IBM, Chainyard unveil blockchain network for the supply chain

IBM and Chainyard have unveiled Trust Your Supplier (TYS), a new blockchain network designed to improve supplier qualification, validation, onboarding and life cycle information management.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone are founding participants alongside IBM in the network and share a common goal of solving challenges related to supplier information management.

By using a decentralised approach and an immutable audit trail built on blockchain, TYS is designed to eliminate manual time-consuming processes and help reduce the risk of fraud and errors, ultimately creating frictionless connectivity across supply chains.

“Through TYS, both buyers and suppliers will see the procurement benefits of blockchain through reductions in cost, complexity and speed,” said Renee Ure, chief supply chain officer for Lenovo’s Data Center Group. 

TYS creates a digital passport for supplier identity on the blockchain network that allows suppliers to share information with any permissioned buyer on the network. This should help reduce the time and cost associated with qualifying, validating and managing new suppliers while creating new business opportunities among suppliers and buyers.

Third-party validators, such as Dun & Bradstreet, Ecovadis and RapidRatings provide outside verification or audit capabilities directly on the network.

The TYS blockchain network can also connect existing procurement business networks by relaying necessary supplier data required for exchanging Purchase Orders and invoices, without the need for suppliers to enter it in multiple different networks and automating on-boarding process to those networks.

The IBM Supply Chain Business Network can connect to TYS using open industry programming interfaces for access to existing verified supplier information.

IBM has over 18,500 suppliers around the world and will begin using the TYS network initially onboarding 4,000 of its own North American suppliers over the next few months.

IBM Procurement projects a 70% to 80% reduction in the cycle time to onboard new suppliers, with a potential 50%t reduction in administrative costs within its own business. The TYS network is currently in limited availability with existing participants with plans for commercial availability later in third quarter of 2019.