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i2 to Establish Online Market For Trading And Logistics

Supply-chain software leader i2 Technologies Inc. recently one-upped the electronic commerce marketplace by launching a new Web-based trading system that provides complex logistical and scheduling services online to any company that wants to use them. Called TradeMatrix, the i2 portal enables any manufacturer, whether it's already a user of i2 software or not, to leverage the software company's expertise in optimization systems. The portal also promises to connect manufacturers with numerous other e-marketplaces. The idea, according to i2 executives, is to not only provide transaction services, but also the capabilities manufacturers need to perform complex ordering, shipping, and transportation logistics for their supply chains. "We have an opportunity to redefine e-business just as we did with the planning and scheduling business in the 1990s," says Jim Wilson, vice president at i2. The TradeMatrix concept was announced at i2's annual customer conference in Las Vegas, where about 5,000 people gathered to kick the tires of i2's advance planning and scheduling systems. Today most manufacturers that use i2's Rhythm software package do so for its scheduling and supply-chain management functions. "We have to have intelligent realtime capabilities within our factories, and we have to collaborate with our suppliers in real time," says Robert Briggs, general manager at Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria, Ill.

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