IBM Unveils New Initiatives at Global Supply Chain Executive Conference

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Orl & o, FL - 18 Jan 1999: -- IBM today introduced new initiatives including a Supply Chain Services Practice and several new joint marketing programs at the company's Global Supply Chain Executive Conference. The four-day event brings together over 2,000 companies, suppliers and IBM Business Partners from around the world to share new ideas and learn about innovative solutions that will help them better compete in the 21st century.

The conference focuses primarily on growing businesses in the industrial and distribution industries. Highlights include leading speakers such as author Tom Peters and former Chancellor of Germany Helmut Schmidt, over 100 breakout sessions, and 200 product and services demonstrations. The event also adds to IBM's recently announced joint marketing activities, educational initiatives and industry outreach programs for supply chain management, which is a major element of IBM's e-business strategy to help companies compete in a global business environment.

"Supply chain management has become one of today's most important business objectives for growing companies," said Peter Rowley, IBM general manager, global small and medium business. "Successful enterprises want to effectively coordinate the resources of their company with those of their trading partners to streamline operations, increase revenue, and enhance customer service. Our conference and the initiatives we announced reflect IBM's firm commitment to help our customers realize these goals."

IBM's conference also underscores the company's ability to offer the most comprehensive range of supply chain programs providing companies of all sizes with educational programs, as well as needs analysis, system design, implementation, and post-implementation services. Below are the new programs announced today. Not all solutions are available in every country in which IBM does business.

Supply Chain Services Practice
IBM has created a new Supply Chain Services Practice to aid companies in reducing inventory, increasing delivery performance, and enhancing production capabilities. The practice -- which currently totals 80 consultants and is expected to double in the coming year -- complements the existing 7,000 consultants engaged in supply chain management-related activities worldwide. Offerings initially include consulting and rapid implementation services that utilize applications developed by i2, Manugistics, Synquest, IMI, Numetrix, and IBM software such as Lotus Notes and Domino.

In other enhancements to its consulting expertise, IBM has developed a Supply Chain Management Consulting Methodology. The methodology enables IBM experts to better help customers identify effective supply chain solutions by insuring the consistent and effective use of IBM's skills and resources worldwide. The methodology is supported by IBM's Supply Chain Management Transformation Toolkit which provides IBM Consultants with software tools, analytic techniques, and templates for quick implementation.

Supply Chain Logistics Solutions Group
IBM also announced its new Supply Chain Logistics Solutions Group which provides integrated logistics solutions to the retail, wholesale, and consumer products marketplace. The group delivers innovative and cost effective warehouse management solutions to the marketplace through its Warehouse Logistics Solution Services Offering. Services include warehouse operations consulting and analysis, application system design, workflow definitions, warehouse solution customization, facility design and engineering, plus implementing information technologies and material storage and handling equipment. These services help customers to lower the costs of carrying inventory, reduce costly order fulfillment errors, and increase customer service by combining the best technologies and operational processes.

The group is located in the U.S. and will work with IBM logistics specialists and IBM Supply Chain Management consultants worldwide.

Java-based Collaborative Solution Demonstrated
To help illustrate how supply chain partners can achieve greater responsiveness to changes such as resource constraints and opportunities, IBM is demonstrating its research project using Active Collaboration Framework. This Java-based demonstration shows technology allowing supply chain partners to easily share information across diverse ERP, APS, and Business Management Software (BMS) applications. IBM is demonstrating the framework as a collaborative tool for linking execution and decision making systems between trading partners.

New Solutions and Services Announced
Several new initiatives jointly announced by IBM and its Business Partners include the following:

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