Decoding the potential of blockchain technology in the cold supply chain network

Over the past few years, blockchain has evolved beyond the initial cryptocurrency and NFTs and is now finding applications in business verticals, particularly banking, healthcare, governance, and several enterprise solutions. automation related to Big Data. The cold supply chain is one of the latest sectors to find an application for blockchain technology and is already showing promising results! With the growing need to create uninterrupted temperature-controlled cold chains, it is imperative that modern solutions leveraging smart technological innovations are applied to eliminate margins of error and reduce losses.

With the concept of a decentralized ledger made up of encrypted blocks, blockchain provides businesses with a transparent and secure platform to manage and track inventory throughout the supply chain. And digitally programmed smart contracts automatically enact or document relevant events when specific conditions are met, giving supply chain actors a way to collaborate and share information (and money) more efficiently. Given the importance of constant temperature control and monitoring in cold supply chain networks, blockchain can prove to be a game changer. Here are the key benefits of blockchain. adoption of blockchain technology for cold supply chains:

Credibility Guarantee: Transparency is at the very heart of a blockchain-enabled cold supply chain and not only monitors temperature checks and records failures in real time, but also builds a sustainable system that facilitates decentralization and transparency of all data, helping to build a robust network. This is particularly advantageous in the case of pharmaceutical supply chains where many fake drugs, vaccines and counterfeit pharmaceutical supplies tend to pass manual checks. The blockchain not only eliminates them, but also identifies the exact source and thus creates transparency and credibility.

Quality assurance: One of the main advantages of adopting Blockchain technology is the precise traceability of the process, which means that the exact movement of goods can be traced from start to finish, thus ensuring credibility and quality assurance across the entire food supply. chain. Typically, conventional cold supply chains are flawed in keeping records and identifying the source of a problem, in the event of a crisis. So when food products are damaged or vaccines and drugs are rendered ineffective due to inadequate temperature control, it can become difficult for companies to decipher failures due to poor record keeping and methods. conventional traceability. Additionally, the process can take weeks and further affect a larger number of products or lots, rendering the supply chain inefficient during that time. Improved traceability thanks to the blockchain makes it easier to identify and eliminate inefficiencies, manipulations, human errors or any other unfortunate incident, in record time, thus reducing losses.

Improved efficiency: With increased traceability and transparency, it is possible to not only eliminate inaccuracies and errors, but also remove reliance on manual processes. Although digitized supply chains manage large and sophisticated databases, the process can often be overloaded due to intermediaries. Using blockchain can help enable smart contracts that help eliminate dependencies on manual documentation, improving end-to-end efficiency with digital records.

Bettor ROI: With effective traceability and transparency that helps eliminate operational inefficiencies, blockchain helps reduce losses resulting from damaged products, thereby improving profitability. Additionally, with blockchain, businesses would be able to establish higher product quality, over a longer period of time, which would result in a higher return on investment.

Improved customer experience: Along with better product quality through efficient cold storage and transport, blockchain also helps ensure consistency, timely deliveries, better costs and hence improved products. Plus, with live tracking and timely updates, capturing important product information, inventory management, and customer feedback, it’s also helpful in creating effective customer engagement that can drive to improving customer satisfaction. IoT and PLC-driven efficiency: In addition to driving efficiency, profitability and improved customer experience, blockchain also enables logistics and supply chain experts to adopt the IoT-driven technology innovations and automation across the network. From smarter storage and inventory management, to data-driven predictive analytics and smart last-mile deliveries via temperature-controlled devices, to real-time tracking, integration of blockchain technology into devices across the world. Internet of Things (IoT) can transform the face of end-to-end cold storage.

While blockchain initially gained popularity primarily to remove dependencies on centralized third-party entities and bring transparency, it has now become synonymous with excellence. Even as we struggle to contain the huge logistical costs and massive food waste due to inadequate cold storage and transport infrastructure, India’s dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024 would be difficult. to achieve without a strong technology-driven transformation. However, basic challenges such as the cost of implementing blockchain and the lack of integrated platforms and networks that can work to create a holistic impact on improving cold supply chains, are important aspects. to work on.

Despite these challenges, with data-driven insights and integration with AI, IoT and other emerging technologies, blockchain is emerging as a powerful enabler for building robust cold supply chain networks, effective and truly uninterrupted, across time and geography. And it is high time we embraced it, so that we can truly emerge as a global economic power.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


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