IBM has rolled out a new blockchain-powered solution aimed at mitigating supply chain risk.
Dubbed Trust Your Supplier, the blockchain network enables businesses to more efficiently validate and onboard their vendors while maintaining a secure audit trail of buyer-supplier interactions down the supply chain, reports in ZDNet said Monday (Aug. 5).
Developed in partnership with blockchain consultancy Chainyard, the Trust Your Supplier tool automatically generates what IBM describes as a passport for vendor identity. That information is stored on the blockchain platform and allows suppliers and permissioned buyers to exchange that data on the network, a process IBM noted will save professionals from having to spend time manually aggregating vendor data and verifying their supplier base.
According to reports, Lenovo, Nokia, GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Vodafone are all among the global conglomerates that have already signed up for the network.
“Blockchain has the ability to completely transform how companies onboard and manage their supplier network for the future,” said Lenovo Data Center Group Chief Supply Chain Officer Renee Ure in a statement. “Through Trust Your Supplier, both buyers and suppliers will see the procurement benefits of blockchain through deductions in cost, complexity and speed.”
Third-party data validators including RapidRatings and Dun & Bradstreet have also signed onto the platform to provide external audit and data verification services on the network.
IBM noted that it plans to deploy the Trust Your Supplier solution for its own supply chain and vendor management solutions. The company operates with more than 18,500 vendors, it said, and will first on-board about 4,000 North American suppliers in the coming months.
Vendor management is an increasingly strategic component of supply chain and risk management.
In an interview with PYMNTS last year, Koble Founder and CEO Fabrice Saporito explained that vendor sourcing is complex and traditionally filled with manual processes.
“The upfront risk is really just the sheer waste of time and massive opportunity cost trying to sort through prospects without a targeted way to filter them,” Saporito said of the struggle buyers and suppliers face when blindly entering new relationships. “Long-term, you risk entering into a relationship that may not be the best fit for both parties.”