Covid-19 has placed a spotlight on the weaknesses in our global supply chain. Could blockchain help?
The world is in the midst of the largest remote working experiment it has ever seen, reinforcing the value of reliable data. More than ever before, we need to know where our data comes from and whether or not it can be trusted. We are bombarded with information on a daily basis across the various different communication mediums we use in our professional and personal lives. This news is then passed onto each other sequentially, through emails, WhatsApp messages and other apps and social media platforms, and the velocity is only increasing, particularly in isolation.
Supply chains operate in the same way, linked sequentially in a chain that passes information from one user to the next. We rely on each constituent to do their part and pass on information quickly and accurately, but, like a Chinese whisper, the data is never the same at the end as it is at the beginning. However, what if we could guarantee that this information is accurate, immutable and derived from one of the most trusted sources of data capture? How could supply chains be transformed through the adoption of blockchain technology in times of crisis and in times of normality?
Most organisations are active in two supply chains, one physical and one financial. The financial one has the distinct advantage of being born digital while the physical one remains analogue and therefore significantly slower. Both need to be measured, monitored and tracked, so that the data extracted can be analysed and used to drive the next level of industrial automation, Industry 4.0.
However, what if one link is out of action being furloughed or unwell? How can the adjacent links maintain the bridge and keep the information and the supply chain moving?
COVID-19 risks to each link/person in the supply chain, much like a row of dominoes toppling until one link is missing. According to McKinsey, some 38% of supply chains are…