In response to the new normal of epidemic prevention and control, large-scale food safety management urgently needs "reverse entropy" to reduce costs
There are extremely complex processes in the food supply chain. The role of large supermarkets is extremely critical. On the one hand, as a sales touch point, they assume a major responsibility for end consumers; on the other hand, they integrate all pre-sales supply chain processes, and the pressure on risk management and quality control increases exponentially. Of course, category access standards, supply chain management models, organizational personnel structure... industry leaders have long had their own answers, but in the face of new challenges brought by the current market, perhaps these answers are also worthy of reflection.
It is foreseeable that the government will vigorously promote the establishment of a food safety traceability system , strengthen food safety management capabilities, and create a sense of trust
in the current situation of "normalizing" the prevention and control of the epidemic . As one of the cornerstones of "new infrastructure", blockchain technology may be the best answer at this time .
Blockchain technology helps large enterprises to balance scale and efficiency
The data on the blockchain has a unique record for the operator, which is equivalent to affixing an "official seal" to the data uploaded by each responsible person, and implementing the responsibility definition that is accurate to the person and link. When offline operations are migrated to digital blockchain solutions, companies can achieve the same scale of quality control management with less human resources , and complete structural optimization during technical iterations. As the later efficiency increases, they can achieve amazing human efficiency growth . Realize inverse entropy and cost reduction in large organizations, and go against the current in the post-epidemic era.
Blockchain technology divides and reduces liability risks
Based on the advantages of non-tamperable data and precise positioning of data, blockchain technology can be integrated into the inspection and inspection, inspection and law enforcement links of regulatory agencies to ensure consistent information between enterprises and regulatory agencies, reduce friction in compliance review, and reduce self-certification costs . Once an accident occurs, the data on the chain can also enable large companies hanging on the tightrope to quickly trace back to the supplier of the source of the problem , and reduce financial losses through targeted recalls when necessary .
Blockchain technology minimizes communication costs
Since 2018, industry giants including Wal-Mart, Nestlé, Unilever, McCormick, Tyson, etc., have begun to resort to blockchain technology to ensure food safety practices. The blockchain-based traceability system can upload information such as origin, logistics, warehousing, inspection and quarantine, merchant operators, and nucleic acid test reports to the blockchain . All data becomes an authoritative archive record because it cannot be tampered with, and it is shared by all parties in real time, so as to effectively sort out the information process, reduce the communication cost of the enterprise, and open up all the information links that were originally time-consuming, labor-intensive, and unclear.
Walmart China Food Safety Traceability Platform Case In June 2019, Walmart China officially launched Walmart China's blockchain traceability platform, which uses PwC and VeChain blockchain technology to help its product traceability strategy. At present, the platform has included more than 100 products, including a variety of fresh pork, chicken, vegetables, dry goods and other products from Sam's own brand member Youpin (Member's Mark). In the future, more suppliers will participate in the blockchain traceability platform, presenting consumers with more transparent and reliable product information.
During the implementation process, the supplier will first conduct a comprehensive review and remodeling of the traceability capability of the production quality management system under the consulting service of PwC management system, based on the product's food safety risk control requirements and important quality indicators. Set the data stored on the chain and scan the code to confirm that the data is on the chain when it is officially shipped. In the follow-up, Wal-Mart distribution center will complete the confirmation of the data on the receipt of the goods when receiving the goods, so as to ensure that "all key links are traced, and the traceability data is true and credible".
With the support of VeChain's blockchain technology, as of October 2020, the platform has achieved seven iterations of upgrades. It has the ability to receive data from other suppliers and connect with local government supervision platforms, greatly expanding system compatibility. On the basis of Wal-Mart’s industry-leading digital management system, blockchain technology further enhances its information efficiency and transparency, realizes rapid data exchange, makes the huge supply chain system responsive, and breaks the gap between the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain. The relationship-based traditional model realizes data sharing in all links, which is more conducive to the future industry development trend with consumers as the core.
Wal-Mart's supply chain management is driven by customer needs and is highly integrated. Based on this traceability platform, customers can scan the QR code on the product to learn about the source of the product and the geographic location information received by Wal-Mart, logistics process time, product inspection reports and other detailed information. The current market is highly sensitive to food safety, and a single negative event will affect the overall consumer confidence in buying . “Any food safety incident may have a negative impact on public health, trade and the economy” (World Health Organization). The best response at this time is undoubtedly information transparency, presenting the most authentic and credible traceability process to end consumers. Wal-Mart provided a practical demonstration of this.
Based on blockchain technology, enterprises can establish a platform for multi-party collaboration and joint participation, and establish innovative partnerships by connecting their upstream and downstream participants including brands, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. The daily accumulated on-chain data can improve the efficiency of supplier evaluation and category optimization, and then formulate more targeted business plans to further reduce costs.
The new crown epidemic has caused varying degrees of impact on all industries in the world. Talking about development in the "shadow" is also the norm for companies in the near future. At this time, the correct development direction and the correct technology engine are essential. Blockchain technology can efficiently empower enterprises to build a supply chain management system with no dead ends and full coverage, achieve targeted traceability, and effectively solve pain points and blockages. It will become the best choice for large supermarkets to accelerate digital transformation.