Digital Transformers: Supplier Management Using Blockchain

Historically, procurement has considered themselves the ‘gatekeepers’ for enterprise contracts and supplier relationships. Information was regarded as power, especially if it could give them an upper hand in supplier negotiations. That paradigm no longer works.

Today’s procurement organizations are not only beginning to empower distributed buyers to make more and more independent decisions about suppliers, they are working towards stronger, more trust-based partnerships with those suppliers.

In this episode of Digital Transformers, powered by Supply Chain Now, hosts Kevin L. Jackson and Kelly Barner welcome Gary Storr and April Harrison with Trust Your Supplier to the podcast to discuss supplier management using blockchain:

· The importance of establishing mutual trust in a digitally transformed business environment and how specific technologies can help companies achieve that at scale

· How blockchain can not only increase the trust factor of supplier information, it can also prevent suppliers from having to manually make updates across a range of customer systems

· Ways in which the past year has helped procurement see just how reliant they are on their suppliers

Listen to the episode here.

The Value of a Blockchain-Based Identity

by April Harrison

A trusted supplier identity is the keystone of our Trust Your Supplier (TYS) platformTYS provides organizations a trusted exchange of information across an encrypted blockchain environment to minimize risk & fraud throughout the onboarding and life cycle of partnerships. Our value proposition relies on ensuring identity control and privacy for network participants. 

The exchange of information is crucial to business operations in all industries. Conventional systems are open to fraud, error and inefficiency. These manual processes lack data security and each participant has their own separate database, or ledger — increasing the possibility of human error or fraud. Shared databases cannot prevent malicious activity. Hacked entities can corrupt or destroy data in the shared database, making it invalid for everyone involved. 

Blockchain is designed for trust and secure trading, reducing vulnerabilities. It provides clear provenance and a single, shared, tamper-evident ledger. Once recorded, transactions cannot be altered. This is ideal for supporting auditing capabilities as it provides an immutable relationship history between parties. 

The TYS supplier profile data is sovereign, owned & controlled by the supplier, who can selectively share additional profile information with companies they choose to connect with on the network. 

This single, digital identity for suppliers can be shared with multiple buyers and business networks. A 2-tiered supplier profile approach allows suppliers to be discovered by new customers without handing over unlimited access to their data. 

To learn more about this innovative new approach to supplier identity that is transforming supplier relationships, please visit www.TrustYourSupplier.com 

Trust is Built in Drops and Lost in Buckets

by Gary Storr

Today in the world of Supplier Information Management speed and risk mitigation are tremendously important in establishing the partnerships so critical to business growth and success. Unfortunately, most organizations have been unable to address these challenges. Did you know that the typical timeframe to onboard a new supplier within many enterprise organizations is more than 30 days? In a world where speed is currency, that can have a huge impact on a business’s ability to pivot, grow, and innovate. A lot of that has to do with the information required to vet a new supplier, and the work required to do that vetting. Numerous spreadsheets, portals, systems, and unsecured document exchanges make this a very cumbersome process. And on the supplier side, each customer demands this same information, creating an incredibly repetitive and non-value added work effort. In summary, it’s a lot of inefficiencies and unnecessary attracted cost for everyone.

Trust Your Supplier (or TYS), addresses these pain points and more. Built on IBM Blockchain, TYS is a strategic collaboration between Chainyard and IBM and a revolutionary solution that brings efficiency and optimization to address these challenges. It’s compellingly different than any supplier management network in operation today. Simply put, TYS creates a Trusted Source of Supplier Information and Digital Identity that simplifies and accelerates Supplier Onboarding and Lifecycle Management. Supplier-provided trusted data, their identity, is used by buyers to validate and manage the partnership. It’s immediate access to real-time data that generates massive savings and reduction of risk. The value proposition is compelling for suppliers too. The single blockchain-based profile eliminates redundant submission of the same information multiple times to different buyers and reduces time to the first transaction and ultimately when they get paid. They are also discoverable on the network, creating opportunities for new business with other buyers on the network.

And the game-changer is the TYS Data Marketplace. Similar to an App Store on your mobile device, this marketplace is a collection of gold-standard services available from firms that are the world’s leading authorities on financial health, sustainability, risk & resilience, and a host of other capacities that help evaluate the performance of your partners. Renowned firms like Dun & Bradstreet, Rapid Ratings, Ecovadis, and many others offer their services directly on the network where their ratings, scores, and evaluations are aggregated into a single, seamless view for the user. This dramatically reduces the time required to conduct due diligence and qualify a partner, saving time and cost. Best of all, free content is available from practically all of these providers, while advanced premium services are can be purchased ala carte to meet your specific needs.  

To ensure state of the art, enterprise-grade trust, TYS is built on Blockchain, creating a decentralized system that is not controlled by a single company. It can quickly become a global standard for supplier and buyer collaboration as well as increasing the participation of third parties who can provide services into this neutral environment.

It’s clear the new normal in supplier management centers on trust. Knowing and trusting your suppliers, in corporate responsibility, sustainability, diversity, financial stability, and a host of other areas are key to ensuring enterprises can responsibly conduct business. Suppliers need to build that trust and continually demonstrate this commitment to their partners. The partnership has never been so important.