Your Blockchain Questions Answered: Blockchain for Global Supply Chain Webinar Q&A

Posted by Kelsey Barker

There is no doubt that blockchain technology has the powerful potential to improve digital supply chains and global trade management. But how?

That's the question Dan Gardner, VP of Supply Chain for Lakeshore Learning Materials and co-founder of Trade Facilitators, Inc., and Amber Road’s Ty Bordner both answered during Amber Road's recent webinar, Blockchain for Global Supply Chain: Ghost in the Machine or Breakthrough Technology? Of course, blockchain is such a top topic these days that Dan and Ty's introduction sparked a ton of debate, and they were only able to address a fraction of viewers' questions during the hour-long webcast. Luckily, we've compiled their answers to these queries below. See if they've answered some of your biggest questions about how blockchain can be applied to the global supply chain, then watch the webinar on-demand here

  • Question: Although I understand "how" this can work for the Global Supply Chain, what I don't understand is "why" it could be preferable to existing data tracking tools?
    • Answer: As we all know, the global supply chain is highly complex, and there are many different types of use cases spanning the process from purchase order to payment. Not all of the processes are appropriate for Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The most appropriate use cases would have attributes which lend themselves to the need for absolute trust and exchange of value.
  • Q: As a solo exporter, should I adopt this system in my trade financing operations? Can a block of documents be used for satisfying the Letter of Credit (L/C) performance?
    • A: The Letter of Credit use case seems to be very compelling for DLT (i.e. Blockchain). There clearly is an exchange of value with a Letter of Credit and many of the terms and conditions of an LC can be automated as part of set of business rules (smart contracts). Of course the information representing the LC and the actual movement of the goods (BoL, Commercial Invoice, Packing List, etc.) must be in a digital form.
  • Q: Contracts are confidential, but how does confidentiality/anonymity work in a distributed ledger?
    • A: Blockchain (DLT) technology can be implemented in different ways. There is a concept of a public blockchain (Ex. Bitcoin) and a private or permissioned blockchain. In a permissioned blockchain only the parties that have been given privileges will be able to see confidential information.
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Topics: Global Trade Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Global Supply Chain, Supplier & Product Traceability

Blockchain: Building Blocks to Supply Chain Transparency

Posted by Julia Gorman

In the past two years, ‘blockchain’ has become one of the most powerful terms within the business realm. Today, ‘blockchain’ continues to be all the buzz and for good reason!

Blockchain provides encrypted and decentralized method of storing information and value giving it the potential to digitally disrupt a variety of industries. But what exactly does this mean for global supply chains?

Amber Road’s brochure, Blockchain Goes Beyond Visibility to Supply Chain Transparency, explores the blockchain basics and the modes in which it is disrupting industries for the better.

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Topics: Global Trade Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Global Supply Chain

Webinar: Blockchain for the Global Supply Chain

Posted by Kelsey Barker

There is no doubt that blockchain technology has the powerful potential to improve supply chains and global trade management. But how?

Don't miss next week's webinar, Blockchain for Global Supply Chain: Ghost in the Machine or Breakthrough Technology? on Thursday, March 22, at 2PM EDT.

During the webinar, Dan Gardner, VP of Supply Chain for Lakeshore Learning Materials and co-founder of Trade Facilitators, Inc., and Amber Road’s Ty Bordner will analyze the blockchain value proposition and how this technology can be leveraged to improve global supply chain management functions, and ultimately, improve end-to-end performance.

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Topics: Supply Chain Visibility, Global Supply Chain

Supply Chain Visibility...and Influenza Vaccines?

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

It’s been a long flu season all over the world, and store stock of the “sneezing-sniffling-so-you-can-rest-medicine” are flying off local pharmacies shelves. Their real-time inventory system shows several stores running low on over-the-counter cold and flu medicines, which sets off an internal alert. This triggers the logistics teams to ship more from distribution centers set-up as hubs for re-supply. The major pharma manufacturers are keyed into WHO data and have already anticipated the need to produce more at their factories. So the goods will keep flowing.

This scenario isn’t farfetched in today’s fast-paced supply chain management. Shippers and their supply chain partners are gaining granular insight into the supply-and-demand sides of the supply chain, and responding faster than ever to the needs of their customers at every step of the process.

Amber Road’s Stephanie Miles was recently interviewed in Inbound Logistics about the evolution in supply chain visibility. “Years ago, the baseline for visibility was simple track and trace—where’s my stuff? Today, companies have advances far beyond that,” Miles explains. Miles goes on here to highlight what companies should consider to improve supply chain visibility, and what expectations to set when it comes to their partners’ capabilities.

