July 28, 2006 10:05 ET

ACOM to Use IBM Japan's Business Transformation Services to Increase Sales Administration Efficiency

To Improve Productivity of Infrastructure and Increase Security for Business Diversification

TOKYO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 28, 2006 -- ACOM CO., LTD., a leading Japanese consumer finance company and IBM Japan, Ltd. (NYSE: IBM) today announced that ACOM will take advantage of IBM Japan's Business Transformation Outsourcing (BTO) services to increase the efficiency of its sales administration and support business growth in its loan and credit businesses. ACOM expects this collaboration will help improve the productivity of its sales administration by about 15 percent.

The value of the ten-year BTO contract, which will start in August this year, is approximately 13 billion yen (approx $US112M). IBM Japan has also acquired a five percent share in AB PARTNER CO. LTD., an ACOM subsidiary that provides sales administration services to ACOM and other financial institutions.

ACOM is focused on building its loan, credit card and installment sales finance business, as well as its loan guarantee business, in which the company undertakes, credit examinations for regional banks and other financial institutions on a contract basis. To continue to expand its loan guarantee business, ACOM needed to increase the man-hours and financial resources necessary to manage and store documents. To allow for this expansion and to manage its own contract documents more efficiently, ACOM has outsourced these services to IBM Japan through a BTO arrangement.

Over the last four months personnel from ACOM and consultants from IBM have worked together to examine ACOM's document management processes and establish how they could be transformed into a more efficient operation. The two companies defined processes that would enable: the computerization of some 34 million pages which had previously been managed in a paper format, the efficient storage of these documents, and a swift response to inquiries from the front office network. These new processes are based on IBM Japan's document imaging system, which IBM Japan uses to manage its own contract documents. This system excels in controlling access to imaged data and data inquiry logs, providing a high level of security for administrative work.

A document management center at Kasai, Tokyo, which is run by the two companies, is connected via high-speed networks to ACOM's nationwide sales front offices which include manned outlets, service centers, and counseling centers for customers. This allows sales representatives to electronically access imaged loan contracts and related documents, achieving greater efficiency. The efficiency of approximately 10,000 operations a month will be improved.

Going forward, the two companies will also work together to improve processes that support ACOM's consumer finance business and loan guarantee business for financial institutions.

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