When one hears the company name “Walmart,” many things come to our mind. One thing that strikes me is the supply chain excellence of retail giants.
Walmart is one of the biggest eCommerce companies that runs a chain of hypermarkets, departmental, and grocery stores all across the globe.
Not only has it excelled in traditional supply chain management for decades, but also it is investing more in emerging technologies. And one such technology that is widely used by Walmart is Blockchain. It is being used to capture more of the eCommerce market as well as to focus on sustainability.
So, here in this article, I will be discussing how Walmart is benefiting from Blockchain. Let’s get started.
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How is Walmart Using Blockchain Technology?
This “invisible” part of Walmart’s business is logistics and supply chain management. Presently, Walmart is taking the help of Blockchain to set up food traceability systems. And these are based on the Hyperledger Fabric of the Linux Foundation.
In collaboration with IBM, the e-retailer has evaluated two proof-of-concept projects to test the already prevalent system.
From an efficiency perspective, Walmart’s research team claims that by using this new system, the time required to trace a firm’s provenance has been reduced from seven days to just 2.2 seconds.
The reason to uncover this information is that any time an outbreak occurs, it usually takes days or even weeks to identify the cause of the issue.
However, improved traceability can be achieved through the use of blockchain-based ledgers. It will save a lot of lives by allowing health care professionals to act more quickly.
Further, it helps in protecting the farmers’ livelihoods by discarding the limited products that may have come from affected areas of farmland.
Now, the company claims that the firm can trace the origin of more than 25 products from five different suppliers, due to Walmart’s Hyperledger fabric-driven blockchain system.
In this regard, Walmart has also announced that all its vegetable suppliers will soon need to adopt this new technology to increase operational transparency and internal accountability.
Karl Bedwell, a senior director at Walmart Technology, stated:
“Creating a (traceability) system for the entire food supply ecosystem has been a challenge for years, and no one had figured it out. We thought that blockchain technology might be a good fit for this problem, because of its focus on trust, immutability, and transparency.”
The retail giant Walmart is making use of blockchain technology, known as the backbone of the cryptocurrency blockchain, to improve food security by bringing in traceability.
Walmart is testing the use of Blockchain in India as well. As it is amongst the top five sourcing markets for Walmart’s global supply chain and to grow, trust needs to be established.
The blockchain technology allows Walmart and its customers to track the exact geo-location of a food product by scanning the barcodes. If any problem occurs, the Blockchain can detect the precise location.
What is forcing companies to go for Blockchain?
Most of the companies have now found that Blockchain can be implemented more widely than cryptocurrency.
The Blockchain operates through a distributed ledger where independently owned organizations follow a cryptographic protocol to update a shared ledger that is valid in real-time.
Since the general ledger serves as a single source of truth, it can act as an audit trail throughout the lifecycle of a product and establish trust between the parties in the chain.
Besides, centralized ledger break barriers in traditional, siloed models of data exchange, enabling more dynamic chains that require lower inventory levels and possess higher service levels.
Walmart has an association with IBM and Tsinghua University to run pilots using blockchain and IoT sensors that detect Mexican mangoes shipped to the United States.
In the pilot study, shipments were labeled with numeric identifiers at the beginning of their journey, and each checkpoint is signed and logged.
During the shipment journey, this pilot allows Walmart to track farm origins, batch numbers, processing data, expiration dates, storage temperatures, and many other shipping details.
By entering the six-digit “lot” number of the shipment into the web portal, a Walmart employee can pull all these details within two seconds.
For Walmart’s supply chain, the technology provides not only traceability — where the product is from and what path it leads, but also transparency — how the food was produced.
Walmart is integrating Artificial Intelligence, IoT, and Blockchain to improve the quality of the end-to-end food supply chain.
Blockchain authorizes tracking food across the supply chain.
Although Walmart has proved that blockchain technology can work for two pilots, its challenge in the long term is to scale the platform.
Meanwhile, Walmart is focusing on enhancing existing compliance processes to provide incremental security measures.
For example, Walmart initiated a supply chain transparency project to determine which products come from which suppliers also, whether these suppliers are following the necessary regulatory and company requirements.
The pivotal drivers for supply chain blockchain adoption are:
- Cost Saving
- Enhanced Traceability
Seeing the vital role of Blockchain in Walmart’s global food supply chain, other companies are also advancing blockchain implementation more aggressively.
Blockchain carries the Potential to Change the World
Studies are emphasizing the possibility that the innovative technology behind the Blockchain may prove to be revolutionary globally.
A survey by the World Economic Forum estimates that a significant portion of the world’s GDP will eventually be stored on the Blockchain. They have predicted it to grow by 10% by 2027.
Seismic changes are expected in the economy as the Blockchain continues to grow.
From the above article, it is quite clear that the Blockchain is playing a vital role for any eCommerce company. If you are an e-retailer and willing to try your hands on Blockchain to enhance your supply chain, then you must take the help of a blockchain development company in India to resolve all the hurdles you are facing.
Well, if you want to implement this new emerging technology, you must hire blockchain developers for the smooth functioning of the entire process.