Ace Hardware Selects IBM for Retailer Training

Leading Retailer, Ace Hardware, Looks to IBM Global Technology Services for Expertise in Retail Technology Deployment Training

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ARMONK, NY - 31 Jul 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM), the global leader in information technology (IT) services, today announced the successful completion of skills transfer and training sessions for Ace Hardware Corporation. Ace Hardware is a United States-based retail hardware chain with exclusive Ace Brand private-label products.

Ace Hardware engaged IBM's Global Technology Services business unit to design and perform training services for Ace's inventory management application in several of their 4,600 stores. Following the planning and pilot phases, local IBM trainers were onsite at each retail location for software and data migration and training to help enable a seamless transition.

"Ace Hardware prides itself on delivering quality, helpful hardware services to customers," said Brian Mayer, IT Deployment Manager at Ace Hardware. "IBM's focused training methods allowed Ace retailers to get up to speed on their inventory management system with minimal disruption to their business. This also helped retailers deliver on their helpful promise to their customers."

This relationship between Ace Hardware and IBM is unique as it is the first time that Ace has used external resources to deliver training services to their retail hardware stores. IBM resources quickly engaged with Ace subject matter experts to understand the culture of the retailers and learn the tools and supporting processes they would require training on. As a result, IBM was successful in delivering training to the retail locations, thus improving retailer satisfaction in the quality of training.

"IBM understands how important quality employee training is for the successful adoption of new technology," said John Visentin, IBM vice president, End User Services. "Ace Hardware was proactive in their approach to employee training which will serve them well in the future."

IBM Global Technology Services takes a standardized approach to training services by capturing best practices into repeatable, proven, end-to-end processes for future training engagements. IBM offers a wide range of professional training services to support faster, more in-depth learning for clients. The company also has deep retail industry expertise and provides retailers with solutions for improving their in-store experience and operations.

This deal was signed December 31, 2006, and was completed June 27, 2007. Ace Hardware has been an IBM client in other aspects of the business, including maintenance and technical support services, since 2004.

About Ace Hardware

Throughout its 80-year history, Ace Hardware has been known as the helpful hardware store by both customers and communities. In 2007, Ace Hardware was ranked the "Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Major Home Improvement Retail Stores" by J.D. Power and Associates in its inaugural study of the retail home improvement industry. With 4,600 hardware, home center and building materials stores that generate annual retail sales of more than $12 billion, Ace is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace currently operates 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and a warehouse in Shanghai, China, and its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states and 60 countries. More information about Ace can be found at

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