IBM gathered leading companies including Vodafone Group, Nokia, Cisco and Lenovo into a new blockchain-based programme designed to improve access to information about, and management of, suppliers.
The tech companies joined leaders from the pharmaceutical, beverage and manufacturing industries in signing up to the Trust Your Supplier programme, which IBM formed in conjunction with blockchain consultancy Chainyard to “eliminate manual time-consuming processes” involving supply chains.
In a statement, the computing giant explained the scheme targets processes including tracking supplier documents and certification, bank and tax details, and insurance details. It cited Gartner research showing blockchain could support the movement and tracking of US$2 trillion-worth of goods by 2023.
The blockchain-based system “creates a digital passport for supplier identity” enabling those companies to share information “with any permissioned buyer on the network”. IBM said this “should help reduce the time and cost associated with qualifying, validating and managing new suppliers”.
Additionally, Trust Your Supplier “can also connect existing procurement business networks”, giving suppliers a single point of access rather than having to enter details across multiple different networks.
Lenovo Data Centre Group chief supply chain officer Renee Ure said blockchain holds the potential to “completely transform how companies onboard and manage their supplier network”. He backed Trust Your Supplier to benefit buyers and suppliers by reducing the cost and complexity of transactions.
Sanjay Mehta, VP of procurement at Nokia, explained the IBM and Chainyard platform offers the vendor the opportunity to “enhance our suppliers’ experience and optimise the onboarding process”.
Companies already signed up to the programme are conducting tests, with a full launch planned for later in the current calendar quarter.-Mobile World Live