Organisations working in high-risk industries like manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain, and logistics, are well aware of the risks and potential hazards their workers face each day. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, many businesses do not have the appropriate health and safety controls to minimise risk and hazards at the workplace.
How Will Blockchain Transform Warehouse Management?
Blockchain provides plenty of advantages and opportunities for improving supply chain management. This will impact warehouse management too.
As the supply chain continues to modernise and evolve at a rapid rate, the warehouse sector will need to keep up with these huge advances and changes.
At a fundamental level, this will require higher levels of data management and the ability to audit rapidly and reliably.
What is Blockchain?
Bitcoin hits the headlines frequently and it attracts its fair share of criticism. But blockchain, the technology that underpins this cryptocurrency, has plenty of positives for supply chain and warehouse management.
Blockchain and bitcoin are closely connected. Blockchain technology was developed specifically for bitcoin.
However, blockchain is also separate and distinct from bitcoin. It is distributed ledger technology (DLT).
This is a digital system that records asset transactions. What makes DLT different is that it records these transactions in multiple places at the same time.
Distributed ledgers have no central database or administrative function. Instead, they use a technical infrastructure and protocols that duplicate a single ledger through a peer-to-peer computer network.
Each node in this network shares information without relying on a central server.
When anyone in this network updates the ledger, they generate a block of new transactions. These updates form a chain. Each chain has a time-stamp that is unalterable.
When there are updates in the chain, this will alter its encryption code radically, no matter how minor these updates are.
This inbuilt encryption process and the lack of a central server make blockchain extremely secure. But anyone involved in it can trace any transaction to its point of origin.
Blockchain combines watertight security with clarity, visibility and accessibility. These aspects make it perfect for supply chain management.
How Blockchain Benefits Supply Chains
Blockchain offers several vital benefits for supply chains:
- Eliminating the need for intermediaries – parties involved can automatically cross-check ledgers throughout the supply chain
- Supporting accurate inventory management – with no room for duplication and visibility across the network
- Establishing a high level of trust among members throughout a supply chain.
DLT is not yet a universal feature of supply chain management. But it does represent a future that is approaching rapidly.
Technology is already transforming supply chain management. Participants in these networks must be ready to adopt it and embrace the changes it brings.
Preparation and adaptability are crucial for this.
Improving Warehouse Management
The technology is immediately available to support best practices in warehouse management. It can also help warehouses meet the supply chain demands of the future.
The Warehouse Auditor app optimises auditing processes using highly portable, user-friendly technology. It’s a gateway to the future of warehouse management. The good news is that you can try it out free of charge.
According to an HSE report, around 54,000 workers are involved in non-fatal accidents in the manufacturing sector each year. Most of the injuries they suffer are a direct result of manual handling accidents, trips, slips, and falls, contact with moving machinery, and being struck by moving objects.
It is estimated that the logistics industry will grow at a CAGR of 10-12%, reaching a value of $380 million by 2025. A large driver of this growth will be technology and automation – from robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT) to artificial intelligence (AI), better integration of the various ecosystems involved, digitisation of processes, and more.
Supply chain inspections often prove to be a challenge, even for leading, well-established companies. However, standardisation has now become one of the chief methods of optimising the greater supply chain and ensuring that all managers, departments, and teams are on the same page.
According to a 2019 report published by the Journal of International Logistics and Trade, political unrest are among the leading causes of supply chain disruptions. A SAP survey reported that 58% of US business leaders believe supply chain problems primarily stem due to global political unrest.
Even though a myriad of digital processes have been introduced across many industries in the UK economy, a recent report indicates that at least 96% of UK manufacturers believe there is an underinvestment in technology and digitisation in their sector.
Did you know that manufacturers are still using paper in more than a third (35%) of their processes on average? What’s more, manual spreadsheets are still used for nearly half (49%) of all manufacturing-related processes.
If you think about, warehouses and everyone working within those walls, are the unsung heroes of supply chain and distribution. Without quality warehouses equipped with the latest technology, we would not be enjoying the super-fast at-home deliveries or products being available on shelves almost on a 24/7 basis.
In the world of business, the last thing any owner, CEO or stakeholder wants to hear is “disruption”. Effective supply chains that run like a well-oiled machine are integral to any business’s success.
The manufacturing industry has been slow to move forward, especially from an ecosystem-wide and enterprise-wide digital transformation perspective.