Blockchain technology after the success of cryptocurrency is expanding fast into the retail sector. The latest to deploy blockchain in retail is Amazon.
In retail, supply chain and inventory management are two areas where applications for blockchain technology are set to grow.
Amazon Technologies, according to a filing with the United States patent application says, will use the innovative technology to ascertain the trustworthiness of a party or supplier it is dealing with.
Trust is an important variable in business. One lost, it is hard to regain.
Amazon to verify supplier credentials
The mechanism that Amazon envisages will start off when a product is introduced to the retail giant’s product system. A ledger will record the information about the product in “the creation element” slot of the ledger.
Then a “certification authority” will step in to attest whether the product matches up to other products’ standards in the catalog as per certification rules.
Once the product qualifies the certification rules, a record will show up the product’s transfer from a provider to the catalog system. The certification data would be available for “dynamic” viewing along with the product description data.
IBM unveils blockchain-based supply chain
Meanwhile, IT giant IBM unveiled a supply chain management blockchain network called “Trust Your Supplier” in association with Chainyard, a blockchain consultancy. This is to bolster its supplier validation, onboarding, and life cycle data management.
It is being observed that the induction of blockchain technology goes a long way to minimize manual processes in supplier management. Checking identities and monitoring of documents including tax certifications had been the hard parts of the manual mechanisms.
With the “Trust Your Supplier” project, IBM is hoping to save time and reduce errors and fraud leveraging blockchain’s decentralized approach and augmenting its audit trail.
According to Gartner, the use of blockchain in logistics will support international movement and monitoring of products and services worth $2 trillion per annum.
Gains for inventory management
Meanwhile, inventory is another area where blockchain is making traction. Retail warehouses and supply rooms face huge pressure of the endless flow of incoming and outgoing inventory. For companies, investing in blockchain-powered inventory management helps the staffers to speed up the processes.
Blockchain-powered ledgers are equally and remotely accessible to management, warehouse staff, and store employees and would reduce most hassles in the logistics.
Many experts also vouch for a plethora of benefits from blockchain. Jitin Agarwal, VP, Enterprise Products, EPAM notes five benefits of blockchain that will stand out. They are immutability, accessibility, encryption, transparency, and governance.
Transparency covers all stakeholders in the supply chain and includes manufacturers, distribution channels, retailers, and consumers.
Morvareed Z. Salehpour, Managing Partner of Salehpour Legal Consulting notes blockchain technology in the retail will end the menace of defective foods entering the supply chain and save costs as affected goods can be recalled early than a belated a generalized recall later on.