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Role Of Blockchain In Supply Chain Management Assignment

Question

Task:
Blockchain’s role in meeting key supply chain management objectives
Kshertri (2017) International Journal of Information Management

  1. Explain what is meant by blockchain and detail the benefits of blockchain (20% of assignment mark)
  2. Detail and explain other technological advances that are currently transforming warehousing (25% of assignment mark)
  3. Detail and explain other technological advances currently transforming distribution (25% of assignment mark)
  4. Outline how blockchain will transform the management of inventory, warehousing and distribution in the future (25% of assignment mark)
  5. Report – Academic Writing (5% of assignment mark)

Answer

Introduction
Blockchain operation is widely experimental outside finance. The supply chain management assignment explores some of the important functions of a block chain that are experienced in the supply chain management, agriculture, and food areas. The supply chain deserves special attention with regards to blockchain, although it is essential to know the meaning of a block chain to understand supply chain management. Blockchain is the disseminated database in several computers at the same time (Jabbari & Kaminsky, 2018). It is a set of records, also known as ‘blocks’ of data, which are added in the database. Blockchain is created on a time basis, and every block is linked with the previous block so that a chain is formed. The features of block chain in relation to supply chain management are mentioned below within the supply chain management assignment:

  • Traceability- the efficiency of operations is achieved through visualizing and mapping of the supply chains. This means providing information regarding the use and origin of the product. For example, the product qualities and uses are clearly provided to the consumer through the packaging or manuals.
  • Transparency- The data for supply chains are achieved through authenticity and certifications that provide ease of transparency through block chain usage.
  • Tradability - This is a unique feature of blockchain that is in relation to the conventional market place. This facilitates that the company’s asset are tradeable and can be exchanged as per the needs of the business.

 The benefits of blockchain discussed in the supply chain management assignment have been numerous with respect to supply chain management. These are given below:

  1. It is an effective method of measurement of the results which are valid and are applied to critical supply chain management process
  2. Input tracking data are accurate when used in the blockchain ledger
  3. Blockchain management enables the tracking of progress, shipment, and deliveries.
  4. Product quality can be measured effectively during transportation using block chain.
  5. Blockchain provides a sense of confidence to the suppliers about the genuineness of products and motivates them for future purchases(Banerjee, 2018).

Therefore it is determined in this present scenario of supply chain management assignment that the blockchain in the present scenario works up a great deal in the deployment of supply chain management as mentioned through the benefits.

Technology & Warehousing Transformation
The digital transformation of warehousing illustrated herein supply chain management assignment is on high demand due to the large scale operations and changes in the productive structure. Hence it can be assumed that digitization in warehouse transformation will reach its apex in the near future. There are several ways in which transformation in warehouses have taken place:

  1. Warehouse Mobility solutions- The transformation in warehouses have occurred due to the change in the methodology of the workplace. From fixed work stations to the handling of data in the mobile devices that have led to mobilization and efficiency of warehousing jobs(Sunol, 2020). There is on the go access to the information, and handling of the supply chain has become much easier by liberating the clerks to handle the supply with the help of Smartphone’s. In the current scenario, warehousing with the advice of mobile devices and computers has created operational competence to manage the warehousing tasks. Imaging, cloud integration, tracking have become much more accessible and are adopted by almost all companies (Korpela, Hallikas, & Dahlberg, 2017). For example, Amazon uses automatic cranes and product handling machines that enable the management of stock through mobile devices and remotes.
  2. Real-time Data Collection and interconnectivity- Warehousing has become much opaque concerning supply chain management. The use of blockchain has enabled transparency in supply chain management as data can be easily acquired and distributed to a large number of persons at the same time. As such sensory devices have been used in warehouses that establish connectivity and enable data collection in a matter of minutes(Kshetri, 2018). The argument raised on the supply chain management assignment signifies that there is faultless cooperation and real-time visibility of the supply chain processes that result in highly efficient warehouse management. For example, digital thermometers are used in Gemalto, which provides temperature sensitive machines to drug manufacturers so that adequate information on the temperatures is achieved.

Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV) - This system noted herein supply chain management assignment is emerging as a means of cargo transportation and is considered as a potential replacement to the forklift. It is adopted by Giant companies such as Amazon and makes the best use of this technology by reducing human effort is uplifting cargos and substituting them with AGV. Drones are also used extensively to keep track of the warehousing operations as they are set with sensors, barcode scanners, and cameras that can reach even the smallest places in the warehouse. It can be used to manage the inventory in one-third less time than manual management. For example, Amazon has introduced its automated delivery vehicles that will be used to deliver the products directly from the factory to the consumer doorstep. Real-Time Inventory Management- Inventory management in recent times has become very complex due to large scale production. This creates undue pressure on the administration to apply proper ways of inventory management. However, with the introduction of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and GPS, the end-to-end tracking of inventory has increased the operational monitoring of data in an effective way. Thus creates optimization of inventory management and makes warehousing safer and more advanced (Francisco & Swanson, 2018). In the case of Chronicled, the company used the benefits of block chain by launching rack and trace feature in their warehouses that kept track of the inflow and outflow of inventory.

Thus, the techniques provided in the above sections of supply chain management assignment of inventory and warehousing management have proved to be beneficial in the reformation of the warehousing and inventory structure.

