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The benefits of utilising Blockchain in data management

A priority for any organisation is to maintain critical, trusted data. In relation to Retail and Manufacturing this will include:

  • Product specifications

  • Contract terms and obligations

  • Data relating to ESG

  • Customer/Consumer data

Managing and using this data can be challenging even in the most advanced industries. product specifications can often be held on large files in a format making data management complicated and time consuming.

When specifically looking at the Fast Moving Consumer Goods it is clear that parties across the multiple tiers of supply chain simply just create their own information management protocols thus creating data silos. This therefore precludes parties across the supply chain from receiving updates in a dynamic and efficient way. In this circumstance organisations need to focus on protected, permissioned access required to avoid data manipulation and competitor access.

When exploring possible technology to improve data management Blockchain is a solution that has the ability to provide drastic improvements to current processes and information sharing. Implementing a Blockchain solution means data cannot be changed /deleted by a single party, access is permissioned and any changed are verified by approved parties. Participants agree to shared protocols and data can often be managed by utilising automation technology.

So what does this mean when specifically looks at supply chain data management? in digitalising data and creating a ledger enhanced transparency and data security is enhanced. Records can be updated and information audited from source in a dynamic and efficient manner. Once one tier updates its specific information this can then be approved and accessed throughout the chain thus greatly improving chain of custody and product specification information.

Utilising a Blockchain solution within the supply chain not only achieves enhanced data management practice but it also provide authenticity of product information that can be shared with 3rd parties. Using the recent HFSS (High in fat, salt & sugar) obligations set out by the UK government, food manufacturers and retailers are now not allow to run promotions and can only display product in certain in-store locations. The motivation for this is obviously focussed on promoting a healthier and more considerate lifestyle but it has also resulted in well publicised legal challenges from food manufacturers negatively impacted by this forced change. Utilising a Blockchain solution can authenticate product content and when shared with a 3rd party (government) manufacturers can used this to their benefit to demonstrate products do not contain high content of fats, salt and sugar and can therefore qualify product to be promoted in-store.

A Blockchain application therefore can achieve multiple benefits and it most certainly removes data silos and the labour intensive processes require to constantly check and update product records. In the case of providing authenticity in could also result in improved sales by digitally authenticating product specification information and providing transparency of process throughout the supply chain.

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