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Big Firms Join IBM Blockchain Project for Buyers and Suppliers

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August 5, 2019 | 

Darryn Pollock |  0 Comments| 

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IBM, one of the market leaders when it comes to providing blockchain solutions and, as well as working on improving the blockchain ecosystem, has launched another blockchain called Trust Your Supplier (TYS) which joins other successful projects. 

IBM has already been building blockchain solutions in the food supply chain space - with Food Trust which has the backing of WalMart and Nestle - as well as general supply chain with Trade Lens.

Now, TYS, which has already attracted the likes of Anheuser-Busch InBev, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone - all from different sectors - is working on improving the supplier supply chain.

Supplier on-boarding

TYS is focused on supplier onboarding, which means ensuring that information relating to suppliers for businesses have all their ata and relevant information up to standard and available - this time through the blockchain.

ISO certifications, bank account data, tax certifications, certificates of insurance and other supplier data required for exchanging purchase orders and invoices are all required in on-boarding suppliers, but this information is often fragmented and comes across in different forms. 

Marie Wieck, general manager at IBM Blockchain, explained to CoinDesk why this blockchain consortium is so important. 

“That onboarding cycle is typically very manual in many companies, even those with very efficient supply chains, just in terms of the vetting and validation of those suppliers. Getting a new supplier on-boarded quickly, particularly when there are new capabilities coming up every day, is critical to how rapidly you introduce new products and services.”

Transforming business

Some of the parties involved in this consortium have already expressed their eagerness in getting the on-boarding of suppliers into the blockchain to reap the benefits. 

“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.”

Sanjay Mehta, Vice President Procurement, Nokia, shared his thoughts too.

“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,”

 “Using the latest technology to address a classical challenge will be of benefit for everyone, and further increase the speed of using innovative solutions.”

A digital passport

While this new blockchain will use the expertise that IBM has already accumulated in their different supply chain work, the heart of TYS is the “Digital Passport” for supplier identity.

This digital passport will allow suppliers to on-board all their relevant information onto the blockchain and have full control over it, allowing clients and customers to access what they need on the verifiable and immutable blockchain. 

This is another form of digital identity, an aspect of blockchain research that has been heavily looked into, however, the idea of putting a business’s identity on a blockchain may have even further reaching implications.

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