IBM Introduces New Blockchain Initiative to Make Supply Chain Management More Efficient

IBM Blockchain for Supply Chain Management

IBM, one of the largest computer companies in the world, has announced its plan to launch a new blockchain project called Trust Your Supplier (TYS), in association with a blockchain specialist firm Chainyard.

The other founding members of this project include brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, Telecommunications Company Vodafone, and tech companies such as Cisco, Lenovo, Nokia, and Schneider Electric.

Supply chain management includes managing and keeping track of production, storage and mobility of goods. TYS is designed to replace the inconvenient manual ways of supply chain management as it runs a high risk of errors and frauds and also makes it very hard to verify the suppliers and track important documents. TYS aims to replace the manual process with a decentralized and an immutable blockchain network.

The Trust Your Supplier project gives a digital passport for the suppliers on a blockchain network. This provides the suppliers with a shared database on dedicated blockchain network which they can share with the selected buyers. The database on this network also includes the supplier information which is required for trading such as bank account data, certificates of ISO, tax and insurance. There will be 70% to 80% reduction in the time it takes to validate and manage new suppliers, and a potential 50% reduction in the costs through this blockchain network.

Chainyard is providing its technology to help IBM in building of TYS network and other companies are helping in expansion of the network by providing their supplier data. The chief supply chain officer for Lenovo’s data center group, Renee Ure stated:

“Through Trust Your Supplier, both buyers and suppliers will see the procurement benefits of blockchain through reductions in cost, complexity and speed.”

IBM has launched many other blockchain projects in the past and continues to expand them. The Trust Your Supplier initiative is just one of its other blockchain-based projects. According to Gartner, which is a Global IT research firm, blockchain will manage to track the mobility of $2 trillion of goods annually by 2023. IBM, it seems, wants to be a big part of it.

IBM has 18,500 suppliers all over the world. At first, it will work with 4,000 of its North American suppliers on this new blockchain project. Though it is confined to North America in its early stages, it aims to become an international network very soon. The Trust Your Supplier network will be launched commercially by the third quarter of this year.

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