SOURCE: IBM

March 20, 2006 09:39 ET

STX Pan Ocean Embarks on Enterprise Transformation Project With IBM Korea and STX ForceTec

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 20, 2006 -- STX Pan Ocean, one of the world's largest dry-bulk shipping companies, has appointed IBM Korea and STX ForceTec to transform STX Pan Ocean's core processes and IT infrastructure as part of a two year, US$15 million enterprise transformation project.

The project aims to create the business and technology infrastructure necessary for STX Pan Ocean to grow and diversify its business and combat the challenges faced by the shipping industry. Shipping companies globally are threatened by rising raw material costs, exchange rate fluctuations, the slow down in the growth of the world economy, and industry consolidation.

STX Pan Ocean's corporate objective is to become one of the world's top five shipping companies. To grow, STX Pan Ocean is changing its revenue mix by: diversifying into LNG shipping, expanding its tanker, containership and car and truck carrier operations, and strengthening its existing core dry bulk business. STX Pan Ocean also plans to leverage market opportunities presented through STX Shipbuilding, STX Engine & other STX subsidiaries.

"This initiative will allow STX Pan Ocean to improve its competitiveness and become a leading shipping company. The listing of STX Pan Ocean offers us a fresh start. By transforming our processes and supporting technology, we will be better positioned to diversify our business, drive growth and improve our ability to respond to rapidly changing customer needs. This project is a key part of our future success," said STX Pan Ocean President, Jongchul Lee.

The project will streamline the shipping company's processes such as: sales, shipping services, finance and accounting, customer information management, and strategic business management, as well as improve its technology infrastructure including: networks, IT security, and information management systems.

Phase I of the project, scheduled for completion by June 2007, will improve the shipping company's global customer service network and enhance the responsiveness of its finance systems for early settlement and better responsibility management.

"Our business competitiveness will be maximized through the enhanced services we will be able to offer our customers. This project gives us the opportunity to not only improve our current operations, but also support our growth and plan to diversify from our current position as one of the world's leading bulk carriers," explained YongHee Byun, Executive Vice President in charge of STX Pan Ocean digitalization.

Building on its base as an IT service provider for the manufacturing industry through its work with STX Shipbuilding, STX ForceTec aims to broaden its capabilities: "This project expands our experience in consulting, system implementation, and maintenance for the shipping industry. We will learn advanced business and technology methodologies and approaches through our collaboration with IBM Korea," said Hyojung Kim, President of STX ForceTec.

According to Sungyoul Lee, General Manager, Business Consulting Services, IBM Korea, IBM has amassed a unique set of consulting and systems integration skills in the shipping industry.

"We are very pleased to be able to assist one of the world's leading shipping companies to transform its core business processes and technology infrastructure. Through our collaboration with STX ForceTec we look forward to delivering solutions that will allow STX Pan Ocean to operate in ways not previously possible and grow in an increasingly challenging market environment," said Mr Lee.

About STX Pan Ocean

STX Pan Ocean is one of the world's largest dry-bulk operators and has more than 39 years of experience in the shipping industry. STX Pan Ocean currently operates a fleet of 57 owned vessels and 200 vessels on charter. It transports cargo such as steel products, iron ore, coal, palm and vegetable oils, sugar and logs. It also offers other shipping services, including containers, car carriages and tankers. It is the leader in the Korean market in the dry bulk sector in terms of deadweight tonnage (DWR), and, as of 31 Dec 04, is also ranked in the top 10 globally in terms of DWT capacity of its owned dry bulk fleet. It is an indirect subsidiary of STX Corp, which operates in a wide variety of businesses.

About IBM Business Consulting Services

With consultants and professional staff in more than 160 countries globally, IBM Business Consulting Services is the world's largest consulting services organization. IBM Business Consulting Services provides clients with business process and industry expertise, and the ability to translate that expertise into integrated, adaptive, on demand business solutions that deliver bottom-line business value. For more information visit www.ibm.com/bcs.

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