In a move to give itself a leg up in the great cola war, Coca-Cola is employing blockchain technology to manage their cross-party transactions. This is a big step for the global giant, which is relying on the technology to assist them with their $21 billion a year network.

Coke One North America (CONA), the tech firm responsible for the supply chain management of Coca-Cola’s bottling operations has now turned to blockchain technology as the solution for distribution management. To help accommodate this, CONA has struck a deal with German software developer SAP to develop the system that will be used to monitor the 160,000 different products produced by the company, Business Insider reported.

Andrei Semenov, a senior manager at CONA, told the news outlet, “There are a number of transactions that are cross-companies and multiparty that are inefficient. They go through intermediaries; they are very slow. And we felt that we could improve this and save some money.”

It is expected that using blockchain technology will greatly reduce the duration of the order-reconciliation process. This currently takes as long as 50 days to process orders, but the new platform is expected to reduce it to just a few days using the new system. In addition, all inter-organizational information will be provided through a transparent distributed ledger in real-time.

Semenov explained how the process developed, and how this was deemed as a necessary change for the soft drink giant: “There was a negotiation and discussion, getting to a consensus of what data we wanted to share. We started with a huge list of data attributes, and we narrowed it down to the list that everybody agreed on.”

Coca-Cola has already tested this platform in a pilot program which provided positive results. In each instance, the number of bottles being shipped was successfully tracked and delivered to its location. This drew rave reviews from executives and made it a certainty that the program would be enlarged to include all of their products.

Coca-Cola is not the first major company to employ the use of blockchain technology. Walmart has frequently turned to this platform of late, not only tracking prescription drug shipments but also, most recently, using it to track the supply chain for shrimp.

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