Commerzbank, DT develop fully automated supply chains with integrated financial services

Deutsche Telekom and Commerzbank cooperate in the industrial sector.

Together they develop fully automated supply chains with integrated financial services. The Telekom subsidiary T-Systems and Commerzbank rely on digital technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, cloud technology and sensors. Corporate customers benefit from the digital linking of physical and financial supply chains.

Digital supply chains reduce costs and ensure transparency

The current geopolitical and economic situation has exposed the weakness of supply chains. Many delivery routes are complex, static, not very transparent and contain numerous manual steps. They should work if all framework conditions remain constant and predictable. The susceptibility to errors is high, since in most cases physical and financial supply chains are not digitally linked.

Constant storage, timely delivery of the material required for production and timely payment are particularly important for manufacturing companies. This physical process can be automated and digitized with modern technology. This is made possible, for example, by sensors on load carriers such as pallets. With the help of tracking technologies, it is possible to determine the movement of goods along supply chains during transport between suppliers and producers (interlogistics) and a production facility (intralogistics). This creates databases: producers, suppliers, transport service providers and Commerzbank will be able to communicate with each other digitally and in real time about their flow of goods. Orders and payments can be triggered or certain financial services such as working capital optimization, supply chain finance or risk reduction can be automated.

Technology standards and reference architectures ensure secure and efficient data exchange between all parties involved. Financial transactions are processed on the basis of blockchain technology, based on so-called “smart contracts”, i.e. intelligent electronic contracts. These contracts regulate which financial transactions are triggered with which predefined conditions, so-called triggers.

Logistician tests digital supply chain in the Werner von Siemens Center

In a six-month test phase, T-Systems and Commerzbank are optimizing the digital solution together with a pilot customer from the logistics industry. The individual challenges of the customer in the delivery process or in the warehouse are taken into account. The infrastructure of the Werner von Siemens Center in Berlin is used for this purpose. T-Systems operates a research and development center for industry solutions there.

Scalable solution for supply chains in Industry 4.0

Commerzbank is also supported with scientific expertise as part of its cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) in Dortmund.

In addition, the cooperation deliberately relies on an open ecosystem to facilitate integration into open source infrastructures such as the Silicon Economy of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, the International Data Spaces Association or the European project Gaia-X, for example.

Urs M. Kraemer, Chief Commercial Officer at T-Systems
Businesses need technologies like 5G, IoT and the cloud to share digital information with everyone in the supply chain around the world. In the cooperation with Commerzbank, we bring technology and finance worlds together in order to digitize all aspects of a supply chain – from procurement to invoicing and logistics to payment transactions.

Joerg Oliveri del Castillo-Schulz, Chief Operating Officer of Commerzbank
Supply chains will change rapidly with digital networking and integrated payments. Together with T-Systems, we are working on scalable solutions so that our customers can make their complex supply chains more efficient, resilient and productive.

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