World’s Largest Paint Company Uses iWay to Optimize B2B Relationships

AkzoNobel Connects Easily With Business Units, Partners, and Suppliers Worldwide Via iWay Trading Partner Manager

Amstelveen, 08 Juni 2009

Integration technology and services from iWay Software are helping global industrial manufacturing leader AkzoNobel build its business the old fashioned way: by forging stronger relationships with customers and suppliers. The world's largest paints and coatings company depends on iWay Trading Partner Manager to set up, manage, and monitor online relationships with partners and distributors across multiple trading networks. iWay Software, an Information Builders company and an innovator of enterprise integration solutions , deployed its Business-to-Business (B2B) Suite to help AkzoNobel manage this vast and diverse information landscape, simplifying exchanges among many different trading networks, message sets, and protocols while also connecting AkzoNobel's internal business units worldwide.

“Our overriding objective is to make it easier for our partners to do business with us,” said Bas Van Amerom, eSupply chain manager at AkzoNobel. “iWay Trading Partner Manager simplifies our relationships. Now we can easily connect to partners no matter what kinds of systems they are using. iWay is boosting productivity and reducing costs for us.”

iWay Trading Partner Manager manages information among trading partners by making B2B interactions a natural extension of an organization’s SOA efforts. AkzoNobel also uses iWay Business Activity Monitor (BAM) to supply real-time information about the status and results of partner processes and transactions.

With help from Information Builders Professional Services, AkzoNobel standardized on iWay to streamline its vendor-managed inventory (VMI) processes, enabling materials suppliers to take responsibility for raw materials inventory. The integration initiative has had a positive impact on the bottom line by freeing up working capital and minimizing inventory carrying costs. Using iWay, suppliers can schedule deliveries whenever they want. This enables them to optimize quantities of on-hand materials based on real-time forecasts of manufacturing schedules and production runs. “Lowering the required physical stock has advantages to everybody in the supply chain, but we need to be able to reliably share information to make it happen,” said Van Amerom. “iWay Software helped us construct a B2B gateway to set up and maintain thousands of partner relationships in a highly reliable framework.”

AkzoNobel is globally organized into 18 business units. Suppliers and customers connect to these business units via a variety of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. AkzoNobel needed a central hub to facilitate these connections. Within six months, the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based company was testing system-to-system interfaces via iWay Trading Partner Manager and monitoring those connections with iWay's BAM. Formerly, establishing an interface with a new vendor could take AkzoNobel many days of coding. According to Van Amerom, iWay has cut that time nearly in half.

“iWay has a successful history of helping customers tackle extraordinarily complex infrastructure challenges with our B2B solutions,” said Gerald Cohen, founder and CEO of Information Builders. “As AkzoNobel has learned, having the right technical infrastructure in place allows a company to focus on relationships rather than wrestling with technology.” 

About AkzoNobel

Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, AkzoNobel makes and supplies a huge range of paints, coatings and specialty chemicals. As a major producer of specialty chemicals, AkzoNobel supplies industries worldwide with quality ingredients for life’s essentials. The company has 60,000 employees in more than 80 countries. Its pro forma 2007 revenue totaled €14.4 bln.

About iWay Software

iWay Software’s integration methodology is simple: it uses a single, integrated set of graphical design tools to assemble powerful pre-built components for enterprise-class business-to-business (B2B) integration, business process automation (BPA), or enterprise information management (EIM) integration scenarios – without the use of custom code. Integration configurations can be deployed in a stand-alone manner to any environment supporting a JVM – or to Web application servers from any vendor. iWay delivers the fastest, most cost-effective, and simplest way to integrate and streamline critical business processes. iWay Software’s vendor-, platform-, and protocol-neutral solutions achieve the promise of SOA: true reusability. For more information visit: http://www.iwaysoftware.com.

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