deeper when it comes to defining supply chains and applications for blockchain. We’re driven by marketplace needs and we want to research the real pain points. We want to find out specifically which use cases will be driving supply chain blockchain implementations in the near-to-medium-term future. You can help us. Take a few minutes to participate in our survey and give us your wisdom. As a thank you, we’ll provide you with an overview of the results when we tabulate them in early May.