Supply Chain Management Assignment: Implementation of Blockchain Technology at CareMart
Task: Case Study Brief
Scenario: Blockchain for Supply Chain Management at CareMart
Zaf Connell, the CEO and the Managing Director of CareMart (A relatively new retailer in Tasmania, Australia) is a forward-looking man. He plans to ensure that CareMart becomes one of the leading retailing brands in Tasmania. CareMart’s ethos is Care, Truth, Health and Existence. The entire philosophy of this new retailer in Tasmania is to provide a caring experience to its customers, look after their health and wellbeing, and ensure ease for them at all levels.
Among many challenges, optimisation and efficiency of supply chain management is what Zaf is always concerned about. He wants CareMart to keep up with consumer demand and buying behaviours. He wants to make use of technology but he very well knows that supply chain technologies are usually very expensive. He is also concerned about the impact of the current economic landscape on CareMart’s supply chain. He worries that without drastic steps, CareMart would start facing strategic and operational challenges that would eventually have an adverse impact on the micro and macro business environment.
Being a technophile, Zaf is always interested in new technologies. Last year, he was introduced to blockchains in a seminar in Falls Church, USA. There; he broadly learnt about what blockchain technology is and how it can impact businesses. Among many things, a good finding for him was that blockchains can impact the supply chain. Zaf wants to know more about this and specifically, he is curious to find out how blockchains can help supply chain management at CareMart, without involving the concept of cryptocurrency. He is open to new ideas and experiments. He wants to know more about blockchain for supply chain management and how this new technology can help retailers like CareMart in Tasmania.
Zaf asks Luke, the Chief Technical Officer of CareMart to arrange for a detailed business report and a short presentation that would enlighten him and his board members about blockchains, supply chain management, and that how CareMart can benefit from these concepts. Luke consults your team and explains the entire situation to your team. Being a matter of strategic importance, Luke is able to immediately hire your team for providing consultancy for this matter. The first task that he wants your team to do is to come up with a very enlightening report that should clearly explain to the management what are the pros and cons of this technology, particularly in relation to supply chain, Tasmania and CareMart. The required report should also explain how blockchains can be used by CareMart to improve supply chain management. The challenge for your team is that while some members know a little about supply chain management, hardly anyone knows about blockchains.
Supply Chain Management AssignmentTask Instructions:
1. For this assessment, you are given a case study (scenario) that concerns a particular organisation or an industry. You are required to work as a group of consultants for this organisation/industry and present your findings.
2. Please read the case study carefully, analyse the situation and complete your research before writing the report. Move ahead with an end in mind. Set goals for your report. You may have to do a lot of problem solving and diagnosis. This would also require you to make use of your creative, analytical, decision making, communications and interpersonal skills, but not limited to. You would also have to develop business insight around the case provided to you. What would matter at the end is your judgement and how you tackle the problem that has been provided to you.
3. Now write 2500 words report. Your report should not only analyse the situation, provide insights, rather it should also provide findings/solutions and/or even resolutions.
As per the case scenario of supply chain management assignment, we as a group of consultants has been hired by Zaf Connell, CEO and the Managing Director of the Care Mart which is a retail company based in Tasmania, Australia to improve its supply chain management through the use of block chain technologies and help the organization to meet the consumers’ demands and their buying behaviours. Being a technophile, Zaf himself knows a lot about the new and evolving technologies of supply chain management which are expensive to make it operate for the small and growing retailers like Care mart. This report of assessment will include and clarify the problems of CareMart and how the use of block chain technologies will make a drastic and big change for the company in terms of their customers and profit annually. Supply chain management is the key topic where the whole Care mart organization is dependent upon and to solve the supply chain issues block chain technologies can play a vital role to address the issues that are concerning the board members of Care Mart. The report for this assessment will highlight the key things which will enlighten the care mart board members about block chains, supply chain management and how care mart can benefit from these technologies and concepts. For this task, we as a group of consultants will go through an immediate data of Care mart, the troubles it is facing in its supply chain and the loophole on why they are not meeting their consumer demands and buying behaviour as a whole to make an adapt report and provide them with the accurate enough feedback related to the block chain technologies and how it can be used to solve the supply chain management problems and its effectiveness towards the problems and market economy. Along with it there are many pros and cons of block chain as a technology to use it in supply chain which may be a real deal with a lot of the retail businesses to agree on, so for it this assessment will highlight the key points related to the advantages and dis-advantages related to the block chain technologies and its effectiveness to the businesses supply chain management. Optimisation and efficiency of Supply chain management is the main concern for the Care Mart business and its CE0 Zaf Connell as he believes something new has to be done so that the retailers like Care mart can survive the ever-changing landscape economy of Australia as a nation. Overall, this assessment is the report to be submitted to the board members of Care Mart stating the use of block chain technologies, supply chain management and how it can improve the supply chain of the company and its importance as well as the pros and cons of using the block chain technologies which will also state the benefits the organization can have through the use of block chain technologies with appropriate organizational and market research with supporting evidences to the report with clear information and results with appropriate references for the board members.
