xpedx Goes with ForestExpress

Industry solution provider to manage catalog content, handle supplier enablement for paper distributor

Atlanta  November 14, 2002  Paper distributor xpedx has signed a multi-year agreement with industry solution provider ForestExpress to provide processing and maintenance of stock catalog items and supplier activation for the xpedx product catalog.

Covington, Ky.-based xpedx, a subsidiary of International Paper, is the nation's largest distributor of printing paper, graphics, packaging and facilities supplies.

ForestExpress will provide xpedx with product information that is currently managed by xpedx through a combination of manual and automated processes. According to ForestExpress CEO Bob Renner, "ForestExpress will be engaged to provide in-house industry experience and technical expertise, as well as to act as a catalyst for suppliers to provide enriched electronic data that can support more robust e-catalogs for xpedx."

Specifically, the agreement will include the creation of catalog documents, databases and item/price updates for syndication to the xpedx catalog. The transition to ForestExpress is expected to be complete by December.

"The ability to manage content electronically is of prime importance to xpedx as we continue to expand our presence in CD and Internet-based catalog solutions," said David Wallace, director of e-business for xpedx. "The solution offered by ForestExpress will enable us to enhance the efficiency and functionality of the various catalogs maintained by xpedx for its customers. More importantly, we believe this will lead to a more robust product and reduced processing costs over time."

Solidifying this agreement, ForestExpress recently completed its acquisition and integration of the software and other intellectual property assets of Liaison Inc., a catalog content management technology, into its catalog content services group. "Ownership of this core technology enhances our ability to deliver a unique service to the industry in the areas of data enhancement and aggregation, workflow and syndication," said Renner.

As part of the agreement, ForestExpress will collaborate with xpedx to engage supplier partners, provide enabling technology, as well as provide education to partners on the benefits of conducting business in a fully automated environment.