IBM has launched a new blockchain project, called Trust Your Supplier (TYS), which has already partnered with big names such as Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone.
The network aims to simplify supplier validation, integration and management of product life cycle information.
Making the supplier contracting process more efficient
Current supplier management methods involve “cumbersome” manual processes, which makes it difficult to verify identities and track documents. By using blockchain technology, companies are tracking process automation as well as reducing the risk of fraud and error.
TYS focuses on contracting suppliers, which covers a wide and varied range of information. ISO certifications, bank data, tax certifications, insurance certificates and other data required for exchanging orders and invoices.
“TYS creates a digital passport for the vendor identity on the blockchain network that allows them to share information with any authorized network buyer,”
Functional network with major participants
In general, a new blockchain project starts with a pilot running for long periods of time. In this case, however, Trust Your Supplier from IBM is already a functional network. The technology giant has over 18,500 suppliers and uses this platform to manage 4,000 of them.
IBM said it expects to reduce the contracting time of new providers by 70-80 percent, with a potential 50 percent reduction in administrative costs in its own business.
TYS is currently limited to existing participants, with plans to become commercially available in Q3 this year.
Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco and Schneider Electric are other founding participants in the network.
The digital passport is specifically tailored to Trust Your Supplier, but was created to be interconnected with other systems. For example, it can be integrated into TradeLens, the IBM freight ecosystem launched with Maersk in 2018.
“The notion of interoperability between blockchain networks is important to us – we start from the idea that networks can expand to help the economy grow.”