Blockchain

Is Your Supply Chain Blockchain-Ready?

It’s been called “transformative,” “revolutionary,” and “likely to change the world,” but is Blockchain the right technology for your supply chain? 

The ultimate goals of supply chain management are Traceability (the ability to track a product from raw material to consumer) and Transparency (continuous visibility from end-to-end, including real-time data on performance, quality, risk, and other key performance indicators). Conscious consumers, emerging regulations, and operational best practices are all pushing for this change. 

Blockchain can help brands achieve both Traceability and Transparency – but some important steps need to be taken before the technology can be adopted supply chain-wide.  To begin with, you can't make your suppliers adopt a groundbreaking technology unless you know who they are - both direct (Tier-1) and indirect (Tier-2, 3, down to raw materials). Then you need to align with your suppliers on transparency and traceability - that is, assuming they're ready to jump on board. That's why we've put together this simple questionnaire to determine if your supply chain is blockchain-ready.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have you mapped your supply chain, including names, contact information and locations of all suppliers from raw materials to finished goods?
  2. Have you identified risks and opportunities across the end-to-end supply chain where traceability and transparency could bring important ROI?
  3. Have you assessed your suppliers' supply chain technology maturity, for example, whether their ERP/PLM is cloud-enabled?
  4. Have you defined and communicated your supply chain transparency expectations with every stakeholder in your supply chain?

If you answered "yes" to all of these, then your supply chain is blockchain-ready, and will likely benefit from the enhanced security, authenticity, and the distributed costs of distributed ledger technology. But if you’re one of many who didn’t get beyond question 1 or 2, then you need to enhance your supply chain visibility and communications before you and your suppliers can take advantage of blockchain.

Blockchain might very well be “the next internet.” But like the internet in its early days, the killer applications of blockchain have not been well-defined. Before you implement blockchain, consider whether your supply chain is blockchain-ready – and if you’re not sure, ask an expert if it’s the right solution for you.

Any questions? Get in touch.

Sourcemap CEO, “Manufacturers have no excuses for lack of transparency in cobalt mining.”

Cobalt prices have quadrupled since hitting an all-time low just two years ago. The material’s use in the rechargeable batteries of electric cars and smartphones triggered a spike in the market and demand isn’t expected to slow.

Unfortunately, most corporations lack visibility of their cobalt supply chain beyond the smelters that purchase the ore from mines, or intermediaries. According to Amnesty International, the lack of accountability has led to insidious mining conditions, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which produces 60 percent of the world’s cobalt. Nearly 150,000 people work in “artisanal” mines plagued with collapsing shafts and harsh work environments. An estimated 40,000 child laborers are cheated out of pay, vulnerable to harm, and often handle the toxic material without gloves or masks.

In this piece published in Eco-Business, Sourcemap CEO Dr. Leo Bonanni argues that there is no excuse for companies not maintaining 100% traceability in their cobalt supply chains. The type of end-to-end traceability software that Sourcemap has used to map some of the world’s most complex supply chains can help rid high-risk and inhumane activities from cobalt sourcing.

Article: http://www.eco-business.com/opinion/no-excuses-for-lack-of-transparency-in-cobalt-mining/

 

What it's really going to take for sustainability to work [Sourcing Journal]

by Tara Donaldson

Posted on January 23, 2018 in Feature.

The thing about sustainability in the apparel industry is that brands and retailers are either embracing it of their own accord, finding themselves backed into a corner with little other option, or faking it until they make it.

The latter, of course, is where the problem of compliance arises.

“I’m kind of pessimistic when it comes to sustainability, compliance, traceability,” Sourcing Journal president Edward Hertzman said speaking on a Texworld USA supply chain panel Monday.

Having spent years in sourcing prior to publishing, Hertzman said he’s had brands ask him to manufacture organic product for them, and he’s gone to factories to source it, only to find that the suppliers are selling the brands goods labeled as organic when they’re in fact no such thing.

“It’s very complex to trace this. There isn’t necessarily one set of standards that everyone follows,” Hertzman said. “I think we are a long way from this being part of every single company’s culture.”

The problem, according to Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, founder and CEO of Sourcemap, a supply chain-mapping software company, is that the apparel industry has faced structural issues that haven’t exactly served to fuel transparency and traceability.

Until recently, Bonanni said, “You actually couldn’t map a supply chain for an apparel product,” largely because brands themselves couldn’t see past their Tier 1 suppliers—a problem which still remains for some companies.

Read the rest of the article at Sourcing Journal.

Supply chain mapping meets blockchain tracking: Provenance partners with Sourcemap to power end-to-end, robust traceability for consumer goods

Sourcemap, New York, and Provenance, London, link their digital platforms for supply chain transparency, enabling businesses in the food and fashion industries to map their supply chain, gather data and track verified claims with the movement of product.

 Combining Sourcemap’s upstream mapping, macro risk analysis, and data capture with Provenance-verified business and product claims, as well as downstream batch-level tracking for automatic supply chain traceability.

Combining Sourcemap’s upstream mapping, macro risk analysis, and data capture with Provenance-verified business and product claims, as well as downstream batch-level tracking for automatic supply chain traceability.

Sourcemap, New York, and Provenance, London, link their digital platforms for supply chain transparency, enabling businesses in the food and fashion industries to map their supply chain, gather data and track verified claims with the movement of product.

In 2016 alone, reports of food fraud in cheese, olive oil, beef and seafood highlighted the business risks of opaque supply chains, and the growing consumer demand for knowledge. In May of 2017, 36 million pounds of imported non-organic soybeans were reported to have obtained “organic” labels for domestic sale in the US. Across industries, robust systems for understanding these risks, and ensuring integrity in supply chains is needed more than ever.

Companies are clamoring for ways to trace their products, whether to protect their reputation, to inform their customers, or to ensure the quality and authenticity of goods. But today's supply chain software can't scale up to the complexity of modern supply chains.

Enter Sourcemap and Provenance. Sourcemap's supply chain social network connects all of the suppliers and sub-suppliers in a global network, ensuring that they are who they say they are. Provenance blockchain technology tracks every transaction between the suppliers in real-time, to verify that every product is sourced through the authorized chain of custody. Together, these two technologies are the first to have been conceived from the ground up, to track and trace even the most complex supply chains in real-time.

Combining Sourcemap’s upstream mapping, macro risk analysis, and data capture with Provenance-verified business and product claims, as well as downstream batch-level tracking for automatic supply chain traceability.

What does this mean? Provenance and Sourcemap are currently piloting their joint technology platform with major food businesses so that one day soon, you'll be able to scan a product on a store shelf and know exactly who made it, when and where. And that's just the beginning. You'll also be able to verify the quality, the social practices, the environmental footprint of everything you buy.

 Integrated tools for the smart, sustainable supply chain.

Integrated tools for the smart, sustainable supply chain.


“Buyers and shoppers all over the world make daily moral and health compromises without knowing it. Tackling this problem involves several systems to unite and create joined-up solutions for change at scale,” says CEO of Provenance Jessi Baker. “We are excited to partner with Sourcemap to create the bulletproof traceability system industry needs”.

 

"Our enterprise customers are looking for every assurance that their supply chains are best-in-class, and we're thrilled to provide continuous verification through Provenance's blockchain technology," says Sourcemap CEO Leonardo Bonanni.

Interested? We’re working together with great businesses big and small all along the supply chain across food, beverage and fashion industries. Contact us to find out how we can help your organization.