Blockchain Conference for Supply Chain Professionals
Supply chain professionals from all around the world gathered in London for the Supply Chains Unblocked conference on October 16th, 2019. This was a conference that centres around how blockchain solutions can be applied to supply chains and logistics, as well as how to accelerate adoption in this area.
Supply Chains Unblocked was taking place at CMS Law in Central London, and the speakers include Antony Welfare, Kate Baucherel, Massimo Buonomo and Jim Duffy. Unblocked offered events in various verticals and Supply Chains Unblocked was expected to show how this innovative technology could be applied to other industries that are likely in need of a change.
Many C-suite executives aren’t yet aware of all the ways in which distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions can be applied to their sector, and the Supply Chains Unblocked conference went into further detail on how this gap between tech and business communities could be bridged. Supply chain management is a constantly evolving field, and the opportunities presented by blockchain have the potential to affect more industries than most people realize.
There was also an opportunity for networking with high-level players and industry experts. The event was expected to have over 150 attendees and around 30 expert speakers, making it a source of both rich content and intimate networking.
What is Unblocked?
For those of you who haven't heard of Unblocked before, they are a UK-based hub for blockchain and DLT events, who also provide training and networking. They were founded in 2016 and have thrown events in 12 different verticals, all with the express purpose of spreading the word about how blockchain can be used to revolutionize each of these industries.
The larger goal of Unblocked is to match innovators and entrepreneurs with companies that could benefit from their services or a partnership. Unblocked has amassed a community of over 6,000 parties, and the result is a broad network of industry experts and impressive entrepreneurs. Ideally, Unblocked events are able to provide a bridge between the tech industry and other industries that might be operating more upon legacy processes at the moment. In essence, they want to “unblock” the barriers between the blockchain industry and the rest of the business world.
Blockchain trends within the Supply Chain Sector
An effectively run supply chain is a key factor in bringing down costs and winning more customers. Most buyers are very price sensitive and will switch brands in order to benefit from the lower costs that get passed on by a well-run supply chain. Much of Amazon’s success can be attributed to the efficiency of their supply chain and how it has allowed them to rapidly scale. Now, companies in the retail, food, and logistics sectors are wising up to this opportunity and looking for innovative ways to compete.
In the last 5 years, blockchain has emerged as a source of efficiency for any industries dependent on continually improving supply chain economics by offering a shared and unalterable ledger for recording business transactions. The result is increased trust, accountability, and transparency, as well as reduced costs and errors.
The last few years have seen several big partnerships within industries that depend upon an efficiently run blockchain. First, you have IBM and Walmart introducing their Food Trust platform, which helps manage complex supply chain processes and avoid catastrophes like the 2006 e.coli outbreak from spinach.
Then you have the partnership between Maersk and IBM. TradeLens is a platform that streamlines the way event data and document handling occurs in the ocean shipping industry, which reduces errors and increases accountability. For further information on these two case studies, check out our recently published article.
What you could learn at Supply Chains Unblocked?
Those interested in attending the conference wouldl have the opportunity to learn about the enterprise applications of blockchain in a very user-friendly way. This started off by going over real world use cases for blockchain, as well as discussing several major companies that are already successfully using it.
Although there was time for discussion and other ideas to be exchanged, the expected topics of interest already programmed include:
- Internet of Food
- Retail Supply Chains
- Financial Supply Chains
- Innovation Showcase
- Logistics and Interoperability
The speakers were drawn from a variety of industry experts and entrepreneurs. This includes Antony Welfare of Luxoft, who is an expert on blockchain enterprise solutions across many different sectors, as well as an author in the space. You also have:
- Strategist and author Kate Baucherel, who focuses on emerging technology in the enterprise space
- Imogen Bunyard, co-founder of fintech solutions startup, Qadre
- CEO and Founder of Unblocked, Helen Disney
- Diamond industry innovator, Jim Duffy, who is CEO of Tracr
- Agtech innovator, Genevieve Leveille, CEO of AgriLedger, and
- UN Blockchain expert, Massimo Buonomo
What to expect from the blockchain conferences?
The people who took the most away from attending this event were those intimately connected with the supply chain or executive aspect of industries like retail, manufacturing, energy, pharmaceuticals, transportation, and financial services. Additionally, if you’re a policymaker, regulator or blockchain entrepreneur, you would be able to gain great insight on what other stakeholders are thinking.
Attendees could expect to meet many potential future partners, clients, and investors while also learning a lot about the space. There were media present at Supply Chains Unblocked, and this gave you the potential to showcase your success, gain insights, and build the profile of your business.
We at ULAM Labs have strong experience helping to bridge the gap between blockchain technology and industries dependent on efficient supply chains.