Staples Taps Evant for Multi-Channel Merchandising System

Co-development project to help define, prioritize application features and functions required by a large retailer

New York — January 26, 2004 — Staples has entered into a license and services agreement with Evant, which offers retail planning and demand chain management software, to provide the office products giant with a software suite that includes planning, merchandise management, business analytics and enterprise data synchronization to support its core merchandising operations.

The multi-year project is a co-development effort between Staples and Evant, with Staples helping to define and prioritize application features and functions required by a large retailer. The first modules to be deployed will support Staples' efforts in promotional planning, price management and data synchronization.

The goal of the Staples initiative is to build and deploy a suite of integrated applications that are generally applicable to most retailers' core merchandising requirements, regardless of their industry segment. The resulting software products will then be sold by Evant as individual modules that can be integrated with a retailer's existing legacy applications, or as an end-to-end merchandise management software platform.

"Evant supports better merchandise and supply chain management, helping ensure our stores and delivery fulfillment centers have the right products at the right time," said Mike Ragunas, Staples' vice president of technology strategy and architecture, and the executive sponsor responsible for orchestrating the relationship between Staples and Evant. "The systems we choose must be deployed on an open services-based architecture and must be able to scale to support our multi-channel business. Evant was the best fit for our needs, providing a fully integrated merchandising platform within the context of our technology framework."

"We couldn't have a better ally to help us expand our merchandising solution footprint, as Staples is a recognized leader in implementing retail information systems," said Bob Lewis, CEO of Evant.

In 2003, Staples deployed Evant Merchandise Planning to improve its key-item planning and financial planning systems. The two modules from Evant Merchandise Planning solution now support Staples' planning organization for its North American retail business.

"Evant is well positioned to help us define our next-generation merchandising system requirements," concluded Ragunas.

New Demand Planning and Replenishment Solution

In other Evant news, the provider recently rolled out a new version of its Demand Planning and Replenishment solution.

Evant says Demand Planning and Replenishment, available immediately, gives retailers, wholesalers and distributors the ability to achieve their targeted service levels with the lowest inventory investment, helping to reduce working capital and increase overall profitability.

The current version of Demand Planning and Replenishment includes features designed to enable increased forecast accuracy and inventory visibility to help ensure the right product is at the right location at the right time. These features include slow-mover management, multi-echelon supply chain management, auto day-of-week management, and product substitution linkage.

Optimization capabilities in the new version include deals, forward buys, pre-event and seasonal inventory building, multiple safety-stock strategies and order frequency simulations. Evant said the solution also provides greater visibility into inventory changes via real-time status updates.

Evant built Demand Planning and Replenishment on a Web services-based architecture to enable integration with other corporate information systems. Available on the J2EE and iSeries platforms, the browser-based solution provides an exception-based workflow.

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