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The Brief

Wella, the global leader in hair and cosmetics care provides quality products to customers in over 150 countries. The company’s business objective is to become the most recognised and competent supplier of hair cosmetics via its network of worldwide subsidiaries and distributors. In order to meet this goal, Wella (UK) Ltd needed a simple and efficient EDI system to handle the high quantity of sales orders it receives from its major retailers, including Boots, Superdrug, Sainsburys, Tesco and Asda.

Wella had a number of legacy EDI systems that were in use throughout its UK and Ireland offices. What it required was one central EDI gateway solution to handle the high volume of messages that the company exchanged with over 40 trading partners. Its main concern was that the transition from the legacy applications was integrated as smoothly as possible, and therefore wanted a partner with the skills, resources and reputation to achieve this.

The Solution

The number one priority of Wella’s UK and Ireland operations was to deliver the capability for a 24/7 electronic supply chain infrastructure that could integrate with the company’s existing SAP systems.

Sterling Commerce recommended its GENTRAN:Server for Windows NT solution, which has SAP extensions, and additional services that could be integrated smoothly with Wella’s legacy infrastructures. The GENTRAN technology provides services such as mapping, trading partner set-up, needs analysis, strategy and planning, application interface assistance, system set-up and back-up administration - all of which were fundamental in meeting Wella’s requirements. In addition, Wella was delighted with the auditing, exception management and archiving services offered by the GENTRAN technology.

The functionality of GENTRAN:Server for Windows NT delivered the optimum EDI system for Wella as it eliminated the need for manual processing of order information, reducing the risk of errors in the purchase and distribution of its products.

The Result

By using Sterling Commerce’s GENTRAN:Server for Windows NT solution, Wella’s response to customers has improved, and it is able to provide a secure, robust and reliable “always-on” EDI system, which allows the capability of the processing of orders to take place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The main productivity gain for Wella by using the Sterling Commerce solution has been to reduce three existing legacy EDI systems into one intelligent messaging gateway successfully used by the company’s UK and Irish operations.

The use of Sterling Commerce’s skilled consultants meant that Wella met their implementation time frames with ease. This has meant that Wella can now dedicate more time to meeting its core business objectives - to supply quality hair care products to global customers efficiently and with consistently high levels of customer service.

Sterling Commerce consultants continue to work in partnership with Wella to provide ongoing training on mapping and integration and to assist with the development of further links with new trading partners.

Why Sterling?

Kim Farmer, IT Operations Manager at Wella said: “We chose Sterling Commerce as we wanted to partner with a market-leading company with a proven track record in the supply of EDI solutions. Sterling Commerce’s GENTRAN:Server for Windows NT has delivered a flexible and more efficient supply chain EDI system”.

Today, as customers like Wella explore new ways to improve business performance via the Internet, Sterling Commerce continues to develop its software and services to further the global adoption of e-commerce while offering its customers strategic solutions that leverage existing technology.

A B2B specialist with over 25 years of experience, Sterling Commerce’s solutions delivers immediate cost-savings, increased productivity, superior customer service and increased ROI to businesses.

About Sterling Commerce

Sterling Commerce, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:SBC) is one of the world's largest providers of business-to-business commerce solutions. For Global 5000 companies and their customers, suppliers and partners, Sterling Commerce software and services help maximize business performance and improve business metrics through integration of applications, external partner systems and people. With more than 25 years of experience serving tens of thousands of customers in a vast range of industries, Sterling Commerce is a recognized pioneer in business-to-business commerce through its longstanding expertise in EDI. Today, as customers explore new ways to improve business performance via the Internet, Sterling Commerce continues to innovate its software and services to further the global adoption of e-commerce while offering its customers strategic solutions that leverage existing technology.

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About SBC Communications Inc.

SBC Communications Inc. is a global communications leader. Through its subsidiaries' trusted brands - SBC Southwestern Bell, SBC Ameritech, SBC Pacific Bell, SBC Nevada Bell, SBC SNET and Sterling Commerce – and world-class network, SBC and its affiliated companies provide a full range of voice, data, networking and e-business services, including local and long-distance, high-speed Internet access and data transport, network integration, software and process integration, Web site and application hosting, e-marketplace development, paging and messaging, as well as directory advertising and publishing. America's leading provider of high-speed DSL Internet service, SBC companies currently have 61.3 million access lines nationwide. SBC has a 60 percent equity interest in Cingular Wireless, its joint venture with BellSouth, which serves more than 20 million wireless customers. Internationally, SBC has telecommunications investments in 28 countries and has annual revenues that rank it among the largest Fortune 500 companies.

For media enquiries please contact:

Linda Clifford
Sterling Commerce
+44 (0)208 867 8239

Sarah Griffiths / Claire Smither
Nelson Bostock Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7229 4400

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