Blockchain is a technology that supports distributed digital ledger to record transactions/data across many computers (nodes) such that these transaction are stored in blocks linked to each other and these transactions cannot be altered without changing all the past blocks or collusion of networks.
Blockchain can increase the return on investment (ROI) for your existing software expenditures. Blockchain allows you to add flexibility to your data and allows you to combine business processes that your data supports.
If you are involved in international trade or supply chain operations, youâre probably spending somewhere above USD 100,000 annually on enterprise software to support your operations. Now, something new like blockchain comes along.
Even if you are the earliest of Early Adopters, you canât avoid considering ROI in relation your existing expenditures and budget issues. So, why even look at a new technology like blockchain?
Believe it or not, blockchain is at stage of development that web pages were in the 1990s. In the 1990s, you could call yourself an Early Adopter if you have web forms that collected from user entries and stored those entries in a back-end database? Could you picture today saying that you are on the cutting edge of technology by using web forms?
Hereâs the point: in the 1990s, all of todayâs on-line technology was available. Back then, it was simply a matter of imagination to see where the curve was headed and having the available budgets to take of the technology.
Blockchain is well ahead of the cost curve in technology adoption because blockchain â by its nature â is a cloud based and open-source technology. Itâs at a stage right now that allows for the automation of many labor-intensive tasks. These labor-intensive tasks are ones that benefit an organization but are â simply â never taken up because they are competing for resources and dollars with task that appear more urgent today.
Your operating systems capture data. Obviously, you arenât capturing for the sake of storing the data, Each piece of data captured is part of a ânext stepâ. Many of the ânext stepsâ result in a payment being made.
Perhaps, you are paying an agent partner, an ocean carrier, or another major supplier. Or, on the side, you are waiting for a customer to pay you. Often, in these scenarios, a third party payment service is bough to handle the task.
Blockchain removes the need for a third party to handle the payments. (You can see examples of this in Case Study #1.)
Say, that you want to integrate with a partnerâs systems. The partner could be a supplier or customers. More often than not, youâll need to deal with the proprietary standards that your suppliersâ and customersâ systems have established. The majority of the integrate time and effort is spent is learning and testing for the difference in standards.
Nevertheless, you are doing all of that work to capture data. Could there be a way to transfer or capture that data in a secure environment and avoid the development time?
Blockchain can do that. (See Case Study #2).
We realize that this next statement may provoke an argument. The majority of business processes work to a level that donât require auditing on a regular basis. To put it another way, business processes are designed so that they do work most of the time without auditing. This is probably for the simple reasoning that any type of audit work incurs a cost that people would prefer to avoid.
With blockchain, each step in the process is linked to the previous and next steps. This ensures the cost of audit is almost zero. (See Case Study #3).
Again, this is a benefit that blockchain offers because of the costs that it eliminates. The benefits of data enhancements are weighed against the costs of doing the data enhancements.
Normally â in data enhancement â these are the steps:
Blockchain can automate this process. (See Case Study #4).
We are building a universal translator for EDI data elements with a single window using the blockchain architecture
Currently, all the stake holders do not have a single window to access all the EDI messages.
There is no simple yet secure way of sharing various data elements of an EDI message.
Migration to new message format is a gigantic task.
LIFE BEFORE BLOCKCHAIN MARITIME
The individual vendors with proprietary architecture using traditional database systems have to open up their systems and provide access on need basis. They use APIs, excel sheets, word documents, etc to share information. In case of any format change in the EDI message change, all vendors change their system to cater to this change.
LIFE AFTER BLOCKCHAIN MARITIME
All EDI messages are stored on the ethereum blockchain so that all stake holders can take full advantage of the participatory architecture of a public blockchain.
A touch interface that allows permissible access to various data elements from the EDI messages on the blockchain.
In case of any change in format, a single smart contract can be created which can be accessed by all parties to cater to this new format.
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