One of the most important things to understand about global supply chain management is the inherent combination of complexity and opportunity.
Today, we will examine these themes and strive to explain how they have come about and where they may lead. Let’s start with a simple thought experiment that will serve us well as an example.
The Global Ham Sandwich
Imagine you want to make a ham and swiss on rye with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Only, this time, you decide you are going to make this sandwich out of the best ingredients (on a quality per unit cost basis) in the whole world. To do that, you need to evaluate the world’s ham market, using reputation, competitor analysis, focus group testing, and your own taste buds, to find the best ham in the world at a good bargain price. Let’s say, after months of research, you find your ideal supplier in Chile.
This process repeats for all the ingredients: the rye seeds, yeast, sugar, salt, lettuce, milk, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus helveticus, Propionibacterium shermanii, tomato, egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, and mustard.
Now, because many of these products will cross borders and confront market-specific regulatory restrictions and consumer protections, you will be dealing with red tape and paperwork until your eyes start bleeding.
Finally, if you plan on selling these sandwiches, you will quickly find that the premium mustard from that little village in Turkey doesn’t taste anything like it did when you visited the mustard farm. In fact, it tastes just like the generic mustard sold at Walmart. That introduces you to the most aggravating and expensive feature of the process: visibility into your supply chain. This is best summarized by the question: How do you know if you are getting what you paid for from your supply chain?
Never mind the fact that, ironically, the Ham Sandwich supply chain is actually one of the most complicated you could dream up. The big point here is that it’s all about execution. If you can make it work for you, the shift from a local sourcing to a global supply chain can decrease costs, increase quality, and ramp both growth and margin per unit for most industries.
But the costs involved in making that transformation can be confusing and daunting, as well as self-destructive if not managed properly.
An Easier Way
However, in the age of blockchain technology, there is an easier way: new technologies built on the blockchain are being developed to massively streamline and simplify this process. One emerging example is VOLUM, a blockchain-driven technology platform catering to small and mid-size businesses looking for a global-logistics-in-a-box solution to harness the power of the global supply chain production model.
The VOLUM platform operates as a comprehensive control center for supply chain and logistics management operations. Companies who use this platform will be able to carry out a wide range of blockchain transactions including: Payments, Rewards, Purchase Orders, Legal Contracts, Regulatory Compliance, Taxation, Shipment Management, Letters of Origin, Customs Documents, Inputs/Outputs and Inventory Ordering, Delivery/Parcel Tracking, IoT Monitoring and Reporting, Big Data Analytics, and Inputs and End-Product Tracking/Traceability.
All transactions on the VOLUM platform will utilize the VLM utility token, which will launch on May 4.