Blockchain for Traceability and Transparency

April 23, 2018
Blockchain for Traceability and Transparency

Supply chain management continues to lack traceability and transparency due to analog gaps and proprietary technologies.  Blockchain technology offers a needed solution to resolve these issues.

With blockchain, transaction data cannot be manipulated. Public ledgers throughout the supply chain create visibility.  Therefore, traceability and transparency issues are more adequately addressed.

Blockchain technology can also decrease total costs in the supply chain by removing costs associated with lost or stolen inventory, and use of unethical practices.

This post is based on the NASDAQ post, Using Blockchains to Increase Supply Chain Efficiency, by Reuben Jackson, April 9, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / ElnurSee previous posts on OM in the News for more on how blockchain can increase tracking sources of foodreduce counterfeit products, and reduce forced labor.

Discussion Questions:

1. What would prevent a company from embracing a blockchain solution?

Guidance: Students should consider competitive advantages that may be compromised, loss of profit margins due to visibility, impact on unethical business practices for companies that rely on such poor behavior to compete globally.

2. How would you implement a blockchain solution for contract manufacturers in the fashion industry?

Guidance: Students should review sourcing and contract manufacturing.  One idea is to work in teams to develop a flowchart depicting the decision process to implement a blockchain solution for a given contract manufacturer to present to the class for further discussion.


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