WASHINGTON – Blockchain, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and other innovative technologies will be the key to achieve maximum efficiency in the manufacturing supply chains, saving money and time for American businesses,?a senior trade official at the?Department of Commerce?said Wednesday.?? 

Valerie?Neuhart,?executive?director of?trade relations, said the?Commerce Department recently?created an emerging technology group that brings together government and private sector technology experts to?share information about innovative technology uses to speed the supply chain.  

The network is looking at Blockchain, for instance, and will test it’s uses for faster supply chain operations, she said.  

Blockchain is a type of information sharing network that would allow multi-institutional businesses to share information and collaborate under certain rules.  

A Blockchain practitioner from IBM’s Watson Supply Chain Solutions said the company plans to test applications of Blockchain technology for its businesses. 

“When you put three of them (Blockchain, artificial intelligence and the internet of things) together, you’ve got supply chain magic,” Shari Diaz said. 

Blockchain, as one of them, is the one that has been heatedly discussed for its large latent benefits but also the one that has not yet been put into extensive use, according to Diaz.  

It would allow participants, who can be customers, retailers and suppliers, to share information that can only be copied without any edits in a collaborative network, enabling them getting updated instantaneously all the details of business transactions ongoing.  

However, industry representatives said it has risks, including how to get hundreds of suppliers in a network to reach the same consensus without wasting time.