Technology Investments Roundup

New implementations in logistics, manufacturing, retail and financial services

Tempe, AZ  June 27, 2002  The economy is up, consumer confidence is wavering, the stock market's stumbling. Yet despite all the mixed signals, companies continue to invest in technologies to improve various aspects of their supply chain.

Today's roundup of newly announced implementations includes stories from the worlds of logistics (MOL), manufacturing (Intimark), retail (Modell's Sporting Goods and Spartan Stores) and financial services (Sovereign Bank).

  •  MOL (America), the U.S.-based ocean transportation and global logistics services unit of Japan's MOL Group, has tapped GT Nexus to deploy and operate a technology platform for customer pricing, rating and global contract management. The agreement calls for GT Nexus to provide a technology platform and software applications as a hosted, Web-based service for MOL's global container division. The software enables enterprise customers and service providers to streamline management of commercial shipping proposals and contracts, and automate complex pricing and shipment rating processes. MOL said it expects to be able to reduce costs and improve service by using the system for planning, proposal tender, negotiation, contract and rate management. MOL is looking for a one-year payback on its investment in the system.


  • Intimark, a make-to-order manufacturer of intimate apparel, has licensed Intentia's Movex Fashion, which is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system specifically designed for companies in the fashion industry. Based in Ixtlahuaca, Mexico, and a part of part of MAST Industries, Intimark produces clothing for such companies as Victoria's Secret, Lane Bryant, Lerner New York and Jockey International. Working with Pansoft, the Intentia business partner in Mexico, Intimark will begin implementing Movex Fashion (V12) immediately and is targeting a completion date in early 2003. Intimark's manufacturing facility has 1,000 employees, of which 30 will use the system. The Movex suite of enterprise management software applications will run on an iSeries 270 and will replace Intimark's Unix environment.


  •  Modell's Sporting Goods will implement an e-business solution from QRS Corp. in a bid to accelerate purchasing transactions, reduce stock-outs and increase sales at its more than 90 stores on the East Coast. Modell's will use QRS Exchange, which the provider said allows retailers and suppliers to transmit electronic data and documents independent of company size, communication preference or technology infrastructure. The sporting goods company is implementing QRS Exchange modules Data Exchange, Web Forms and Managed EC to automate its purchasing operations with more than 2,000 suppliers. Data Exchange is an electronic mailbox service that transports multiple file formats such as electronic data interchange (EDI) and extended markup language (XML). Smaller and medium-size suppliers can take advantage of Web Forms, an Internet-based data translation service, and Managed EC, an EDI-to-fax service that also generates price tags and shipping labels. Modell's is looking to reduce cycle time in its supply chain and to use the solution to increase its in-stocks and sales.


  • Philadelphia-based Sovereign Bank, the third-largest banking institution in New England, has deployed a sales force automation (SFA) solution from Salesnet enterprise-wide. Sovereign, a $37 billion financial institution with approximately 530 community banking offices, piloted Salesnet in 2001. Since then, Sovereign has quadrupled its number of Salesnet users since last October to now include its multistate commercial lending operations. The bank tapped Salesnet in part for its ability to support the various selling processes for Sovereign's middle-market, specialty lending, healthcare and asset-based lending divisions.


  • Retailer Spartan Stores is implementing an application integration platform from webMethods in an effort to put in place a scalable technology infrastructure capable of supporting new initiatives to improve operational efficiency and strengthen the chain's bottom line. In addition to operating 125 supermarkets and drug stores, Spartan distributes 40,000 private label and national brand products to more than 330 independent grocery stores and serves as a wholesale distributor to 6,600 convenience stores. As such, accurate item synchronization between headquarters, warehouses and retail stores, is a critical business process that directly affects customer satisfaction and net profits. webMethods said that by integrating mainframe and retail systems, such as item management with point-of-sale systems at the store level, Spartan will be able to propagate changes to pricing, promotional information, new items or item changes in a single instance. The automation and synchronization of data across the enterprise also should lead to fewer scanning errors at the store level and increase business process efficiency at the operational level. In addition, Spartan Stores will use the EDIINT capabilities of the webMethods integration platform to transition away from traditional EDI processes toward use of the Internet to process EDI transactions.
Companies in this article