Using Blockchain to enhance supply chain transparency

May 27, 2019 //By Bridget McCrea
A new partnership between Minespider and Volkswagen will use blockchain to enhance the auto maker’s supply chain transparency and address challenges like conflict minerals.

Supply chain transparency in the automotive sector is neither clear-cut nor easily attained, thanks to the hundreds of different suppliers involved with taking a vehicle from the raw material stage to the final, drivable product. Even Henry Ford himself—who strove for the ultimate in simplicity when establishing the company’s original manufacturing line—would be amazed by the complexities of the modern-day auto manufacturing supply chain.

Fortunately, technology has come a long way since the first production Model T Ford rolled out of the company’s Detroit plant in 1908. Fast-forward to 2019, and advanced technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and blockchain are beginning to prove themselves as viable supply chain transparency tools.

Blockchain is one advancement that’s already making some waves in procurement circles. In April, Minespider announced that it would start working with Volkswagen to use blockchain to help improve the manufacturer’s lead supply chain. “Minespider and Volkswagen are working together to make procurement both more transparent and secure,” the company said in a press release, adding that blockchain allows participants to trace the supply chain from the point of origin to the factory.

“Sustainability in the supply chain is one of our top priorities,” Volkswagen’s Marco Philippi said in the release. “We see blockchain technology as part of the solution to ensure compliance with environmental and social standards along the entire supply chain.”

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