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IBM, Chainyard launch Trust Your Supplier blockchain network; Nokia, Lenovo and others join as founding members

Mon, 05 Aug 2019, 14:03 pm UTC

IBM and Chainyard have announced a new blockchain initiative that aims to address the challenges related to supplier information management.

On Monday, the companies announced Trust Your Supplier (TYS) – a new blockchain network, built on the IBM Blockchain Platform hosted on the IBM Cloud, which will aim to enhance supplier qualification, validation, onboarding and life cycle information management.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone have already joined the initiative as founding members. Third-party validators, such as Dun & Bradstreet, Ecovadis and RapidRatings provide outside verification or audit capabilities directly on the network, according to the official announcement.

The existing method of managing suppliers is largely manual and time-consuming, making it difficult to verify identities and track documents. The blockchain-based digital identity platform will aim to address these challenges and help reduce the risk of fraud and errors, thereby creating frictionless connectivity across supply chains.

TYS will essentially create a “digital passport” – a digital identity for suppliers on the blockchain network, which could be shared with any permissioned buyer on the network. This would help reduce the time and cost associated with qualifying, validating and managing new suppliers while creating new business opportunities among suppliers and buyers.

“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 press release reads.

Furthermore, the blockchain network can also connect existing procurement business networks by relaying necessary supplier data required for exchanging purchase orders and invoices, eliminating the need for suppliers to manually enter it in multiple different networks and automating the onboarding process to those networks.

"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 see the procurement benefits of blockchain through reductions in cost, complexity and speed."

In the forthcoming months, IBM, which has over 18,500 suppliers around the world, will start using the TYS network initially onboarding 4,000 of its own North American suppliers. The TYS network is currently in limited availability with existing participants with plans for commercial availability in the third quarter of 2019.

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