CHICAGO, May 19, 1997 — Support is quickly growing for the Value Chain Initiative (VCI), an industrywide effort led by Microsoft Corp. to develop new solutions for supply chain information management. The alliance concluded its second-quarter meeting during Retail Systems ’97 with 68 new members, a steering committee charged with helping determine the overall direction of the initiative, and a global management consulting firm, Kurt Salmon Associates, to assist in the planning and facilitation of the worldwide effort.
The VCI has grown tremendously, boasting 68 new members, bringing the total participation to more than 90 organizations – an increase of 300 percent since its founding last fall. The rise in VCI membership significantly boosts its global reach; the alliance now includes companies with operations in 97 countries, putting it in a strong position to streamline supply chain information around the world.
“The industry is taking to the initiative very quickly, and we’re delighted by its support,” said Mark Walker, worldwide marketing manager for transportation, electronic data interchange (EDI) and distribution at Microsoft. “Organizations around the world are very excited about the concept of dynamic data delivered in real time, which is the ‘heartbeat’ of the VCI.”
The VCI Steering Committee has been formed to provide structure to the expansive and aggressive initiative and to facilitate the overall direction of the consortium. The steering committee is composed of the following five organizations: i2 Technologies Inc., InterTrans Logistics Solutions Ltd., Numetrix Ltd., Sterling Commerce Inc. and UPS Worldwide Logistics Inc. Each member is an industry leader in supply chain technology and solutions and represents specific segments of the industry. The steering committee members are committed to innovation and focused on optimizing supply chain processes.
Six industry segment committees have also been created to help build structured data sets that will migrate within the VCI framework. The industry segments being addressed are distribution management, transportation management, EDI and electronic commerce, import/export, inventory control, and warehousing management. The VCI is focusing on specific customer needs through these industry segments.
Global management consulting firm Kurt Salmon Associates (KSA) will work closely with Microsoft to assist in the planning, facilitation and organization of the effort. KSA will also develop and document the business case for the VCI, which will include a comprehensive cost-and-benefit study and before-and-after analysis of the initiative’s impact.
The VCI invited KSA to join its efforts based on the company’s groundbreaking roles in past industry consortiums. KSA is a leading management consulting firm specializing in the consumer products, retail and health-care industries, with over 60 years of experience in supply chain management and performance improvement.
“Companies have streamlined internal operations and are now working to realize further savings by improving the processes that occur among trading partners,” said Mohsen Moazami, director of global enterprise solutions at KSA. “The VCI allows these companies to choose
applications from a broad group of independent software vendors and still benefit from easy information exchange with trading partners. The VCI is the vision behind the tightly integrated supply complex of tomorrow.”
The VCI, a team of software, hardware and supply chain companies, was formed in September 1996 to create a next-generation enterprise suite of best-of-breed applications that share information throughout the supply chain. Taking advantage of the power of the Microsoft® BackOffice
™family and the Windows NT® operating system, combined with the connectivity of the Internet, these tool sets will provide the basis for collaborative communication and management decision support among trading partners worldwide.
Companies seeking to join the VCI can visit Microsoft’s transportation and distribution Web site ( http://www.microsoft.com/industry/trans/
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