Okadi Pursues Operational Excellence with Manhattan Associates Integrated Logistics Solutions

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Manhattan Associates, (Nasdaq: MANH) the global leader in providing supply chain execution (SCE) and optimisation solutions, has announced that Okadi, the privately-owned children's clothing retail specialist, has successfully implemented Manhattan Associates Warehouse Management solution for Open Systems at key distribution centres (DCs) in Northern France. The two adjacent facilities, in Roubaix near Lille, together serve as a combined hub for the French retailers pan-European distribution requirements. Okadis deployment of the Warehouse Management solution for Open Systems, running on IBMs eServer platform, has allowed Okadi to build an optimum warehousing capability that can be replicated anywhere else in the world. Okadi is also implementing a further component of Manhattan Associates Integrated Logistics Solutions - Trading Partner Management. This will enable the retailer to build closer ties with its manufacturing and logistics services suppliers and achieve greater control over its extended supply chain.

Established in 1996 and launched as a brand in September 2000, Okadi expanded very quickly to become a leading player in the children's (0-14 years of age) apparel retail market. By the end of 2001, Okadi owned more than 160 retail outlets in France, and subsequently extended its reach internationally to sell its range of apparel merchandise around the world. Okadi today owns more than 300 retail outlets, of which 60 are outside France in locations throughout the rest of Europe as well as the Middle East and Pacific regions. Okadi estimates it will have 1500 employees by the end of 2004, with a projected 2004 turnover of 235m.

Two factors played a crucial part in Okadis selection of Manhattan Associates solutions the companys ability to address supply chain execution and optimisation from source to consumption and, critically, its ability to scale in parallel with Okadis business growth.

The receiving, storage, picking, packing and shipping functionality of Manhattan Associates Warehouse Management solution for Open Systems has enabled Okadi to significantly improve its operational processes, particularly inventory management. Within three months of going live, Okadi achieved a 10% productivity gain at its two facilities.

Manhattan Associates Trading Partner Management solution, currently being rolled out by Okadi, is a Microsoft-based solution that facilitates the exchange of real time information between trading partners via the Internet, providing transparency in the movement of inventory across the supply chain.

Given the optimised supply chain model that Okadi has created in Europe with Manhattan Associates Integrated Logistics Solutions, Okadi intends to replicate the model during 2005 at two logistics centres in China and Duba, to help Okadi exploit the potential of the Middle East and Far East regions.

Successfully managing growth is a complex challenge for any company, particularly in an international development context, commented Frdric Grard, logistics director at Okadi. We consider a robust supply chain infrastructure a key component of our expansion strategy, and so the creation of an optimised model in one region that can be replicated anywhere in the world was regarded as a crucial aspect of our growth plan. With Manhattan Associates Integrated Logistics Solutions, we have reached this goal, and look forward to continuing our partnership with the Manhattan Associates team as we build out our operations in the Middle East and Asia regions.

Okadis aggressive plan to roll out our Warehouse Management solution for Open Systems and our Trading Partner Management solution in three regions within the space of a few years is testament to Okadis vision and strategic planning for the future, said Henri Seroux, Director of Manhattan Associates France. Additionally, the first phase of the roll-out will lay the groundwork for Okadis future implementations of Manhattan Associates Integrated Logistics Solutions. Our Warehouse Management solution for Open Systems and Trading Partner Management solution will provide Okadi with complete visibility into its business, both inside the distribution facilities and across the supply chain.

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