Whirlpool Deploys GXS Trading GridSM to Support Global Supply Chain Operations

GXS, a leading provider of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce solutions, today announced that Whirlpool Corporation has chosen the GXS Trading Grid to support global trading partner transactions.  Whirlpool Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $13 billion.  To optimise its supply chain, Whirlpool was seeking a B2B e-commerce solutions provider that could enable the exchange of order, shipment and inventory data with its primary distributor and multiple retailers in China, as well as with other trading partners in Europe and America.  With 50 manufacturing and technology centres around the globe, product sales in more than 170 countries and more than 1,200 trading partners, Whirlpool's supply and demand chain network is multi-faceted and highly complex.  GXS Trading Grid Messaging Service, the global Internet-based transaction management service on the GXS Trading Grid, enables Whirlpool to consolidate on one provider of electronic data interchange (EDI) services globally.

After an encompassing competitive market assessment, Whirlpool recognised GXS' unique ability to meet its current e-commerce demands while enabling it to grow and update its trading partner network on-demand through GXS Trading Grid Online.  Trading Grid Online is GXS' new Web portal that provides customers with visibility into daily e-commerce transactions, enabling dynamic, instant provisioning and manipulation of global trading partner networks.  Trading Grid Online also provides Whirlpool access to analytics and reporting about the performance of its suppliers, as well as the needs and response rates of its distributors and retailers.  GXS Trading Grid is the company's unique global integration platform, enabling and streamlining cross-enterprise business processes.  With GXS Trading Grid, Whirlpool can send data from their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to the Trading Grid, which then performs the necessary document translation and/or protocol conversion as required by their global trading partner community.  GXS Trading Grid supports all popular EDI and XML standards worldwide, as well as ERP, accounting package and vertical industry specific formats. 

"While our expansion into emerging markets is an exciting growth opportunity for Whirlpool, it also brings with it new challenges and increases the complexity of our supply and demand chain.  The GXS Trading Grid enables us to consolidate our trading partner transactions through one system, streamlining our B2B processes and providing us with a one-stop shop for global trading partner interaction," said James Morrison, e-business infrastructure manager at Whirlpool.  "Additionally, with the analytics and reporting for our trading partner network, available through the Trading Grid, we can better anticipate timeframes for shipment and payment and help eliminate invoice/purchase order discrepancies."

In an effort to move to a 100 percent electronic transaction model, Whirlpool sought a provider that could accommodate and reach its smaller suppliers, many of which do not have sophisticated B2B e-commerce platforms.  With GXS, Whirlpool no longer has to utilise multiple providers to ramp 100 percent of their trading partners.  GXS' global presence, its guaranteed community enablement service, Community Link, and range of services for small, medium and enterprise businesses enable hub companies to rely on GXS as their sole provider for their trading partner networks. 

"Explosive growth in emerging markets such as China and Eastern Europe is creating a larger population of middle class consumers who now can afford automobiles, homes and major home appliances.  This is creating significant additional market opportunities for appliance manufacturers like Whirlpool," said Steve Keifer, GXS' vice president of industry marketing.  "The winners in these markets will be those who can manage a dynamic, demand-driven supply chain to keep pace with rapidly growing consumer demand.  B2B e-commerce enables manufacturers like Whirlpool to monitor demand patterns, optimise logistics processes and perfect order fulfilment.  Through GXS' extensive direct presence, strategic local partnerships and broad product portfolio in China, Whirlpool will be able to reduce the time, cost and complexity of B2B integration."

GXS enables demand-driven supply chains for retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies by integrating trading partners, synchronising product information, monitoring supply chain events and facilitating collaborative planning.  Retailers and suppliers in the grocery, do-it-yourself, department store, apparel, and consumer electronics sectors, rely on GXS' solutions to help build customer loyalty, reduce supply chain errors, enhance supplier relationships and streamline operations.  Through industry-leading technology, strategic partnerships and professional support, GXS enables retailers, manufacturers and suppliers around the world to increase B2B e-commerce functionality and reach and to improve the efficiency of their supply chains.  GXS customers in the retail/consumer electronics sector include Hudson's Bay Company, Kodak, Panasonic, Thomson Consumer Electronics and Walgreens.

The GXS Trading Grid is a global B2B e-commerce and integration platform that supports the creation and adoption of on-demand supply chain management solutions by companies of any size.  As the world's largest electronic business community, the Trading Grid is used by more than 40,000 customers to exchange goods and services, gain visibility into global logistics operations and synchronise product data.  The innovative, on-demand SCM solutions available through the Trading Grid help customers extend supply networks globally, eliminate manual and duplicative processes, optimise product launches, automate warehouse receiving, lower supply chain costs, manage electronic payments and cash flow and increase B2B integration and collaboration.

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