Blockchain and Supply Chain: Match Made in Heaven


Blockchain technology today has come out of shadows of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The open ledger is utilized in many business domains including financial technology, power and energy sector, automobile, and logistics industry. Its application in the supply chain, however, is proving to be a game changer for many organizations. Not only the efficiency of the processes can be increased with the use of blockchain, customer confidence and transparency also get boosted once the blockchain comes into the picture.

Starbucks Blockchain Adoption

We have recently witnessed the announcement from the American coffee major, Starbucks which is going to utilize blockchain in order to track the movement of its coffee right from the farm to the customer cup. Commenting on this new initiative adopted by the company, executive vice president and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Starbucks, Martin Flickinger, said that the real motive behind the adoption of blockchain technology is the customer centricity that their organization follows. Everything in Starbucks is centered on the customer and the idea to have blockchain technology for providing superior customer experience stems from this very particular business philosophy. This adoption is going to help the Starbucks by providing “real-time traceability” for its products which is also going to add on to its brand equity as customers become more assured about the quality and origin of the product. The operating principle behind the blockchain adoption by Starbucks is quite simple. The company is going to integrate all the blockchain data of its products to its mobile app that will allow the customers to check the origin of the product and all the details relating its movement from farm to store.

Blockchain and Supply Chain

Due to the high complexity of the supply chain owing to its widespread across continents, the tracking movement is a real difficulty for most of the organizations. What adds more to the difficulty level is the participation of a number of stakeholders who are having different priorities or business goals at times. However, the use of open ledger technology will ensure that transparency of the whole system remains intact as any change in the decentralized network need to be approved by all the stakeholders; making it difficult for anyone to pull a fast one on others. One special feature of the blockchain is the smart contract which ensures that each transaction is going to be verified by all the stakeholders independently and that is one of the prime benefits of blockchain adoption. In other words, embracing the blockchain technology is definitely going to enhance customer confidence, traceability, transparency, and overall faith in the system.

World Economic Report on the supply chain describes that the future of this business discipline seems not to be significantly different from its present state on the surface; however, dig deep inside the skin and the sector is going to witness a fundamental change in the communication technologies, dispute settlement mechanism, systemic efficiency, and client handling and satisfaction. Commenting about the scope of blockchain expanding its wings in the supply chain industry, Gartner predicted that by the year 2025, around 20% of the grocers in the world is going to have blockchain technology in their fold.

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