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

Corporates including 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.

Traditional methods of managing suppliers often involve cumbersome manual processes, which make it difficult to verify identities and track documents like ISO certifications, bank account information, tax certifications, and certificates of insurance throughout the lifecycle of a supplier. By using a decentralised approach and an immutable audit trail built on blockchain, TYS is designed to eliminate manual processes and help reduce the risk of fraud and errors, ultimately creating frictionless connectivity across supply chains.

According to research from Gartner, by 2023 blockchain will support the global movement and tracking of US$2 trillion of goods and services annually.

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. Blockchain ensures a permissioned-based data sharing network. This should help reduce the time and cost associated with qualifying, validating and managing new suppliers while creating 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.

The TYS network is currently in limited availability with existing participants with plans for commercial availability later in Q3 2019. TYS is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform hosted on the IBM Cloud.