Block chain technology's importance of supply chain management
As opined by Saberi et al., (2019), block chain is referred to as providing every party with a respective supply chain with all the access to the same data or information. This is also defined to be potentially being able to reduce the communication or the transfer of the information without any error. Block chain helps in the improvement in the supply chains that are enabled to be faster and is the most cost-effect delivery of the products. Block chain technology provides the importance of the opportunities and the utilization of the supply chains for the management of an organization. Although the technology has provided a wide variety of the associated analysis and the necessities which are crypto currencies with the non-financial applications which are involved within the supply chain, power, and within the food industry. Block chain offers in providing any permanent, shareable, auditable recordings of the goods through the supply chain. Block chain Technology provides the entire required infrastructure which is cutting the edge of the technology that is needed. This helps in the increase of the focus for providing the integration and the cooperation of the technologies (Awwad et al., 2018).
Figure 1: Factors of block chain for supply chain management
(Source: Paliwal, Chandra, & Sharma, 2020)
Advantages of block chain technology in supply chain management Following are the advantages of block chain technology within the supply chain management,
"Trust": The information on the block chain is defined to be distributed with the administrative powers or functions which are immutable through the members of the supply chain. These can be trusted as the information is visible on the block chain. On the other hand, the traditional supply chain information or data are available within the storage structures which are typically being required as all the members are of the supply chain which keeps their entire recordings and therefore are the issues which are raised when the recordings do not match (Rejeb, Keogh &Treiblmaier, 2019).
Figure 2: Pros of the utilization of block chain in supply chain management
(Source: Golosova and Romanovs, 2018)
"Efficiency": All every data which all are available is kept as a record for the company Caremart, this helps in the supply chain and every member is available within the supply chain that can see the data, as this can create ease and quick identification where the supply chain is non-conformance. On the other hand, if considered the case of the traditional supply chain management structure, if the products of this company have been stored in the storage manufacturer is discovers that the compressors of the finished products contain a defective element, then the product manufacturer is needed to be reached out to the compressor of the components (Chang, Chen & Lu, 2019).
Disadvantages of block chain technology in supply chain management
Following are the disadvantages of block chain technology within the supply chain management,
"Scaling": Block chain solutions are somewhat slower according to the processes in the transactions than compared to the traditional database. These are due to the transactions which are needed to be valid on numerous different kinds of computers or servers. These are due to the high amount of transactions within the supply chain systems without taking permission concerning the block chain solutions that can be costly. Thus, the transaction fees are needed to be paid to the funds the workers have performed with miner nodes for the creation of the blocks. The supply chain created the execution of the millions of transactions within a day, and the methods which are within the block chain technology are implemented and are thoughtfully being approached with keeping notice towards the scalability (Berneis, Bartsch, & Winkler, 2021).
Figure 3: Cons of the utilization of block chain in supply chain management
(Source:Batwa and Norrman, 2020)
"Permissioned block chains": The supply chain data is considered as the most sensitive information which is collected from Caremart. Thus, a permission block chain which is referred to as the block chain that is not opened in the public is usually preferred within a block chain system in Caremart. However, these permissions technological systems are less secure as few nodes are involved in the making of the block chain and those nodes are thus typically being known by each other through the resulting efficiently the ability to conspire for the change of a block (Niranjanamurthy, Nithya, &Jagannatha, 2019).
The necessity of Supply chain management
Supply chain management is a procedure that affects both the speed and the efficiency of the services that are delivered by the company. The speed and the efficiency are the factors which are the cost money, so this is very important for the strike of the balance between being highly efficient and then adhering to the cost with the help of reduction strategies. The most efficient of the supply chain are the necessities which are minimized with the delays within Caremart. Moreover, the most challenging is the optimization and the efficiency of the supply chain management that Zaf has always been concerned about. In consideration to Zaf, the Caremart is necessary to keep up with the demands of the customers and also build up their good behaviours in front of customers so that they can get attracted with the good behaviour and come again and again for purchasing items (Raimondo et al., 2018).
Figure 4: Supply chain management
(Source: Min, Zacharia, & Smith, 2019)
In addition, Zaf wanted to know more about the impact of the supply chain and also how the block chain can provide help in the supply chain management of Caremart, without the involvement of the concept of crypto currency. The supply chain management provides Caremart with the enabling of the organization for the decrease of the power of customers. "Information technology", "behaviour of the customers", "visibility", and "speed" are the four changes which at result in the advancement of the technologies that help in the driving of the supply chain in an organization (Min, Zacharia, & Smith, 2019).
