Bhs harmonises communications with international suppliers

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British Home Stores Ltd (Bhs), a leading multinational general merchandise retailer, is to use MessageBroker from Kewill Solutions Europe, the leading provider of business-to-business supply chain execution solutions, to facilitate the exchange of business critical information with 280 of its international suppliers.

As a result, Bhs suppliers today that find it difficult to electronically connect to Bhs via a traditional Value Added Network (VAN), will benefit from pre-formatted data files so they can integrate the information provided by Bhs directly into their current business applications, quickly and cost effectively. As there is a wide variety of business applications currently being utilised by the supplier base, the flexibility provided by MessageBroker will make this integration task much easier. The enhanced solution will enable suppliers to share order management and inventory data with Bhs, irrespective of location.

Mark Sissons, Head of Logistics, Bhs said, Our suppliers come from all over the world, with different data requirements. Kewills technology will translate the data into the different file formats required by each supplier smoothly and enables us to trade electronically with any one of them.

Sissons continues, The modular manner in which MessageBroker can be implemented was a key factor, as it minimised any external and internal disruption to our supply chain.

MessageBroker enables near real-time data transfer providing its users with enhanced control and visibility, so that they can react quickly in response to changes in the supplier market. The system also reduces administrative costs and manual errors through Kewills screening and validation process. Kewills Professional Services Group will manage, configure and incrementally implement MessageBroker, providing back office integration and data translation services with no disruption to communications. The solution will be managed from Kewills Manchester based data centre and Kewill will handle all data transfers.

Jacquie Boast, Chief Operating Officer, Kewill Solutions Europe said, Were delighted to be working with Bhs to further improve the way it communicates with its suppliers. The addition of MessageBroker at Bhs further demonstrates the commitment retailers are making to provide electronic access of order and inventory related data to their entire supplier base. This will extend the supply chain visibility that Bhs has with its current electronic trading partners to the entire supplier base.

Bhs currently exchanges electronic information with its suppliers via a VAN. Approximately 140 of these suppliers cannot connect to a VAN and instead use Kewills Bureau service, which still ensures they receive electronic information from Bhs. Another 200 connect directly through the VAN using Kewills EasyTrade, an EDI based e-commerce solution.

Other managed services customers using Kewills solutions include Littlewoods, J D Williams, Iomega and Ted Baker.

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