There is still a huge buzz around Blockchain and its application in the business field. Specifically, a lot is written about Blockchain and Supplychain, which is spotted as one of the most evident field of application.
Some companies are speeding up, like Maersk who made a step forward by creating a Joint Venture with IBM to pursue the experimentation run about managing containers’ documentation along the transportation journey. Carrefour is extending to more products, the experience started to track the origin of their “Poulet de Bresse” on Blockchain. The information gathered along the Supplychain and stored on Blockchain is disclosed to the final consumer thanks to a QR Code. Starbuck is testing also the way to track coffee from bean to cup. And there are more use cases under proof of concept on the way.
But Supplychain is not the only sector in the company where Blockchain will be able to disrupt ways of working : manufacturing, HR, quality are also field where Blockchain is applicable. You can review the webinar we delivered in June 2018 together with EIPM to know more about it.
Lots of consulting companies, start-ups, entrepreneurs knock at the door of CEO, CIO, VP of Marketing, VP of Manufacturing etc to explain what is Blockchain, what value it can add and propose their services directly to those key stakeholders of your companies. As far as we can see, the procurement function is not yet the most strategic target for those actors of the Blockchain ecosystem.
That’s why I think it is now time for procurement to take the lead , before it is too late and this for 3 reasons :
First of all, because Blockchain is about agilizing and securing processes with external actors, bringing added value to the company, changing ways of working to be more efficient…Does not this sound exactly the target of a procurement department ?
Secondly, because Blockchain cannot be built without the ecosystem of vendors of the company. A Blockchain will rarely be built for the sake of a sole company organization without any interaction with external actors. Therefore, implementing Blockchain will require to prepare vendors, to involve them in the construction of new processes, to train them, so that business can continue but under new framework. As nobody is best connected to vendors than Procurement, it is natural that procurement would be at the forefront of this change ;
Lastly, because building Blockchain solutions will in many cases require to contract competences outside of the company, whether this be start-ups, expert free lancers, consulting companies, cybersecurity companies etc. Obviously contracting is also a key activity for Procurement. Procurement cannot just be the one setting up a PO, or signing up an invoice for a service they’d never heard before. Procurement should be leading, together with its business partners the building of a new field of services regarding Blockchain. Whit whom partnering ? Big consulting companies ? Small ones ? Experts ? Start-ups ? on which processes first ? according to what type of contract. This is really about setting up the floor of a new category of spend (or sub-category of spend. Passionating for the procurement community.
How do you get involved in this transformation ? Please share with us, we are keen to learn about practices and experiences.