An Approach for Improving Transparency and Traceability of Industrial Supply Chain with Blockchain Technology
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Nowadays, the modern supply chain is facing the new threats and opportunities due to quality, safety, ethics, environmental impact and other serious problems aroused by the opacity of supply chain. On the contrary, a transparent and traceable supply chain can help suppliers minimize fraud and errors, enhance inventory management, reduce courier costs, lower waste and delay. Consequently, transparency and traceability are essential to the sustainable development of industrial supply chain in the future. Driven by growing demand for transparency and traceability from consumers, companies, and governments, some fundamental labeling technologies (e.g. RFID, QR code, NFC tag, etc.) have been already combined with web technology and applied in logistics system to identify a product with origin information. Even though, those traditional technologies fail to provide a trusted and cost-efficient system to record provenance and share information. This thesis aims to find an approach to improve transparency and traceability of supply chain in a secure and cost-efficient way. To achieve this goal, an approach with an emerging technology is presented in this thesis: blockchain, a shared, distributed and permissioned ledger that records every transaction information associated with asset through supply chain, which is synchronized and verified in real time with all entities in the supply chain but can be accessed only by authorized participants. The result of this research work not only provides in-depth research of blockchain technology but also proposes a concrete solution with an implementation of blockchain technology to shape a transparent and traceable supply chain network. This solution can track provenance and trajectory of an asset through the complex supply chain in real time, at the same time, provides unprecedented visibility and confidentiality. Finally, this thesis also shows a possibility to integrate the blockchain system with other web service and traditional enterprise resource planning system.