Supply chain reliability and efficiency are always a concern for product-based businesses, but their importance was spotlighted recently as multiple industries struggled both with obtaining needed materials and keeping their products continually available on store shelves. Companies looking for streamlined, easy-to-manage and safe solutions may be considering blockchain as an option.
While blockchain technology can be an impactful tool for many applications — including, in some cases, logistics and distribution — it’s not necessarily the best tool for certain industries. Below, 11 members of Cointelegraph Innovation Circle share their tips for companies exploring leveraging blockchain to manage their logistics and/or distribution processes.
Ensure you understand blockchain’s unique value
Companies often feel pressure to adopt the latest solutions to keep pace with the competition. However, it’s important to have a proper understanding of these solutions’ applications before jumping on the bandwagon. Blockchain’s value as a tool should be superseded by its visionary reimagining of how we can store and share information. Starting from this premise is critical to unlocking its full potential. – Oleksandr Lutskevych, CEX.IO
Start with the ‘three P’s’ of logistics
Leverage the efficiency of blockchain technology by auditing which areas of your specific business can be disrupted by blockchain technology. Since each business is unique, start with the “three P’s” of logistics — predictive, proactive and prescriptive — to determine where processes can be streamlined. – Megan Nyvold, BingX
Underpin your use case for blockchain
First, consider what problem your product solves — can it be managed without blockchain tech? Second, you need to underpin your use case for blockchain tech: For example, will you be using nonfungible tokens to fractionalize investments in commodities, or are you using on-chain settlements to verify data between merchants? Finally, don’t reinvent the wheel; partner with providers in the space that have already invested resources. – Ilias Salvatore, Flooz XYZ
Review your industry’s standard solution first
First, make sure that blockchain technology is actually an improvement on whatever is being used in your industry already. Don’t tie yourself to a “solution” that, while exciting and advanced, is actually a major hindrance to your business and cannot scale. – Jae Yang, Tacen
See if common disruptions are solvable using usual methods
Blockchain is not a silver bullet, and the faster we can bury that myth, the sooner we can use it as a tool in appropriate situations. The primary issue is whether the supply chain is so fragile that untimely, untrusted or uncoordinated information would cause a disruption that can’t be fixed satisfactorily in the usual ways. Consider those cases and ignore the rest. And shop around. – Stephanie So, Geeq
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Choose the right blockchain platform or solution for the project
Depending on your unique use case and requirements, a particular blockchain, such as a public or private blockchain, a permissioned or permissionless blockchain, or a hybrid system may be most appropriate. It is also essential to collaborate closely with supply chain partners and stakeholders, such as suppliers, distributors and customers. – Theo Sastre-Garau, NFTevening
Optimize your processes first
Ensure that your process is optimized before you commit your supply chain tracking to the blockchain. Once you have migrated tracking to the blockchain, it is hard to withdraw. Also, ensure that the traditional reports needed to actually move products can be generated by the system. – Zain Jaffer, Zain Ventures
Identify specific pain points where blockchain could help
Companies considering blockchain for logistics and distribution should identify specific pain points in the supply chain where blockchain adds value, such as transparency, traceability or data security. By targeting these areas and demonstrating improvements, companies can effectively showcase blockchain benefits and build a strong foundation for further implementation. – Tomer Warschauer Nuni, Kryptomon
Ensure the network is tailored to meet your needs
For a pragmatic and efficient implementation of blockchain, companies must ensure that the blockchain network is tailored to meet their needs regarding architecture and consensus mechanisms. An instance of this is TradeLens, a blockchain-based platform developed by Maersk to digitize its supply chain management. This boosted efficiency and lowered costs via real-time monitoring of the supply chain. – Vinita Rathi, Systango
Keep things as simple as possible
Traditional companies should look for well-adapted blockchain solutions that reduce overhead without adding unneeded complexity. To achieve this balance, consider using a white-label service provider or Web3 development company. – Wolfgang Rückerl, ENT Technologies AG
Understand the investments you’ll need to commit to
Companies must fully commit to investing in the necessary infrastructure, resources and training to successfully implement and maintain a blockchain-based system. It’s not a simple process. However, blockchain can significantly improve efficiency and transparency in supply chain operations with strategic and thoughtful implementation. – Sheraz Ahmed, STORM Partners
This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.
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