Why is Starbucks keen on using blockchain in its supply chain?
BLOCKCHAIN technology is as widespread as it is today thanks to its application to the popular cryptocurrency bitcoin.
However, an important area where the technology is gaining traction is supply chains.
With growing consumer demand for transparency on the source of products, Starbucks is deploying blockchain to track coffee beans from the farm to customer’s coffee cups.
Starbucks Executive VP and CTO Gerri Martin-Flickinger recently described how CX is at the core of the company’s new blockchain initiative.
“Everything we do in technology is centered around the customer connection in the store, the human connection, one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time.”
Digital real-time traceability can help consumers know more about the source of their cups.
The American coffee company plans to integrate the data into its mobile app so that consumers can assess the source and the freshness of each cup.
How blockchain will change supply chains
The modern supply chain is complex and spreads across continents.
With blockchain, supply chains have the potential to make processes error-free and more efficient to help businesses move forward faster.
Thus, the decentralized network enables just one ledger for everyone to refer to for any transactional history.
Also, smart contracts in the blockchain system will serve as a proof of transaction as each must be verified independently.
So, blockchain technology adds a high level of transparency and accountability, and therefore, confidence to today’s supply chains.
“On the surface, the supply chain of the future very likely looks like those we know today,” a World Economic Report on blockchains in supply chains said.
“Yet under the covers, we can anticipate far-reaching changes that enable better communication, fewer disputes, higher system resiliency and substantial gains in operational efficiency.”
So, blockchain technology will help Starbucks reassure consumers the source of their coffee beverages as well as the hands that the beans went through.
In all supply chains, there must be check and balance to ensure accountability and quick problem-solving. Blockchain does just that.
In the long run, this will also help with making better decisions when it comes to reviewing the supply chain.
Many businesses and governments are looking to adopt the technology to ensure food safety and security. Gartner, for example, forecasted that 20 percent of the world’s top grocers would be using blockchain based solutions by 2025.
In a few short years, blockchain will disrupt many food-related supply chains — driving customer-facing improvements as well as compliance related solutions.
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