VF Corporation Taps IBM for IT Transformation

Seven-year contract said a key component of apparel maker's growth plans

Seven-year contract said a key component of apparel maker's growth plans

Armonk, NY — November 24, 2004 — Apparel company VF Corporation has selected IBM to manage and transform its global information technology (IT) infrastructure under a seven-year agreement announced this week.

Headquartered in Greensboro, N.C, VF offers a variety of apparel under a host of different brand names, including Lee, JanSport, Eastpak and The North Face. The company had sales of $5.2 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

The apparel company is looking to the agreement with IBM to produce significant IT performance improvements and cost savings, allowing VF to meet its aggressive sales growth targets.

"Our new relationship with IBM will support the growth we expect from both our core businesses and from acquisitions," said Boyd Rogers, vice president of global supply chain at VF Corporation. "In particular, it will enhance our ability to quickly and easily integrate companies that we acquire as we execute our growth plan."

According to IBM, Big Blue's Universal Management Infrastructure (UMI) and Tivoli software suite will drive much of the anticipated efficiencies by applying advanced automation capabilities in managing VF Corporation's mainframe, midrange and Intel-based servers in the United States and overseas. UMI will also enable VF Corporation to pay only for the computing power it uses, while making it easy to adjust capacity as needed, IBM said.

In addition to the backend systems, IBM will manage VF Corporation's approximately 12,000 Dell personal computers, as well as the help desk, disaster recovery operations and the VF Corporation Web site.

VF Corporation, which recently purchased sportswear companies Nautica and Vans, announced in October an aggressive plan designed to increase sales by 8 percent annually.

"VF Corporation understands the correlation between IT performance and customer satisfaction," said Tony Martinez, general manager for the distribution sector at IBM Global Services. "We are committed to providing VF Corporation with an IT infrastructure that offers the highest levels of flexibility, resilience and performance."

On October 27 VF Corporation signed a multi-year agreement with Alien Technology to purchase radio frequency identification tags and readers as the apparel company looks to meet retailers' mandates for RFID. Read more here.