Blockchain is receiving a lot of hype these days. The number of corporate investors in blockchain companies hit a record high in 2017, with large banks, financial service organizations, and even technology leaders like Alphabet investing heavily in the technology. But, blockchain isn’t just for technology companies. Agriculture companies can gain tremendous benefits from blockchain.
Imagine a world with no spreadsheets…. sounds scary, right? Many years back, I remember how apprehensive I was when smartphones were introduced and people told me I had to get rid of my ‘keyboard’ phone that I proudly used. It was white, I could snap the keyboard out and type so easily, and it would snap back in, become compact, and fit right into my jeans pocket (yes, I am short so size does matter!). I couldn’t dream of parting with it until the inevitable happened. It caught the attention of my 2-year-old and the rest …
The procurement process can be complicated for consumer products, food and beverage, and industrial manufacturing companies. It involves sourcing hundreds, or even thousands, of commodities and raw materials from many different suppliers worldwide. Often there are several systems in place to manage this process – including ERP, MRP, broker statement and siloed spreadsheets – making it challenging to track coverage, hedge performance, and spending.
Over the last few years, regulatory uncertainty has become almost a fixture of European energy markets. Unfortunately, the impact of Brexit on the wider whole energy market is even less certain. With just over a year until Britain leaves the EU, the whole process seems bogged down in a regulatory quagmire with no real progress on the key political issues that will determine the rules for how Britain’s wholesale energy market will interact with that of the remaining members of the EU.
Coffee is a $100 billion industry, with more than 500 billion cups of coffee consumed worldwide each year. That number is predicted to continue growing as coffee consumption increases in developing nations; however, coffee supply is facing a global crisis – climate change.
Renewable Energy Group (REG) is used to being a global leader. Founded as a single biodiesel facility in 1996, the company has sold over two billion gallons of biomass-based diesel fuel and built a strong network of state-of-the-art biorefinery production facilities. Today REG is a global force in advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals.
Four years ago, Mexico ended the 75-year monopoly of state oil company Pemex and replaced Mexico’s state-owned utility company. The Mexican government established its first independent power producer market; encouraged investment, innovation, and competition from around the world; and liberalized the value chain from energy generation to storage facilities and petrol stations.
In 2013, Gartner elaborated a concept that they called the “digital business” and defined it as “…the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds…promis(ing) to usher in an unprecedented convergence of people, business and things that disrupts existing business models.”
Global commodity markets are more complex and volatile than ever. Commodity market participants can no longer afford to wait days or weeks to understand market changes, analyze alternatives, and make decisions. The key to making the most profitable decisions lies in the data businesses are generating, but current systems cannot analyze the volume, variety, and velocity of data generated in a timeframe that is useful.
If you follow technologies serving the commodities markets, you will have likely heard of ‘blockchain’. And if you have heard of it, but are still confused about what it might mean for your particular niche of the industry, you’re probably not alone. These days, it seems that many experts, both inside and outside the industry, are holding up blockchain as the panacea to improve any number of commercial processes, from wholesale trade enablement to retail inventory tracking, and everything in between. If one listens to the buzz, you could certainly conclude that blockchain is the Swiss army knife of commerce…but, is it?