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Many in the professional cleaning industry have yet to hear about blockchain, and there is a good reason for this. While it has been used in the financial industry since The Great Recession, it is just now making its way into sectors such as distribution and, very soon, professional cleaning 

"A blockchain system is essentially an electronic ledger," says Michael Wilson, vice president of marketing and packaging for AFFLINK in a press release. “Like a ledger or a spreadsheet, it keeps track of transactions and interactions among many different parties all at the same time."

Wilson says blockchain software technology is is not a fad nor a - here today/gone tomorrow - technology. Because of this, he says distributors and members of the professional cleaning industry should be aware of the following:

• Parties in a blockchain are referred to as the blockchains "peer-to-peer network.” In the professional cleaning industry, these parties could include manufacturers, distributors, end-customers, facility managers, and others.

• Because all the ledgers are interconnected, any transaction posted on one ledger will appear on all ledgers shared among the group simultaneously.

• All changes are made instantly for all in the peer-to-peer group to see at the same time. Further, everyone knows who changed what, and the result of these changes.

• Transactions in a blockchain are irreversible. This means all transactions are locked in. If one ledger posting must be changed, it means the entire ledger of transactions will need to be changed and recomputed.

• Blockchains often offer what is called "programmability." Usually, this refers to the add-on software programs that can, for instance, project delivery times, costs and expenses, profits, and more. 

Blockchain brings to the jan/san industry improved transparency, greater operating efficiencies, reduced transaction processing times and enhances workflow, says Wilson.