Kurt Peters , Executive Editor
o Geac solution provides "power, flexibility and freedom" to drive corporate growth, competitive advantage and enhanced customer service for leading apparel brand
MARKHAM, Ontario and STUDLEY, U.K., December 15, 2003 - The North Face, a leading brand of outdoor apparel and accessories, has gone live with Geac RunTime SellIT e-com, an eCRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, enabling The North Face Europe to launch its new web site in time for its latest seasonal clothing collection. This now provides The North Face`s European dealers and retailers with real time web access to pricing information and stock availability prior to purchasing, regardless of where they are based or time zone in which they operate. The system is designed by Geac RunTime, a specialist apparel and footwear software division of Geac (TSX:GAC), a global enterprise software company for Business Performance Management.
The new web site, www.thenorthfaceeurope.com, enables customers to view all photographs, colour drawings and specifications of the entire range of outdoor clothing products - encompassing thousands of stock keeping units (SKUs) - before they buy. Orders placed in SellIT e-com are automatically checked against pre-configured business rules and logic to ensure consistency against availability and prices. If an item is out of stock, best matches or alternatives are automatically recommended - offering enhanced customer service and ensuring that the full order potential is realised. Real time supply chain information is taken directly from the company`s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, which is based on Geac`s System21 application.
Michael Slipsager, managing director of Geac RunTime, said: "This is another great example of how Geac RunTime can help global companies improve their business performance. The North Face Europe is growing by over 20% a year and has a clear mission to provide excellent customer service to its retailers. It recognised that its ability to provide customers with real time supply chain visibility is critical to this strategy. The solution is based on our standard product that enables The North Face Europe staff to constantly update, or completely tailor, the web site depending on the requirements of the business. They have complete control over content management which means that both the graphical and commercial content of the on-line product range can be continually refreshed to keep pace with the sometimes limited life cycle of products, and to take full advantage of changes in customer demands."
The project took less than three months and SellIT e-com went live on time in October 2003 and within budget. It utilizes standard Microsoft Server technology and is fully interfaced with Geac System21, which runs on an IBM iSeries server. All systems reside in the US, with TCP/IP connections to its European offices. This means that users and designers right across The North Face`s global operations can now manage web content.
The implementation of SellIT is part of a larger Geac contract with The North Face`s parent company, VF Corporation. This recently involved the European implementation of a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system to provide effective design collaboration on a global scale.
Marco Di Pietro, VF Europe`s CIO, concluded: "IT is fundamental to our growth, competitive advantage and our ability to provide ever improving standards of customer service. Our Geac solutions are a precise fit for our needs in the worldwide fashion supply chain, but they also give us the power, flexibility and freedom to manage our own brand on line. Geac has helped put this power firmly into our own hands."
About The North Face
The North Face, a subsidiary of VF Corp., was founded in 1966. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, extreme skiers and explorers. To meet the growing demand for The North Face products from consumers on the Old Continent, the Company began its operations in Europe in 1983. Today, The North Face(r) is distributed in the following European countries: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, UK, Greenland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, and Slovenia. The company`s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking and skiing retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains. Additional information about The North Face can be found on the company`s website, www.thenorthface.com
About VF Corporation
VF Corporation is the world`s largest apparel company and a leader in jeanswear, intimate apparel, playwear, workwear and daypacks. Its principal brands include Lee(R), Wrangler(R), Riders(R), Rustler(R), Vanity Fair(R), Vassarette(R), Bestform(R), Lily of France(R), Lee Sport(R), Healthtex(R), JanSport(R), Eastpak(R), Red Kap(R) and The North Face(R). Additional information can be accessed through the Company`s home page, www.vfc.com
Geac (TSX: GAC) is a global enterprise software company for Business Performance Management, providing customers worldwide with the core financial and operational solutions and services to improve their business performance in real time. Geac RunTime, which has more than 400 customers in the fashion and apparel industry, develops and sells software for the design and pre-production phases of the manufacturing process, product data management, customer relationship management and salesforce automation. Further information is available at http://www.geac.com or through e-mail at email@example.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current expectations. Important factors that could cause a material difference between these forward-looking statements and actual events include those set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in Geac`s Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2003 filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on October 31, 2003, copies of which are available through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov; and under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties" in Geac`s Management Discussion and Analysis for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2003 filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators on June 25, 2003 and available through the website maintained by the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited at www.sedar.com. Geac is a registered trademark of Geac Computer Corporation Limited. All other marks are trademarks of their respective owners.
Media contacts - Europe:
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: +44 (0)1604 232223
Tel: +44 (0)20 8783 2091
Media contact - North America:
The North Face PR contact:
Patrizia Dalla Rosa