Coca-Cola to Use Blockchain Technology Developed by SAP


The IT company that backs Coca-Cola’s bottle manufacturing supply chain processes is apparently getting into blockchain technology.

Dubbed Coke One North America (CONA), the company claims its pilot project that they are evolving together with software provider SAP is going to be widened from two to 70 of the manufacturers who are delivering the 160,000 bottles to Coca-Cola shops daily.

The company said on Tuesday that this blockchain project is focusing on improving distribution for all of the contributors, as all producers are able to acquire an authorized blockchain that has each others’ orders, potentials and needs. Just for example, if a bottle maker experiences a lack of stock for an emerging order, the network immediately gives options for filling the deficit. CONA said it aims to bring down order reconciliation days from weeks to just days.

The senior manager at Coke One North America Andrei Semenov noted:

“There are a number of transactions that are cross-companies and multi-party that are inefficient, they go through intermediaries, they are very slow. And we felt that we could improve this and save some money.”

The pilot program’s first positive results showed not only a bigger quantity of the bottles shipped, but also more companies engaging with SAP’s platform.

Semenov commented that CONA is also aiming at collaborating with commerce giants as are Walmart and Target as a result of blockchain integration. However, he noted that scaling to work with those companies’ supply chains could be pretty hard to tackle. For example, the Walmart-IBM blockchain is only open to those in Walmart’s leafy green food supply chain, which will likely translate into hundreds of users. As a result, there are fewer digital additions to the data chain, which means fewer verification nodes and, most importantly, far less energy expended overall.

Head of SAP’s Innovation Center Network Torsten Zube said that what they pulled off there with blockchain, is “creating a document flow across the supply chain.”

Coca-Cola’s main competitor PepsiCo had also managed its blockchain trial that the company said in May had raised its efficiency by 28 percent. Named “Project Proton,” the supply chain trial was run on Zilliqa’s blockchain platform.

PepsiCo’s project partner and media agency Mindshare then said that it was helping during the trial, which carried out a programmatic end-to-end supply chain reconciliation. This attempt co-related a controlled budget with one for the test to measure the effectiveness of the technology.

Zilliqa’s smart contracts were further used to automate the programmatic supply chain, Mindshare said explaining:

“These smart contracts reconcile impressions that are delivered from multiple data sources with payments facilitated using an internal Native Alliance Token (NAT) all in near real-time, resulting in major efficiency gains and complete transparency for the brand owners.”

Last month, Coca Cola Co. reported quarterly revenue that topped analysts’ expectations. Net sales rose 8% to $9.5 billion, topping expectations of $9.4 billion. Organic revenue grew by 5%, helped by higher prices and customers buying more expensive drinks. The company said it is expecting a 1% to 2% currency headwind next year to impact its comparable revenue and a 2% to 3% currency headwind to hit its operating income. At the time of writing the stock was falling by 1.28% to $53.46.

The thing is that blockchain technology could really change the entire food industry by increasing its efficiency, transparency and collaboration throughout the food system.

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