Smart contracts powered by blockchain allow for opportunities that alter the need for human input and can thus mitigate risk. Industrial operations are often hampered by manual workflows, chock full of human tasks that leave operations prone to error and/or accidents as well as the wasting resources including time and money. These conditions create industrial environments that lack the transparency needed to make strategic, safer and smarter operational decisions.
For example, the typical job site today requires the foreman onsite to spend numerous hours overseeing operations. This means generous time is dedicated to signing paper documents, managing tasks from a clipboard, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, and reviewing field tickets for deliveries received or services rendered. Often, the foreman must interact with a large number of delivery/service equipment and drivers, putting them in a position exposed to accidents – for example, walking behind and around heavy machinery, interacting with transport vehicles, and working in environments at risk for slips, trips and falls. This same distraction risk exposure extends to other site crew members as well resulting in a negative ripple effect caused by these interactions.
Instead, if the job site is digitized to use smart contracts, the need for human interaction can be minimized. Less time around delivery and service equipment reduces the risk for incidents and accidents. Less time looking down at a clipboard or handheld device means better visibility into the site crew’s efforts. Smart contracts, instead, automatically capture operational information from the field that can verify commercial transactions using aggregated high-quality and accurate real-time data that maintains a provable, auditable record.
In operations without smart contract automation as much as 40% of field supervision time is spent managing the myriad tasks associated with invoicing and payment processes, from verifying activity to handling claims and disputes. This means that personnel have increased exposure risk to tripping hazards and operating machinery simply due to having to perform contract administration activities that could be automated by smart contracts. More exposure means greater chance of injury or accident.
The same idea plays out with truck drivers, the more trips required for a delivery, the more time spent on the road, the higher the risk is for an accident. Smart contracts can harvest service provider data to analyze patterns of service to determine how to make delivery routing more efficient and safe; reducing human and machine interactions and mitigating risk exposure.
With better information and more time available to focus on overseeing operations and value-added activities instead of administrative activities, operational efficiency increases while the risk of accidents and injuries are reduced in the field and on the road.