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Ahold’s Albert Heijn Supermarkets Implement Real-Time Store Integration

webMethods Fabric to help 700 Stores in The Netherlands provide real-time sales data

London, United Kingdom. – December 16, 2004 – webMethods, Inc. (Nasdaq: WEBME), a leading business integration software company, today announced that Albert Heijn B.V., the leading supermarket chain in The Netherlands and the original company that launched global food giant Ahold, is leveraging webMethods Fabric for store integration across its 700 supermarkets and distribution centres throughout The Netherlands. The data integration project will help Albert Heijn to further improve and control inventory supply to meet customer demand, ensuring products are delivered in a timely manner and that customers will always be able to find the products they love at competitive prices whenever they visit an Albert Heijn supermarket or convenience store.

Albert Heijn has used webMethods integration software since 2003, helping link IT systems throughout its supply chain operations and EDI-processes with suppliers. Albert Heijn had already implemented an intermediate solution for data integration out to the store level in the late 1990’s. This solution provides Albert Heijn with a competitive advantage and allows the company to view real-time product sales data from each of its retail outlets. By viewing this data, and linking information to its distribution centers and key suppliers, Albert Heijn improves the way it meets customer supply and demand. The current project replaces this intermediate solution with webMethods Fabric.

This migration to the webMethods Fabric solution will allow Albert Heijn to optimise business processes, provide greater efficiencies in the supply chain and help reduce overall operating expenses for the company.

“In our current solution we are already close to the customer to better understand buying habits so we can better serve them,” said Peter van Kralingen, vice president of IT for Albert Heijn. “To take a step further in this area, and to optimise business processes, we needed a solution that is prepared for the future, is in line with our vision and can help us implement integrated solutions for our stores, distribution centres, suppliers and corporate systems. We knew from Albert Heijn’s prior use that webMethods solutions can help us in that area. With all our stores set to migrate to webMethods over the next six months, we believe we’ll have more relevant information at our fingertips than our competition, which will help us save money in our supply chain and improve service to our shoppers.”

“We are happy Albert Heijn chose to use webMethods Fabric to help them better plug into data from their stores and share it with their distribution centres and vendors,” said David Mitchell, president and CEO of webMethods. “This type of project is a classic example of how corporations are further automating and optimising their business processes to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, reduce operating expense and provide better products and services to their customers. webMethods Fabric helps corporations tackle those challenges affordably with best-in-class technology, implementation and service.”

About Albert Heijn,
Albert Heijn B.V. pioneered the supermarket concept in The Netherlands in 1887 and is an operating company of global food retailer Ahold. The company currently operates nearly 700 full-service supermarkets, convenience stores, XL-stores and E-commerce and had sales of € 5,606 billion in 2003. Albert Heijn also operates distribution centers for grocery products and a number of processing and other distribution facilities for produce.

About webMethods, Inc.
webMethods (Nasdaq: WEBME) provides business integration software to integrate, assemble and optimize available IT assets to drive business process productivity. webMethods delivers an innovative, enterprise-class business integration platform that incorporates proven integration technology with next generation capabilities into one interoperable set of tools that delivers a unique combination of efficiency, agility and control. webMethods combines industry leadership with a zealous commitment to customers to deliver tangible business value to more than 1,200 global customers. webMethods is headquartered in Fairfax, Va., with offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific and Japan. More information about the company can be found at


webMethods is a registered trademark of webMethods, Inc. in the USA and certain other countries. All other company and product names are the property of their respective owners.

John Dillon
+44 (0) 1784.221668

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