Block chains and its Benefits to Caremart
The purpose of block chain utilization is the allowance of the digital information that is recorded and is distributed but is not edited. This block chain is the system that is the recording of the information as a way which makes everything difficult or impossible for the change or to hack or to cheat over the system. Every block is involved within the chain that contains the number of the transactions as every time any new technology is developed on the block chain, new records are being captured of the transactions which are added to every participant’s "ledger". Five important block chains provide benefits which are "enhanced security", "greater transparency", "instant traceability", "increased efficiency and speed", and "automation". Thus, in Caremart, there has been a positive impact of the block chain as Zaf always wanted to know more about the concept of a block chain that would help him to apply over the organization and also help in the development of new technologies (Atlam et al., 2018).
Figure 5: Block chain in retail
(Source: Atlam et al., 2018)
The benefits of the block chain in the retail industry are the prevention of fraud and the counterfeit of the products. Utilization of the block chain is the technology, helps the retailers like Caremart to track their products from their manufacturer and then ensure that this technology is getting within the authenticity of the products every single time. The idea of block chain technology within the supply chain management allows the market business the send and the receiving of payments through a programmatic set of principles which are called "smart contracts '. Every action is believed to be related to any particular smart contract which is transparent and is recorded as this could be reduced within the cost of the tracking and the reconciliation.
Figure 6: Benefits of Block chain
(Source: Khatoon et al., 2019)
Block chain within Caremart, the retail market helps companies with the management of the company's inventories are much more efficient. This also helped in the saving of a lot of money because it initiated the automation of the process of product storage or the products which are surplus and are based on the customer demands within real-time. In addition, the block chain initiatives have improved the index of cost-effectiveness within the supply of the products. Thus, these are the databases that can share across the network chain of the computer or the "distributed ledger". Block chains are thus helpful for the supply of all the copies of the database which are the same within the network nodes that make the constant checks for ensuring that these have the latest version of the block chain. Block chain thus provides emphasis which is positioned on the "decentralized peer-to-peer transactions". These are therefore not being controlled with every single specific centralized entity. Caremart was being reported in early this year which is close and is deployed of the block chain application which is used with its availability of the live database businesses. "Facebook", "Google '', and "Apple '', are well known as they are looking for the technology and then are dedicated to the significance of the funds. Utilization of the technologies provides the helping of the offers which are almost unknown of the amount which has possibilities for everyone for the building and the maintaining of the infrastructure. This maintenance helps in the delivery of the capabilities at the lowest expenses than in comparison with the traditional centralized models. Thus, the implementation of the block chain in Caremart has created the easy handling of the huge information and the recordings in an easy way (Khatoon et al., 2019).
Conclusion and recommendations
The above report has defined the specific area where block chain technology can be applied at the marketing level. The importance of block chain technology in the supply chain management of Caremart is provided with suitable examples. Block chain technology helps in providing every necessary infrastructure which has been used for the cutting down of the technologies within the retail industry. This even helps in the improvement and the increase in the focus which are provided within the integration and the cooperation of the technology. Different advantages concerning block chain’s usage in supply chain management. These are defined with the "trust", and "efficiency", of the block chain over Caremart.
The trust is based on the information which is available within the supply chain management that helps in empowering the functions which are considered as immutable. The efficiencies are based on the recordings which are available and are kept for future recordings for the company. Disadvantages of the usage of block chain in supply chain management are the "scaling", and "permissioned block chains". Scaling is defined to be the slow process within the block chain solution processes in the transactions of the database. On the other hand, as this database information is sensitive so these are needed to be applied to the permittableblock chain before using it. The importance of supply chain management is explained in the case study. Then benefits and the importance of block chain are further explained which have provided a positive impact in Caremart. Finally, concluding the report in block chain technology in supply chain management, the recommendations in respect to the future have been evaluated.
Recommendations: As Caremart has faced strategic and operational challenges that are adversely affecting the micro and the macro business environments. New technologies help in the providing of the emphasis over the development of the infrastructure of the Caremart. The company can improve the strategic solutions with the implementation of the self-sustaining, "peer-to-peer" database technology for managing and recording the transactions. The strategic planning can be upgraded with the allowance of the people and the organizations that do not trust each other to be agreeing together or permanently have the availability to record the database (Abbas et al., 2020, p. 852).
The operational planning for the macro and the micro-business companies are objected to be involved within everyone in the company and are focussed on the achieving of the operational benefits of the Caremart. Thus, the operational planning is useful within the document for the investors. That also provides help for the employees with the encouragement that they are thought to be careful about the deadlines and the tactics.
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