Blockchain Technology in the Supply Industry
Blockchain technology has won the hearts of many businesses. Reliable sources have it that Walmart Inc. will use it for its suppliers to upload their data. According to Walmart, the use of manual processes by suppliers to run their activities is very tedious. Thus the need for a digital system. A week ago Ernst & Young invested $1 Billion in AI and Blockchain. The use of a digital ledger will not only ensure that updated information is in real – time. It will also facilitate end-to-end traceability of products back to the farm. This is one of the greatest milestones for the world’s largest retailer, which comes after several years of testing it worth.
The recent E. Coli outbreak in romaine lettuce may have necessitated the need to implement the use of the blockchain technology. The outbreak affected consumers and a majority of perishable goods such as eggs and fruits. However, the retailer, together with its Sam’s Club entity, can signal a turnaround in the supply industry. There are a lot of expectations on how the technology will support the supply industry. However, Walmart says that digital installation of data will help in identifying affected farms. In return, it will be easy to stop the supply of any affected products from farms to consumers.
In agreement to this the vice president of food safety, Frank Yiannas says, “The goal is to speed up response times in case of food-borne illnesses and recalls.” The vice president of food safety and quality at Dole supported Yiannas’ sentiments. Meaning, positive response from farmers, logistics firms and business partners of the suppliers will go a long way in supporting the technology.
Blockchain -This Year’s Corporate Buzzword
The use of blockchain is not new anymore given that it is the technology behind Cryptocurrencies. IBM, which offers users of the service a free tier developed the technology. Apparently, companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are already working with it. The technology gets rid of the use of a third party in transacting. That said, every vendor will be required to join.
It is not common to see farmers apply any technology in their day – to – day activities like record keeping. However, there is a clear push by the retailer for suppliers and farmers to embrace the use of blockchain. This is likely to speed up the use of technology in the retail industry according to the principal at IHL Group, Greg Buzek. It is worth noting that a majority of larger growers have their data on interchange systems, which house data electronically. On the other hand small–owned businesses use spreadsheets to export data. Nonetheless, the suppliers do not necessarily have to be blockchain experts.
Finally, Walmart has confirmed that it has sent out a letter to suppliers asking them to join the food-tracking blockchain by Sept. 30, 2019.