SOURCE: IBM

June 07, 2005 11:01 ET

MarineMax Integrates Supplier-to-Sales Process With IBM On Demand Solution

Nation's Largest Boating Retailer to Streamline Supply Chain, Enhance Customer Experience

CLEARWATER, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 7, 2005 -- IBM announced today that the nation's largest boat retailer, MarineMax, is implementing an on demand solution to link sales directly to distributors and suppliers, speeding delivery to customers and improving supply-chain efficiency.

IBM's on demand technology will connect MarineMax's new e-commerce Web site (www.BoatingGearCenter.com) directly to key distributor Brunswick Boat Group, allowing for real-time online order entry and inventory tracking. As a result, MarineMax's global customers will be able to view and select from more than 7,800 products, such as life-jackets, rafts, inner tubes and safety and cleaning equipment.

"We are now able to better serve our customers and respond faster to the marketplace trends, while reducing costs due to inventory inefficiencies," said MarineMax vice president of information technology Brett McGill. "We expect to increase our supply chain efficiencies by 25 percent, in addition to saving hundreds of hours in development time."

Previously, MarineMax customers could research and purchase boating accessories only when visiting a MarineMax showroom, ordering items via catalogue or by visiting partner websites. Now customers can obtain personalized service and information as new products are rolled out.

The Florida-based company will install a combination of IBM's software and hardware portfolio including IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager, IBM's TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller and IBM eServer BladeCenters to integrate, serve, back up and manage all customer, inventory and product information across all of the company's retail channels.

IBM WebSphere Commerce-Express, which is built on a flexible, open-standards-based platform, was selected to provide a single e-commerce platform that can manage all sales channels. This new solution will allow MarineMax to optimize transactions from all customer touch points, including their showrooms, catalogue and Web site, ultimately providing superior customer service and support, while decreasing supply chain costs.

Marine Max's decision to select the IBM-based solution over competing solutions was based on the need for a powerful and scalable platform that could grow with their business.

For business continuity efforts, MarineMax has two datacenters to back up its data. Working with IBM Business Partner CompServ, MarineMax will power its Web site with an IBM eServer BladeCenter connected to EMC storage servers. MarineMax plans to enhance its use of the EMC storage by using IBM's storage virtualization software. Additionally, MarineMax selected IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager to provide automated back up and recovery of critical enterprise resource planning data in the event of a disaster, ensuring business continuity. MarineMax expects to save hundreds of hours each year by using this new solution, as the previous back-up method required MarineMax to track reports and back up data manually.

About MarineMax

Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, MarineMax is the nation's largest recreational boat retailer. Focused on premium brands, such as Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Meridian, Hatteras, Grady White, Ferretti Yachts, Custom Line, CRN, Pershing, Riva, Mochi Craft, Apreamare and Bertram, the company sells new and used recreational boats and related marine products and provides yacht brokerage services. The company currently operates 71 retail locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. For more information, please visit www.marinemax.com or www.boatinggearcenter.com.

About IBM

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