Deutsche Telekom and Commerzbank cooperate in the industrial sector.
Together they are developing fully automated supply chains with integrated financial services. In this regard, Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary, T-Systems, and Commerzbank are betting on digital technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, cloud technology and sensors. Business customers benefit from the digital combination of physical and financial supply chains.
Digital supply chains reduce costs and ensure transparency
The current geopolitical and economic situation has revealed the weakness of supply chains. Many procurement journeys are complex, static, lack transparency, and involve many manual steps. They are designed to operate when all framework conditions remain constant and predictable. The propensity for errors is high because in the majority of cases the physical and financial supply chains are not digitally linked.
Especially for manufacturing companies, a constant inventory, timely delivery of materials needed for production and timely payment for them are important. This physical process can be automated and digitized with modern technology. This is made possible by sensors on load carriers such as pallets, for example. Using positioning technologies, it is possible to establish the movement of goods along supply chains during transportation between suppliers and producers (inter logistics) and a production facility (intra logistics). This leads to the creation of databases: in the future, producers, suppliers, transport service providers and Commerzbank will be able to communicate with each other digitally and in real time through their goods flows. Thus, orders and payments can be triggered or specific financial services such as working capital optimization, supply chain financing or risk mitigation can be automated.
In this respect, technological standards and reference architectures guarantee a secure and efficient exchange of data between all parties. Financial transactions are conducted on the basis of blockchain technology, with the basis formed by so-called “smart contracts”, so smart electronic contracts. These contracts govern which financial transactions are initiated with which predefined conditions, called triggers.
A logistician tests the digital supply chain at the Werner von Siemens Center
In a six-month test phase, T-Systems and Commerzbank are optimizing the digital solution with a pilot customer from the logistics sector. The individual challenges that the customer faces in the procurement process or in the warehouse are taken into consideration. For this purpose, the infrastructure of the Werner von Siemens Center in Berlin is used. T-Systems operates a research and development center for industrial solutions there.
Scalable solution for supply chains in Industry 4.0
In this respect, Commerzbank will also be supported by scientific expertise as part of its cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) in Dortmund.
In addition, the cooperation consciously relies on an open ecosystem in order to facilitate integration into open source infrastructures such as the Silicon Economy of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flows and Logistics IML, the International Data Spaces Association or even the European Gaia-X project, for example.