Use cases of blockchain in supply chain.

Supply chain finance
Recently, there has been a good deal of interest around blockchain and supply chain finance solutions because it can increase the efficiency of invoice processing and provide more transparent and secure transactions while increasing the efficiency of invoice processing. For example, invoice payment terms are usually 30 days and often much longer. By combining supply chain finance and blockchain technology, you can apply smart contracts that trigger immediate payments as soon as the product is delivered and signed for.

Supply chain logistics
Friction is a major problem for modern supply chains with many go-betweens and much back and forth between partners. The result is that suppliers, providers and customers interact via third party entities rather than directly with each other. The promise of blockchain in supply chain logistics, according to DHL, is that transactions can be verified, recorded and coordinated autonomously without third parties–eliminating an entire layer of complexity from global supply chains.

Supplier payments
American Express says: “Blockchain technology promises to facilitate fast, secure, low-cost international payment processing services (and other transactions) through the use of encrypted distributed ledgers that provide trusted real-time verification of transactions without the need for intermediaries such as correspondent banks and clearing houses”. One example of supply chain blockchain for supplier payment is within the coffee industry. Bext360 is using blockchain technology to better track all elements of the worldwide coffee trade—from farmer to consumer—and thereby boost supply-chain productivity. Using cryptocurrencies, this application of blockchain in the supply chain ensures payment directly to the farmers immediately their products are sold.

Cold chain traceability
Food and pharmaceutical products often have similar storage and shipping needs. Blockchain allied to IoT sensors on product can record temperature, humidity, vibration and other environmental metrics. The data is stored in a blockchain and smart contracts applied to ensure automatic redress if any of the readings go out of range. One early example of blockchain for the food supply chain is Walmart’s innovative use of the technology to track the provenance and condition of its pork products coming from China. With the success of blockchain in the supply chain, Walmart now requires all its spinach and lettuce suppliers to deploy the technology.

Food safety
Many food safety issues, such as cross-contamination, are difficult to track and isolation. The lack of data and supply chain visibility leads to slow action when an issue arises and well as unnecessary waste and the economic and reputational cost of recalls. A consortium is using blockchain within supply chain tracking to ensure the supply chain has transparency of all product movement and status. Companies including Nestle, Walmart and Unilever are using blockchain to reduce the time it takes to pinpoint and remove the source of foodborne illness within the supply chain

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