IBM announced on Monday a new blockchain network aimed at improving manual and cumbersome supply chain management.
Blockchain will support the global movement and tracking of $2 trillion of goods and services annually by 2023, research firm Gartner said.
The new blockchain network is called Trust Your Supplier and alongside IBM, the other founding participants were Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone.
Chainyard, a blockchain specialist firm, is providing the technology and building the network using IBM’s blockchain platform. The other companies are putting their supplier data onto the network and contributing their expertise to expand the network.
IBM said the blockchain network would eliminate manual time consuming processes and help reduce the risk of fraud and errors.
Marie Wieck, general manager for IBM Blockchain, said: IBM’s procurement organization projects a 70 to 80 percent reduction in the time it takes to get new suppliers onboard and an estimated 50 percent reduction in administrative costs within its own business.
IBM has 18,500 suppliers and said it will begin using the Trust Your Supplier network, initially bringing onboard 4,000 of its own North American suppliers over the next few months. The blockchain has limited availability with existing participants and is scheduled to be commercially launched in the third quarter of 2019.