IBM has launched Trust Your Supplier (TYS), a new blockchain project focused on supplier onboarding: the collection of a wide and varied assortment of supplier information like ISO certifications, bank account data, tax certifications, certificates of insurance and other supplier data required for exchanging purchase orders and invoices. 

The chief supply chain officer for Lenovo’s data center group, Rene Ure, emphasized this in a statement, saying, “Through Trust Your Supplier, both buyers and suppliers will see the procurement benefits of blockchain through reductions in cost, complexity and speed.”

Announced Monday, TYS joins IBM’s successful stable of track-and-trace supply chain and logistics blockchain consortia, which include Food Trust and TradeLens.

Historically, enterprise blockchain projects have a reputation for moving forward at a glacial pace, plodding from proof-of-concept to pilot and finally, if luck holds, to live production.

However, in this case, IBM has emerged with a fully formed live production blockchain.

Big Blue started work on the project internally with its own procurement division and is using the blockchain to manage 4,000 of its own 18,500 suppliers. IBM said it expects to see a 70–80 percent reduction in the cycle time to onboard new suppliers, with a potential 50 percent reduction in administrative costs within its own business.

With big-name firms like Anheuser-Busch InBev, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone are already formulating plans to attract many more participants in Q3 of this year. IBM currently means to confine its footprint to North America, with the intention to create a global network in the future.

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