Strategic alliance between TAKKT AG and POET

TAKKT's subsidiary KAISER + KRAFT EUROPA takes advantage of new opportunities in e-procurement

TAKKT AG of Stuttgart, Germany, Europe's leading business-to-business mail order supplier for office, business, and warehouse equipment, remains at the forefront of the growing e-commerce market. At the CeBIT 2000 trade exhibition in Hanover, Germany (February 24 to March 1), TAKKT's subsidiary KAISER + KRAFT EUROPA, the well-known software company POET, and Compaq will unveil an updated and customised online catalogue that can be incorporated directly into customers' purchasing systems. This new tool will enable customers to streamline their operations and thus cut costs. "This co-operative venture strengthens our role as a pioneer in the e-procurement field, i.e. the purchasing of goods and services over the Internet," is how Georg Gayer, Managing Board Chairman of TAKKT AG, describes the new strategic alliance. "The first customer was connected in 1999. We expect demand for customised online catalogues to soar this year."

Customers of KAISER + KRAFT have been able to access catalogue data on the Internet since 1998. "We realised very early that the New Media would represent a milestone in our Group's development," emphasises Alfred Milanello, Managing Board member responsible for information technology and organisation. "In order to maintain our position as the market leader, we must continually enhance the level of services we provide to our customers, paying special attention to e-commerce." A media-neutral database system serves as data source and basis of the company's e-commerce activities. The media data are centrally managed, which provides a single source for assembling print catalogues, CD-ROMs, and Websites.

At CeBIT, the world's largest trade exhibition for information technology, TAKKT's subsidiary KAISER + KRAFT EUROPA and the renowned software company POET will demonstrate, at computer manufacturer Compaq's stand, how business-to-business commerce will be transacted on the Internet in the future. "The tool that we developed in collaboration with POET provides our customers with individualised electronic catalogues that are available online," states Kathrin Winterfeld, Manager of New Media at KAISER + KRAFT EUROPA, with regard to the company's new service. "Until now, there were problems transmitting product data over the Internet because most data is stored on systems that are incompatible with the applications used by other companies."

The product data of KAISER + KRAFT EUROPA are extracted from existing systems and stored in a separate master catalogue. Customer profiles are generated and administered with the help of a user-friendly interface. "When a customer requests a current catalogue from us, we assemble and format a catalogue that is tailored to the customer's profile," Kathrin Winterfeld explains. "The finished catalogue is then transmitted over the Internet. The customer can continue processing the catalogue using its own purchasing systems."

The company's system supports a wide variety of formatting requirements, including BMEcat. BMEcat grew out of a German industry initiative to standardise data cataloguing. The initiative is sponsored by such major corporations as Philips, Audi, DaimlerChrysler, and Bayer. TAKKT believes that this new tool has a decisive advantage because it does not require structures.

"We want to deploy innovative systems to take advantage of the opportunities available to us in the field of e-procurement," notes Managing Board Chairman Gayer. "Since we consider ourselves a catalogue company that is oriented toward the future, our co-operation with POET provides a positive example of the rapid results that can be achieved when flexibility and competence are paired in the customers' interest."

Stuttgart, 23th February 2000


Contacts:

Georg Gayer
Phone +49 (0)7 11.50 01-239

Dr. Felix A. Zimmermann
Phone +49 (0)7 11.50 01-861

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