IBM and blockchain consultant Chainyard have announced the launch of a supply chain focused blockchain network.
Trust Your Supplier is said to be designed to improve the qualification, validation, onboarding and life cycle management of suppliers, facilitated by the IBM Blockchain Platform.
In its 5 July press release, IBM identified founding participants as including AB InBev, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone.
"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," said Sanjay Mehta, Vice President Procurement, Nokia. "Using the latest technology to address a classical challenge will be of benefit for everyone, and further increase the speed of using innovative solutions."
Eliminating the paperwork and manual labour usually associated with supply chain management, Trust Your Supplier instead uses the blockchain to create an audit trail. With a digital passport identifying suppliers, IBM said the process should reduce the time and cost for companies managing suppliers.
"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."
The network is planned to be made commercially available in Q3 of 2019, with IBM planning to bring 4,000 of its North American suppliers onto the network in the near future.