B2B Payments

Coke's Bottlers To Test Ethereum For Supply Chain Management

The IT firm Coke One North America Services (CONA), owned by the major Coca-Cola bottling companies, will try out the Baseline Protocol, a public Ethereum blockchain technology targeted at large enterprises. The trade publication Ledger Insights said that blockchain startups Unibright and Provide are involved in the project.

Ethereum’s website says that it is “a technology that lets you send cryptocurrency to anyone for a small fee. It also powers applications.”

CONA already has an existing Hyperledger Fabric system developed in conjunction with SAP that allows bottlers to share data. “A bottler may not always have sufficient stock on hand for delivery, so another franchise might sometimes make up the shortfall,” said Ledger Insights.

The goal of the new project is to bring external suppliers, such as the manufacturers of cans and bottles, onto the system.

The new software built on top of Ethereum will allow the internal systems of two or more companies to be synchronized — without storing confidential data on the public blockchain, Ledger Insights reported.

Coca-Cola successfully worked with CONA to expand use of the blockchain software provider SAP’s system in 2019. The purpose of the blockchain push was to help improve distribution and allow the manufacturers to access others’ orders and specifications. Then they could fix problems more easily.

“There are a number of transactions that are cross-companies and multi-party that are inefficient, they go through intermediaries, they are very slow,” senior manager at Coke One North America Andrei Semenov said at the time. “And we felt that we could improve this and save some money.”

As it continues to innovate, Coca-Cola is grappling with plunging sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. In April, for example, Coke reported that global sales volume fell by a quarter.

Some of that was due to social-distancing regulations in China.

But the bigger obstacle for Coke was due to global lockdown orders. Consumers were going nowhere, so they were not ordering Cokes at ballgames, bars and restaurants.

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