IBM, Lenovo, Nokia, Vodafone launch a new blockchain network for supply chain management

Tech giant IBM has launched a new blockchain network with several big-name companies such as Lenovo, Nokia, and Vodafone joining as founding participants, according to an announcement Monday.

The network, dubbed “Trust Your Supplier (TYS),” aims to simplify supplier validation, onboarding, and life cycle information management. Multinational brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev, pharma major GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco and Schneider Electric are other founding participants in the network.

The current methods of managing suppliers involve “cumbersome” manual processes, making it challenging to verify identities and track documents throughout the lifecycle of a supplier. By using blockchain technology, the companies aim to automate processes as well as reduce the risk of fraud and errors.

“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,” said IBM.

The tech giant, for instance, has over 18,500 suppliers globally, and with the TYS network, it estimates to reduce cycle time to onboard new suppliers by 70% to 80%, as well as reduce administrative costs by 50% within its own business, per the announcement.

Blockchain startup Chainyard is building the network using IBM’s blockchain platform. The network is currently available in a limited capacity, and the commercial launch is scheduled for Q3 2019.