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....Booker delivers cost benefits and increased choice to
small retailers using electronic commerce...


Booker, the UK's leading food wholesaler and major national
food distributor has chosen electronic commerce services
from GE Information Services (GE) to enable them to process
invoices and orders electronically, and to facilitate
just-in-time management to distribution centres throughout
the UK. This has led to reduced costs, shortened lead times
and greater product choice.

A range of GE's electronic commerce solutions, from
traditional EDI, to low cost EDI-to-fax, are being used to
process over 20,000 invoices and over 800 orders per week
electronically. These replace a time-consuming, unwieldy
paper-based system.

Booker's Stephen Jennings explains: "Smaller retailers find
it hard to generate large enough orders to justify doing
business with a manufacturer. Booker is focused on helping
these independent retailers. We believe that our use of
electronic commerce can generate a cost benefit to our
customers, and give them a fighting chance against larger
supermarkets."

At the centre of Booker's drive to reduce costs and to
streamline the distribution process is Project Heartland.
This is the creation of a single integrated distribution
network for the cash and carry and delivered wholesale
business. Instead of manufacturers delivering goods direct
to individual outlets all around the country, incurring high
transport costs and long lead times, Booker is aiming to
process 90% of its stock through national and regional
distribution centres. Electronic commerce plays an integral
part in making this project work.

Jennings explains: "By processing the majority of our stock
through these distribution centres and ordering and
monitoring stock using electronic commerce, we are able then
to supply local outlets on a "just-in-time" basis, cutting
delivery costs and reducing lead times. This also allows our
branches to cut down their stock holding areas and allocate
more space to customer services and a broader range of goods
such as fresh produce. With access to low prices and
increased choice, small retailers are competing on the same
terms as large supermarkets."

Andy Robson, Corporate Affairs Director, GE Information
Services, comments: "Retailing is one of the most
technologically developed industries in the UK. Our highly
developed systems and innovative approach to implementation
mean that small retailers can benefit from technology and
compete with big supermarkets chains more effectively."

Jennings concludes: "We are really excited at the progress
we're making with electronic commerce. Not only is our
business running more efficiently, both functionally and
financially, but we are able to transfer cost savings
achieved by using electronic commerce to our customers.
Looking to the future, we hope to be exchanging other
information electronically like pre-delivery notification,
product information and price catalogues."

Editor's notes GE Information Services is a global leader in
business-to-business electronic commerce solutions, managing
the world's largest electronic trading community of more
than 40,000 trading partners. GE's global networked
solutions include EDI and messaging services, Internet,
Intranet and Extranet services, and a full suite of
applications that help streamline supply chain management
processes. GE combines the power of electronic commerce
applications with business process consulting, systems
integration, community management and customer support.

GE Information Services is one of the twelve key businesses
of the General Electric Company, USA, and is headquartered
in Rockville, MD, USA. (www.geis.com)

Booker Booker's main business activity is food distribution.
It also owns companies engaged in special agribusiness and
in the processing and manufacturing of food. Booker's
operations are largely based in the UK and in the US.
Increasingly it is active in continental Europe and Asia,
mainly in joint venture partnerships. Booker has customers
in over 85 countries around the world.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Pleon in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.