As Canada and the rest of the world struggles with supply chain issues, the University of British Columbia Okanagan has done a deeper dive into how new technology could improve the sustainability and efficiency of supply chains.
Dr. Babak Tosarkani, an assistant professor of Manufacturing Engineering at the UBCO School of Engineering, says his latest modelling shows focusing on digital transformation and adopting blockchain technology could reduce shipping bottlenecks.
“Most people associate blockchain technology with cryptocurrency, but it can provide a consistent and secure system for tracking financial data and logistics,” Dr. Tosarkani says.
Some industries have started utilizing blockchain technology, but it is still in its infancy.
“Blockchain technology has not been widely applied in this field due to the lack of familiarity,” says doctoral student Samuel Yousefi. “But from both an operational and a sustainability perspective, blockchain provides tools that the supply chain industry can use that will expedite systems and bolster sustainability.”
Yousefi goes on to explain that blockchain simultaneously records the flow of information about all existing processes in a supply chain and automatically shares all that data with other units involved—including the suppliers, manufacturers and retailers—at all stages of a product’s life cycle.
“Blockchain technology can have a paradigm-shifting impact on the supply chain by addressing the sustainability challenges currently being faced, but also challenges we might come across in the future,” says Dr. Tosarkani.