Blockchain – is it the answer to procurement and supply chain’s prayers? Or is it over hyped, another ‘technological innovation’ that promises much and delivers little?
I must admit I was leaning towards the pessimistic camp – when were those great use cases really going to happen? I signed up for the Procurious webinar to find out more about how this new technology is impacting supply chains – and what I learned was very exciting:
Blockchain Lets You Focus on What Is Important
One of the pieces of work we all wish would disappear from the day job is the time-consuming process of supplier onboarding.
Webinar guest IBM Sterling’s Shari Diaz told us about a blockchain-enabled onboarding process that would “give the procurement professional all that time back”.
Describing immutable records that the supplier would update themselves and third-party validation of accreditation, Shari encouraged us to think of a world where master data management had transferred from the buyer to the supplier.
Imagine what you could do if you didn’t have to worry about more mundane tasks within your role and could instead give more focus and energy to strategic projects!
A New Way of Measuring Value
One way that Professor Olinga Ta’eed is taking forward the development of a blockchain is through the not for profit Transnational Transaction Procurement Foundation. Since its launch earlier in 2019 the TPP foundation has grown to over 165,000 members, impressive numbers!
Olinga set out the goals of the TPP as being practical – to “fathom out” use cases like how we can capture and report things like intangible assets using blockchain to give a broader picture of an organisation’s true value.
Olinga thinks this new reporting will be liberating for procurement professionals allowing a more strategic focus to the role.
How much more value could we demonstrate if we could capture and record it?
A Re-Alignment of Values for the 21st Century
Both webinar guests thought that the greatest potential for blockchain will be the ability to articulate the alignment of values. As we move into a world where values are becoming more important, blockchain is going to provide the traceability and trackability that consumers demand.
As Shari observed “there’s a huge trend for supply chain to be able to demonstrate their values and consumers are starting to speak with their dollar”.
Shari also stressed that blockchain can enable our eco systems to work together. “Enterprises [typically] depend on partners for 65 per cent of the value they deliver to their customers. The more collaborative and connected we are – the more efficient and effective we’re going to be”.
So, blockchain technology is ready to give us time back, new ways of measuring value and for our values to be realigned.
Our webinar guests have given procurement and supply cause to remain optimistic and in fact licence to dare to dream big.
I’ll leave the last words to Professor Ta’eed,
“Blockchain will light up the path for procurement to align with mankind – making procurement and supply chain the single greatest instrument to change the world”.
A recording of the Procurious-IBM Webinar – Blockchain Supply Chain’s 21st Century Truthsayer – with panel members Shari Diaz, IBM Sterling, Professor Olinga Ta’eed and host Tania Seary, Procurious is available here