Supply chain strategies after the COVID-19 disruption will likely be significantly different for many organizations. Those new strategies, like the old, will be built on data, but it, too, will be quite a bit different. Information that drove network design decisions may no longer apply and any crisis responses deployed today may no longer be valid next month.
Not everything is changing.
When it comes to the blockchain, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies we'll increasingly implement in go-forward supply chain practices, we'll still rely on the same essential element: trust.
Now more than ever, to benefit from these technologies, all parties in the supply chain will be required to share data at an unprecedented level. Possibilities for improved efficiencies, real-time visibility, data security, vendor compliance and other benefits will flow from shared data streams.
Yet many companies are culturally uncomfortable with the depth of transparency that will be required. Those organizations that do not participate will find themselves increasingly isolated from the economic mainstream.
Certainly, organizations should exercise due diligence in understanding the partners who will access their information and how it will be used. Organizations don't have to share with every vendor or service provider that requests access. But enterprises must prepare for the new world of shared data with policies and procedures for these technologies emerging in the supply chain environment.
Do you have concerns about sharing data with your supply chain partners? If so, do you know why?
Blockchain Builds on Trust
Technologies like blockchain create a new "trust economy" where the old intermediaries are replaced by new systems. As blockchain and artificial intelligence enter day-to-day use, sharing data with third parties and vendors will be necessary. The system creates security through technology rather than relying on familiar relationships of the past.
To be useful, your organization's data must be validated to ensure it is accurate and complete. Information stored in the blockchain isn't valuable if it's wrong.
Blockchain, in particular, is developing as a safe, customizable standard to share data in a way that protects proprietary information while providing value from the openly available information. For example, companies can manage supply chain vendor compliance issues without revealing specifics about their supply chain.
As the use of blockchain moves forward, it will be critical to strike a balance between transparency and confidentiality for all stakeholders as they adopt the technology to record and share supply chain data. With well-thought-out restrictions, a company could use the blockchain for internal purposes and share only the necessary data with other stakeholders.
Sharing data makes the most sense when it's part of a strategy to improve processes or connect with partners in the supply chain. Blockchain information will drive tactical and strategic decisions that support predictive analytics and demand forecasting. Companies fear losing control of their data for any number of reasons, from baring their operations to competitors to sharing accurate costs with vendors. Some internal organizations see data management as their base of power and are reluctant to be open to external engagements.
Validate Captured Data to Maximize Technology Capabilities
Most organizations don't have the internal capabilities to support endeavors focused on utilizing emerging technology applications like blockchain. An Enterprise Logistics Provider with deep analytical experience can help you identify and focus on the actionable information that you already capture on a regular basis.
With a trusted partner, your organization can manage its data-sharing strategies to share only what's required and maintain control of your information, while connecting with the benefits of blockchain.
To find out more about why and how you should share your organization's data, read our resource guide: AI, Blockchain, Machine Learning: Is Your Data Ready?
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