Blockchain Infrastructure Landscape for Beginners
Created on: November 16, 2018
Updated on: November 16, 2018
Imagine that you run a large supermarket and at the moment there is a supply chain that governs the supplies of foodstuffs within it. In our case let us say that we are importing tomatoes from the Netherlands, if you don’t already know the Netherlands is our biggest supplier of tomatoes to the United Kingdom.
The problem is that each actor within our supply chain uses their own systems to record the condition of the tomatoes at each way point. This situation has worked for a few decades; however, I think it is time that we disrupted our supply chains.
Our tomatoes are grown within a farm in Vlissingen (Nord Holland) called Chesney Tomatoes and they use their own internal database to record the condition of the tomatoes and the timings etc. as they leave the farm. Our supermarket has to plug in to their systems in order for us to pull off their data.
The next stage in our transportation journey is that Aleta Logistiks transports the tomatoes from Vlissingen to Rotterdam port by road. We use our own internal database to record the travel times and the condition of the tomatoes before they board the ship. Once again, we had to plug in to their internal systems to pull of their data.
The same thing applies to our shipping company Staines Ferries we have to plug in to their systems in order to use their data.
As you can see our supermarket will receive lots and lots of data from all of these sources. How do you gather all of this data and present it in a graphical way on our application? If we were to track the original data from Chesney Tomatoes it could take days…..
Why don’t we create an application that gathers this data and then make this publicly available?
And what happens if someone from within those organisations wishes to change the temperature of the tomatoes this would undermine the overall integrity of the data that we receive.
Infrastructure Quality Assurance
This would adversely affect our quality and control and it could result in the distribution of tomatoes that would be not fit for purpose. The overall likelihood of this happening is increasing all the time this is because there is a lot of uncertainty in the UK regarding food security. If there is a steep increase in the price of food then we are more likely to see an increase of shoplifting and thefts.
Talking of which a few months I ago I witnessed a shop lift at a major supermarket that was understaffed. I was at the till paying for my foodstuffs and I saw someone enter the supermarket and walk out with foodstuffs in broad daylight without paying. And the following week I saw the same scenario at another supermarket.
Let’s go back to the quality and control situation which is compromised by the inaccurate and disparate recording of the condition of our tomatoes. We can create a blockchain solution where the various actors along the supply chain can record the condition of the tomatoes at each waypoint or stage.
As we all know what you record on the blockchain cannot be changed so we will create a smart contract that will define the condition of our tomatoes at each way point. We will have greater transparency and we will be able to trace our goods from farm to fork.
Blockchain Infrastructure Example
And the good news is that Walmart is currently involved in a pilot where they are using a blockchain solution that addresses this particular issue.
In today’s blog post we have explored how the various actors within a supply chain can come together to create a blockchain solution that enables our supermarket to trace their goods from farm to fork.
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