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ASCM Insights

Blockchain’s Seemingly Limitless Potential


All across the world, we’re seeing some pretty amazing applications of blockchain. Certainly, it’s helping build greater trust in all kinds of commercial transactions, contracts and data-sharing. But that’s just the start:

  • When there’s a risk of foodborne illness, blockchains assist in the management of food safety by enabling producers and retailers to determine exactly which batch of product is affected.
  • Pharmaceutical companies use blockchains to track and manage the drugs they manufacture and ship, while preventing misuse such as counterfeiting.
  • Blockchains are advancing the traceability, monetization and circularity of recycled plastics.
  • Rather than using cloud-storage systems — which are not immune to hackers or infrastructure issues — blockchains are proving themselves to be a better way to back up data.
  • Blockchains can even bolster worker rights by creating a registry of protocols that verify, facilitate and enforce contracts to improve labor policies and compel employers to honor digital agreements.
  • And a recent ASCM CONNECT+ educational session explored how one company is using blockchain to increase traceability, efficiency and fairness in the coffee supply chain.

This kind of front-line education is essential for supply chain professionals, which is why ASCM will continue exploring blockchain’s exciting potential at ASCM CONNECT, October 24-26, in San Antonio. The conference will feature educational sessions live-streamed to virtual attendees, in-person-only sessions for those of us on-site, virtual Q&As, and valuable networking opportunities for all participants. All of us at ASCM are thrilled to be able to offer this all-new hybrid format as we continue working toward recovery and resilience after what has been a very challenging year.

Speaking of which, blockchain is also being used to help manage COVID vaccine temperatures and shipments. Thanks to significant advancements in storage, management and access to patience records and medicine-related data, the technology continues to revolutionize health care.

Interestingly, Jaspreet Bindra writes in Mint that we may even be able to use blockchain to achieve herd immunity by creating a “decentralized, robust and scalable track-and-trace backbone for this pandemic and those that will inevitably follow.” He says it’s possible to combine digitization, decentralization, data localization and data privacy with blockchain in order to improve how companies track vaccines, provide people with secure and private digital health records, and enable counterfeit-resistant “vaccination passports” — all without compromising personal data.

When blockchain meets supply chain

Yesterday, ASCM hosted Dale Chrystie, business fellow and blockchain strategist at FedEx and chairman of the BiTA Standards Council, for the ASCM corporate roundtable “When Blockchain Meets Supply Chain.” Chrystie helped our corporate members make sense of the technology, understand why it’s different and better, and inspire them with new ways to put it to work at their own organizations.

Corporate roundtables are a unique, exclusive benefit of ASCM corporate membership. They enable supply chain leaders to connect with a global community to exchange ideas and best practices, receive guidance from supply chain experts, and network.

Whether corporate members attending a roundtable or supply chain professionals from across the globe coming together at ASCM CONNECT, ASCM is all about making connections. But it all starts with membership. I invite you to become an ASCM member today and join a network of more than 45,000 industry professionals who are dedicated to creating a better world through supply chain. Become a part of this diverse and dedicated community, and keep your career and organization always moving forward.

About the Author

Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE CEO, ASCM

Abe Eshkenazi is chief executive officer of the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the largest organization for supply chain and the global pacesetter of organizational transformation, talent development and supply chain innovation. During his tenure, ASCM has significantly expanded its services to corporations, individuals and communities. Its revenue has more than doubled, and the association successfully completed three mergers in response to both heightened industry awareness and the vast and ongoing global impact driven by supply chains. Previously, Eshkenazi was the managing director of the Operations Consulting Group of American Express Tax and Business Services. He may be contacted at

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