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Although many of the technology's applications are still being developed or even theoretical, its ability to impact the supply chain and the broader manufacturing sector cannot be underestimated.
FREMONT, CA: Robotics, AI, quantum computing, fully autonomous vehicles, and more are changing the way we function, how we interact, and, more importantly, the way we store and exchange data. The manufacturing sector is no exception, and there is a revival of interest in next-generation technology at present, with blockchain catching the imagination of many in particular. Its usage of cryptocurrencies, the wider implications of being able to store data in a decentralized way, and the facilitation of smart contracts could pave the way for a major revamp of the way we create new products.
Blockchain technology will help create transparency across the entire supply chain for manufacturers, spanning from quality assurance of the raw material used in a product to monitoring or tracing the product to your distribution network and verifying that during its journey, the product is not counterfeited. The use of this technology can be groundbreaking from the perspective of auditing and transparency.
Also, blockchain technology can make it easier to use smart contracts, which are pre-programmed transaction protocols implemented automatically once a contract's terms are met. This can mean substantially shorter turn-around times for suppliers, lower transaction costs, and even less paperwork for buyers and sellers alike.
Although the blockchain roll-out across the industry is still nascent, early adopters are utilizing the technology, particularly in the automotive industry. The opportunities to implement this technology and its advantages are infinite for manufacturers who depend on an international supply chain.
Businesses that can recognize and effectively incorporate opportunities for the use of blockchain in their company will almost undoubtedly gain an advantage over their rivals. Therefore, it is now time for the c-suite to equip itself with an appreciation of how blockchain functions and, perhaps more importantly, the advantages it can bring so that it can be grasped with both hands when the right opportunity for their company to accept blockchain presents. It could be a gamechanger for the manufacturing sector if broader acceptance starts to take place.