IKEA Selects Verticalnet for Private Trading Hub Initiative

Kurt Peters

Leading Home Furnishings Retailer and Manufacturer Taps Collaborative Supply Chain Solution to Link Supplier Network and Source Raw Materials and Components

ÄLMHULT, SWEDEN and MALVERN, PA, March 26, 2002 - Verticalnet, Inc. (Nasdaq: VERT), a leading provider of Collaborative Supply Chain Solutions, today announced that the IKEA group of companies, one of the world`s largest home furnishings retailers and manufacturers, awarded Verticalnet™ a contract for its Collaborative Supply Chain Solutions to build their private trading hub. This agreement licenses IKEA the full-suite of Verticalnet`s applications including Strategic Sourcing, Collaborative Planning, and Multi-tier Order Management.

IKEA is establishing a private trading hub to connect and communicate with a diverse group of both internal units and external trading partners that comprise its extensive global supply chain. IKEA will utilize the trading hub to dramatically lower overall supply chain cost and rapidly respond to changing market factors that impact both IKEA and its global supply chain partners. The Verticalnet Collaborative Supply Chain Solutions will enable sourcing, demand/supply collaboration and order management to increase supply chain visibility, improve relationship management and enhance transactional velocity while linking divergent global supplier networks and consolidating raw material purchasing. The secure, real-time, Internet-based platform from Verticalnet will support IKEA`s efforts to share information and workflow between multiple tiers of trading partners and contract manufacturers to support its cost reduction and service enhancement objectives.

Using Verticalnet`s unique Quick Ramp Implementation™, IKEA will roll out functionality first by focusing on establishing the IKEA private trading hub and configuring the Verticalnet Strategic Sourcing and Order Management modules, enabling IKEA`s Quotation Management process (RFIs, RFQs) and orders across a multi-tiered supply chain. The rapid deployment calls for the first phase of the project to go live during the third quarter of 2002 with tangible benefits of this first phase to be realized in parallel with the ongoing phased implementation.

With the Verticalnet solution, IKEA will achieve both transaction visibility and velocity along its supply and demand chains - from purchase orders through fulfillment - between multiple enterprises. All trading partners and IKEA will work with one set of data, integrated to existing back-end systems, and utilizing global formats, including language, currency, weights and measures. Projected benefits include integrated global sourcing, reduced inventory at multiple tiers of the supply chain, and accelerated response to market demand, while eliminating or reducing numerous manually supported processes.

"Our selection by IKEA is another significant milestone for Verticalnet because it further validates how forward-thinking retailers, private label manufacturers and contract manufacturers are using our solutions to drive more efficient supply chains," said Kevin McKay, Verticalnet`s president and CEO. "Our solution is a natural fit for IKEA, a company that is large, diverse, and global in scope, where the benefits of a world class collaborative supply chain are immense. As a global manufacturer and retailer, IKEA recognizes the value of a truly integrated supply chain that will enable them to respond rapidly to changing market factors - from customer demand through raw materials supply. This was a highly competitive evaluation and we are pleased to have been selected by IKEA. We look forward to working closely with IKEA to help them achieve their integrated supply chain vision to support the delivery of quality, high value products to customers."

About IKEA

The IKEA Group of Companies has a total of 149 stores in 22 countries. In addition, there are 21 IKEA stores owned and run by franchisees outside of the IKEA group, in 14 countries. IKEA employs over 65,000 people across the globe. A total of nearly 260 million people visited an IKEA store last year. IKEA Group turnover for the last fiscal year was 10.4 billion Euro. For more information, visit http://www.ikea.com.

About Verticalnet

Verticalnet (NASDAQ: VERT) is a leading provider of Collaborative Supply Chain Solutions that enable companies and their supply- and demand-chain partners to communicate, collaborate and conduct commerce more effectively. Verticalnet`s Collaborative Supply Chain Solutions are unique. The eXtended Enterprise Management Foundation enables organizations to manage diverse communities of suppliers and buyers across disparate systems in a secure environment while providing multi-party data integration and an ability to support role-based security. With a comprehensive set of Collaborative Supply Chain applications, including Spend Management, Strategic Sourcing, Collaborative Planning, and Multi-tier Order Management, Verticalnet offers an extensive integrated supply chain solution. Verticalnet`s solutions enable companies to achieve significant cost savings by reducing product costs and inventory levels, and to enhance top-line revenue growth through faster response to customer requirements.

Verticalnet is a registered trademark or a trademark in the United States and other countries of Vert Tech LLC.


IKEA, Management, STØR, Strategic sourcing, VerticalNet