UA blockchain case study shows technology benefits

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 841 views 

The Blockchain Center for Excellence at the University of Arkansas recently released a whitepaper showing the success of a blockchain software that’s nearly eliminated invoicing disputes between shippers and carriers and allowed carriers to be paid quicker.

Blockchain is a digital list of connected and verified records, and worldwide spending on the technology is expected to rise from $1.5 billion in 2018 to $15.9 billion by 2023, according to Statista.

The whitepaper, “Requiem for reconciliations: DL Freight, a blockchain-enabled solution by Walmart Canada and DLT Labs,” was completed by Mary Lacity and Remko van Hoek, who are professors in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Lacity is director of the Blockchain Center for Excellence, and van Hoek is executive director for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Supply Chain Hall of Fame in Rogers.

Lacity said a case study on DL Freight started in November after Walmart Canada and DLT Labs presented on it.

“This is an amazing case study,” she said. “They delivered a lot of business value very quickly.”

Walmart Canada worked with DLT Labs to develop DL Freight, a blockchain-enabled software for freight invoicing and payment process that reduced disputes from 70% to less than 2%, the study shows.

Carriers pay a fee to use the software, and the incentive is they are paid weeks to months faster as “they don’t have to go through reconciliation,” Lacity said. “What this solution does is they share the records, and the invoice gets built along the way.”

The significance of the study shows that it can be done, she said. Tens of thousands of experiments have been done on blockchain for enterprises, and this one is live and delivering business value for all its participants. If other companies were to copy this, more businesses would reap the benefits of blockchain technology, she added.