A new report from "Big Four" auditing firm Deloitte argues that blockchain integrations across retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) could "revolutionize" the industries.
The report, titled "New tech on the block," examined 50 blockchain use cases within the two sectors – across three general categories of business: consumer, supply chain and payments and contracts – and scoring them for the "added value" they could create, as per Deloitte's criteria.
The research identified four areas within retail and CPG where blockchain has the potential to ease pain-points in the industries, including traceability, compliance, flexibility and stakeholder management – with the supply chain use case having the most potential in the short-term.
Deloitte also hones in on more granular-level possibilities for the industries, saying in the report that a "know your supplier" solution with which firms can store data on suppliers and execute payments and contracts would be the "number one opportunity" for businesses, a company statement says.
Steve Larke, technology consulting partner at Deloitte, sees blockchain technology as the "next big thing" for retailers and consumer businesses, with its ability to authenticate, track and record transactions.
However, Larke stressed:
"It is crucial for decision makers to understand which areas of the value chain will benefit most from the new technology, and how easy it is to implement."
As the "age of blockchain" approaches, firms that do not consider blockchain within their processes, are at "risk of falling behind competitors," he added.
The research studied both the potential impact of blockchain, as well as the complexities involved with implementing the tech within businesses. The report said that companies should look closely at the areas that could benefit most before investing in blockchain.
Larke concluded that the firm expects blockchain technology to achieve widespread, mainstream adoption "sooner rather than later." Firms within the retail and CPG industries "need to act now and plan for future blockchain adoption, or risk being left in the dust."
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