Jammin' to Blockchain ?

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“Denim Jean & The Jammers”

From Logboat Brewing Co.

Good evening all, I hope your week has been filled with many pleasantries and numerous high-fives from your fellow supply-chain peers, complete with a significant volume of back-slapping and excessive complementing. For all of us other professionals in the real world, T.G.I.F tomorrow!

I have been very busy at work recently and feel I am losing some steam. That is why I decided to indulge in some delicious wings and beer recently at the local college’s favorite watering hole. I feel I am an expert when it comes to wings and am always on the look out for a good one. Some day I will write a blog entry on the supply chain of the chicken wing and the up and downs of the poultry market. It is why Buffalo Wild wings went from a “6 piece wing” to a completely ambiguous “snack” or “small”. It was the worst thing to happen to my Thursday night in years.  

I had a new beer tonight that was quite tasty. It was a “Denim Jean & The Jammers” IPA from Logboat Brewing. If you remember, I mentioned Logboat’s “Snapper” in a previous post. They are a local brewery so my wife brings home their beers from time to time. I’d challenge anyone in the comments or on LinkedIn to mention if they’ve ever had this beer. I’m curious how far its reach extends. This one is a limited brew and I like it a lot. It is sweet and taste a little fruity, but it’s not overpowering. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a subtle IPA with an attractive gold color who wants to have something to enjoy to wind down the evening. It’s another good sipping beer and makes me want to round up “Momo” and “Denim Jean” to start my own folk band. Until that happens, I think I will stick to logistics!

I wanted to give a brief overview of block chain this evening and am curious what others might think about it. When I was in school, even as recent as 2015 when I received my MBA, blockchain was more of a theory rather than something that was being implemented This was about the time people really started getting into bitcoin. I think a lot has changed. Recently I read where FedEx executives were calling on mandated blockchain technology for international goods. This would allow paperless packages moving internationally, while also allowing for the tracking/prevention of counterfeit goods.

For those that don’t know what blockchain is, it is a public, digital ledger system that can be used to trace back the purchase of goods and services to understand where the transaction derived from and who was a part of it (along with other pieces of information). To put it in simplest forms, assume that we suddenly all used bitcoin to purchase all goods and services. Each time you purchase goods, your transaction is recorded since your bitcoin required a digital transaction occur. You essentially are purchasing a “block” in the chain of that good. Your block has information about when you bought and further information about when the good might be sold. The block uses this information to create a unique identifier called a “hash”. Blocks are connected via information derived from each of the connecting blocks.  No one can change your block because if they change your block, it would change the block in front and behind yours. This is how it is secure.

The benefit of blockchain in supply chain are endless. When I first started to hear about blockchain, it was to endorse corporate sourcing responsibility. If you are a coffee shop or a diamond retailer, you can ensure the specific goods you are selling were sourced responsibly. Blockchain will also promote data transparency to make things more efficient. Image all of the PO’s, and weigh certificates, and BOLs, and everything in the middle all having a link to one another on some sort of platform. Blockchain could offer the potential for supply chain data to become more accessible and allow for the ability to connect it and trace it back on a much larger scale.

After reviewing some articles on blockchain, it seems to me the best way to explain its benefits is that it will allow an avenue to understand how goods and services are connected, all via digital means rather than paper trails. I think this is very cool but, like many respectable analysts, I have my doubts about it. While I think there will inevitably be more of this technology around, I also think it will take many years for industry to adopt it and many more to utilize it at scale.

While not the most exciting topic, I think it important to start to become familiar with emerging technologies and improvements within our industry. Supply Chain is evolving daily and it’s just one of many reasons why there is never a dull moment in my life!

Cheers!

Featured beer: www.logboatbrewing.com