Kroger Joins Transora Initiative

CHICAGO April 7, 2003 –Transora, the standards-based, e-commerce software and services company, today announced that The Kroger Co., one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains and a founding member of GlobalNetXchange (GNX), will be the first retailer to participate in Transora’s DSD data synchronization project. The objective of the initiative is to add standards-based functionality to Transora’s data synchronization solution and UCCnet’s Global Registry that Direct Store Delivery (DSD) manufacturers and retailers need to facilitate information exchange between trading partners at the store level.

Data synchronization is a business imperative. At the January 2003 meeting of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) Management Board, the chief executives of the world’s leading food retailers and manufacturers reviewed and endorsed the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) global technology vision calling for standards-based, industry-wide, accelerated data synchronization utilizing UCCnet as the global registry.

Aligned with this vision, Transora, and four of the world’s largest DSD manufacturers, including The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods/Nabisco, PepsiCo and Sara LeeBakeryGroup,created a steering committee to assist with the development of industry standards and processes by developing a solution that will make the data synchronization vision a reality for DSD companies. As the first retailer to join the steering committee, Kroger, in conjunction with GNX, will help shape the solution, and will also participate in the process development working group.

“Kroger supports the approach and objectives of the DSD Data Synchronization initiative that Transora is leading, and believes that retailers and manufacturers working together will bring this much-needed functionality to the market in the shortest possible time frame,” said Mike Heschel, CIO of Kroger. “Our plan is to utilize the standard processes defined in this initiative with the GNX data synchronization solution to improve data quality and reduce errors in our DSD supply chain processes.”

Leveraging existing work and standards produced by the Global Standards Management Process (GSMP), the Transora DSD steering committee is actively working with the newly formed GCI DSD Process Group to refine the existing work and to define additional DSD specific requirements for data synchronization. Any new functional requirements, which are required to implement a DSD specific data synchronization solution, will be submitted to the GCI DSD Process group and managed through the GSMP process for inclusion in future standards releases.

“DSD data synchronization is a natural extension of Transora’s data synchronization solution, “ said Ken Fleming, chief operating officer, Transora. “We welcome Kroger to this initiative and encourage other retailers and manufacturers interested in addressing the unique requirements of DSD to participate in this program.”

Expanding on the agreement between Transora and GNX announced in October 2002 to define and develop industry-wide data synchronization solutions that address the needs of both retailers and manufacturers, Transora will work with GNX to ensure that the solution is compatible with the requirements of its grocery retailer customers worldwide.

“Last year, Transora and GNX began a collaborative effort to deliver standards-based data synchronization services to manufacturers and retailers,” said Joe Laughlin, Chief Executive Officer, GNX. “Kroger’s participation in the DSD steering committee supports a key goal that GNX and Transora share: to streamline operations and reduce costs for retailers and manufacturers by driving the development of mutually-beneficial data standards. We look forward to helping roll out the standards to our DSD customers when they are available.”

Since the DSD project was announced in November 2002, the steering committee has created the business requirements document (BRD), and the development timetable remains on track.

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