IBM has launched a new blockchain project called Trust Your Supplier (TYS), with big name firms Anheuser-Busch InBev, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone already on board.
Announced Monday, TYS joins IBM’s successful stable of track-and-trace supply chain and logistics blockchain consortia, which include Food Trust and TradeLens.
TYS is focused on supplier onboarding, an umbrella term relating to a wide and varied assortment of supplier information like ISO certifications, bank account data, tax certifications, certificates of insurance and other supplier data required for exchanging purchase orders and invoices.
Marie Wieck, general manager at IBM Blockchain, told CoinDesk:
“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.”
Renee Ure, chief supply chain officer for Lenovo’s data center group, echoed this in a statement, saying, “Through Trust Your Supplier, both buyers and suppliers will see the procurement benefits of blockchain through reductions in cost, complexity and speed.”
Stepping back, enterprise blockchain projects have a reputation for moving forward at a glacial pace, plodding from proof-of-concept to pilot and finally (if you’re lucky) to live production.
However, in this case, IBM has emerged with a fully formed live production blockchain.
Big Blue started work on the project internally with its own procurement division and is using the blockchain to manage 4,000 of its own 18,500 suppliers. IBM said it expects to see a 70–80 percent reduction in the cycle time to onboard new suppliers,