Guide to Blockchain technology for those looking at supply chains The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published a comprehensive Tool Kit which it describes as “designed to help with the deployment journey, whether your organisation is seeking to gain increased efficiency, greater trust with counterparties, or other potential benefits offered by blockchain technology. Your organisation can use the toolkit to support more responsible blockchain deployments, de-risk early adoption, and ensure careful consideration of unintended consequences.”

The WEF has drawn on feedback from over 100 organisations experience and feedback that they have gained from implementing Blockchain technology. The Tool Kit draws from a wide cohort:

  • 50 countries 

  • 80 companies – covering the private and public sectors

  • 20 governments

  • 40 Blockchain projects

The Tool Kit is set out in 14 modules each including key topics as well as tools and resources. It also has a helpful ‘questions and answers’ section - Navigate Key Questions.

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Source: World Economic Forum Tool Kit

There is a new book from the Blockchain Research Institute called Supply Chain Revolution which, “identifies what leaders should be doing now to prepare their organizations for the inevitable decentralized future. Enterprise executives and entrepreneurs alike will find ideas and opportunities to discuss with their stakeholders and decide how best to participate in the blockchain revolution.

The world’s top experts show how blockchain—in combination with other innovations such as additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things—can address longstanding problems that make the business of getting goods to customers so slow and expensive”.

Given the hugely complex supply chains created by globalisation and the number of parties involved to ship goods around the world, it is no surprise that we have seen the large technology companies targeting supply chains as ideal candidates for the use of Blockchain-powered platforms. Indeed, according to Tradelens - IMB’s venture with the shipping giant Maersk – it states; “Think about the last thing you bought online as a consumer, and the single, direct line of sight into its journey to your front door. The same can’t be said for your shipments. Each could be connected to as many as 30 independent parties and 100 people, generating up to 200 exchanges of information. Multiply that by the hundreds or thousands of shipments you’re responsible for, and the complexity and risk you deal with regularly is staggering”.

Oracle, is another behemoth technology company targeting supply chains, having partnered with CargoSmart which, itself, has the following ports and shipping firms on board:

It is not just large multinational corporations that are conscious of the inefficiency within supply chains. According to Stratis,  which is active in developing solutions for supply chains using Blockchain technology, “ A new study has found that the implementation of blockchain technology in supply chains could save businesses in Western Europe $450 billion in logistics-related costs. The report found that 60% of companies overpay their supply chain vendors and 70% have ‘visibility gaps’ between the initial supplier and internal clients’ systems.

In the food industry alone, a Juniper Research report revealed that blockchain will save $31 billion by 2024 through the streamlining of supply chains, efficient food recall processes and ‘simpler’ regulatory compliance.”

Whilst there is increasing debate regarding globalisation slowing (see above Video Byte above), it is unlikely to totally disappear in the short term as, subsequently, in order to improve the efficiency of supply chains (especially on a trans-national basis) this aligns with stakeholders’ interests.