How BitCanna Is Built: Layer 3, The Supply Chain
BitCanna’s third layer of infrastructure, the supply chain, will revolutionise the inefficiencies and lack of visibility faced by the cannabis industry supply chain. By using smart contracts in conjunction with the ledger capabilities of blockchain technology, it will be possible to streamline product distribution from the source, all the way to a customer’s door. The savings aren’t just in money, but an asset more valuable to both business and consumer—time.
All blockchains offer the protocol and ledger capabilities of layers one and two. While they still need to be developed, tested, and adopted by a user base, they don’t offer an “outside the box” solution to many of the restrictions currently imposed by traditional IT solutions. In current environments, a supply chain network can consist of dozens of different pieces of software and hardware trying to communicate with one another. The businesses of today operate across borders, with most products being assembled in different nations before coming together in a central location.
Think of the last time you ordered a product. After completing a purchase, it can take hours or days to receive a shipping notification. Only at this stage can you track your product’s movements. The reality, however, is that the item you ordered will have already travelled through several different supply chain stages and third parties before broadcasting its whereabouts. If issues occur in these supply chain blind spots, they can be costly for businesses to solve and frustrating for customers who want to know the location of the goods they have paid for.
The Relationship Between Supply Chain And Blockchain
Talk to any business or consumer involved in the cannabis industry, and each one will be able to detail the limitations of today’s supply chain network. While the issues are not unique to the cannabis market, they are exacerbated given the fragile nature of the product. Cannabis is a living, breathing commodity. To ensure quality, several actions have to take place between the initial stage of growing and reaching the consumer.
Therein lies a problem; currently, there are many supply chain pain points and blind spots that take a disproportionate amount of time, money, and resources to solve. If they are not managed correctly, the impact to cannabis, and more importantly, the profitability of the industry, is detrimental.
In the majority of scenarios faced by supply chain networks, trust is a crucial factor. Without total visibility, we have to trust that third parties, distribution companies, and anyone else involved in the movement of a product are acting with integrity. Blockchains, at their core, are immutable. Once recorded, data cannot be altered, nor can any information be uploaded unless it meets the requirements of the base protocol. Naturally, these attributes make supply chain integration with blockchains an obvious step forward.
Product details can be saved to the blockchain without risk of data becoming compromised or altered. Any third party would have to adhere to the parameters set by both the protocol and smart contracts. BitCanna’s supply chain can help reduce the cost and time that pain points and blind spots inflict, while being entirely trustless.
The Benefits Of Blockchain Integration Extend To All Parties:
Just by being part of the BitCanna network, consumers, whether online or in a physical store, will be able to make purchases using BitCanna tokens (BCNA). By making payments on the network, discounts will be offered on transaction fees. This incentive will encourage a healthy and active blockchain ecosystem. All that remains is to supply the cannabis and its related products to match BitCanna’s passionate user base. We have already touched on the volatile nature of cannabis as a commodity; as such, consumer confidence in a supplier or manufacturer is paramount to ensure a profitable business.
The supply chain supports “confidence” via two means. First, the supply chain will have a complete log of the movements products have undergone. If consumers want to verify the integrity and legitimacy of a product, they can track it all the way to its source. The risk of counterfeit goods and sellers adopting poor practices is mitigated.
Second, consumers will also be able to identify if the quality of the product has been compromised at any point in the supply chain. Ideally, the automated smart contracts will have already notified distribution networks of any products that fail pre-determined parameters. If not, the consumer will have visibility of exactly what it is they are buying. Improved consumer confidence leads to brand loyalty, and the benefits therein are substantial.
Manufacturers, Wholesalers, And Retailers
The same reduction in transaction fees on the BitCanna blockchain also applies to businesses operating on the network. However, it is the overall efficiency of the supply chain that awards the most significant benefit for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and any other type of company operating in the cannabis industry supply chain. With all parties connecting to the network, they provide an indisputable string of information. Shipping details, temperature control, payment and invoicing, stock holding, the list goes on.
The resulting benefit from the information contained on the blockchain is a reduction in inventory turnaround. If we use the previous example of the network identifying damaged goods for us, there is no longer a need to wait until that product has travelled through the entire supply chain to be able to take action. Problems could be identified as they happen, and more importantly, solutions could be actioned at pace. Inventory wastage will be lower; you’d know what stock you have, what to order, and how much of that product is currently in distribution.
Overall stock holding would reduce to what is needed, rather than carrying a surplus to accommodate the errors and mistakes occurring in today’s supply chain systems. Greater control directly impacts company bottom lines, driving improvements in profit and loss prevention. How could all this, and more, be possible? Through the use of smart contracts—trustless agreements that can be completely automated once a series of predefined parameters have been met.
Smart Contracts Reward Something Money Cannot Buy
It is the unrivalled efficiency that smart contracts offer that will save companies a commodity more valuable than money—time. Smart contracts could be programmed to automate payments as products move through the supply chain, submit invoices, reject products that fail integrity tests, and verify authenticity. Matching serial numbers with shipping notices and product quantities could be done without the margin of error introduced by human intervention, paper trails, and different software solutions.
All parties would be motivated to submit products of improved quality. This becomes essential when you consider the growing medical marijuana market. Pharmaceutical corporations have a stringent set of requirements in place for products to be accepted. Rather than waiting for approval and using a paper trail to track products back to the source, connected nodes would be able to see the required information in real time.
Trust And Transparency
The visibility offered by the BitCanna supply chain network is its crown jewel. For the industry to move forward, businesses will need to work with governmental departments, medical institutes, and regulatory bodies. Connected nodes will be able to track, report, and share information about products at every stage. There is no disconnect between a product leaving a distribution centre and arriving at its final destination. Not only will the transparency of the network be unprecedented, but it will provide a unified force for which accurate taxation and regulation of the cannabis industry can be calculated.
By using current IT systems and paper trails, calculations could be widely inaccurate and don’t promote a sense of trust with governmental bodies. BitCanna’s purpose is not only to provide a solution to the current supply chain inefficiencies, but to build a blockchain that is future-fit.
By cutting out the middleman, or in this case, the hundreds of intermediaries involved in a supply chain, companies will improve workflow and efficiency. In time, dramatic savings could be experienced from the implementation of smart contracts, while the entire industry moves forward with the support of government institutions and regulatory bodies. As you can see, the dominance and efficiency of BitCanna builds with every layer of infrastructure. The best part? We still have two more layers of functionality to explore.