Commerzbank press release July 4th 2017
Commerzbank and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Dortmund have agreed on a cooperation. At the heart of this cooperation, scenarios for the supply chains of the future are to be developed. The institute supports the bank in orchestrating these processes and at the same time provides the latest findings on supply chain management and the possible use of blockchain technologies in this area. The blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, is a decentralized data structure and, for example, the basis for intelligent electronic contracts, so-called "Smart Contracts", which focus on the automated processing of business transactions.
Many digitisation approaches of banks, companies and scientific institutions are currently focussing on international trade transactions and the related commodity and financial flows. Increasing global competition, changing customer expectations and shorter product lifecycles make the associated international supply chains increasingly important for operational decision makers. With further digitization along supply chains, many process improvements and opportunities will arise from optimized management and faster availability of data. “Talking” containers, for example, will then become commonplace in global foreign trade.
Greater networking of functions can also create completely new areas of application across companies. This applies in particular to modern applications in the field of Internet of things, i.e. for networked objects that connect themselves independently via the internet and carry out tasks, as well as for Smart Contracts. This can result in new trading systems and trade financing concepts, faster transaction procedures and ultimately new solutions in working capital management. These are the focus of the new cooperation.
“Our core competencies, 'Moving money safely', 'Financing trade' and 'Assuming risks' will also be highly relevant for our customers in the age of digitalisation. The integration of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML ensures the best possible insight into the currently very diverse digitization approaches along the logistics and material flow processes of our customers", said Dr. Bernd Laber, Member of the Board of Managing Directors responsible for Trade Finance & Cash Management for corporate customers at Commerzbank. “In numerous projects and consortia, we are also working with other international banks on the digitization of products and services, as well as on applications for blockchain technologies. The clear focus on the future supply chains of our customers, which we will develop together with the Fraunhofer IML, is very important to us as a corporate customer bank", continued Dr. Laber.
“Digitalization approaches in supply chain management, such as the development of smart containers that are able to route themselves, commission logistics service providers and pay for them independently, will enable completely new business models for banks in the areas of financing, risk management and transactions", explained Prof. Dr. Michael Henke, head of the Fraunhofer IML institute. “I am convinced that technologies such as block chains and smart contracts are key enablers for linking physical and financial supply chains. With Commerzbank as an innovative cooperation partner, we will develop new, safe and fast solutions for the supply chain of the future.”