A New Research Asserts Blockchain’s Effectiveness for Enhanced Data Sharing in Retail Industry!
The Auburn University RFID Lab, in association with GS1 US, concluded a proof-of-concept that shows the effectiveness of blockchain and RFID (radio frequency identification) technologies to enhance serialized data sharing in the retail industry. The comprehensive findings are accessible in a new white paper titled “Chain Integration Project (CHIP) Proof of Concept.”
The researchers studied the exchange of serialized product data within paired brands and retailers. The findings verified that a blockchain network was able to share item-level data encoded in RFID tags between the participants. According to the white paper, the automation of serialized product data exchange utilizing blockchain can eradicate the requirement for human audits and counting, improving the efficiency and productivity of the retail supply chain. As documented in Project Zipper, a 2018 Auburn University RFID Lab study and a precursor to CHIP, the appearance of serialized data in the supply chain has increased as more brands embrace RFID tags and infrastructure to assemble data on individual items ﬂowing by their facilities. Nevertheless, industry stakeholders reported poor item-level visibility due to a lack of data sharing. CHIP offers proof that blockchain technology, in alliance with a GS1 data-sharing standard named EPCIS (Electronic Product Code Information Services), enables associates to transmit data more quickly and efficiently, while supporting ownership of their data.
“CHIP is truly groundbreaking because it provides a vision into the future of information exchange in retail,” stated Justin Patton, director, the Auburn University RFID Lab. “By exploring the intersection of RFID and blockchain technology, we’ve taken an important step in our mission to help rid the retail supply chain of costly errors and inefficiencies caused by outdated processes and legacy systems.”
“More widespread data sharing can unite the retail supply chain, however, blockchain technology is only as useful as the data that is shared by industry stakeholders,” stated Angela Fernandez, vice president of community engagement, GS1 US. “Now that CHIP has confirmed the viability of using EPCIS to communicate serialized item data across the supply chain, adhering to a GS1 Standards-based framework is more important than ever.”
Later this year, the Auburn University RFID Lab will start a follow-up pilot study, concentrating on the financial implications of data exchange automation. Participants and researchers will more particularly test how a blockchain-based, serialized data solution can assist in eliminating claims and chargebacks that happen between brands and retailers.