Samsung estimates savings of up to 20% from blockchain logistics
Samsung is taking a close look at blockchain logistics and putting a price tag on its advantages.
It didn't take long for logistics companies to recognise the advantages of distributed ledger technology. The world's largest shipping company, Maersk, has partnered with IBM to new blockchain standards for the entire global shipping industry; FedEx helped found the Blockchain in Transport Alliance and is similarly working on implementation of blockchain standardisation; while DHL and Accenture are prototyping a system to track medication for counterfeit-prevention, potentially saving about a million lives a year.
Now Samsung is examining the merits of a blockchain system for its manufacturing supply chains and might be finding the benefits hard to ignore.
"It will have an enormous impact on the supply chains of manufacturing industries," said Song Kwang-woo, blockchain chief and vice president of SDS. "Blockchain is a core platform to fuel our digital transformation."
According to SDS, the blockchain system could cut Samsung's shipping costs by 20%.
A large part of this is simply improved efficiency. A shared ledger could reduce the time and money spent shuffling paperwork back and forth, coordinating with port authorities and otherwise getting everyone along the supply chain on the same page.
"It cuts overhead and eliminates bottlenecks," says Cheong Tae-su, professor of industrial engineering at Seoul University. "It’s about maximizing supply efficiency and visibility."
Improved efficiency is a cost-saver by itself, but also allows for better responsiveness and an edge over un-blockchained competitors, Cheong explains. By reducing the time lag between product launches and actual shipments, Samsung may be able to more easily respond to rival products and changing consumer appetites.
It can also protect the brand itself by proving the authenticity and providence of goods beyond almost any doubt, which helps bolster consumer confidence and fight counterfeiting.
Consumer electronics is an exceptionally tight market, with Samsung and Apple running almost neck and neck in some areas, and competitors like Google also diving into electronic goods. Any advantage might be valuable, and getting left behind might be a serious risk.
Although many are playing their cards close to their chest, it should come as no surprise that the world's tech giants are eagerly examining distributed ledger technology. As experts said of Google's forays into blockchain systems, "everybody learned from the internet and mobile that you can’t afford to wait".
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, XRB
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