Build­ing Blockchains

The term “blockchain” is buzzing. Here’s how it will im­pact the footwear busi­ness.

Footwear News - - INSIGHTS: TECHNOLOGY -

Blockchain is front and cen­ter in the footwear in­dus­try. And for good rea­son — it has ma­jor po­ten­tial to trans­form re­tail. Just ask CBX Soft­ware SVP Eric Linxwiler.

“Blockchain is not one sys­tem, not one plat­form, not one tech­nol­ogy but rather sep­a­rate ap­pli­ca­tions or tech­nol­ogy plat­forms en­abling spe­cific ‘links in the chain,’” said Linxwiler.

To be spe­cific, blockchain is a se­cure, de­cen­tral­ized dig­i­tal ledger used to store and record trans­ac­tions and data across com­put­ers and servers.

“Blockchain for the re­tail busi­ness pro­vides a way to ex­e­cute and track trans­ac­tions at 1,000 times the nor­mal rate, while pro­vid­ing trans­parency and se­cu­rity each step of the way — which is much bet­ter for ex­e­cut­ing busi­ness trans­ac­tions,” said Linxwiler. “Blockchain would not only help [brands and re­tail­ers] but also bring tremen­dous ben­e­fits to their en­tire sup­plier ecosys­tem.”

Ac­cord­ing to the SVP, these ad­van­tages ring true for sup­ply chain man­age­ment, qual­ity as­sur­ance and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“All three [of those el­e­ments] shine a light on the vast over­ar­ch­ing ben­e­fits to be re­al­ized for re­tail global sourc­ing. For sup­ply chain man­age­ment, blockchain of­fers the ben­e­fits of trace­abil­ity and cost-ef­fec­tive­ness,” he said. “For ex­am­ple, blockchain can be used to track the move­ment of goods, their ori­gin and quan­tity. It can also speed up sourc­ing, prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and de­liv­ery cy­cle times.

“For qual­ity as­sur­ance, blockchain of­fers the chance to de­tect a prod­uct’s ir­reg­u­lar­ity some­where along the sup­ply chain. For ex­am­ple, blockchain can lead you where a de­fec­tive prod­uct orig­i­nated from or where a de­fec­tive com­po­nent of a prod­uct was orig­i­nally man­u­fac­tured. This makes it eas­ier for busi­nesses to carry out in­ves­ti­ga­tions and ex­e­cute the nec­es­sary ac­tions in sup­port of global so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity.”

De­spite the ben­e­fits that blockchain may bring, Linxwiler said the re­tail in­dus­try has a way to go to suc­cess­fully de­ploy the tech.

“Legacy op­er­a­tional siloes keep many com­pa­nies from ei­ther de­vel­op­ing clear busi­ness plans around blockchain or col­lab­o­rat­ing with ecosys­tem part­ners for mass adop­tion,” he said. “Gen­er­ally speak­ing, re­tail or­ga­ni­za­tions are slow to act when it comes to wide­spread tech­nol­ogy and busi­ness process in­no­va­tion adop­tion.”

Still, Linxwiler re­mains hope­ful.

“We do see a shift in think­ing over the last cou­ple years as re­tail tech­nol­o­gy­fo­cused giants such as Ama­zon and Wal­mart ag­gres­sively lead the pack in most cat­e­gories,” he said, “and it is forc­ing oth­ers to fol­low suit or be­come an af­ter­thought.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.