Blockchain is generally associated with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, in recent years, this innovative technology has been making significant progress in the world of logistics and supply chains.

Why? Because as blockchain is a technology that enables the secure and transparent transfer of encrypted digital data, it is increasingly being used as an innovative catalyst for efficiency, traceability, and transparency in supply chains.

The benefits of blockchain are so tangible that companies are adopting it on a large scale: according to a report by Fairfield Market Research, the application of this technology in logistics management, manufacturing, and supply chain will grow by 70.6% annually until 2030.

Fairfield Market Research also predicts that blockchain will bring "unprecedented" growth to the manufacturing sector, both in terms of application and use cases, and as part of those industries' business models.

Security and Efficiency

Transparency is a key advantage of using blockchain in supply chains. Each transaction and movement is recorded on the blockchain. This allows companies and consumers to trace the origin and journey of products with an unprecedented level of detail, from raw materials to the final product on the shelf.

Blockchain technology also improves security by offering an immutable and encrypted digital record of all transactions and product movements. The cryptographic validation of the majority of nodes to add new data blocks makes the information virtually unalterable, preventing counterfeiting and piracy.

Another aspect that blockchain improves is efficiency: by having greater transparency in management, organisations can quickly and effectively identify where losses, overlaps, or inconsistencies occur. With this information, they can also save costs and increase profitability.

Blocks in Action

Blockchain is already yielding excellent results in various sectors of the economy. In agriculture, for example, it serves to record information such as the type of seeds used, planting and harvesting dates, and treatments applied to crops, in order to have complete traceability of the production process.

In the pharmaceutical sector, it is used to record each step of the supply chain, from the moment medicines are manufactured until their final delivery to patients. This way, the authenticity of products is ensured and, consequently, counterfeiting is avoided.

In the food sector, by recording the process from food production to arrival on supermarket shelves in blockchains, blockchain allows consumers to access key information about the origin of products, manufacturing date, and production methods.

In the transport area, blockchain is used to improve visibility and traceability of products throughout the supply chain, which helps optimise logistical processes and reduce costs.

It is also being successfully used in the areas of retail, health, textiles, mining, automotive, and energy. In all these sectors, and many others, blockchain demonstrates its ability to create immutable, decentralised, and transparent records of all transactions, increasing trust, efficiency, and accountability in complex supply chains.

Adopting Blockchain

To meet the growing demand for blockchain technology, the market offers a wide variety of specialised platforms, including SAP Integrated Business Planning for the Supply Chain, a comprehensive solution for companies looking to be more efficient and enhance their businesses.

SAP Integrated Planning for the Supply Chain provides organisations with a versatile tool that ensures connected processes and fast, flexible planning to deal with disruptions. It is natively designed to integrate with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, ensuring a ready-to-operate cloud ERP and market best practices.

As blockchain is a relatively new technology, it is essential that organisations wishing to implement it in their supply chains have the support of a partner with solid technical experience, guaranteeing the success of the project and maximum utilisation of the benefits offered by this innovative tool.

Transformative Potential

Although its adoption is still in an early stage, implementing blockchain in supply chain management is no longer a novelty but a strategic necessity.

End-to-end traceability, cost reduction, risk mitigation, and improved compliance will be just a few of the numerous advantages that blockchain will bring.

The transition will not be without challenges. Companies will have to navigate regulatory considerations, integrate legacy systems, and, most importantly, rethink their ingrained processes and business models.

As more companies recognise the transformative potential it holds, blockchain will become an essential component for achieving more transparent, resilient, and sustainable supply chains in the global economy of the 21st century.

About United VARs

United VARs is a global alliance of SAP implementation partners and solution providers for the mid-market. With over 70 members in 100 countries, the alliance serves all types of SAP rollouts and integrations across the world. The organization provides businesses with local expertise ‘on the ground’ charged at local rates. All United VARs members work together as one team to provide a more personalized service than other global systems integrators can, and one that is better suited to mid-market budgets.


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