12/19/2003 - Based on its ability to meet or beat stringent service performance metrics and contribute to significantly reduced costs for in-store technologies, Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc. has expanded its relationship with Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS), the largest operator of office superstores in the world.
The new agreement, effective immediately, is an extension of a services contract Fujitsu announced with Staples three years ago, which covered more than 800 Staples stores in the U.S. and about 150 in Canada.
Fujitsu will continue to manage and install all in-store computer configurations, including hardware upgrades and replacements, as well as provide support services such as product procurement and maintenance in Staples' U.S. retail locations, which now number more than 1,100 in 48 states. Under the new deal, Staples also hands duplicate responsibilities to Fujitsu in Canada for about 200 locations, as well as for stores in Belgium, the U.K. and Germany.
"Working with Fujitsu, Staples has improved customer service while reducing in-store technology costs," said Scott Floeck, Staples' senior vice president of information systems. "The results we have achieved are a true testimony to what can happen when a vendor and retailer collaborate to implement technology solutions that enhance business performance and generate a measurable return on investment."
In late 1999 Staples and Fujitsu initiated an innovative service-level agreement (SLA) that set aggressive service-delivery and cost-reduction targets across a broad range of performance metrics. Unlike traditional retailer-vendor relationships, the SLA focused on a collaborative effort to reduce costs and improve performance for both partners.
It established targets for performance measures such as average call response times, on-time completion of depot-repair work, reductions in average spend per device and overall maintenance costs for point-of-sale terminals, among others.
Staples and Fujitsu agree that such an approach can have a profound impact on the contribution of strategic technology investments to the retailer's competitive position and bottom line improvements. Sample results from their initial collaboration include:
Austen Mulinder, Fujitsu Transaction Solutions president and CEO, said that the partnership with Staples has been a vital contributing factor to a total reengineering of Fujitsu's retail business over the last two years.
"Our entire company - indeed the very core of our value proposition - has been reshaped to develop a whole new mindset and exert a laser-like focus on delivering solutions that meet the unique needs of retailers, while relentlessly driving costs out of their operations," he said. "The results we've seen with Staples - as well as other customers who share our vision - have been nothing short of transformational."
Under terms of the new three-year contract, Fujitsu will be measured on its ability to continue improving performance to SLA while delivering further cost reductions on key metrics by up to 20 percent over the life of the contract. Focus areas will include technology procurement for both Fujitsu and third-party products; maintenance of in-store systems and replacements or upgrades to existing hardware; services such as staging and installation; and rollout of new stores.
"The new contract yet again raises the bar on performance levels and delivers additional service related cost reductions," Floeck said. "Throughout its services offering suite, Fujitsu has taken aim at identifying and decreasing the cost components that make up each service. These guaranteed reductions will - in some areas - deliver nearly a 20 percent effect over the three-year term."
About Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc.
Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) and the IT "lifecycle solutions" provider for retailing and financial systems technologies. Focused on helping customers relentlessly reduce costs, Fujitsu's offerings include infrastructure management services, point-of-sale hardware and software, handheld devices and Web-enabled automated-teller machines. The company has operated in North America for more than 30 years and has 1,000 employees and 25 offices in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. It serves customers such as Albertsons, Best Buy, ChevronTexaco, M & T Bank, Nordstrom, REI, Staples and The TJX Companies, among others.
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