Global supply chains are growing and transcending traditional borders. As businesses continue to expand, outsource, and enter new markets, supply chains will continue to increase in complexity. While there are several noteworthy benefits associated with globalization, the downside is the difficulty in ensuring that all supply chain functions and partners are working together harmoniously. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, and the issue of supply chain fragmentation is only becoming more and more prevalent. As long as there is a lack of visibility in global supply chains, there will be fragmentation. 

How To Decrease Supply Chain Fragmentation with New Technologies

One way that companies are adding back transparency into their supply chain operations is by leveraging new technologies like automation, IoT, and blockchain, which have proven instrumental in revolutionizing supply chain management. 

According to Oracle, one of the biggest issues in current supply chains is how information travels through them. A huge percentage of companies are still using outdated modes of data management like spreadsheets and sometimes, even pen and paper, meaning that data is siloed, incohesive, and can be unreliable. These archaic methods of data handling also significantly decrease the speed at which information travels, meaning that supply chain managers are often left in the dark about the status of their shipments. This leaves a huge opportunity for emerging technologies like blockchain to step in.

With automated data handling systems, supply chain operations can flow much more smoothly. This can, in turn, free up time and resources across all fronts, allowing for both to be invested elsewhere. Additionally, when there is less time spent trying to put out fires retroactively, supply chain executives can look forward to new innovations and initiatives. And with blockchain, all relevant parties have access to the raw and unaltered data, thereby boosting visibility and decreasing supply chain fragmentation. This increased transparency diminishes the likelihood of fraudulent activity, making data more reliable and secure. And as we’ve discussed on the blog, the more data coming in, the better! And thanks to automation, sifting through all that data is the easiest it’s ever been. 

Long story short, the better and more transparent your data management is, the less supply chain fragmentation there will be. And the more you leverage new technologies like blockchain, the better your chances of overcoming fragmentation once and for all.

Why You Have to Think Public Blockchain to Truly Reap Benefits when it Comes to Fragmentation

Recently, several companies have announced plans to leverage private, centrally-owned, blockchain platforms. The problem with these permissioned blockchains is that although they give off the illusion of decentralization, they are ultimately controlled by a single entity, essentially negating blockchain’s benefits. In fact, the more companies that sign on to private platforms, the more fragmentation in the industry there will be. The problem will be that not everyone will be able to communicate easily as parties won’t have access to the same set of data, records, and such. Blockchain doesn’t necessarily equal decentralization– you need to leverage a public blockchain solution for the entire industry to truly reap its benefits.

If You’re Interested in a Public Blockchain Platform, Look No Further than ShipChain

ShipChain’s Track and Trace platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning that you can leverage all of blockchain’s benefits while boosting visibility for all parties. If you’re interested in learning more about our platform and how it can help you decrease supply chain fragmentation, request a demo from us today!