The Role of Blockchain in Ensuring Supply Chain Transparency

  • 15 March 2024
  • 5 Min Read

“Everything will be tokenized and connected by a blockchain one day!” by Fred Ehrsam

Blockchain is probably one of the finest miracles of the digital world and it is transcending the way business worked. For the record, it is an immutable ledger, cannot be penetrated without a permission or knowledge of the creator. This makes it secure, brings transparency and the stakeholders are forever informed of changes in a singular blockchain. Now, supply chain management has the most complex module with layers of operations and involvement of numerous stakeholders, who are concerned about security, transparency and traceability in its operations. Lack of visibility in supply chain jeopardizes its work and throws management into challenging situations during order fulfillment. This article is a move forward to highlight how blockchain technology in supply chain is going to benefit eCommerce, 3PLs, retailers, and other stakeholders in enhancing supply chain transparency.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain has revolutionized the internet further, it is a digital ledger which adds a block of data at each level. These blocks are secure, impenetrable, transparent and commendable point is each block is connected with its predecessor. The state-of-the-art ingenious architect of the technology has made it extremely dependable for businesses, as it is resistant to tampering and it is highly challenging to alter or modify any of the data blocks. Some of the significant features of blockchain technology are –

  • Network participants have access to ledger (works as distributed ledger) and can only make amendments once, each block is connected to the previous and the block after,
  • It reduces wastage of time, as there is no duplication of data which earlier happened during manual entry days, and, last but not the least,
  • It builds trust as participant members are confident data is not shared with unauthorised party. Access data with blockchain technology requires permission.

These cutting-edge features of blockchain makes it a decentralized technology, which has found its significance in several industries including supply chain management.

Blockchain Solutions for Supply Chain

Supply Chain is often criticized for lack of security, traceability, and trust. These three features build the foundation of a successful, robust, and empowered supply chain. With AI and IoT, economy is experiencing rapid changes and consumer market has got very competitive. Both business and consumers look for transparency in operations of supply chain to avoid any kind of conflict and save time as well as cost involved.

Blockchain technology enhances visibility by sharing immutable data, that helps in building trusts and guarantees authenticity as there is no scope for tampering of data block. The technology supports supply chain by making it resilient and responsible. The features of blockchain open communication at each level by sharing of information.

Together let us cruise through how blockchain has made supply chain dynamic, accountable and easy to audit trail that instil trust and fights fraud.

  • Role of Blockchain for Transparency: Blockchain is a decentralized, immutable ledger, shared with stakeholders, partners and the consumers. The block data network is accountable as every transaction is recorded, audited and is verified. The enhanced transparency with blockchain prevent frauds, builds trust and makes consumer-retailer relationship more resilient. Blockchain ensures there is transparency at each level and the automated operation ensures, it is relayed through right network and at the right place.
  • Supply Chain Traceability Through Blockchain: As mentioned earlier, SCM has a complex structure. For a single order fulfillment, there is a bevy of operations and each has to be documented for facilitating smooth functioning and successful order fulfillment till the last mile. With blockchain, each step from the origin to completion is documented. This enables easy tracing of product journey, right from birth to end. The ability to trace, track and verify the product minimizes the risks involved like counterfeiting, frauds as unauthorized tampering, and conflicts.
  • Blockchain Improves Efficiency: Blockchain can be integrated with Internet of Things (IoT), this enables seamless sharing of data in real-time about inventory, quality checks, logistics, 3PLs, transportation and more. The automated streamlined operations, improves efficiency of supply chain management. Proactive decision is taken with market alerts on product demand and cost involved can be managed. This also reduces delays, avoids duplication of data as blockchain can be shared with all concerned. This remarkably enhances the performance.

These are three basic functionalities of blockchain that changes the entire rule book of supply chain management for good. The foundation of blockchain is the realm for enhanced supply chain security. Since blockchain adds decentralized immutable data at each level, business and consumers can track and trace information about a product. The transparent supply chain with blockchain brings integrity of operations and authenticity as there is scope for verification of data at each level or whenever required. By sharing of information, businesses are able to foster loyalty along with trust and stronger customer relationships.

The comprehensive audit trail feature of blockchain guarantees ease in product recall, complying with rules and regulations wherever required, and quicker retrieval of information for future purposes.

Blockchain and supply chain security is comprehensible and shields customer interests as well as business from security threats and frauds. By leveraging blockchain, duplication of data is managed, companies can create digital monogram or unique identification for products to increase security and safeguard interests of consumers. Fraud due to vulnerability of data is not possible as each data block is full-proof and cannot be tampered. So, authenticity and trust are never compromised in the process.

Advatix Cloudsuite™ for Enhanced Supply Chain Transparency & Security

The cutting-edge technology used by Advatix Cloudsuite™ ensures there is no sharing of data without permission, is protected and is connected with stakeholders as well as the consumers.