I would like to talk about blockchain, if I really knew want one of those was. In my mind it is a way of linking related data from multiple data sources in a continuous link. Wikipedia says it is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of ordered records called blocks. We are like one, two peas in a pod.
I got to thinking about him when developing the tech traceability idea. Do you remember that? It was a plan to improve the quality of technology installations across the North East using a traceability scheme along the lines of what butchers use when selling their meat. They can prove exactly where every animal was raised and processed. Perhaps we could use it to prove who carried out all installation work, to what standards and with what equipment. Who knows? That idea hasn’t got that far.
I was talking with a colleague about something similar, this time it was around payment management across supply chains. It had the same feel though there was a lot more thinking to do.
It made me wonder however. The public sector has a huge potential influence over the markets in which it operates. It spends a lot of money. We have initiatives to try and spend the money wisely, fairly and in ways that create markets rather than stifle them. For example, we try and pay suppliers within thirty days, ten if necessary, yet we have little influence over the supply chain in general. If we pay a contractor and they pay a sub-contractor and they pay another then our influence is diluted.
So why don’t we set out to manage the whole supply chain along the lines of the motor manufacturers and supermarkets? Rather than using our spend to manage direct relationships, we could use our purchasing power to spread our influence much wider.
It could also be a blockchain application in there somewhere.