IBM and blockchain consultancy firm Chainyard have announced Trust Your Supplier, a new blockchain network aimed at improving supplier qualification, validation, onboarding, and life cycle information management.
By using a decentralised approach and an immutable audit trail built on blockchain, IBM said Trust Your Supplier is designed to eliminate manual processes and help reduce the risk of fraud and errors within supply chains.
According to IBM, 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.
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Big Blue said blockchain ensures a permissioned-based data sharing network that should help reduce the time and cost associated with qualifying, validating, and managing new suppliers while creating new business opportunities.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric, and Vodafone have signed on as Trust Your Supplier founding participants.
Meanwhile, third-party validators, such as Dun & Bradstreet, Ecovadis, and RapidRatings, will provide outside verification or audit capabilities directly on the network.
"Blockchain has the ability to completely transform how companies onboard and manage their supplier network for the future," Lenovo's Data Center Group chief supply chain officer Renee Ure said.
"Through Trust Your Supplier, both buyers and suppliers will the see the procurement benefits of blockchain through reductions in cost, complexity, and speed."
IBM has over 18,500 suppliers around the world and said it plans to begin using the Trust Your Supplier network itself, initially onboarding 4,000 of its North American suppliers over the next few months.
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The Trust Your Supplier network is currently in limited availability with existing participants, but the company said it has plans for commercial availability later this year.
Trust Your Supplier is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform hosted on the IBM Cloud.
The IBM Blockchain Platform is built on top of Hyperledger Fabric, an open source blockchain project from the Linux Foundation.