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The private sector has responded heroically to the new realities imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, from highlighting the 24/7 heroism of healthcare workers, to apparel companies making protective gowns and masks, restaurants providing free meals, and technologists that have quickly taken years of expertise and experience to launch entirely new capabilities for combatting the crisis.
As part of these efforts, in March IBM launched IBM Rapid Supplier Connect, a no cost resource for hospitals, healthcare organizations, public health departments, and other purchasers of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to help them more quickly identify and onboard alternative suppliers. Almost overnight there were more than 100 buyers and suppliers taking part in the high-powered match making platform, and it continues to grow cross-industry.
IBM Rapid Supplier Connect makes it possible for healthcare procurement offices to find alternative vendors, as well as to enable new non-traditional and sometimes smaller players to participate in the market with smaller quantities. A blockchain-based portable corporate identity gives buyers visibility into suppliers and their inventory. By working hand-in-hand with healthcare groups and other buyers and suppliers, we anticipate that Rapid Supplier Connect continues to play an important role in ensuring that critical goods are directed to where they are needed most.
Today we are excited to announce the next phase in the Rapid Supplier Connect story by joining the C19 Coalition. A unique collaboration between the public and private sector, the C-19 Coalition brings together state governments, corporations, manufacturers, non-profits, and individuals all working together to build a more efficient and unified supply chain for PPE and lifesaving medical devices. Already, the Coalition and its partner organizations have facilitated the disbursement of more 100 million net new units of PPE.
By joining forces with C19, we can bring our powerful technology to the table and contribute to a partnership that is more than the sum of its parts. C19 membership includes the National Governors Association and the State of New Jersey, as well as a host of manufacturers and non-profits who are not only producing supplies but generating and supplying the funds to help pay for them. By bringing these members onto Rapid Supplier Connect, we can provide technology enabled by blockchain to bring the diverse membership of this wide-ranging coalition together to communicate and further optimize the allocation of critical goods.
Our battle against this pandemic is far from over. But each day brings new learnings, more data, new participants, and new resources to the fight. We are thrilled to be joining the C19 Coalition so that we can further our work in bringing visibility to and building trust in these critical supply chains.
If you’re involved in the supply chain for critical goods as a buyer or supplier we encourage you to consider joining IBM Rapid Supplier Connect.
You can also learn more if you are interested in contributing to or joining the C19 Coalition.