WHSmith Consolidates Its B2B E-Commerce Network Using GXS Managed Services

Sunbury, United Kingdom — April 22, 2008 — GXS™, a leading provider of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce solutions, today announced that WHSmith, one of the UK’s premier retailers, has completed an ambitious project to consolidate its B2B e-commerce network using GXS Trading Grid® and GXS Managed Services. The move has provided WHSmith with a standardised and simplified approach to B2B e-commerce, enabling the company to focus on accelerating its supply chain initiatives rather than managing technology. GXS’ secure, robust and global B2B platform also provides WHSmith with support for suppliers that vary in their e-commerce capabilities and technology sophistication; insulation from the complexity of evolving standards; support for multiple transaction formats beyond basic electronic data interchange (EDI); and tight integration with internal systems.

WHSmith had been a long-term user of several point solutions, data exchange methods and value added networks to support its e-business strategy, but decided to consolidate its activities using GXS Managed Services. GXS Managed Services enables companies to outsource many of the day-to-day aspects of managing their B2B integration infrastructure. GXS Managed Services enables WHSmith to automate transactions with their trading partners while shielding them from rapidly changing standards, eliminating manual and duplicative efforts and enabling a high level of process integration and business intelligence. For WHSmith, one of the key benefits of the company’s use of GXS Managed Services has been WHSmith’s ability to more easily support in-store replenishment.

“Using GXS Managed Services to place orders, receive confirmations, and transmit shipping notices and invoices enables stores to have stock replenished on shelves within two to three days of selling an item like a book. In other areas of the business, we’ve cut lead times for new stock from several weeks to less than a week,” said Alastair Reid, support manager for the Trading and Marketing teams at WHSmith. “It has enabled us to move to a direct-from-supplier supply chain model. Instead of shipping orders to stores from stocks held in our warehouses, we now have consolidation centres that take incoming orders from suppliers, split them by store and consolidate goods from many suppliers into a single delivery for each store.”

Using GXS Managed Services, WHSmith has been able to reallocate staff from processing paper or manual rekeying of data to activities that add more value to the business and make better use of their expertise, such as investigating invoice discrepancies. This has been coupled with greater visibility across the supply chain.

“Ten years ago, retailers were focused on reducing costs through technologies such as EDI. Now they are realizing that there are additional line-of-business benefits to be had from e-commerce, including greater supply chain visibility, direct store delivery and in-store replenishment capabilities, and merchandise planning opportunities,” said Bryan Larkin, director of retail and consumer products marketing at GXS. “By using GXS Managed Services, WHSmith is ahead of the game on all of these. They also are well-positioned to take advantage of additional automation and retail technology developments both now and in the future.”

Another key goal in their project was insulating WHSmith from the impact of new technology and e-commerce standards developments. For WHSmith, the fact that GXS Trading Grid® , the platform on which GXS Managed Services is based, supports a wide range of data exchange mechanisms beyond basic EDI was significant. GXS Managed Services meets all of WHSmith’s needs through a single solution.

GXS has more than 40 years’ experience in B2B e-commerce as well as 20 years’ experience in supporting full-service B2B outsourcing and hub/supplier integration programs. GXS Managed Services customers represent a variety of industries including consumer products, financial services, high tech, manufacturing and retail. More than 200 companies currently use GXS Managed Services around the world, including Bank of Montreal, BB&T, Miller Brewing Company, National Instruments, Royal Bank of Canada, Sun Microsystems, Thomson Consumer Electronics and Vivendi Games. GXS provides customers with world-class B2B program management including trading community management, global supply chain visibility, transaction management, data translation, systems administration and supplier performance reporting. GXS Trading Grid is a global B2B e-commerce and integration services platform that supports the creation and adoption of on-demand supply chain management solutions for companies of any size.

About WHSmith
WH Smith PLC is made up of 547 High Street stores, 218 Travel units at airports and stations, 123 Travel units at motorway service area locations including RoadChef and 8 Travel units in 7 hospitals throughout the UK. The High Street business sells a wide range of newspapers, magazines, stationery, books and entertainment products, while WH Smith Travel sells a tailored range of newspapers, magazines, books and confectionery products for people on the move. In addition, WH Smith Direct – www.whsmith.co.uk serves customers on the internet 24 hours a day.

About GXS

GXS is a leading global provider of B2B e-commerce solutions that simplify and enhance business process integration, synchronisation and collabouration among trading partners. Organisations worldwide, including 75 percent of the Fortune 500, leverage the GXS Trading Grid® to extend supply networks, optimise product launches, automate warehouse receiving, manage electronic payments and gain supply chain visibility. With an unmatched global presence, proven trading partner management and B2B outsourcing services, GXS’ on-demand solutions maximise the benefits of integration for businesses.

Based in Gaithersburg, Md., GXS’ extensive global network serves customers throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific regions. GXS can be found on the Web at www.gxs.co.uk.


For further information please contact:

Denise Oakley, Director, Marketing Programmes International GXS
Tel – +44 (0) 1932 776408 / +44 (0) 7768 537 481 Email: denise.oakley@gxs.com