What You Should Know:
– IBM has launched Rapid Supplier Connect, a blockchain-based solution to help battle medical supply chain shortages due to COVID-19.
– The network will help government agencies and healthcare organizations identify new, non-traditional suppliers who have pivoted to address the shortage of equipment, devices, and supplies needed for COVID-19 relief efforts.
– Rapid Supplier Connect is available at no cost until August 31, 2020, to qualified buyers and suppliers in the US and Canada.
As part of IBM’s approach to combating COVID-19 with technology solutions that enable more trustworthy information, accelerated discovery, resiliency, and adaptation, the company today announced IBM Rapid Supplier Connect, a blockchain-based network designed to help government agencies and healthcare organizations identify new, non-traditional suppliers who have pivoted to address the shortage of equipment, devices, and supplies needed for COVID-19 relief efforts.
Rapid Supplier Connect is available at no cost until August 31, 2020, to qualified buyers and suppliers in the United States and Canada. Suppliers and buyers currently joining the network include hospitals and other organizations such as Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, and The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation, which is onboarding more than 200 American suppliers from its 3,000 global community members.
IBM Rapid Supplier Connect Features & Benefits
With healthcare workers and other first responders feeling the impact of supply chains disrupted by unprecedented challenges, many large and small businesses from outside the traditional healthcare procurement system are reconfiguring to mass-produce masks, gowns, and other essential supplies. In order to begin purchasing from them at scale, buyers—including hospitals, state procurement divisions, pharmacies, and others — need help identifying these new suppliers, efficiently vetting and on-boarding them, and understanding their real-time inventory availability. The network also helps identify existing supplies and excess inventory going unused, allowing hospitals to make it available to others and redirect supplies where they are needed most.
Buyers who access the network can benefit from a broader range of suppliers outside of their traditional supply chain, a streamlined supplier onboarding process, validation checks, and inventory information in near-real-time. Suppliers benefit from a portable online identity, access to user feedback, and the ability to post and manage inventory availability. Real-time insight into a volatile and uncertain supply chain is never simple, and with the challenges of the current global situation, IBM harnessed the Trust Your Supplier blockchain-based identity platform built by Chainyard for qualification and identification, in conjunction with its existing Sterling Supply Chain Suite and highly scalable Inventory Visibility microservice to deliver this increased visibility.
Rapid Supplier Connect complements existing supply chain networks and their payment systems, however, buyers also have the option to use the services of a third-party paymaster for a fee, CDAX, which will secure funds on behalf of buyers in a custody and settlement account, holding goods ordered contractually from the supplier under a consignment arrangement until the buyer verifies acceptance of the order and releases funds to the seller. Project N95, which is serving as a clearinghouse for information on COVID-related suppliers will also help with supplier vetting. Dun & Bradstreet is contributing its identity resolution, firmographic data, and supplier risk and viability scores, and KYC SiteScan will provide “Know Your Business” due diligence report access.
How to Join The Network
Joining the network is expected to take buyers and suppliers approximately 30 minutes, with industry and technical support provided by IBM’s operational support center to assist with onboarding and getting value from the network.