Blockchain is a fast emerging new technology, and with this comes an abundance of new use cases and adoption in the world. There are many blockchain supply chain use cases appearing. Blockchain is perfect for implementing into current day supply chains due to its characteristics.
What makes it so good for blockchain supply chain use?
Immutability – entries made into the blockchain are immutable, meaning they cannot be changed. This is due to the decentralised nature of the blockchain. As a result, the data stored on the blockchain is extremely reliable and can be used to track the history of a product throughout the supply chain without the risk of tampering.
Tracking – Tracking can be made easy using RFID tags. Products can be quickly scanned when they reach checkpoints, which will easily input the data into the blockchain, tracking this portion of the supply chain. If a certain good is not tracked at one point in the supply chain it will be questioned – and it will also be evident whose fault this was.
Internet-of-Things – harnessing the Internet of Things and smart contracts, tracking items on the supply chain becomes even easier. Devices can be within the transportation with the packages that measure certain variables and notify the blockchain supply chain system that the levels are correct for the product. This is particularly important for pharmaceuticals.
Sharing – The data can easily be shared with whoever requires it, as long as they are allowed access. Consumers can use the data to ensure their product is authentic and follows the history and promised, and companies working on the supply chain process can ensure that everything is working in order.
Time – using blockchain reduces any delays that may occur from paperwork, and scanning in items will be quicker than previous methods when properly implemented
Accountability – any issues will be easily identified. It will be clear what went wrong and where
Pharmaceutical blockchain supply chain uses
The drug supply chain is a very complicated process and involves a lot of transactions between parties. There are also, as you can imagine, many regulations that need to be met. As it stands drug manufacturers have little transparency in terms of the supply chain. They are unable to effectively track authenticity. Blockchain supply chain solutions can of course solve this issue. Additionally, there is a massive counterfeit drug issue. In 2010 the World Health Organisation estimated the over the previous 5 years there had been a 90% increase in counterfeit drug sales, coming to a total of $75 billion in sales in just 2010.
With the addition of blockchain supply chain solutions the consumers would be able to track the path of the drugs. Every time a package changed hands it would have to be scanned, putting the data onto the blockchain. All the history of the package is visible and input by trusted parties and it cannot be changed. As a result, counterfeit drugs would be easily discovered – this would reduce the number of counterfeit drugs sold worldwide.
In terms of regulations, self-executing smart contracts paired with sensors can be extremely useful. For example, some drugs during transportation require to be kept within a certain temperature range. These sensors can monitor this and ensure that the transportation has adhered to the correct good distribution practices (GDP). The resulting data is transferred to the blockchain, so it can be reliably viewed and it is clear whether GDP regulations were met. Another similar scenario, a sensor could be monitoring a different variable such as humidity.
A good example of a token that is targeted towards this sector, pharmaceutical blockchain supply chain solutions, is Modum.
A blockchain supply chain solution can be implemented which will trace food from the source to the super market. This will allow the consumer to verify that the animal was treated up to standard in the correct location, and that the transportation of the meat was satisfactory.
A good example of a token which is targeted towards this sector is TE-FOOD.
In fashion there is also a big problem with counterfeit goods. Especially with people reselling streetwear that looks almost identical to the real item. With the addition of a blockchain supply chain solution it can be verified that the fashion item you are purchasing is legitimate – as it will be traceable to the source on the blockchain.
An example of a project that is catering to this market is VeChain Thor.
These are just a few examples of blockchain supply chain use cases. As you can imagine, anything that needs to be tracked through a supply chain process can benefit from the ease and security of a blockchain supply chain protocol being implemented.
Thanks for reading blockchain supply chain use cases. I hope you found it useful!