Nowadays, Blockchain technology is considered a game-changing tech high rocking the Supply Chain (SC) processes, provoking a resonance within the Finance industry with its Bitcoin, but mainly due to its relevance functions in Procurement.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain tech is a type of digital information record-keeping and distribution, providing a safety ledger of transactions. You can deplete Digital signatures to confirm the authenticity of each transaction, thus, do away with the central intermediary.
A Blockchain is also a technology-driven approach meant at decentralising markets, making more uncomplicated transactional relationships and accomplishing better levels of organisational productivity. The recognised and potential functions are abundant and are now impacting every industry, of particular significance to enterprises with high payment rates and extensive SCs.
A simple definition of a Blockchain is “a distributed-digital ledger, which allows complete transactions on a peer-to-peer basis, with no centralised-authorising agency”; explained as o a safety-public-external system of data, partakers could verify, examine, and update it.
The distributed digital ledger makes a recording of transactions in “chain of blocks.” This recording appears in multiple copies spread across many connections or nodes (i.e. cell phones, computers). Every new block of transactions links up to the one before and the one after it. All nodes connected to the Blockchain network accept updated transactions done in the ledger.
Even though users might get in, check or add data up, they cannot alter or delete it, leaving a permanent and public trace of info and transactions, making its manipulation almost impossible. Whoever wants to forge the ledger would have to do it crosswise multiple copies saved within various computer devices at just the same instant - and the likelihoods of this happening are minor. This process is what gives Blockchain its transparency and significant security.
For instance, someone requests a transaction; it is then broadcasted to person-to-person (P2P) through computers or cells networks known as nodes. Next comes a process of validating it by using algorithms; a verified-transaction can encompass contracts, records, other information or even cryptocurrency.
The transaction is then combined with other trades to create a new block of data for such ledger. This confirmation added to the existing Blockchain is permanent and unalterable. At last, we have a completed-transaction.
Speaking about cryptocurrency, this kind of transaction has no underlying value in that is not exchangeable for another product such as gold. It exists only in the network and has no physical form. Moreover, a central bank does not regulate its resources, making the system entirely decentralised.
Blockchain benefits in Procurement
· Focused-on security and peer-to-peer nature deliver unique benefits to apply in Procurement.
· Increased transparency.
· It ensures trust and transparency when multiple agents - or even countries - are involved in the various stages of the process.
· Information at each step of the distribution process is recorded in a protected-public database.
· Any partaker cannot alter it; if so, it would be evident to others straight-away.
· When something goes wrong at some stage in the process, the SC could be tracked back to the point the mistake takes place.
· The data determining this advancement can be generated from automated processes like temperature sensors within freight containers, or by manual scanning at distribution centres.
· It adds up an extra level of accountability to SCs.
· It diminishes the risks of criminal actions, such as money laundering.
· Blockchain registers every single transaction in its ledger; all payments and financial information are available in the public domain.
· Any questionable or malicious contracts are tough to cover; they can be highlighted and allocated before they can spoil the enterprise - whether in terms of income or reputation.
A Smart Contract is a collection of executable codes, for instance, a software program - that runs on top of the Blockchain to complete the contract. It can automatically locate, reach and close deals just throughout the SC, and with no need of relying on the third-party.
The Smart Contract will perform smoothly as programmed, with terms and conditions stipulated by both sides, enhancing trust and making both the contract and the identity of stakeholders’ mandatory. When specific circumstances are met, it will automatically deliver a result or trigger an event (e.g. if a payment has been collected, delivery can be automatically activated. On the contrary, if a condition was not met, for instance, timely delivery, a penalty can be set.
Given smart contracts based on software programs run automatically, operating information confirmed by Blockchain as correct, manual checking of any issue can constrain third parties drastically, dropping transaction costs making it easier to get valuable transactions outcomes.
The impact of Blockchain on Public Procurement
Procurement rigorous rulings and transparency requisites are embedded on top of other function, such as ensuring efficient payment processes, data security, or supervising a distinct group of suppliers.
Blockchain technology put incredible value for Procurement forwards. It facilitates adding records into a ledger for processes involving multiple parties. However, new companies still talk about the importance of Blockchain in Procurement.
Managing Procurement without middle-man
Blockchain in Procurement grants easy-sharing of information among partners. It synchronises all data and transactions across the network, enabling participants to validate dealings, thereby reducing the probability of any discrepancy in the system.
Summing up: employing Blockchain tech in the Procurement process helps companies to integrate data from their significant associates and supervise procurements, in so doing, moderating the requirement for the price-verification process.
Do you find Blockchain technology a good option for your Procurement process?