We’ve all heard about blockchain and I am pleased to say that we now have a new blockchain solution live in Accenture, a True Supplier Marketplace to vet, approve, and onboard our suppliers. This is an exciting technology and innovation accomplishment between our internal IT and Procurement organizations.

Like other large global organizations, Accenture works with a large volume of suppliers in many different locations. In recent years, our businesses have become more diverse and the pace of business has increased. As a result, so too have the types of suppliers and contractors we do business with—from large multinationals to individual freelancers. Managing all the relationships is a complex activity and onboarding new suppliers is an intensive process of data collection.

With increased supplier demand, Accenture buyer teams need to move quickly and effectively. But, too often, they are slowed down because of siloed systems and duplicated data entry. Given this, Accenture Procurement asked our internal IT and Accenture Technology blockchain organizations for a solution.

Innovating with blockchain

Together, this joint team designed an innovative True Supplier Marketplace solution—a new model and process enabled by a new shared procurement platform. The platform brings buyer teams and suppliers together onto a single platform puts supplier data ownership and responsibility in the hands of the suppliers, and is on a blockchain network accessible by a distributed application so the data can be shared easily and securely. The True Supplier Marketplace design drew on our experience developing Accenture Blockchain for Contracts.  

In addition, True Supplier Marketplace integrates to Accenture’s SAP enterprise system and can be used to automate downstream source-to-pay actions, such as prepopulating digital contracts and data provided into invoicing and payment solutions. 

True Supplier Marketplace has dramatically improved Accenture’s approach to enable suppliers and manage the relationships. By giving control and possession of data to the true owner, the supplier, the True Supplier Marketplace decreases onboarding time, improves compliance, and facilitates the journey to touchless source-to-pay processing. Accenture buyers can procure necessary resources for Accenture teams in shorter lead times and invoice processing and payments are timely as well.

A blockchain solution in production

True Supplier Marketplace is in production and continues to roll out across Accenture globally. It is among the first live production blockchain solutions in the market. We have a patent pending and have experienced quite a buzz about it.

The outcomes Accenture has realized include:

  • Cost reductions through reduced effort duplication, end-to-end data mutualization, automation of manual work, and reduced audit and tracking
  • Drastically reduced time spent by buyer procurement teams to maintain and update vendor master data
  • More than 95% compliance rate achieved through embedded risk assessments and workflow logic
  • 73% reduction in time to onboard a supplier end to end—from 15 days to 4 days
  • 39% reduction in manual data entry through a reduction in number of questions and through automation, which improve efficiency and save money

True Supplier Marketplace’s use of blockchain technology facilitates the creation of a decentralized marketplace for buyers and suppliers, speeds the formation of new business relations, confirms data synchronicity between parties, and provides tamper-evident auditability for transactions. It is being offered as a blockchain software-as-a-service (SaaS)-like service to businesses beyond Accenture to support a wide range of supplier management needs.

Read our True Supplier Marketplace case study to learn more.

Shane Marshall

Managing Director – Global IT, Blockchain

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