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Creating value for SME’s with logistics applications based on blockchain

The Dutch Economy relies in considerable degree on...
16 april 2019 / 395

The Dutch Economy relies in considerable degree on Small and Medium Enterprizes, (SME’s). 99% of the Dutch companies are SME’s and together they produce 60% of the added value of the Dutch Economy. 61% of the revenues of Dutch SME’s are generated by commerce, transport and warehousing (Staatvanhetmkb, 2019). Also in logistics, new trends digitalization and automation can form a major challenge to SME’s. Contrary to large companies such as Maersk and Amazon, who have the means to react promptly and benefit from the new technologies, most SME’s miss the manpower, skills and knowledge to develop new strategies on such new trends. For this reason, RDM Knowledge Center and Sustainable PortCities in cooperation with Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, applied for funds at the NWO, to investigate the opportunities for SME’s in the logistics sector to benefit from logistics applications of blockchain. In the project the following SME’s are involved: companies active in cold chains, the pharmaceutical industry, transport, forwarding and warehousing. The project is executed by students of the two universities. Next to desk research, they perform the empirical research at the companies and they are supervised together in a study group. The knowledge acquired by them is going to be aggregated disseminated at progress meetings and in publications. During the execution of the project the participating teachers keep encountering individual students at different educational programs, who acquired similar projects at SME’s independent from the project. This confirms the relevance of the research. These students and their host companies are asked to join the project. The questions, that SME’s ask and the students work on, are quite similar:

  • What is blockchain?
  • What are the consequences of blockchain for their business model? 
  • What kind of knowledge should they have about the potential of blockchain?
  • What does it mean for their business model and processes, if powerful companies, which have major power in supply chain management, implement blockchain?
  • Can the implementation of blockchain technology push them out of the market?
  • Could blockchain technology improve their logistic processes?
  • How can blockchain technology create added value for their company?
  • Is it possible to create the same added value using an alternative technology? In case blockchain actually can generate added value, how to implement it?

In this paper the preliminary results of this research are presented. The central research question of this paper is, which user cases exist already and which opportunities do they offer for SME’s to create value. After an introduction to blockchain the possible benefits of blockchain are explored and analyzed based on a literature study. Furthermore an analysis is performed on 52 user cases – not restricted to SME’s - collected by students of the two participating universities The paper ends with a conclusion of the preliminary research.

Insights artikel Creating value for SME’s with logistics applications based on blockchain

Auteur Betrokken partijen Jaar
Klara Paardenkooper KennisDC Logistiek Zuid-Holland, Hogeschool Rotterdam 2019