I often ask myself, what is Blockchain technology? Is that digital currency like Bitcoin? Will this have impact on distribution? I did some research and found that this technology can and will have a significant impact on distribution and warehouse operations.
Blockchain is basically a set of blocks or records containing a record of the previous block along with a timestamp and transaction data and all connected via cryptography. The blockchains is managed by a peer-to-peer network adhering a protocols of communications, validation of new blocks and cryptography.
This record of digital data and events can not be deleted or changed. This makes is easier and safer for businesses to operate, especially over the Internet. It also creates a level of trust that the product you purchased from an unknown source can be verified. Businesses can interact with each other without a central authority or without trusting each other. With the continued shift to Internet commerce, this technology will be key to helping businesses and consumers alike.
So, how can this technology be used in distribution? Consider the lifecycle of a product, from manufacturing to final sale and all of the transactions that occur in between.
Blockchain gives us a permanent record of all these transactions. We could determine when delays, errors, and extra costs occurred so corrective actions could be taken to reduce and eliminate these issues.
Blockchain can also provide traceability to almost any industry, especially such as food, beverage, and pharmaceuticals that are required to track this information. Allowing the source of product to be traced so corrective action can be taken when issues, such as product recalls, occur. Imagine when purchasing produce in the store and knowing where exactly it was grown and how it was processed before you purchased it. Was it organic or fair trade?
I found a few TED talks that help simplify this technology and the impact it will have for businesses and consumers.
Let me know what you think. How do you think blockchain could help you?
I'm always here to help brainstorm ways your company can benefit from the latest technology. Happy to connect to explore this further.