Target Developing An Open Source Platform For Tracking Supply Chain
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Target Developing An Open Source Platform For Tracking Supply Chain

Target, the retail giant based in Minnesota, United States, is quietly getting into the Blockchain space. The company is the eighth largest retailer in the country.

Target Sourcing For An Engineer And A Systems Developer

Since mid-last year, the company has been looking into a supply chain management solution based on the Blockchain dubbed ConsenSource. The company has also pledged to back the Hyperledger Grid project, another supply chain framework based on the Blockchain. Joel Crabb, the company’s vice president of architecture said through a post on the corporate blog that he is proud Target will be supporting the Hyperledger Grid project. He added that the company will be devoting dedicated resources in engineering for the development of components in the Grid architecture.

The ConsenSource project, which the company has recently open-sourced, was initially intended to certify suppliers for Target’s paper manufacturing. According to Crabb’s post, the company has been closely working with certification boards and managers of forests, looking into the technology and deciding on what data is appropriate to share on a distributed ledger.

Job vacancy

To continue carrying out work related to the distributed ledger technology, the company is looking to hire a systems developer and an engineer. These job openings were posted on the official company website, career page. According to the job posting, the engineer will be tasked with building distributed ledger systems, protocols, RESTful APIs, smart contracts and command line interface (CLI). All these are to be developed within an open source environment.

Target Conducting Blockchain R&D In Secrecy

The exploration into the distributed ledger technology has seen the company appreciate the advantages that come with open-source projects; it is even offering support to some. Going by the blog, Target, with the inclusion of other companies, appreciates the potential of open source coming in the form of enterprise Blockchain initiatives. The blog states that with open source projects, the parties taking part are required to collectively come up with the governance model from the word go.

In this way, the parties involved are then able to focus their energy on coming up with Blockchain based solutions which can promote improved speeds, transparency as well as save costs.

To date, Target has been seen as largely carrying out its Blockchain initiatives under the veil of secrecy. Late last year, CoinDesk revealed that a source from Hyperledger confirmed that the retailing giant has been looking into developing a supply chain product. According to the source, the R&D (research and development) was being carried out under the Hyperledger consortium. The Linux Foundation’s spokesperson Emily Fisher has come out to clarify that although Target has made significant contributions to the code, it is not a member of the consortium.

More Investments In The Supply Chain

In the most recent shareholder annual report, the company stated that it is investing in the improvement of the supply chain. According to the report, the company is gradually migrating to a modern platform most of its mainframe based systems and middleware products. Among these are systems supporting inventory and transactions related to the supply chain.

June 11, 2019

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Samantha Mitchell


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