August 2019 | Commentary | IT Matters: Logistics & Supply Chain Technology

Blockchain-as-a-Service: Building Transparent Supply Chains For All

Tags: Technology , Supply Chain

Pratik Soni, Co-founder and CEO,Omnichain Solutions, 310-696-1503

Early blockchain adopters are looking to the distributed ledger technology to connect disparate supply chains, enabling transparency between what's happening downstream with consumers, upstream in production, and everywhere in between.

Adding more fuel to adoption is Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), which gives businesses the ability to connect their supply chains through a simple internet browser. Using a subscription-based model, BaaS platforms streamline complicated and expensive implementations, which means faster return on investment.

BaaS platforms can integrate and log records from any accounting, inventory, or transportation management system, creating a permanent, decentralized ledger of all product movement and transactions, from source to shelf.

With real-time data flow and transparency throughout the supply chain, organizations can overcome many tough demand forecasting, replenishment, inventory allocation, and tracking and traceability challenges.

Many supply chains involve a complicated mix of suppliers, production sites, warehouses, third-party logistics providers, and online and brick-and-mortar retailers. With each using its own systems and databases, it's difficult to get everyone on the same page.

For instance, stores have their own internal enterprise resource planning and point-of-sale systems for managing inventory and sales. These often exist separately from the metrics used upstream in manufacturing, making it difficult to gauge real-time consumer demand. Therefore, most resign themselves to reactive production and replenishment, which invariably leads to supply and demand imbalances.

Giving Manufacturing Visibility

Through BaaS, manufacturing gains visibility into what consumers are buying. It is possible to then find an equilibrium between supply and demand—producing just the right amount of product without excess, carrying costs, or the need for secondary markets.

Add in geo-specific information on where demand is coming from, and organizations can optimize inventory allocation—sending products to the channels and regions where they are wanted most—and fulfillment—finding the closest distribution centers and transportation providers to fulfill orders.

Customers always get what they want, when they want it, for a better experience. Businesses get less wasted mileage in transportation and costs, and greater profitability and business growth.

Consumers want to spend their dollars on products that are good for the environment and sourced from ethically sound suppliers—amid other social considerations. While price remains a primary motivator, these secondary considerations can be competitive differentiators, but only if companies can guarantee they meet expectations. BaaS can help companies build that trust with an immutable record of product provenance.

The most satisfying part of BaaS is that it democratizes blockchain, so that the technology is no longer limited to conglomerates with large budgets. Small and mid-sized companies can also achieve supply chain-wide transparency.

Through an affordable, subscription-based model, BaaS offers scalability, accommodating organizations' current needs with the flexibility to grow with them for years to come.






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