Blockchain is now a term of mainstream technology. And it is very surprising, that many didn’t yet unlock the potential of this upcoming tech, especially in Warehouse Management Digitalization movement. As per the annual reports of MHI (2018), Blockchain in Supply Chain is only 5 percent, but the projected growth can be up to 54 percent in the next five years.
Now, to speak about Blockchain, you can find in three great features- Accountability, Accessibility and of course the major one, Security. Also, it keeps the data decentralized meaning the data is stored in every single computer.
Practically, for anyone to change even one record of data, there has to be access granted to all the linked computers at the same time. There is also Hyperledger, an open-source collaboration, to develop the blockchain technology across the industries.
How Does Blockchain Work?
This serves the basic idea of Blockchain, to create a public digital ledger for tracking the transactions. This transparency drives accountability, security amongst people in the network. Also, Real-time data helps in making critical decisions in less time.
There are several dynamic ways to use this tracking data, where the database can trigger other transactions, for example, the arrival of the next batch of goods. It can be used for Instant settlements and to apply Dispute resolution rules.
Receiving, Storage and dispatching of materials in the warehouse is what Warehouse management is about, which requires huge efforts to maintain, audit and record data of damaged stock, costs, stock-ins, stock-outs, errors, and much more.
The design of the Blockchain enables the brands and manufacturers to connect every party in the value chain, suppliers, production sites, distributors and retailers. This helps the network to manage and track product origins, traceability, recalls, and limited shelf life goods, creating a comprehensive Warehouse management system in perfect track.
Warehouse Management System
Today’s Warehouse management has become too complex spanning a thousand stages or locations to manage the stock from. And as these issues are set, the producers are also involved with the price fluctuations, resources, fuel and freight costs, and political instability, and rising customer demands. The unexpected delays and customer behaviour swings and cost variations pressure the manufacturers to become more efficient.
At larger warehouses, in warehouse and stock management, it is highly impossible to generate more revenue but is very much possible to reduce the costs.
By replacing the rigid centralized supply chain with the decentralized structure, blockchain gives the power to track and record the movement of both goods and information to the entire value chain network. Using this in Warehouse management systems, a proper infrastructure is given to develop the capacity to serialize the materials with tagging and record them in a platform that is shared in the network. And more, the ability to inspect this entire uninterrupted chain right from sourcing the raw material till finished good consumption and maybe even the recycle and Re-use!
Transactions in a Blockchain-powered Supply chain can be the transactions of anything from Physical assets to legal documents. They are encrypted and grouped together with other new records. Once they are validated, every transaction is timestamped and added to the non-re-writable group of transactions in chronological order. The Lightning network is on the top of the blockchain, which allows a faster transaction process by usage of the Payment channels.
Internet of Things(IoT)
Along with Blockchain, one of the most hyped tech is IoT, considered the most important topic of this century. The main purpose of IoT is to link and connect the physical world to the digital world. The process involves collecting data from real-life, aggregate data to information and help users to make decisions.
When Blockchain is paired with IoT, new data can be automatically updated in the records. This makes the verification very easy for the entire warehouse management network.
With the ability to provide continuous information sharing, Blockchain and IoT together can help global business mitigate the operational risks, ensure a reliable flow of material data in real-time. Overall, they can revolutionize the way different parts of the supply chain are captured, communicated and accessed in a transparent, secure and shareable platform!