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Topics: Supply Chain Visibility, Order and Shipment Visibility

The Impact of Technology on Supply Chain Management: Why Go Digital?

Posted by Julia Gorman

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Many global supply chains are still paper-based, reactionary, and error-prone. Even if companies have adopted some digital processes, they are essentially re-keying data in across their suppliers, forwarders, customs brokers, ect. Beyond the large amount of unnecessary work, the resulting errors are inevitable.

Bob Bowman, Editor at SupplyChainBrain, and Ty Bordner, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Amber Road, discuss how establishing one central repository of transactional and master data can transform a company’s supply chain and create tremendous value. The video interview, ‘Why Global Supply Chains Must Go Digital’ explores everything from a definition of ‘global supply chains’ to what the future has in store.

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Topics: Global Trade Management, Supply Chain Visibility

Supply Chain Visibility Win: Quality is in the ‘Sole’ for this Footwear Company

Posted by Paris Riley

Manufacturing can be a risky business. In fact, Whirlpool is currently facing a possible product recall of up to one million dryers due to a defect. What if there was a way to improve quality control in product testing and reduce defect rates at the same time? One leading footwear manufacturer has been making shoes since the late 1800s, but struggled with an 8% product defect rate for years before implementing Amber Road.

Their high defect rate mainly stemmed from a lack of visibility into their supply chain and a disparate supplier base. Amber Road's supply chain collaboration platform enabled this major footwear manufacturer to improve quality and visibility in their supply chain, leading to a significant reduction of claims and defect rates and ultimately reduced risk.

Amber Road’s new Customer Value Summary, Quality is in the ‘Sole’ for this Footwear Company, details their triumphant fight against high defect rates and for greater supply chain agility.

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Topics: Supply Chain Visibility, Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Quality Control Inspection

Webinar: The 6 Global Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2018

Posted by Kelsey Barker

Are you ready for 2018? Global trade soared in 2017 across major economies around the world, raising hopes that the climate is ready to improve. And at the same time, the complexity of conducting global trade and complying effectively with numerous and growing regulatory and licensing requirements has also exploded.

As we flip the calendar to 2018, companies with global supply chains should keep their eyes and ears open for these primary concerns. Luckily, we'll explore these topics for you in our upcoming webinar, The 6 Global Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2018, this Thursday, January 11, at 2PM EST.

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Topics: Retail, Apparel, Global Sourcing, Global Trade Management, Supply Chain Visibility

Can Too Much Visibility Put Your Supply Chain in a Blind Spot?

Posted by Mandy Hyde

In today's technologically advanced world, savvy shippers can view their entire end-to-end supply chain through digitization. The key issue with this advancement in technology is not a lack of data, but rather the flood of information that can be difficult to sift through and even slow down shipping processes. To be agile (particularly in the holiday season) importers and exporters require the best solutions that avoid information overload - allowing them to make proactive decisions affecting shipments.

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Topics: Supply Chain Visibility, Order and Shipment Visibility

Amber Road Brings the EDGE to Digitization at CSCMP

Posted by Julia Gorman

CSCMP's EDGE Supply Chain Conference this year explored cutting-edge supply chain solutions with top industry leaders. Amber Road sent several of our own supply chain thought leaders, who have shared their most transformative takeaways from the conference.

Check out their reflections from the event:

Stephanie Miles, Senior Vice President of Commercial Services at Amber Road, spoke on the panel ‘Women at Work.’ The session was sponsored by Penn State Executive Programs and as a Penn State alumnus, and Senior Vice President, Stephanie had a lot to contribute:

“I enjoyed being a panelist on the 'Women at Work' series and making new connections with women who are rising stars or already shining stars in their supply chain careers. Always great to be a part of a session sponsored by Penn State. We Are!! I was also super impressed by the musical talent of the CSCMP staff and members. What a fun welcome reception with the live band and ‘everyday’ CSCMP people as rock stars. Hope to see more of that in the future!"

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Topics: Global Trade Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Global Supply Chain

Watch the Video – NCR Achieves Success with Supply Chain Visibility Software!

Posted by Paris Riley

In a new video from Amber Road, NCR Corporation’s Josh Skeen, Senior Director of Global Logistics, sits down to discuss the many benefits NCR has experienced since implementing Amber Road.

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Topics: Landed Cost Calculation, Supply Chain Visibility