In the fast-paced world of tech, new technology innovations can be challenging to assess. Keeping informed of advanced technologies while running your supply chain operations is a challenge. But one trend that continues to surface is that over time, packaged applications tend to win out over custom projects. Initially, there is a lot of experimentation and a universe of possibilities. Often, there is little in the way of tangible results from which to base decisions and it’s like one big science project. Research needs to be conducted to collect measurable, empirical evidence from which theories can be supported or contradicted, and then decisions can be made. It’s no different when working to solve complex supply chain problems. And with a systematic and thoughtful approach that applies the value of advanced technologies, supply chain professionals can make informed decisions about advanced technologies.
You may have heard about distributed ledger technology (DLT) and how it’s impacting supply chains. At this stage, it can be challenging for supply chain managers to find tangible results from which to assess the technology, let alone make decisions as to what platform, application, or consultancy services to employ. But just because it’s not all buttoned-down yet doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to evaluate whether to take the first step.
There’s a fascinating study about DLT in supply chains from a transaction cost perspective (TCE) that makes the case for getting started now. Transaction Cost Economics is a field of study that looks at transaction costs in economic trade. This study uses an abductive research approach and combines empirical data from multiple cases to reveal the effects of DLT on supply chain transactions.
At Oracle, we made it easy for supply chain experts. We use blockchain, a form of distributed ledger technology. It employs a chain of blocks to provide a secure and valid distributed consensus. Leveraging our experience with customer engagements using our Oracle Blockchain Platform, we took these learnings and applied them to supply chains, then embedded blockchain into a SaaS application, Oracle Intelligent Track and Trace. We built-in features to support key industries such as Manufacturing consumer goods and pharma since all have complex supply chains with use cases that have already seen the benefit of using blockchain technology. Brewing beer is also used as a fun scenario where we demystify this complex technology by showcasing how a SaaS application brings trade partners together in a supply chain to make beer. Other use cases will emerge as business users roll up their sleeves and begin to understand how to apply this exciting new solution to their business.
Oracle Intelligent Track and Trace, also known as ITT, is a SaaS application for SCM that leverages blockchain technology to enable multitier visibility across supply chains. In simple terms, it means you can connect your supply chain networks and their associated applications such as procurement, transportation management, order management, internet of things and more, using a SaaS application that takes advantage of all the benefits of blockchain. Partners using these systems in a supply chain network are invited to join the ITT instance. User-defined business flows and smart contracts make it easy to set up and get started. In the configuration process, members determine what information will be recorded on the distributed ledger, thereby providing visibility with other members, operationalizing trust, and putting more power and control into the hands of the entire network versus an intermediary. Once all members have completed their set up, the facilitator of the network can even run a simulation using mock data to test how transactions get recorded. Oracle Cloud SCM customers have an added advantage with built-in integrations to most Oracle Cloud SCM products. Some Oracle customers are also connecting with 3rd party and on-premises data sources.