CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
December 14, 2018
CSCMP Notebook

Report examines blockchain opportunities and challenges

New CSCMP Hot Topics report provides an introduction to this distributed ledger technology.

"Blockchain," the latest CSCMP Hot Topics report, explores what this emerging technology is all about, how it could be applied in supply chain management, and what challenges may need to be overcome before it can be widely adopted.

While interest in blockchain is gaining momentum, many people are still at the initial stage of simply trying to understand what the technology is and how it can be applied in supply chain management. The report's author, Shari Diaz, ecosystem and innovation leader with IBM Watson Supply Chain, defines blockchain as a shared digital ledger that holds records of business transactions in a way that makes them accessible and visible to multiple participants in a network while keeping them safe and secure. She identifies four main characteristics of blockchain technology: shared visibility, privacy, smart contracts, and trust/consensus.

At its core, Diaz writes, blockchain brings together partners that are willing to collaborate to address inefficiencies. But the report also looks at where blockchain adoption can provide the most value to supply chain organizations—beyond making basic end-to-end transactional processes like order-to-cash and procure-to-pay more efficient. It also offers a short list of questions supply chain professionals can ask themselves before deciding to invest in blockchain processes and technology.

According to Diaz, blockchain is without doubt coming to supply chain management. Are you ready? If not, this report can help you take the first step toward preparing for the future.

To access the "Blockchain" Hot Topics report, click here.

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