Chick's Sporting Goods Drives Business Transformation With IBM On Demand Technology

Leading Calif.-Based Retail Chain Streamlines Its Supply Chain to Better Support Customers and Growth; IBM Replaces Microsoft for Greater Enterprise Security and Reliability

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ARMONK, NY - 15 Sep 2005: IBM today announced that Chick's Sporting Goods, Southern California's oldest sports retail chain, has dramatically cut its IT maintenance costs and significantly reduced the time spent processing inventory by consolidating its supply chain and email applications from multiple Microsoft boxes onto one IBM eServer iSeries system.

Founded in 1949, Chick's Sporting Goods has grown from a small single store to 11 retail locations and a discount outlet with a total of more than 1,200 employees.

Chick's turned to IBM technology to help transform its IT infrastructure to an on demand system that could streamline inventory, connect buyers and store managers directly, provide more reliable email, and support additional company growth.

The retail chain migrated from paper-based processes for inventory, accounting and merchandising to real-time online systems powered by the iSeries system. The iSeries solution enabled Chick's to arrange transfer of goods in minutes with stock in place in just two days and with only a staff of two supporting this IT environment.

For email, Chick's consolidated multiple Compaq servers running Microsoft Exchange onto one IBM iSeries system running IBM Lotus Notes and Domino. Chick's estimates that this move resulted in near 50 percent reduction in administrative staff hours and almost zero downtime. The prior system suffered frequent failures.

Running Windows 2000 on an integrated xSeries server on the iSeries system allows Chick's to give IBM Lotus Notes email access to 150 users located in stores throughout the state and provides the company with a stable platform through which to link stores directly with suppliers.

"When our Wintel boxes were running Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, I spent many nights and weekends at the office trying to resolve hardware and software issues," said Erin Diebold, Director of MIS and Accounting, Chick's Sporting Goods. "With iSeries, our network is now far more reliable and secure, and much less of a headache. Chick's is now able to deliver superior customer service to our clientele and focus on other aspects of our growing business."

Chick's Sporting Goods worked with IBM Business Partner, CCS Technology Solutions to design a system that more efficiently responds to customer requests and competitive demands.

"The IBM iSeries is the ideal system to support growing small-to-medium sized businesses like Chick's Sporting Goods," said Mark Shearer, General Manager, IBM eServer iSeries. "The iSeries system enables our customers to focus on their business, not the maintenance of their technology. The iSeries server allows SMBs to respond to changing market conditions and customer needs in real time."

The reliability of the iSeries server prompted Chick's Sporting Goods to consolidate other business critical applications such as Island Pacific's merchandizing and financial software onto the platform. By the end of 2005, Chick's also plans to power its human resources function on the iSeries platform.

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