http://www.digitaljournal.com/business/blockchain-and-iot-underpin-new-supply-chain-platform/article/513665

Blockchain and IoT underpin new supply chain platform

Posted Feb 1, 2018 by Tim Sandle
A new partnership has been formed with the aim of bringing blockchain and IoT technology, like radio-frequency identification, to enterprise supply chains. The partnership is between Skuchain and NTT DATA.
China launched a freight-train line to UK.
China launched a freight-train line to UK.
Phillipe Marcou/AFP/Getty
The two companies have different specialisms. U.S. company Skuchain specializes in blockchain and Japanese company NTT DATA specializes in information technology solutions. The partnership aims to produce an integrated blockchain and Internet-of-Things platform.
The platform will utilize Skuchain's blockchain-based EC3 platform together with NTT DATA's iQuattro platform for systems integration. According to Smart2Zero, the outcome will be a commercial solution that will allow enterprises to capture the value hidden in their large supplier base through secure logistics management, plus cash flow relief and collaborative inventory planning.
Furthermore, the collaborative platform will address several so-termed "friction points" that currently affect the effectiveness of international commerce. These frictions include overly complicated and sometimes opaque mechanics of trade, excessive documentation, manual processes, and differing international standards.
Another issue that hampers international commerce is where supply chains are rendered less effective by imperfect and asymmetric information. This is manifest when large pools of data are not made available to parties. This can lead to higher costs and the risk of market failure.
The new blockchain plus IOT platform makes use of blockchain technology so that businesses can optimize all aspects of the supply chain. This includes the Popcodes app which aids the tracking and tracing goods. The Skuchain developed app also provides increased visibility and tighter control over the supply chain.
A further function of benefit is Skuchain's Brackets smart contracts application, which helps with the continuous flow of transactions and data. The app automates this monitoring and provides useful analytics, such as data aggregation, a process that uses clustering methods of analysis whereby objects that are placed in the same group are more similar to each other than to those in other groups.
The new partnership is currently at the pilot program stage, working with an undisclosed Japanese company who operates a supply chain in China. Further pilot schemes are set to be launched over the next few months.