Technology & Distribution Transformation
Digital Transformation in the distribution sector has become an important criterion to manage the supply chain. In the current scenario, it is easier to track the distribution of the supply and also manage the process through hand-held devices. Online based tracking has become indispensable in the distribution business (Moly, Roy, & Hossain, 2019). The cloud ERP solutions have led the distributors to implement such operations in the industry to create ease and maintain the technological transformation. These include:

  1. Customer activities can be viewed on a real-time basis by integrating the back-office systems with the field operations.
  2. Data visualization is used to address the issues in the distribution and service through route optimization.
  3. Use of AI is essential for the prediction and maintaining the customers satisfaction.3
  4. A better supply chain can be achieved through the integration of customer service with the management.
  5. ERP tools are used for connecting mobile devices with the systems that enable the tracking of distribution and create an opportunity for customer engagement(Korpela, Hallikas, & Dahlberg, 2017).

The concept of Acumatica Distribution Edition explored in this section of supply chain management assignment is a new method of formulating control over logistics and supply chain in addition to the warehousing and inventory management. Acumatica is an in-built could system that helps the company in achieving customer satisfaction through control of the time of orders and also reduction of costs through the advanced distribution chain. The digital transformations have led the supply chain in the business more structural and distributions more advanced (Sheehan, 2017). The Cloud-ERP software is used by high profile companies to manage the distribution process and supply chain and integrate the activities with sales. Internet of Things (IoT) is also used in more full dimensions that analyze the distribution system through monitors and sensors.

The product distribution can be achieved faster through optimized usage of software controls that manage the inventory accurately. Using Shipment analysis software in the case of supply chain management assignment, the shipment trucks are loaded and transported according to the most accurate routes and enable multiple deliveries. Goods that require urgent delivery are placed at first priority, and the routes are decided in a similar manner. The risk of damage is minimized due to mishandling and improper loading and unloading.

What is the role of Blockchain in the proposed supply chain management assignment and its Impact on Warehousing & Distribution?
The blockchain is implemented in various domains, such as data management in logistics and warehousing. It is beneficial in improving the structure of data management by using off-chain storage of data with improvements in the security of data (Sunol, 2020). The supply chain is of considerable significance in this context of supply chain management assignment as the transferability of the product distribution process is improved to a great extent. The use of smart vehicles and mass customization is helpful where producers invest in such technologies to perform distribution management easier and in a more effective manner. When it comes to transportation, smart trucks that can carry large containers are used that is equipped with a block chain system and are used extensively to minimize the confusion in product handling. The secure tracking of data through the block chain has reduced the risk of mishandling of data. Information regarding the product and its transportation, data transactions are readily available to enable an efficient supply chain. Big data is considered as the source of development in blockchain technology.

Warehousing also requires the use of a block chain to manage the inflow and outflow of supply and also enables the use of data to track the inventory. The documentation regarding the goods is easily achieved through the block chain as the data are linked together to provide systematic results. Blockchain will enable the generation of new data with ease and also creating unified ledger according to product diversification (Jabbari & Kaminsky, 2018). Blockchain helps manage the warehousing by recording the temperatures and maintain the heat so as to keep the goods in the desired condition. High- profile firms like Walmart, Maersk, and FedEx are using blockchain technology in their warehouses. The blockchain system will strengthen the data sharing and collaboration with the industries and also addresses the concerns of security and privacy (Banerjee, 2018). The positive impacts of the black chain outlined in the present supply chain management assignment are known and acknowledged by all influential companies; much advancement is yet to be done in this field. Proper knowledge and usage of blockchain in warehousing and distribution are the critical ingredients for the successful implementation of the block chain. It is a useful technology that must be used efficiently by supply chain leaders to gain maximum benefit and ease of operation.

Conclusion
The use of a block chain has emerged as an indispensable means of managing the supply chain and also improves the logistics system. However, it is evident in this supply chain management assignment that supply chain management is efficiently transformed through the block chain system. The actual and valid outcomes are achieved through blockchain must be used effectively to transform the warehousing and logistics through the digital transformation of these processes. Hence, it becomes easier for the supply chain manager to gain the desired results in a short period of time.

Bibliography
Banerjee, A. (2018). Blockchain technology: supply chain insights from ERP. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0065245818300202

Francisco, K., & Swanson, D. (2018). The supply chain has no clothes: Technology adoption of blockchain for supply chain transparenc. Supply chain management assignment Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/2305-6290/2/1/2

Jabbari, A., & Kaminsky, P. (2018). Blockchain and supply chain management. Retrieved from http://www.mhi.org/downloads/learning/cicmhe/blockchain-and-supply-chain-management.pdf

Korpela, K., Hallikas, ,. J., & Dahlberg. (2017, January). Digital supply chain transformation toward blockchain integration. Retrieved from https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/41666

Kshetri, N. (2018). Blockchain’s roles in meeting key supply chain management objectives. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0268401217305248

Moly, M. I., Roy, O., & Hossain, M. A. (2019). An Advanced ETL Technique for Error Free Data in Data Warehousing Environment.

Sheehan, B. (2017). How Technology Affects Modern Product Distribution. Retrieved March 2, 2020, from https://www.hollingsworthllc.com/technology-affects-modern-product-distribution

Sunol, H. (2020). Blockchain in the Warehouse. Supply chain management assignment Retrieved March 2, 2020, from https://articles.cyzerg.com/blockchain-in-the-warehouse

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