Tommy Hilfiger uses B-to-B portals to increase sales

Tommy Hilfiger uses B-to-B portals to increase sales

When retailers need to reorder hot-selling items from fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger's product line, they don't have to pick up a phone to call a company salesman during normal business hours. Instead, retailers can directly place their orders around-the-clock using three Hilfiger-established business-to-business Web portals that allow the company to increase its sales by being on-demand when needed by customers.

Using IBM servers and specialised e-commerce portal software from eOneGroup, Hilfiger can let its retailers check real-time inventories, place orders and track shipping without having to contact a sales representative during business hours.

"What Tommy's doing with their project is to lower their costs and increase customer satisfaction," said Dan Powers, vice president of IBM's Linux Solutions group.

In an announcement today, IBM said the portals were developed using its xSeries Netfinity servers running dual 933-MHz Intel processors and 1GB RAM under Red Hat Linux 6.2 and its iSeries 840 12-way servers running 32GB RAM and Java, DB2 Universal Database and eOneGroup's portal suite from IBM partner eOneGroup.

The portals also provide a business-to-plant Web site linking Hilfiger's production facilities around the world. The Omaha-Neb.-based eOneGroup software integrates the Web portals with the company's existing back-end systems, which include IBM AS/400 servers. eOneGroup designed and built the infrastructure for the portals using xSeries servers running Linux to handle Web-based transactions and iSeries servers running Java and is linked to existing wholesale and warehouse management systems.

The portals have been in operation since May, helping the company to bolster sales by providing a new venue for retailers wanting to restock, said Brent Findon, vice president of application development at Hilfiger. "It was just a good match to what we needed," Findon said of the IBM/eOneGroup partnership. "By integrating these new Web portals with our existing back-end systems, we saved significantly on the time and expense of deploying this total infrastructure."

Keith Winton, vice president of Java technology at eOneGroup, said the company's flagship eOneCommerce portal creation and e-commerce suite and its eOneConfigurator "online order pad" tools were implemented to build the portals sought by Hilfiger. EOneGroup's software products use XML tags inside HTML pages to create on-the-fly Java code without special programming.

No value for the deal was released.

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