The industry has started seeing some action when it comes to the blockchain, especially when it comes to supply-chain management/tracking.
Before we move any further, we need to clear out is what blockchain is and isn’t to the manufacturing community. It isn’t related to cryptocurrencies per se but it does contribute to many other useful applications by providing a secure, decentralized approach to distributing digital information in a way that it can’t be shared but not modified or destroyed. Extracting my knowledge from my seventh-grade science class, blockchain works like energy, it can only be transferred not created or destroyed.
The reason why blockchain is so big when it comes to supply-chain management is that everyone sees the same data. Nothing can be converted or incorrectly keyed in. Like everyone says, blockchain is still in its early stages and not yet has fully matured. A lot of investment and developments is underway but even then, blockchain is doing far better than my puberty self.
Some companies are employing it really well, for example, IBM Food Trust. They use blockchain to create visibility and accountability in the food chain supply. More and more companies started following suit and now companies like Carrefour, Topoco Associates, Wakefern Food Corp, etc have joined this revolutionary technology.
And now, even Walmart has decided to stay technologically relevant and has recently announced that they will be using IBM Food Trust as the foundation or the blockchain-enabled Walmart Food Traceability. They started out with leafy suppliers during the outbreak of E. coli. This way it was easier for them to keep a track of which crop was infected an easily remove it before it would disinfect other people.
With food you can’t take chances; timing and accuracy can either keep you up on your feet or in your bed. By using blockchain technology one can easily walk up to the checkout unit and see if their item has any problem. They can even get details on where it was harvested and distributed up until the time it reached the store.
You can know if the coffee beans are the real coffee beans or not. Anything that the company claims can easily be checked to see if it is true. No longer relying on the packaging and what it claims, just search up the item at the checkout.
But why has Walmart decided to make the move now? Well, we live in a digital age and people tend to rely more on the information coming from a computer screen than from someone, at least I do. You lose time and money. Plus, like my boyfriend likes to say, there is an app for everything. I am guessing he copied it from somewhere but anyway if there can be an app for everything, why can’t there be a blockchain for everything?