AAFES Expects to Decrease Operating Costs with GXS’ Product Information Manager

Paul Demery

Military Retail Giant Automates Supply Chain with Comprehensive Retail Solution from GXS

GAITHERSBURG, Md. - April 12, 2005 - GXS, a leading provider of B2B e-commerce solutions, today announced that the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has selected GXS’ Product Information Manager (PIM) Retailer Edition to integrate inbound product information from its suppliers into its customer facing systems. GXS’ PIM Retailer Edition will allow AAFES, which operates 12,000 facilities in more than 35 countries and in all 50 states, to create a more efficient and standardized platform for streamlining product information management, a critical step to improving supply chain operations and decreasing operating costs.

AAFES, which recently implemented a new merchandising system, needed to perform internal data cleansing and information additions to feed its new system. With more than 1.5 million active SKUs, and more than 9,000 vendors, automating this process was a necessity. By implementing GXS’ PIM Retailer application, AAFES is able to perform internal data alignment, ensuring that its vendor and product information can be efficiently maintained in the future. These capabilities should ultimately help AAFES lower operating costs.

In addition, the PIM solution establishes a single source for product data, creating consistency across departments and disciplines. For AAFES, PIM Retailer Edition will be the foundation for price and promotion synchronization, scan-based trading and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). The U.S. Department of Defense now requires that RFID be implemented by all military vendors.

AAFES’ mission is to provide quality merchandise and services to authorized customers at competitive prices and to generate reasonable earnings to supplement appropriated funds for the Army and Air Force Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs. By streamlining its supply chain and decreasing operating costs, AAFES will be able to positively impact quality of life programs for Soldiers, Airmen and their families.

“In this day and age, wasted time clearing up supply chain errors equals lost revenue, an expense no retailer can afford if they are to remain competitive,” said Jack Leavitt, systems support branch manager at AAFES. This implementation will not only serve as a foundation for further initiatives, including scan-based trading and RFID, but also will help AAFES enforce efficiencies across all aspects of information exchange and management.

PIM Retailer Edition is a centralized repository of product information that enables companies to configure complex, conditional workflows that automate cross-departmental processes such as new product introductions or product updates. It increases speed to market for new products by automating the process of synchronizing new product introductions through standards-compliant practices. This ensures that price, promotion and product information are consistent across multiple channels and also arms sales staff with broader, higher quality product data enabling them to make competitive comparisons of product information.

GXS’ PIM Retailer Edition allows retailers to realize business improvement from reduced operating costs and increased sales through more timely and accurate product information. In a GXS sponsored study1 by The Yankee Group, companies that have implemented a PIM solution yielded a 27 percent improvement in optimized promotional execution. Additionally, the same companies realized an average 24 percent reduction in operating costs related to product data management as well as inventory management.

AAFES chose GXS to automate its supply chain because of the comprehensive nature of its solution. PIM Retailer Edition is interoperable with industry leading data pools allowing AAFES to synchronize data with multiple supplier communities. GXS Community Link, designed to accelerate the community on-boarding process, complements the PIM Retailer Edition by providing a customized environment to meet the retailer’s specific goals to maximize participation with trading partners through supplier education, consulting, implementation, measurement, testing and on-going support. AAFES has selected PIM Retailer Edition’s hosted deployment option, which allows the company to leverage all the benefits of the solution without incurring the additional infrastructure expense of managing this environment itself.

“As retailers and suppliers face increasing pressure to complete business transactions in real-time, retailers in all industries are turning to GXS to automate the processing of inbound product information, cut operating costs and increase speed to shelf,” said Alex Schumacher, director of retail and consumer products at GXS. “By dramatically decreasing the number of inefficiencies in manual processing, and keeping product information accurate and consistent across all channels, PIM Retailer Edition can save thousands of hours in labor costs and merchandising time.”

GXS offers both the PIM Retailer Edition and the PIM Supplier Edition; together they comprise the only complete end-to-end data synchronization solution in the retail industry. Both services are available as hosted solutions or through licensed software. GXS also offers a variety of PIM solution capabilities for medium and small businesses including GPC, PIM Express, and GXS Community Link. All of the PIM solutions are linked to the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), a GXS-certified data pool that serves as a key enabler for the synchronized exchange of product information between trading partners around the world.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) brings a tradition of value, service and support to its 11.5 million authorized customers without regard to where they may be stationed. AAFES operates 12,000 facilities in more than 35 countries and in all 50 states. These include 3,150 retail facilities, of which 160 are main stores on Army, Air Force and Marine installations throughout the world. For more information, visit www.aafes.com.

About Global eXchange Services
GXS (Global eXchange Services) is a leading worldwide provider of B2B e-commerce solutions that simplify and enhance business process integration and collaboration. Organizations worldwide, including over half of the Fortune 500, leverage the GXS Trading GridSM to achieve the perfect balance of supply and demand. Active in the global standards arena, GXS solutions enable customers both large and small, to connect with global partners, synchronize product information, optimize inventory levels and demand forecasts, and accelerate the execution of supply chains.

Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., GXS provides sales and support to businesses and their partners worldwide. For more information visit our Web site at www.gxs.com.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This document includes certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management`s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from these expectations due to changes in global political, economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory factors. These factors include technological developments, customer demand, trading partner participation and network availability.


Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Electronic commerce, Online shopping, Product information management, Scan-based trading