The Blockchain is spreading in many sectors and for many applications, and probably a lot of the applications are not yet neither studied or even imagined.
Within Achaz we think that procurement should grab this new technology and see in which operations it can help in our daily businesses, in which area ot could help our business partners to add value to the product and services of the company.
There are 4 operational ways of embracing this new technology and participate to value creation.
First Way : Supporting the Board of directors, IT or Legal department in their understanding of the topic.
Procurement should be the leaders of the popularization of the concept of Blockchain towards its business partners, and specifically towards the board of directors. Procurement should be in a position to let them understand what is at stake, the principles, what can be done, and the added value that can bring this new technology.
Second way : Checking if and how how your vendors implement such technology.
As a matter of fact, in case we learn that one of our vendor is implementing such technology, it would be important to engage discussions to know if/how it will pass on part of the cost savings to the organization.
This is particularly true for banking and insurances services, where, most of the institutions are working hard, in a way or another. This hard work has got one main goal, cut internal costs. Although, they will probably put other benefits first (like security, better quality of services) when opening discussion about cost saving sharing.
This is also true for other sectors, like the supply-chain, so it would be good to start to understand the level of awareness of vendors, in order to catch the opportunities as soon as possible.
Third way : Identifying how the BC can be implemented in the procurement/supply chain environment :
Is it in the certification process ? in the simplification of paperwork ? in the payment process ? in a better follow up of the origin of raw material ?
Once identified, procurement can be the leader to start a specific project and bring knowledge inside the company and evaluate with the main stakeholders the potential opportunities.
Fourth way : Identifying how the blockchain can bring added value to the product or services or your business.
The blockchain opens a wide range of services and operations that were not possible previously especially through connexion of objects (IoT), but also through easier payment operations or loyalty programs etc. It is though very important to identify which one can be integrated and add value to the Products / Services of the business.
If some business partners (Marketing, Legal, Logistic, Maintenance...) are about to buy services to develop blockchain projects, procurement must be in the loop to select the right partners.
Many companies are starting business in the blockchain technology, developing either infrastructures and protocols, softwares and platforms or applications. Procurement and its professional processes is key to bring clarity on which vendor to speak to, for which service, based on which type of contract.
Something is happening with the Blockchain. We might not clearly see yet the exact impact and the lead time for it to come completely true, but let’s not loose this tremendous opportunity to be proactive in a major change in the organization. One day or another, this word “Blockchain” will come up in a meeting, get prepared or at least be able to react fast when it happens.