Auburn University RFID Lab’s Chain Integration Pilot (CHIP) in Alabama has published a whitepaper proof-of-concept to demonstrate how efficiency savings blockchain technology can unlock across the contemporary supply chain.
The proof-of-concept was designed on Hyperledger Fabric to ingest, encode, distribute, and store serialized data from multiple points across the supply chain.
The pilot collected live data from Nike, PVH Corp., and Herman Kay brands, as well as from major Kohl’s and Macy’s retailers in the United States.
CHIP was launched in 2018 and claims to be the first project in the supply chain to integrate information pulled from RFID tags into a blockchain.
Supply Chain Data Solution
The project saw data of 223,036 goods that were uploaded to a distributed ledger. Only 1 percent of data entries were uploaded through stores, with 87 percent of data coming from distribution centers, and the remaining 12 percent coming from an encoding point.
As such, CHIP established that blockchain is a functional solution to serialized data exchange issues within the supply chain. The report concludes that the participating companies were “capable of recording serialized data transactions in a common language and sharing that data with their respective trading partners.”
The paper identifies “a tremendous amount of error and inefficiency in currency supply systems,” estimating that the supply chain’s elimination of counterfeiting and shrinking could unlock business opportunities worth $181.
On the other hand, the paper argues that existing exchange networks are built for “antiquated internet technologies,” and are not suitable for handling the massive volumes of serialized data generated throughout the contemporary supply chain. ‘
Despite the introduction of serialized data such as RFID tags and QR codes over a decade ago, the team points to the absence of “an effective, industry-wide solution for exchanging serialized data between business partners”
The report further argues that previous attempts to integrate infrastructure to collect mass information across the supply chain have been “constrained by the industry-wide inability to share serialized data.”