Wednesday 16th Oct 2019 - Logistics Manager Magazine

IBM launches blockchain for supplier networks

IBM and Chainyard have launched a blockchain network, Trust Your Supplier, designed to improve supplier qualification, validation, on-boarding and life cycle information management.

Founding participants are: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone.

The aim is to eliminate manual processes, which make it difficult to verify identities and track documents like ISO certifications, bank account information, tax certifications, and certificates of insurance throughout the lifecycle of a supplier.

Instead, Trust Your Supplier, uses a decentralised approach and an immutable audit trail built on blockchain, to eliminate manual processes and help reduce the risk of fraud and errors, creating frictionless connectivity across supply chains.

Trust Your Supplier creates a digital passport for supplier identity on the blockchain network that allows suppliers to share information with any permissioned buyer on the network. Blockchain ensures a permissioned based data sharing network. This should help reduce the time and cost associated with qualifying, validating and managing new suppliers while creating new business opportunities among suppliers and buyers. Third-party validators, such as Dun & Bradstreet, Ecovadis and RapidRatings provide outside verification or audit capabilities directly on the network.

IBM has more than 18,500 suppliers around the world and will begin using the Trust Your Supplier network initially on-boarding 4,000 of its own North American suppliers over the next few months. IBM Procurement projects a 70 to 80 per cent reduction in the cycle time to on-board new suppliers, with a potential 50 per cent reduction in administrative costs within its own business.

The Trust Your Supplier network is currently in limited availability with existing participants with plans for commercial availability later in Quarter 3 of 2019. TYS is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform hosted on the IBM Cloud.