With CPOs across the world proceeding with digital procurement transformation, most will shortly seize the potential offered by ground-breaking digital ledger or ‘blockchain’ technology to improve supply chain visibility, supply relationship management, and the reliability of supply chain data. This is forecast by an analytics and reports company.
This week, an analytics firm, Market Research Future, published findings on the future of the relationship between blockchain and today’s ever-more intricate global supply networks. It anticipates that the worldwide global supply chain market will soar from the relatively modest valuation of $81.4m in 2017 to a staggering $3.4bn, at least, in 2023 – a cumulative growth of approximately 87%. The report states that: “blockchain technology provides advantages such as improved protection against fraud and errors, improved inventory management, and faster identification of issues across the entire supply chain, resulting in increased user trust. The increasing need for manufacturers and distributors to maintain transparency in supply chain operations and minimize costs is likely to be the key driver for the global blockchain in supply chain market over the forecast period.”
Blockchain is in effect an expanding list of records, known as ‘blocks.’ These are interlinked by highly intricate cryptographic systems that render malicious third-party interference virtually impossible. Blockchains are constructed in such a way that anyone attempting to tamper with a previous block will find their ‘handiwork’ is recorded as data in all subsequent blocks. The attempted change to the ledger will not be possible unless the majority of users with access to the chain agree that the alteration is legitimate and permissible. If not, the alteration will be blocked.
Top thought-leaders in today’s supply chain space agree that future supply chains – ‘networks’ is a more accurate term – will be manageable only when companies have full visibility and access to every aspect of them, from accounting to distribution. Blockchain delivers precisely that. Full adoption is more than likely in the coming ten years.