CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
November 11, 2019
Forward Thinking

IBM's latest blockchain product aims to simplify supplier networks

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Trust Your Supplier product joins menu of blockchain networks for food, containers, drugs.

Technology giant IBM Corp. today said it had launched a new blockchain network designed to simplify supply chain management for users such as tech, telecom, pharma, beverage and manufacturing companies.

The Trust Your Supplier (TYS) network is designed to improve supplier qualification, validation, onboarding, and life cycle information management, according to Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM and its partner in the project, the Morrisville, N.C.-based blockchain consulting firm Chainyard.

The launch marks IBM's latest creation of blockchain-based products for various business sectors, including the "IBM Food Trust" product-tracing platform for the food industry, the "TradeLens" shipping container tracking tool created with partner Maersk, and a way to track and trace prescription medicines and vaccines in accordance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).

IBM says the Trust Your Supplier product will allow users to avoid traditional methods of managing suppliers, which often involve cumbersome manual processes.By applying a blockchain solution to the problem, companies can create animmutable audit trail that helps reduce the risk of fraud and errors in tasks such as verifying identities and tracking documents like ISO certifications, bank account information, tax certifications, and certificates of insurance.

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. In turn, that should help reduce the time and cost associated with qualifying, validating, and managing new suppliers.

Founding participants in the new platform include: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric, and Vodafone.

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