International fashion brand Desigual has become one of a growing number of retailers to turn to blockchain to manage its logistics, using the new distributed leger technology to keep a close eye on its complex supply chain and distribution network.
The Barcelona-based retailer is working with enterprise blockchain group Finboot to integrate its MARCO Track & Trace application within its import and export process to improve transparency and build resiliency in its supply chain – and save money.
So how does blockchain help? Once an initial purchase order is made by Desigual to a supplier, there are numerous logistical milestones to meet ahead of the goods arriving at the retailer’s distribution centre. These include the negotiation of a lead time for each product line in the purchase order with tier one suppliers and the organisation of transport for the finished goods via freight forwarders.
One of the biggest challenges Desigual faces when managing this process is the lack of visibility from start to finish. If delays arise, which they often do, the company has previously been unable to determine where the issue originated within the supply chain. It is even more difficult for Desigual to take preventive measures before an issue or delay occurs, since there isn’t an effective mechanism in place that can flag these in advance.
With the MARCO Track & Trace solution, Desigual is able to trace the entire process, from purchase order to arrival at the distribution centre, on a near real-time basis as the blockchain technology enables all stakeholder interactions to be registered in a secure, shared environment.
Gathering this data in a visible and transparent way is not only key to accountability but, more importantly, it also gives Desigual far greater insight into its import and export process, thereby building a more resilient, verifiable supply chain.
The first phase of the partnership will introduce significant operational efficiencies to Desigual and is the first step towards the company’s broader digitalisation objective. In the future, there is scope to extend this traceability across the entire supply chain, from purchase order to end consumer, enabling complete visibility of all production processes and distribution channels.
This is an important step for Desigual as the fashion industry continues to evolve its relationship with the consumer to become more transparent, accountable and data-driven.
Javier Fernández, Technology Innovation Leader at Desigual, explains: “Having transparent, resilient supply chains is of paramount importance to us as we look to both increase our operational efficiency and gain greater insight into our production processes. By using Finboot’s blockchain solution MARCO, we are ensuring that we remain at the forefront of digitalisation, which gives us a competitive edge over brands that continue to rely on analogue, inefficient systems. This supply chain transparency will enhance our brand value and benefit all of Desigual’s stakeholders.”
Juan Miguel Pérez Rosas, CEO and Co-founder at Finboot, adds: “Blockchain can bring much needed transparency and visibility to complex logistics and help build the supply chains of the future. Finboot has extensive experience in the ready-made garments industry, having worked with other leading brands in both Europe and the USA, and we are delighted to now also be supplying Desigual with our proprietary middleware solution MARCO to embed resiliency within its operations. In an era of accelerated globalisation, the need for secure, digitalised supply chains has never been greater. The adoption of technology that gives partners, suppliers and consumers access to more accountable and traceable information will bring much needed trust to brands in an increasingly data-driven world.”