The Brantano Group Invests In Supply Chain Management System

The Brantano Group today has announced that it has signed an agreement with
IBM for the implementation of a supply chain management (SCM) system based
on the i2 for Retail suite of solutions. By improving its supply chain
processes, the leading footwear company aims to optimise its assortment
planning, stock management and flow of goods to stores.

IBM Business Consulting Services has been appointed as the integrator and
prime contractor for the project. Over a three-year period, IBM will
deliver project management and implementation services and will supply the
i2 software, IBM hardware & software. The SCM system will provide
capabilities for optimizing the purchasing, assortment planning, stock
management and replenishment of individual stores in the pre-season,
mid-season and end-of-season sales periods.

The i2 for Retail solution from i2 is designed to enable companies like the
Brantano Group to plan and monitor purchasing in greater detail. The
principle is that purchasing and sales of shoes are determined on the basis
of automatically generated data on sales per outlet, department, product
and size, supplemented with statistically supported planning proposals.
This can enable the Brantano Group to increase its margins and stimulate
turnover by taking advantage of realised and expected sales more quickly.

"In recent years, the retail industry has become both more complex and more
sophisticated," says Kurt Moons, CEO of the Brantano Group. "With the help
of more detailed planning, we will continually optimise our stock position
even at size level and bring it into line with realised and planned sales.
A strong supply chain management system has always been one of our Group's
trump cards. While taking account of the growing number of stores and the
diversity between the outlets, we are now investing in a system that tracks
everything in great detail. This means we will be able to take more correct
decisions. We wish to allow our gross margin to develop further in a more
competitive market and to adapt to the various customer profiles within the
middle market segment. We intend to start analysis in September 2005 and
the implementation of phase 1 in the beginning of 2006. Phase 2 and 3 are
actually planned for 2007 and 2008."

He continues: "We selected IBM and i2 for the project based on the
companies' proven technology and experience in implementing advanced supply
chain systems for retail organisations, including several other major
footwear retailers. Our purchasing, merchandising and logistics experts
from the UK and Belgium will work in close co-operation with experts from
IBM and i2. We expect the effect of this investment to be evident from the
second half of 2006."

"In the retail industry a key success factor is building "fit for purpose"
supply chains, optimized for the specific consumer situation," says Bart
Van Den Meersche, General Manager IBM Belgium. "IBM is helping Brantano to
transform their business"

"i2 works with leading shoe retailers around the globe," says Bob Barrett,
i2 senior vice president, Retail and Distribution Industry Group. "We are
delighted to share the best practices developed in this industry with
Brantano and look forward to helping it achieve its corporate vision of
more efficient supply chain operations."

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