IBM Launches Blockchain Supplier Management Platform

IBM launched a new blockchain-enabled supplier management platform called Trust Your Supplier. The service will digitize and secure various manual and/or paper-based supplier information, qualifications, onboarding and management processes, which IBM Procurement believes could reduce its own supplier onboarding time by 70% to 80% and administrative costs by 50%. Trust Your Supplier creates a digital passport for supplier identity on the blockchain network that allows suppliers to share information with any permissioned buyer on the network. In addition, it is compatible with IBM’s Supply Chain Business Network and can connect existing procurement business networks, so users won’t have to re-enter data across multiple systems to use the product. IBM has long been involved in blockchain pilots with partners across the supply chain, from tracking food and beverage products with nationwide grocers to container ships through its shared TradeLens platform with Maersk. According to a McKinsey survey, few companies have attempted more than ad-hoc projects to ensure that the methods they used to interact with suppliers, including forecasting, scheduling, and logistics processes, were optimized to minimize end-to-end cost. This is due in part to the fact that while many major firms have strong supplier management foundations in place, the processes for doing so can be fragmented and tend to rely heavily on manual data entry.

(Photo Credit: IBM)