IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Chainyard today announced Trust Your Supplier (TYS), a new blockchain network designed to improve supplier qualification, validation, onboarding and life cycle information management. Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone are founding participants alongside IBM in the network and share a common goal of solving challenges related to supplier information management. IBM’s industry expertise and Chainyard’s product capabilities building on IBM Blockchain Platform have brought this solution to market.
Traditional methods of managing suppliers often involve cumbersome 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. By using a decentralized approach and an immutable audit trail built on blockchain, Trust Your Supplier is designed to eliminate manual time-consuming processes and help reduce the risk of fraud and errors, ultimately creating frictionless connectivity across supply chains. By 2023, blockchain will support the global movement and tracking of $2 trillion of goods and services annually, according to technology research firm Gartner Inc.*
“Blockchain has the ability to completely transform how companies onboard and manage their supplier network for the future,” said Renee Ure, Chief Supply Chain Officer for Lenovo’s Data Center Group. “Through Trust Your Supplier, both buyers and suppliers will the see the procurement benefits of blockchain through reductions in cost, complexity and speed.”
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.
The Trust Your Supplier blockchain network can also connect existing procurement business networks by relaying necessary supplier data required for exchanging Purchase Orders and invoices, without the need for suppliers to enter it in multiple different networks and automating on-boarding process to those networks. The IBM Supply Chain Business Network can connect to Trust Your Supplier using open industry programming interfaces for access to existing verified supplier information.
“Working with IBM and Chainyard on this blockchain initiative represents a great opportunity for Nokia to further enhance our suppliers’ experience and optimize the onboarding process,” said Sanjay Mehta, Vice President Procurement, Nokia. “Using the latest technology to address a classical challenge will be of benefit for everyone, and further increase the speed of using innovative solutions.”
IBM has over 18,500 suppliers around the world and will begin using the Trust Your Supplier network initially onboarding 4,000 of its own North American suppliers over the next few months. IBM Procurement projects a 70 to 80 percent reduction in the cycle time to onboard new suppliers, with a potential 50 percent 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.