As the Covid-19 pandemic rages across the globe, IBM helps fight the battle of shortages in the medical supply chain by bringing in new technology solutions called the IMB Rapid Supplier Connect.
This tech is a blockchain-based network that is designed to help the government and healthcare organizations to identify non-traditional new suppliers who have turned to address the shortage of devices, equipment, and supplies required for Covid-19 relief and medical supply efforts.
Rapid Supplier Connect Benefits and Features
With health care workers, as well as other first responders, feel the impact of a disrupted supply chain due to the unprecedented challenges, most small and large businesses from outside the traditional healthcare and medical procurement system are reconfiguring their operations to mass-produce gowns, masks, and other essential medical supplies.
To start purchasing from them at a scale, buyers— which includes the state procurement divisions, hospitals, pharmacies, and other organizations in the healthcare industry— need help to identify these new reconfigured suppliers, vetting and on-boarding them efficiently as well as getting information of their real-time inventory availability which this new IBM tech offers.
The network also helps in identifying the excess inventory going unused as well as existing supplies, allowing hospitals to make it available to others and redirecting the supplies where they’re needed the most.
For the buyers who access this network, they can benefit from a wider range of suppliers outside their traditional supply chain streamlining supplier on boarding process, inventory information, and validation check in real-time.
Meanwhile, suppliers can benefit from the portable online identity, the ability to upload and manage inventory availability as well as access user feedback.
Real-time insight into an uncertain and volatile supply chain is quite complicated. Not only that, but the challenges of the current world situation can also cause mistrust. Thus, IBM utilized the Trust Your Supplier, another blockchain-based identity platform that is built by Chainyard.
This platform is used for the identification and qualification of suppliers and buyers, in conjunction with the existing Sterling Supply Chain Suite as well as the highly scalable Inventory Visibility micro services, delivering better visibility and transparency of inventory.
While the Rapid Supplier Connect integrates and complements the existing supply chain networks as well as their payment systems, buyers also have an option to use the services of 3rd party paymaster for a small fee— CDAX— that should help secure funds on behalf of the buyers in a settlement and custody account. This means that goods ordered are held contractually from a supplier under the consignment agreement until the buyer completely verifies the acceptance of an order and releasing the funds to the sellers.
Meanwhile, the Project N95 also serves as a clearinghouse for data and info on Covid-19-related suppliers that can also help with supplier selection. Furthermore, the Dun & Bradstreet is also contributing its firmographic data, identity resolution, and supplier viability and risk scores as well as the KYC SiteScan that can provide due diligence report access.
Rapid Supplier Connect Cost and Availability
The Rapid Supplier Connect is available completely without any cost until the 31st of August 2020, to the qualified suppliers and buyers in Canada and the United States.
Buyers and suppliers are currently joining the network including hospitals as well as other organizations such as the Northwell Health, New York City’s largest healthcare group that spans up to 800 hospitals as well as the Worldwide Supply Chain Federation, onboarding over 200 American suppliers from its 3,000 community members from all over the world.