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Corporate Express Document & Print Management Accelerates Growth with Software AG

(PresseBox) (Darmstadt, ) ·
- The webMethods Suite used to automate and transform order-to-cash into a real-time, touch-free process
- New solution enables a more than tenfold increase in both transaction volume and total dollar amount
- Customers benefit from faster turnaround, broader selection and improved quality

Software AG, a global leader in business infrastructure software, today announced that Corporate Express Document & Print Management (CEDPM)has fully-automated its end-to-end order-to-cash process using the company s webMethods suite. CEDPM is a division of Corporate Express US Inc., one of the world s largest businessto- business suppliers of essential office and computer products and services with 2006 sales of approximately $4.9 billion in North America. This shift to a real-time, touch-free process for managing and fulfilling customer orders supports the company s aggressive growth strategy as it has allowed CEDPM to cost-effectively scale order volume by more than tenfold.

"We re a critical element in our customer s value chain, helping them to deliver their products and messages on-time, on-budget every time," explains Michael Bailey, Vice President for Information Systems, Corporate Express Document & Print Management. "This made it incumbent on us to deliver a best-in-class ordering and fulfillment experience that addresses the unique requirements of both digital workflow and extended supply chains. Customers have benefited from faster turnaround, better quality, broader selection and greater flexibility in ordering. Furthermore, customer service has improved as we ve been able to shift significant resources from mundane tasks and manual data entry so that they can deliver higher value services with greater customer impact."

Corporate Express Document & Print Management plays an important role as the print expert within Corporate Express overall strategy of providing customers with a single source for all of their office products and services. With seven wholly-owned manufacturing plants and hundreds of contracted suppliers at its disposal, CEDPM provides customers with turnkey solutions for meeting their print management, production and fulfillment requirements. As a global leader in this market, it can provide enterprises with measurable cost-savings, higher quality and greater operational flexibility.

In order to improve customer service, expand its product offering and fuel future growth, CEDPM set forth to automate and integrate its end-to-end customer order and fulfillment process. This meant replacing manual data entry, batch transfers and siloed systems with a real-time, touchfree and fully-integrated process. Known as the "Integrated Service and Supply" (ISS) initiative, the benefits of this program were significant:

- CEDPM gained real-time visibility into order status, which improved the company s ability to promise-to-deliver while meeting stringent service level agreements (SLAs).
- The company reduced order discrepancies through the standardization of the ordering process and by automating remediation and exception handling, which helped to improve the company s perfect order score.
- Use of a real-time, fully-integrated process has enabled faster project turnaround as orders are no longer stuck in the queue awaiting manual execution.
- Operational efficiency improved throughout the company s value chain - Sales, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable - as a significant number of repetitive, manual tasks were eliminated. Now the sales force can confidently target larger and more sophisticated accounts.
- Automated order management and full integration of third-party suppliers meant that CEPDM could expand its product offering as more complex bundles could be costeffectively and assuredly managed and delivered.

In addressing these concerns, CEDPM is at the forefront of a number of emerging best practices.

According to Forrester Research1 [Beyond Alignment: BT Synchronization Examples - Business Technology Executives Intertwine Roles With Their Firms' Missions (October 25, 2007)],"[a]lthough it may seem obvious, business technology requires that the CIO be measured by impact on the business - not just IT-centric metrics like uptime, availability, or speed of closure of help desk tickets. While these metrics are important to managing IT as an effective utility and delivery function, BT synchronization requires linking the use of technology to customer satisfaction, time to respond to a customer query, or working capital that comes from running order to cash more effectively."

Key elements of the ISS solution are the webMethods ESB as a full-feature, best-in-class enterprise service bus (ESB) and webMethods for B2B as a proven solution for managing and integrating extended trading networks. As a standards-based system enabling service-oriented architecture (SOA) based development, a number of reusable process components and interfaces were created as a means for achieving faster implementation, better performance and additional cost savings. CEDPM worked closely with Software AG s professional services team to design and implement the system.

"Our customers expect us to be fast, flexible and reliable. With our Integrated Service and Supply workflow system, powered by webMethods, we can meet this challenge on a true 24 by 7 basis," said Rajesh Shetty, eBusiness Solution Manager, Corporate Express Document & Print Management. "One of the benefits that we re seeing is a 'plug & play approach to managing the business in which new suppliers and products can be easily added to our portfolio. We re also delighted with the expanded ability to say 'yes to new customer requirements and more complex business opportunities to further grow our business."

(1) Beyond Alignment: BT Synchronization Examples - Business Technology Executives Intertwine Roles With Their Firms' Missions by Bobby Cameron with Tim DeGennaro, Laurie M. Orlov(October 25, 2007)