Imagine, you just finished your work day as a Supply Chain Director for a Fortune 500 company in the seafood industry. It was another challenging day establishing best practices for quality and compliance on your global SAP platform. Heading home for dinner you stop in your local supermarket for groceries. There’s only one item you need to pick-up – salmon.
You head to the fish section and see several options; Atlantic, Pacific, farmed or wild. Which should you choose? They all look the same, except the farmed salmon is $5 per pound cheaper. Suddenly a woman reaches past you and scans a QR code on the package with her iPhone.
She gets a complete run-down on the history of the fish and a quality rating for the meat. Then she scans a different brand of farmed salmon with a higher price and chooses that one instead. It turns out the farmers of the second fish met environmental standards and produced a healthier fish.
This scenario may sound like science fiction, but it will be happening sooner than you think explained expert, Stephan Nilsson. “Our company is in discussions with the largest fish farm in the world to implement a quality tracking system running on blockchain.”
A New Paradigm for SAP
Stephan Nilsson is the CEO of Unisot, or ‘Universal Source of Truth.’ His firm offers a global permissionless business network and marketplace platform based on blockchain. He’s using his 20 years experience as a technical SAP consultant to put SAP on the cutting edge of blockchain. It’s about time.
183,000 companies in 130+ countries use SAP software to run their enterprise. Nilsson stated, “SAP sells as a standard system and is used by the largest enterprises in the world. But it still has to talk to other systems like your bank, suppliers and customers. It’s slow, error prone and very insecure.”
In 2010 he read the Satoshi White Paper on bitcoin. “That really blew my mind,” he recalled. In 2015 he created a blockchain for SAP prototype. It was a vending machine that let you buy candies with bitcoin from your mobile phone.
This led to the launch of Unisot and his two SAP modules that run on public blockchains. One of his modules is free, while the other is a premium upgrade. The free module gives you basic blockchain functionality like traceability, BDI (blockchain data interchange) and digital twins. The upgrade provides machine learning, more traceability, visibility, IoT reporting and integrated processing.
The Unisot modules run on the original Bitcoin sv Blockchain. This gives companies more required security, immutability and scalability. No other blockchain or DLT protocol can provide a global permissionless business network and meet the needs of the world’s largest companies. Added Nilsson, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”
One of the features of his modules he calls ‘digital twins’ is being used by EY Skye, a firm he consults. They are in discussions with one of the largest fish farms. Nilsson stated, “Our prototype system gives each physical fish an identical twin on the blockchain.”
Global Traceability and Data Monetization
Fish are second only to oil as the largest export out of Norway. However, fish exports are expected to surpass oil in only a few years. EY Skye saw the need for integrated ERP systems for seafood companies. The industry as a whole has a poorly integrated IT infrastructure, if any at all.
The biggest growing cost in the seafood industry today is labor. This is due to a low grade of automation. So, there is enormous potential to boost production quality and lower costs. Large profits have led fish farms to rely on cheap labor rather than efficient systems. But consumers are becoming more interested in healthy, ecological and animal friendly food. Global retailers like Walmart will soon demand traceability to show products are good quality.
“Our system shows consumers everything that happened to a fish on its journey to your dinner table,” affirmed Nilsson. The traceability is very secure because it’s written on blockchain and cannot be changed. The immutability of blockchain creates a foundation of trust throughout the entire global supply chain. He continued “Consumers don’t have to trust companies and companies don’t have to trust each other – only blockchain.”
In addition to traceability, Nilsson said other advantages are possible through blockchain such as monetizing data. He gave the example of a company that manufactures robots. Such a manufacturer might be interested in using performance data generated by one of their customers to improve their robots. Through blockchain the customer could then profit by selling access to their data.
Nilsson estimated, “Our Unisot modules can reduce your supply chain costs by 10-100 times. They cost very little to install and configure compared to other SAP systems.” For companies that run on SAP, Nilsson gave three steps you can take to get started with a Unisot solution.
Identify Shareable Information
Do you have information your suppliers or customers need or want? “Most companies are sitting on very big data lakes and data warehouses with a lot of information that can only be used internally,” Nilsson pointed out.
Instead, you can sell this information as a micro transaction through blockchain. So the question you should ask is, do you have information someone else could benefit from? “If you have two or more parties you want to share this information with then it’s absolutely a use case to start using blockchain,” he advised.
Launch a Trial Project
Adding Unisot modules to your SAP system is faster and cheaper than any other SAP module. It only takes a few hours to install and configure at your firm or your partners. “We also have a solution where our client can send a BDI and we translate it to an EDI for their customer who do not yet have a Unisot system,” Nilsson elaborated.
The premium module can be added if you want to expand on your results. He said Unisot will be soon releasing a cloud service where you can connect to any system, including excel or your mobile device. “It will support everything from your mobile phone to an SAP system and everything in-between,” he added.
Review Your Results
A final assessment of an SAP trial blockchain project will show you how much you’ve gained. Nilsson said Unisot can provide a customized efficiency report and extrapolate your savings across your entire enterprise.
This will show what kind of messages and data have been exchanged. Further, you’ll see all the manual handling you eliminated and your cost savings through Unisot peer-to-peer messaging. You’ll know how much efficiency you stand to gain and how much more competitive your supply chain could be.
Start Improving Your SAP Supply Chain
The largest companies in the world run their enterprise on SAP ERP software. But the global supply chain in which they take part is not as efficient as it could be. By using blockchain these firms could increase their profitability and competitiveness.
Some blockchain solutions try to lock you into their product road map. “Unisot’s solutions remain true to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of a secure and immutable public blockchain,” emphasized Nilsson. Further, their SAP modules let you leverage your existing SAP investment and training.
Unisot offers a free module that lets you try out their system with little cost or effort. You can escalate to their premium module and get access to today’s most advanced technologies. For details visit the Unisot website.
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