Can Blockchain Rescue Supply Chain from Disruptions?

Mandatory containment measures, including social distancing and trade restrictions, to mitigate the threats of COVID-19 pandemic not only impacting individual lives, but is straining the global economy. Many leading economic institutes are predicting a deep and long-lasting recession.

The shutdown of factories and businesses on a worldwide scale followed by the unprecedented surge in demand for certain goods (particularly groceries and medical supplies) has strained supply chain networks. Manufacturers and suppliers are scrambling to meet the fluctuating demands during the pandemic.

A March survey, conducted by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), on COVID-19 global supply chain disruptions found six percent of respondents reported severe disruptions and more than 80 percent believed that their organization would experience some impact from COVID-19 disruptions. By the end of March this increased to 95 percent of organizations that were already impacted or would be as a result of the pandemic.

The crisis has exposed the weaknesses of our supply chain networks and underscored the importance of interconnectedness and transparency to keep them moving in any environment. Innovative solutions are necessary to navigate through the crisis and prepare for the new normal.

Blockchain could be a game-changer for supply chain management. It enables information sharing in almost real-time and enhances transparency, traceability, and operational efficiency of supply chains. The technology has already revolutionized the financial sector and holds potential for helping manage the diverse actors, including suppliers, manufacturers, transporters, retailers, and consumers, in modern supply chains.