i2 Inks Deals with Giant Automakers

Three of the world’s largest automakers, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota and Volkswagen, have signed separate contracts with i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO) to power their private online marketplaces.

“The commitments by Toyota, Volkswagen and DaimlerChrysler demonstrate the need for i2 solutions among automakers as they work toward maximizing the efficiency of their manufacturing processes through collaboration,” said Steven Minisini, i2’s group vice president of Worldwide Automotive.

DaimlerChrysler’s FastCar

DaimlerChrysler North America will use i2 solutions to power its FastCar e-commerce initiative, which was unveiled earlier this month. FastCar will link multidisciplinary product teams — including design, engineering, manufacturing, and procurement — to rapidly execute changes to both new and existing products.

The automaker hopes FastCar will allow its internal organization and extended supplier network to cut time and save the automaker billions of dollars (US$).

The first phase of the i2 solution is scheduled for deployment before the end of 2000.

Toyota’s TradeMatrix

Toyota Motor Sales, USA will use i2’s TradeMatrix solutions to manage inventory support for its accessories and replacement parts business, which supplies Toyota parts to 1,500 North American Toyota and Lexus dealers.

TradeMatrix is designed to provide accurate due-date quoting to allow orders to be filled against inventory at the lowest possible carrying and transportation cost. The system will be used by Toyota to optimize inventory through improved forecasting and enhanced planning, deployment, and replenishment of inventory.

The first phase of the system is scheduled to go online this year, and i2 says that all phases will be completed during the next several years. Toyota expects TradeMatrix to generate more than $30 million in savings per year when completed.

i2’s contract with Toyota has been described as a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal.

Volkswagen’s WebSphere

i2’s deal with Volkswagen AG is an extension of a Memorandum of Understanding announced in April that calls for i2 and Volkswagen, along with IBM and Ariba, to build a global digital marketplace to connect Volkswagen and its suppliers.

The companies involved have already begun the first phase of the project, including defining the Web IT infrastructure based on IBM’s WebSphere standards and integrating i2 and Ariba applications with Volkswagen’s legacy systems. When completed, the new marketplace will include collaborative planning with suppliers, indirect e-procurement, and auctions.

Volkswagen hopes that its B2B marketplace will allow the Volkswagen Group and its suppliers to enhance their inter-enterprise trading relationships “through improved collaboration and visibility.”

Volkswagen also anticipates that the e-marketplace will conserve up to 50 percent in process costs.

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