Blockchain provides plenty of advantages and opportunities for improving supply chain management. This will impact warehouse management too.
As the supply chain continues to modernise and evolve at a rapid rate, the warehouse sector will need to keep up with these huge advances and changes.
At a fundamental level, this will require higher levels of data management and the ability to audit rapidly and reliably.
What is Blockchain?
Bitcoin hits the headlines frequently and it attracts its fair share of criticism. But blockchain, the technology that underpins this cryptocurrency, has plenty of positives for supply chain and warehouse management.
Blockchain and bitcoin are closely connected. Blockchain technology was developed specifically for bitcoin.
However, blockchain is also separate and distinct from bitcoin. It is distributed ledger technology (DLT).
This is a digital system that records asset transactions. What makes DLT different is that it records these transactions in multiple places at the same time.
Distributed ledgers have no central database or administrative function. Instead, they use a technical infrastructure and protocols that duplicate a single ledger through a peer-to-peer computer network.
Each node in this network shares information without relying on a central server.
When anyone in this network updates the ledger, they generate a block of new transactions. These updates form a chain. Each chain has a time-stamp that is unalterable.
When there are updates in the chain, this will alter its encryption code radically, no matter how minor these updates are.
This inbuilt encryption process and the lack of a central server make blockchain extremely secure. But anyone involved in it can trace any transaction to its point of origin.
Blockchain combines watertight security with clarity, visibility and accessibility. These aspects make it perfect for supply chain management.
How Blockchain Benefits Supply Chains
Blockchain offers several vital benefits for supply chains:
- Eliminating the need for intermediaries – parties involved can automatically cross-check ledgers throughout the supply chain
- Supporting accurate inventory management – with no room for duplication and visibility across the network
- Establishing a high level of trust among members throughout a supply chain.
DLT is not yet a universal feature of supply chain management. But it does represent a future that is approaching rapidly.
Technology is already transforming supply chain management. Participants in these networks must be ready to adopt it and embrace the changes it brings.
Preparation and adaptability are crucial for this.
Improving Warehouse Management
The technology is immediately available to support best practices in warehouse management. It can also help warehouses meet the supply chain demands of the future.
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