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Top UK retailer Debenhams has selected Eqos to provide a private B2B portal for managing the relationship with its international supplier operation. The portal is expected to extend to include all Debenhams’ external partners.

Eqos will be using its award-winning B2B collaborative platform to underpin the store group’s B2B strategy, starting with ordering and logistics. The deal, is Eqos’ first department store win and complements its success within the fmcg and retail grocery sector.

The development of a private portal will enable Debenhams to achieve significant benefits. Martin Wyke, Debenhams Information Systems Director, explains, “We chose to start with the critical business process of ordering and receiving goods as there are enormous benefits to be gained from having complete visibility of our global supply chain.

“Through knowing exactly what is happening, we will be able to react much faster to product demand,” added Mr Wyke.

In addition, Debenhams will replace up to four existing disparate systems and a number of manual procedures, to provide a seamless interface for all those involved in its supply chain.

Eqos’ modular solutions allow Debenhams to adopt a manageable approach to undertaking this business transformation, making it possible to tackle select areas of the supply chain one at a time. Initial work will be the configuring of an order management and logistics solution. This will provide visibility, alerts and exception management for Debenhams’ buyers, merchandisers and distribution centre personnel and its 700 plus suppliers, including those providing third party logistics services.

The solution will cover the delivery and tracking of purchase orders by Debenhams, the issuing of Advanced Shipping Notices (ASNs) by suppliers and, uniquely, further ASNs from the third Party “Movers” (freight forwarders and carriers). This permits goods from a single PO to be sent at different times by the suppliers and shipped via different routes or modes domestically and internationally by the carriers, with complete visibility to all relevant parties at all times. Thus the progress of goods can be managed proactively and those involved are alerted to react to unforeseen events.

Martin Wyke, also commented that “The process of dovetailing the flow of information with the physical product across multiple supply chain configurations internationally is extremely complex. Eqos was the only vendor we considered that could satisfy our exacting requirements and provide flexibility for the future. Its platform approach was not only unique but allows Debenhams to move forward in a modular, measurable and manageable way.”

According to Adrian Morrish, retail industry manager, Microsoft, “As Eqos has clearly demonstrated, the technology is now available to provide a cost-effective, fully integrated, real time infrastructure connecting all the various internal and external components of the supply chain. The solution, which is underpinned by Biztalk, has given Debenhams a ‘glass pipeline’ to see what products are coming when. As the retail sector becomes even more competitive, for Debenhams at least, this visibility and the associated processes will help deliver increased efficiency and profitability.”

Future applications will be built by Debenhams and/or Eqos and consulting partners to cover other Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) processes, such as product development, collaborative planning and supplier performance management.

Notes to Editors:

Eqos Ltd

Eqos delivers flexible, proven solutions for Supplier Relationship Management over the Internet. Eqos helps its customers achieve rapid return on investment from modular, integrated solutions built with change in mind, to significantly advance supply chain effectiveness. Founded in 1997, Eqos is headquartered in the UK with offices in the US. Eqos' Collaborator Web platform is recommended worldwide as a Microsoft preferred platform for collaborative working. Eqos’ proven technology is based on Microsoft’s .NET framework.

More information can be found at http://www.eqos.com

Debenhams

Debenhams is one of the UK's premium department store groups with an annual turnover of approximately £1.6 billion. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has market capitalisation of approximately £1.1 billion.

Debenhams is a multi-channel operator and currently has 100 stores in the UK, 10 international franchise stores, a fully transactional web-site and a comprehensive home shopping catalogue - Debenhams Direct. It has an aggressive new store opening programme both in the UK and internationally.

Debenhams is a family department store that caters for all ages. It provides its customers with a broad range of product categories, from clothing to homewares, each supported by a variety of brands - including the exclusive range “Designers at Debenhams.” The merchandise offer is supported by customer services such as personal shoppers and restaurants.

For further information, please contact:

Anne Lomax or Linda Laderman @ Linda Laderman PR


Tel: 020 7436 6676; Fax: 020 7580 0555

E-mail: annel@ladermanpr.co.uk





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