Managing a Supply Chain that Incorporates Blockchain

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Blockchain has had a prodigious effect on the different industries in the market and among its top users is the supply chain function. It has enabled businesses to get an edge over their competitors, secured their data, improved the efficiency of their operations, and gave rise to easier transactions. 

If you are still unfamiliar with blockchain, it is a digital ledger that collects and securely stores data. It uses a systematic cryptographic algorithm that ensures the immutability of information, overall activity, and company transactions.

Now, the question is, how will and do you manage a supply chain that incorporates blockchain to guarantee its success? What are the concepts to consider? Let’s find out.

Here is a list of vital factors that you should consider when you are managing a blockchain incorporated supply chain:

1. Review the impacts of blockchain on the supply chain system

Reviewing the impacts of blockchain in your industry is an excellent way of knowing whether it is a success or a failure from harvesting to manufacturing and lastly to the delivery of products and services to customers. This is also a great way of assuring yourself and your team that using blockchain was an wise decision, especially if you are still new to the industry. 

If you are experimenting with testing the different types of blockchain in your company, it will give you feedback that you ought to know whether they are positive or negative.

2. Consistently experiment and explore the potential use of blockchain

Experimenting with this technology can help you explore possible new benefits to help your company get a better edge over your competitors. That is if you are successful at all. You can also start from scratch and devise your blockchain per your design and standard. But of course, it will be a lengthy and costly procedure with all the ups and downs.  

A tip? You might want to hire an expert blockchain manager if you are adventurous enough to start from a blank page. That will surely provide you with a higher chance of actually getting promising results.

3. Schedule a constant blockchain check to identify possible lapses

Consistent checking of the blockchain’s operations in your company will enable you to identify possible gaps that need to be taken care of. More importantly, you will observe whether your team is doing them right or is not having difficulties in the application. Consistent checks will also save you the trouble of having to look for resources when unexpected challenges arise. 

For instance, if your products or service tampered with and there were miscommunications and technical problems that occurred and alerted immediately, this will help you sort the problem.

During this process, you need to come up with ways on how you can identify problems  in your company:

-Make sure to examine past mistakes and learn from them

-Take note of your employee or team’s absences.

-Evaluate your employee’s engagements. 

-Hire people who are tech-savvy to help you identify lapses.  

-Examine the blockchain’s operations model and principles

4. Review the work ethics of your blockchain expert partners

Running a business with all the complex transactions, operations, and blockchain systems, you wouldn’t want to be troubled by trivial concerns involving your blockchain partners. This is why a thorough and consistent observation of the work ethics of your partners is crucial. Reminding them of your company goals and principles will make sure they are delivering an optimal value for you.

Here are lists of reasons why you need to do this:

  1. Your clients and customers will receive the best services and support your company more or recommend it to others. This will increase, in return, loyalty and generate more follow u
  2. You keep current Investors of your company engaged, or you will be able to add more investors, to maintain your reputation. 
  3. You will receive recognition from the media and other organizations, which is an excellent opportunity for your company’s visibility
  4. You will be able to protect and increase your reputation.
  5. Your company’s success is guaranteed while your costs are reduced if not eliminated at all. 
  6. Sustains your client’s and customer’s trust in your service and products.

5. Learn from your competitors

Learning from your competitors will surely help you be able to save money, time, and effort if you learn from the mistakes or successes of your competitors. Getting a piece of information like that can prevent you from committing the same mistakes. Likewise, you can also imitate their steps as a model of how they could progress using blockchain technology. And of course, you may want to improve your procedures so you can have better results than them. 

The following are the tips you need to do to learn as much as you can from your competitors:

  1. Read their annual report.
  2. Attend their product launches. 
  3. Attend their exhibits and trade fairs. This way, you can observe and review their promotional activities and who visits them. 
  4. Visit your competitor’s website and compare. Make sure to use the search engine to track down their information and products so you can learn from their procedures. 

When you can solicit information about your competitors, start evaluating them, or you can discuss them with your team. This is how you will find out the gaps in certain areas which you may exploit to your advantage. Consider categorizing them under the following three factors:

-What you need to learn from and do better.

-What their weaknesses are or what they are doing poorly on.

-What they are doing similar to yours.

6. Regularly update the legal and regulatory compliances

Establishing a resilient supply chain management is attainable not only with the use of advanced technologies such as blockchain but if your transactions and company itself are compliant with the regulations and legal matters. Overlooking this would result in your company’s downfall, so be sure to be very vigilant. This will guarantee that they will not cause risks such as the following:

a. Corruption

Malicious employees might take advantage of their access to your company’s information to exploit your company. The operations under the manufacturing and supplying may also become subjects for bribery and exploitation in the department handling them. They may use the funds for their gains.

b. Government related legalities and regulations

Yearly or quarterly, depending on your country, almost all business sectors operating in the industrial world need to update their business permits and other relevant legal concerns. Failing to do so will tamper on the company’s transactions and activities. The authorities mostly review the exports, health and safety matters, labor law compliance, etc. Having your company checked regularly and thoroughly will keep your reputation intact, especially if you have papers to show. 

7. Educating and training your team with blockchain knowledge and application

Your company or organization’s success will depend on how skilled your employees are. This is why it is important for you to offer training and seminars that would enhance their skills and knowledge, especially with what blockchain is, how it is used, why it is used, etc. To do this, you can partner with agencies or hire experts to educate and train your employees. With the evolving nature of blockchain, it is also imperative that you consistently provide them with growth opportunities to keep up with the trends. 

Here are crucial effects and reasons why you must educate and train your employees:

-improves overall performance

-increase your team’s engagement

-identify training needs

-strengthens loyalty, work ethics, and relationship

-improves your team’s confidence, skills, and knowledge

-prepares your employees for more significant responsibilities

8. Hire the right people

Hiring the right people can be difficult. An applicant may have the experience and skills but may not have good work ethics, or they may have the training and educational backgrounds but lack experiences. This is why there are standards to follow in order to hire the right people. 

Here are some pointers that will help determine which of the applicants to hire:

Before hiring someone, you will need to ask yourself the following questions:

-What do they know about blockchain?

-What do they know about the supply chain and its management?

-What are their skills and experiences?

-Do they have the relevant training?

-Do they have leadership skills?

-Are they problem solvers?

-Do they work well in a group?

-What are their goals?

Please note this; experience and skills matter, but so are their social skills and work ethics. The right employee will help you uphold not only the company policies but your reputation as well. Lastly, you will gain better results if that person does well. 

9. Set aside a budget for maintenance and improvement purposes

Blockchain and supply chain management are volatile and susceptible to risks, challenges, and changes. With the unexpected challenges that may occur, having a budget, for that matter, won’t have you scramming up or using other business allocated funds for it. As the technologies and industries evolve, you will need funds to keep up if you want to maintain your high position up the market chain or if you want your company to remain competitive and profitable. 

Managing a supply chain industry that uses blockchain is not accessible given the complex nature of blockchain. Nevertheless, the use of suitable approaches and regular monitoring of its efficacy and other relevant operations can provide peace of mind that your company or organization is running smoothly. 

This is why it is vital to hire the right people who will manage your blockchain-managed company for satisfactory and sustainable results.