Today, we sat in on a panel with a ship management company and attended lectures for blockchain and forecasting.
The ship management company focused the most on supply chain management in their presentation out of the three presentations. They play the essential role of moving large quantities of products and materials across the world, taking advantage of ships’ innate ability to move substantially more cargo than trains and planes between continents. They notably don’t own the ships themselves and only apply their expertise to other people’s vessels. The blockchain lecture specifically emphasized Bitcoin’s value as an instant and irreversible method for transferring large quantities of money, which would speed up transactions at points in the supply chain where products or materials changed hands. Meanwhile, forecasting influences the supply chain in a less direct manner by allowing companies to more accurately predict demand for different products in different areas at different times. This reduces excess inventory and consequently cuts costs.
The main thing I learned about supply chain management today was the concept that supply chain management doesn’t necessarily describe the direct linear movement of products, materials, and information—it involves a number of ancillary aspects like the aforementioned necessity for instantaneous transactions afforded by Bitcoin and forecasting to reduce the need for certain products and materials. It was interesting to conceptualize the concept of a supply chain for blockchain items, which have a supply chain despite being decentralized and intangible because they undergo a specific process before becoming available for usage.
Just like with the previous ship management companies, the main difference between US and Cyprus business practices was the heavy reliance on shipping in Cyprus. Additionally, while not necessarily a business, UNIC was faster to adopt blockchain-oriented curriculum than any other university in the world, including all US-based ones. The other practices seemed similar between the two, as companies from all around the world participated in the forecasting competitions and are currently trying to invest in blockchain technology.