Improving Interorganizational Information Sharing for Vendor Managed Inventory: Toward a Decentralized Information Hub Using Blockchain Technology
Supply chain literature has long recognized the benefits of information sharing. Researchers and practitioners see high potential for improving processes, enabling new replenishment policies, and enhancing supply chain integration. Even though information technology represents a vital role as a driver and a success factor for implementing information sharing, established technologies still do not reflect the highly decentralized and fragmented characteristics of complex and often global supply chains. Early research shows that blockchain might be an enabler for the supply chain management. However, little is known about how blockchain might improve information sharing for complex, multitier supply chains. Therefore, this article aims at analyzing how and to what extent blockchain can facilitate information sharing for vendor managed inventory by designing a software prototype based on Hyperledger Fabric using the design science research approach. This research took place in close cooperation with a leading German healthcare technology manufacturer, which allowed us to base our study both on literature and practical insights. With our results, we contribute to the supply chain knowledge base by introducing the decentralized information hub model, describing how companies utilize decentralized technologies, such as blockchain, to facilitate information sharing.