Paul Demery , Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce
Selection of Soft Solutions sets direction for Carrefour`s largest operating unit to leverage strategic market initiatives through data quality, consolidation and Product Information Management capabilities
San Bruno, California-December 5, 2005-Carrefour Group, the world`s second largest retailer with annual revenues of over $110 billion, has selected Soft Solutions to implement the most powerful and flexible data management & business oriented solutions available to large retailers today -- Soft Solutions` Retail Information Management and Business Suite -- for strategic corporate and operating company data management across Carrefour`s four largest markets (G4). The G4 market represents over 85% of Carrefour revenues and over 92% of the company`s earnings. When completed, the project will consolidate over 50 different information sources into a `single version of the truth` for all of Carrefour`s business operations at both the group and operating company levels. At the core of this new foundation is Soft Solutions` ibs Referential, the world`s most complete and flexible data model to address the master data management challenges of large retailers. In addition to data consolidation, the Group will leverage ibs Referential for their global PIM solution.
"Our implementation of the Soft Solutions` Retail Information Management and Business Suite represents the most strategic project for Carrefour today," stated Bruno Cabasso, Group CIO for Carrefour. "It will provide the G4 Group with significant transformation opportunities, including addressing our critical requirements for PIM and Master Data Management. It will establish the data quality and synchronization foundation upon which new initiatives such as RFID can be launched."
Two-year selection process results in win for Soft Solutions and Carrefour.
The selection of Soft Solutions is the result of a complex process started in early 2004, when Carrefour began evaluating various retail information management providers in the market. The challenge was an especially difficult one due to Carrefour`s multi-country, multi-banner, multi-store format business environment. Carrefour named Soft Solutions as the finalist for the project in early 2005. Functional and performance testing commenced which validated Soft Solutions product capabilities. In July, the Carrefour Group Executive Committee gave final approval for the project launch, with subsequent approval by the Spain Executive Committee in early August as the first operating company in the overall implementation plan. The remaining country operations, starting with France, will be implemented subsequently. Soft Solutions` selection for this project is further evidence of the company`s capability to combine powerful, standards-based technology with solid retail business knowledge and strong commitment to deliver to the very high standards demanded of leading retailers.
Project launch occurred in Spain on October 18th, with completion expected within one year. "Carrefour Spain has been recognized by the Group as the best practices leader in terms of merchandise data management," stated Eduardo Morillas, Carrefour Spain CIO. "So Carrefour Spain was the natural first candidate to implement the Soft Solutions Suites as a core foundation for our IT System," added Morillas.
A Foundation for the Future
In addition to delivering data quality and consistency, Carrefour expects this project to have significant positive impact on their plans with Soft Solutions for continued business transformations in the areas of promotions, assortment and vendor trade funds management. "We are excited about the future of our relationship with Soft Solutions and look forward to expanding the value of this foundation to further leverage our competitive position in our markets. This project represents the first step in what Carrefour expects to be a continuing long term, prosperous relationship for both companies," adds Cabasso.
"The confidence that Carrefour has placed in Soft Solutions for over ten years reflects both our leadership in providing the most powerful and flexible retail information management solutions, as well as our long standing business relationship with one of the world`s premier retailers," said Nehme Taouk, founder and chief executive officer of Soft Solutions. "We are committed to maintaining that leadership through our continued business and technology innovation and the ongoing collaboration with our customers."
About Soft Solutions
With more than 80,000 active users worldwide, Soft Solutions is a leading provider of web-based merchandise management and decision support software. Our customers are multi-divisional, multi-format Tier 1 retailers including Auchan, Carrefour, Group Louis Delhaize, Kingfisher, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, and Galeries Lafayette. The Soft Solutions Suite conforms to the latest industry and technology standards and is compatible with multiple databases, industry application server packages and EAI solutions. In addition, Soft Solutions partners with leading edge consulting and solutions providers to extend its solution suite in areas such as forecasting, advanced analytics and optimization. Visit our website at www.softsolutionsus.com.
As the largest European retailer and second worldwide with 2004 annual revenues of nearly $100 billion in sales, Carrefour has been a part of the everyday life of tens of millions of customers in Europe, Asia and Latin America for more than 40 years. Carrefour combines hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores and hard discounters to offer the customer the greatest freedom of choice with the guarantee of the best quality/price ratio, whatever the store format. Strengthened by the commitment of its 430,000 employees and its franchisees, Carrefour pursues a policy of sustained growth in a context of sustainable development, allowing everyone; customers, shareholders, employees, partners, the public sector; to share fully in its success. Visit the website at www.carrefour.com.
Contact: Nathaniel J. "Than" Clevenger III
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