Oracle has recently introduced “Blockchain as a Service” in the cloud, a distributed ledger technology that enables secure transactions such that no single third-party controls the action. Blockchain can disrupt the complex and time-consuming process of business-to-business (B2B) transactions with an alternative that is transparent, verifiable, and tamper-proof, via distributed computing resources in tandem with global public cloud infrastructure. Blockchain’s business model can be rolled over to other business areas as well, such as Supply Chain Management and Product Lifecycle Management.
How does Blockchain relate to SCM and PLM?
A critical area in modern business today is digital transformation — companies need to overcome silo-thinking to seamlessly connect processes across and outside the enterprise. Blockchain enables trust in peer-to-peer B2B transactions, while avoiding the cost and risk of intermediaries.
This leads us to the topic of integration – interoperability between PLM, ERP, and SCM has traditionally been very complex due to the widely distributed nature of modern manufacturing. Most data about product and manufacturing processes is siloed in separate databases across many companies today. Even a single manufacturing company with 3-4 manufacturing locations may have several disparate, unsynchronized manufacturing databases. Currently, it takes too long to find trusted data, which results in low productivity, low quality, high risk, and high overall TCO.
Companies require tools that support and enable manufacturing processes better. Blockchain technology can enable secure data sharing, which in turn, will transform the way that manufacturing processes are organized.
Leveraging a common cloud based IT platform such as Oracle SCM and PLM Cloud is an excellent first step to overcome these silo-based problems. Oracle cloud applications are tightly integrated across the Oracle Cloud Platform, which provides innovative technologies that facilitate IoT, AI, Big Data, Machine Learning, and now also Blockchain. By leveraging a common platform, it will be easier for organizations to apply modern technologies such as Blockchain to the business process backbone.
Adding Blockchain Cloud to an ERP/SCM/PLM Cloud footprint may also allow companies to further reduce manual, error-prone information exchange and process execution across enterprise boundaries, while avoiding the costs and delays of offline reconciliations. Additional benefits can stem from reducing cross-application discrepancies resulting in settlement risk and poor records, and decreasing the cost and risk of fraud from cross-company transactions, while improving real-time information visibility within a trading ecosystem.
Here are a few ideas on how Blockchain can be used in Supply Chain Management and Product Lifecycle Management:
- Design IP protection
- Product history tracking
- Production process assurance
- Recalls management
- Supply chain finance
- Track and trace point of origin
- Ownership transfer
- Compliance monitoring
- Increase transparency of histories of products
- Reduction of counterfeit goods
- Warranty adjudication
- Automated exception management
- Reconciliation and payment
- Supply Chain Management Modernization
Organizations can accelerate existing business processes with reliable, real-time information sharing across existing SaaS platforms and custom blockchain application integrations. By adding Oracle Blockchain Cloud to Oracle ERP, SCM and PLM Cloud, customers can extend their enterprise boundaries by enabling new business models and revenue streams from untapped markets with blockchain-verified identity and offerings.