Supply Chain

This article is a translation of the German IOTA Beginner’s Guide by Schmucklos.

Supply Chain

Use Cases

EVRYTHNG: Transparent Supply Chain – IF

EVRYTHNG: Track Provenance and Authenticity – IF

IBCS Group: Track & Trace – IF

NKT: TrackMyDrum – NKT

Topocare: Supply Chain Documentation – Medium

Supply Chain

The supply chain can probably be considered in general as one of the fields benefiting most from distributed ledger technology. Goods or components are equipped with chips (“RFID”) and sensors that record all kinds of data and information, store it unalterably via the tangle, and thus make it accessible to all. This function thus makes some things possible that are rather difficult today (often due to a lack of trust between the various parties). As a result, products can be made counterfeit-proof. Every production step in the supply chain can be tracked and documented beyond doubt, in terms of location and time.

Tracking, which we already know today from all the parcel delivery companies, can be extended to all areas of industry and suddenly without major difficulties even across companies and nationalities. All manufacturing machines can be linked to the IoT and provide possible error indications at an early stage, so that production downtime and possibly delivery delays, which affect the entire supply chain, can be significantly minimized by taking action in time.

Global trade and supply chains

Today’s supply chains are like a black box. We don’t know where our goods are, who processed them, when or why something went wrong, or what data is real or fraudulent. Global supply chains are incredibly complex and involve multiple actors from around the world. However, it is not the complexity of the supply chain itself, but often the lack of management, transparency and monitoring that leads to the major problems in global trade.

Global trade is the combination of three distinct and interdependent flows:

The movement of physical goods
The supporting communication and documentation requirements
The financial flows between the many different players along the supply chains
Data is the fuel for realizing the potential of full transparency and effective supply chain coordination. It will transform global trade and remove many of today’s trade barriers. The following trusted data would need to be collected for this to happen: shipment tracking, inventory, condition and status of goods (temperature, humidity, quality, assurances), payment processes, and regulatory requirements (certificate of origin, physical hygiene certificates, etc.).

How IOTA’s Tangle will impact the future of supply chain.

The authenticity and integrity of supply chain data is critical to the coordination of the entire supply chain. Distributed Ledger Technology is designed to build such trust in data and provide a single version of the truth. DLT provides cryptographic security, defines access permissions for different user groups, and establishes the audit trail all actors need to trust the information and collaborate with trusted actors.

Once data integrity is established, the exchange of information between actors will change. Today’s supply chains are driven by actors passing information to the next actor and requesting updates on status multiple times if necessary. Emails, phone calls, and uncertainty drive the daily processes of moving goods. This information is transmitted peer-to-peer and sometimes must be manually entered into new systems (SAP or similar), losing data integrity and authenticity.

Tomorrow’s vision is a supply chain supported by a distributed ledger where original documents and events are reported in real time and made available to authorized stakeholders. This provides process transparency and access to original data.

Source: IOTA Foundation

The technology behind IOTA is the only technology that can scale and support millions of transactions on which global commerce depends. It is unbiased and also supports offline transactions. This means that local transactions can be secured during times without direct access to the internet (e.g. remote areas) and during maritime transport.

Companies and authorities must build this future ecosystem together.

IOTA aims to support a collective learning process among all stakeholders. All the implications and real-world impacts of distributed ledger technology have not yet been fully explored. There are important questions about the governance of DLT networks and regulatory compliance. Therefore, new business models and collaborations between different players are needed.

The real value of using DLT is to create a “common product” for all stakeholders. Therefore, IOTA is working in partnerships with businesses and public institutions to test and validate the application of the technology. A key concern is to build or enter into alliances with stakeholders from all sectors in parallel with the development of the technology for large-scale production.

Original source

Last Updated on 16. February 2021