Debenhams is to use Eqos' collaborative platform to develop a private business-to-business portal for its supplier community.
The system will initially cover order management, tracking and delivery, and will enable the company to break down consignments at the advanced shipping notice (ASN) level to, for example, switch urgently needed goods to air freight to meet consumer demand.
Debenhams business systems controller Dominic Nash said: 'We're hoping that the system will get rid of those supply chain black holes and give us complete visibility of where goods are at any time.'
Debenhams currently uses a mixture of applications and manual systems for order management, and the portal will provide a consistent approach to supplier management. Nash said: 'We want to deal with all our suppliers electronically, and all they will need to access the portal is a PC and the Internet - and no matter how small, I'd guess they all have at least that.'
About 700 Debenhams suppliers will access the portal, including third-party logistics service companies.