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JR Wood Freezes Supply Chain Errors with Fresh New Approach,
Selecting EXTOL Business Integrator for UCCnet Compliance

POTTSVILLE, PA., April, 2004 – EXTOL International, Inc., a leading vendor of B2B applications, announced today that food products pioneer J.R. Wood has selected Extol to maintain supply chain accuracy and reliability demanded by trading partners like WalMart and Wegman’s.

A vertically integrated grower/ processor of fruit products, J.R. Wood pioneered the individually quick-frozen food (IQF) process for fruit, now the standard in the frozen food industry. They are committed to satisfying any fruit requirement of the retail, food service, industrial, conventional and organic fruit markets. Their Big Valley brand has become the leading frozen fruit label, and they provide private-brand products to major retailers.

J.R. Wood’s customers, including close-to-cost retailers like Wal-Mart and grocers like Wegman’s, have demanding supply-chain requirements for both accuracy and timeliness of product item data. Already committed to EDI and aware UCCnet was a coming imperative, Jennifer Jones, director of IT, started looking for solutions that would carry J.R. Wood into the new environment. "There were time constraints," Jones comments. "We needed to deploy a solution quickly, which meant eliminating the alternatives quickly.

"In fact," she said, "I was looking for a single solution for both EDI and UCCnet. We evaluated several vendors and products. The EXTOL Business Integration Platform made the most sense for us."

Chief among the criteria that brought J.R. Wood to EXTOL was the fact that the EXTOL Business Integration Platform was more robust and easier to implement than any system that J.R. Wood reviewed. "The other solutions did not address the entire job," according to Jones. "Either they lacked data cataloging, or internal validation. And, most did not provide a single system of record for internal data synchronization.

"In addition, the EXTOL product was a strategic solution, one that could address our UCCnet requirements right now, and enable us to add services for EDI and our other B2B initiatives according to our resources, and, of course, mandates for such things as RFID.

"The fact that EXTOL is an IBM partner was important, because it denotes both business and technical credibility," Jones commented.

Jones said that competing vendors would have required installation of several different products to match EXTOL’s functionality. "This would mean multiple installation processes, and uncertainty over how they would work together. We’re a small company and don’t have a specific e-commerce department, and couldn’t dedicate the time required for other approaches."

J.R. Wood went live with Wal-Mart in about a month "One week of that was for EXTOL to customize the product to accommodate a specific business issue for J.R. Wood," she recalled.

The second implementation, for Wegman’s, only took about a week-and-a-half, with most of the effort going to check their own data to be sure it was accurate, before putting it through the data synchronization process. This is especially important when fully integrating the UCCnet initiative with their back-end systems, such as EnterpriseWorld--e (formerly JD Edwards), on their AS/400.

There are two benefits J.R. Wood is predicting to realize quickly. "A consistent manner of collaborating electronically with Wal-Mart to reduce errors by at least 30% ," Jones said. "And, efficiency in workflow means everybody in our own company will know the how and when item data changes. This is where a supplier can recognize the benefits of UCCnet participation, right to the bottom line."

Being UCCnet-able brings an added benefit to J.R. Wood: "It’s a selling point in becoming a preferred vendor with customers like Wal-Mart," Jones said. "They recognize that we place the same importance on the data synchronization initiative as they do, and that we were willing to adopt UCCnet early."

About EXTOL International, Inc.

EXTOL International, Inc. is a leading provider of B2B integration application software for the mid-sized enterprise. EXTOL enables companies to exchange and integrate transactions and documents, regardless of form or format, between their applications and those of their partners. The EXTOL Business Integrator is an integration platform for electronic commerce applications including EDI, AS2, XML, UCCnet and the integration and management capabilities required to take full advantage of supply chain functionality. For more information go to www.Extol.com

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