DHL and IBM Develop SOA-based Logistics Platform for Karstadt

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Leading retailer will benefit from improved processes and reduced costs

DHL Exel Supply Chain, the logistics specialist at Deutsche Post World Net and IBM today announced a four year, multi-million euro hardware, software and IT services contract with Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH for a new warehouse-management solution based on a service oriented architecture (SOA). Beginning in mid-2008, 11 DHL locations will be equipped with the new solution, known as system platform logistics. Once the system goes into operation, Karstadt will profit from significantly improved logistics processes and reduced costs.

System platform logistics will modernize and update IT operations for Karstadt Warenhaus AG, the logistics arm of Karstadt/Quelle AG, which was taken over by DHL Germany in 2005. The IBM SOA will replace more than 20 antiquated disparate systems with a single unified platform. This new platform will administer and manage all processes, including delivery, storage and the distribution of goods between facilities, providing enormous flexibility thanks to its modular design and scalability. It will be initially used in all DHL locations where logistics services for Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH are provided.

With this new solution, we create a sustainable competitive edge for our customer Karstadt in the extremely tough retail business, says Dr. Thomas Ruffing, head of IT DHL Logistics Germany. Together with our partner IBM, we also want to turn our logistics platform into a commercially successful sector solution.

System platform logistics is based entirely on IBM hardware and software solutions. IBM Global Business Services is overseeing the development of the new platform from conception through implementation to the start of operations. To set yourself apart from the competition in the market it is no longer enough to continue improving existing structures and processes. Potential can only be exploited in full if solutions are able to flexibly meet business requirements. This is where service-oriented architecture comes in, said Matthias Hartmann, Managing Director IBM Germany and head of IBM Global Business Services, adding that the new DHL logistics system platform will be one of the most advanced storage management solutions in the industry.

The contract was signed in October 2006. The system rollout will start in July 2008 and be completed for Karstadt Warenhaus AGs 11 distribution centers over two years.

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