How blockchain tech can be the supply chain’s strongest link
Supply chain woes are deepening as seasonal consumer demand meets a logistics logjam. Dennis Delgado of SyncFab explains how blockchain can help.
Shipping times from China, the world’s biggest exporter, are set to grow longer amid a new set of Covid quarantine mandates for vessel crews. The new rules mean that seafarers may have to spend as much as seven weeks in isolation for each return trip.
That latest blow to the logistics industry comes as the Covid pandemic appears to have gained renewed momentum, propelling a surge in demand for products as consumers around the world stay at home.
Adding to the bottleneck is an increase in U.S. manufacturing output to levels not seen since March 2019, which will likely be augmented by the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden recently signed into law.
“There’s a lot happening in terms of supply, as we know — unprecedented volumes going on with demand currently,” Dennis Delgado, the co-founder and chief product officer of supply chain-focused blockchain firm SyncFab, told Forkast.News. “There’s a huge backlog in the industry.”
The use of blockchain to facilitate logistics processes is one of the technology’s less-talked-about success stories, in which it incorporates layers of trust through which enterprises in the supply chain network can share data and digitize paper-shuffling manual operations.
Yet the logistics business has proved somewhat resistant to the allure of blockchain technology, a reluctance attributable largely to regulatory concerns and a lack of knowledge.
“You’d be surprised at the number of companies and vendors we work with that are still hesitant to adopt new technologies,” Delgado said. “When you get into some of the larger organizations that have been around for decades, they have entrenched systems in place that can vary from department to department.”
A talent crunch in the logistics sector has deepened supply chain problems across a range of industries. Consulting firm Deloitte argues that the evolving complexity of supply chain management requires not only a larger workforce but also new skills.
According to Delgado, SyncFab and partner firm Smart MFG can make manufacturing “cool again” by adding incentive layers in which MFG tokens are used to reward supply chain processes that may otherwise go unnoticed, such as quoting for work.
“Areas like that, where we normally don’t think would necessarily be paid or rewarded, we disagree,” Delgado said. “We think there are a lot of opportunities there that these blockchain tokenomics can bring, and with the added layer of getting a newer generation interested in manufacturing again.”
Watch Delgado’s full interview with Forkast.News Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau to learn more about the current supply chain crisis, how NFTs can be used in manufacturing, and how blockchain can help digitize legacy industries.