Good Vibes at Yantra

Best Buy streamlines "bricks and clicks" fulfillment model with distributed order management app

Tewksbury, MA  May 1, 2002  Big box electronics retailer Best Buy, already a significant user of supply chain technologies, has now licensed a distributed order management application from Yantra as the core component for

The deal, announced today, marks just the latest good news for Yantra, which has garnered favorable comment from at least one industry analyst for its recent success in a down market.

Best Buy, based in Minneapolis, operates more than 1,900 retail stores and commercial Web sites under such names as Sam Goody, Suncoast and FutureShop. The company will use Yantra's Demand solution to streamline its "bricks and clicks" fulfillment model and provide cross-channel customer management capabilities to shoppers, including in-store inventory availability and pick-up.

The application provides Best Buy with a global repository for all customer order information, across all channels  starting with original sales all the way through delivery, installation, customer care, returns and/or repair.

"This is a very strategic initiative for Best Buy," said Doug Reynolds, information services leader for Best Buy. "Yantra's solution gives us the proven ability to accelerate the way we handle our current demand channels while improving our service levels. Equally important, it gives us incredible flexibility as we look to grow our business and integrate new channels and acquisitions."

The Yantra deal is just the latest for the retailer. Earlier this year, Best Buy signed a long-term agreement with FreeMarkets to source a variety of goods and services for its operations. In addition, last December the company implemented a transportation solution from i2 to control its freight operations and manage its transportation processes.

Devdutt Yellurkar, president and CEO of seven-year-old Yantra, said: "Best Buy is a very savvy user of enterprise applications. It has a strong vision about where it wants to drive its business and the capabilities it needs to get there. Our distributed commerce management platform simply gets them there faster and more efficiently."

Yellurkar may be nonchalant about his company's role in Best Buy's success, but perhaps his casual manner is born of Yantra's own successes. Forrester Research Analyst David Metcalfe noted recently that the privately held provider, which employs 220 people and which spun off from Infosys in 1995, has raised $78 million in funding and had a profitable first quarter this year despite long sales cycles (six to 12 months, with an average deal size this year of $1.4 million) and tough competition from the likes of Click Commerce, i2 Technologies, Retek and Viewlocity.

Metcalfe credits Yantra's heavy investment in research and development (25 percent of the company's revenues) in upgrading its niche functionality, the company's focus on solving a real business pain and its applications interoperability with XML as the reasons for the provider's health in tough times. "Yantra's profitability shows that with the right strategy [solution providers] survive and prosper  even in today's harsh conditions," the Forrester analyst concludes.