US retail chain Wal-Mart, which owns the UK's Asda stores, has begun a multi-million-pound project to improve the efficiency of its supply chain.
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Wal-Mart is upgrading its Retail Link network, a propriety Internet exchange which links Wal-Mart and its suppliers, as part of a project to streamline its global purchasing.
The group is breaking with tradition by selecting off-the-shelf software from Atlas Commerce, rather than developing software in-house, a move that will enable Wal-Mart to get the system up and running by the end of 2001.
Wal-Mart will use Atlas Metaprise software to aggregate orders and demand forecasts from its stores in the US, Germany, and the UK into a single request.
This will enable Wal-Mart, which tends to place orders with suppliers in the US, to issue global tenders, allowing it to negotiate volume discounts and better terms for warehousing and shipping.