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  • 27 July 2004 12:27

Subaru Australia Drives Dealer Productivity Via Plumtree-Powered Dashboard

~ Plumtree Portal Helps Workload Management for Dealers, Streamlines Communications and Provides Tools to Improve Customer Satisfaction ~

SYDNEY, Australia, July 27, 2004 -- Enterprise Web leader Plumtree Software (Nasdaq: PLUM) today announced that Subaru Australia has deployed a dashboard application built using the Plumtree Enterprise Web Suite to its network of 92 dealers across Australia. The dealer dashboard has streamlined communication between Subaru and its dealer network so that each dealer has direct access to the latest metrics such as inventory, order status and promotional details. As a result, dealers are able to target improved customer service, while effectively representing the Subaru brand.

"The dealer dashboard in the portal has been a huge win for Subaru Australia because it gives dealers a central point of reference for key metrics and trends that they couldn't see before," said National Sales Manager for Subaru, Gary Watson.

Dealers clamoured to test the dashboard, which went live in May 2004 after six months of development, and have been highly satisfied with the results. "Dealers used to ring our business managers every day asking for access to simple metrics like how many cars have been in inventory over 60 days. They need this information because they're measured, and paid on it, but there was no easy way for them to access it themselves," Watson said. "Now that the dashboard is in place, those types of calls have been replaced by requests for even more dashboard functionality."

WHAT'S IN SUBARU'S DEALER DASHBOARD? Subaru manufactures and imports its cars from Japan, covering the Forester, Impreza, Liberty and Outback models, which total approximately 30,000 units of sales annually. Australia is the company's third-largest market in the world, after Japan and the US. The Australian operation performs marketing and distribution functions, maintains supplies of spare parts and also sustains relationships with dealers across Australia.

To support the activities of the local Subaru operation, Subaru deployed a dealer dashboard that offers dealers access to the following information, much of which is drawn from a less accessible AS/400 system:

* Sales: reports on vehicle sales figures;

* Orders: lists of current orders for parts and vehicles or other items, status of cars in the dealership and delivery dates, and full detail of each dealers supply chain, from order to delivery;

* Inventory: data on spare parts and new vehicles;

* Marketing: promotional details including model specifications, feature comparisons and pricing guides;

* Services: details on services such as warranties;

* Branding: guidelines for promoting Subaru's brand;

* Calendar: calendar of sales appointments shared with Subaru employees; and

* Communications: Dealer bulletins and program information.

Previously, the company communicated with dealers in three separate lines of business: spare parts, services and sales. Each of these relationships was managed by different employees. By consolidating the three lines of business information targeted at dealers through one central dealer dashboard, information is presented in a way that allows dealers to "pull" access at any time convenient to them. This helps the dealers spend more time on planning and management, and reinforces the professionalism of the Subaru brand.

In addition to dealer satisfaction, customer satisfaction has also been targeted for improvement using the dealer dashboard. "Customers are anxious to know when their new car will arrive -- especially if they custom ordered it to meet their exact tastes," said Watson. "Using the dashboard in the portal gives the dealers better visibility into our production and delivery timelines, which makes for happy customers."

"Over 60% of Plumtree customers deploy dashboards in their portals to arm employees with critical business data for acting quickly and effectively," said Dean Stockwell, general manager, Asia Pacific for Plumtree. "Subaru's dealer dashboard is a great example of this and shows how quickly a dashboard can deliver value, with timelines measured in months, not years."

ABOUT PLUMTREE SOFTWARE Plumtree Software is the Enterprise Web leader. Plumtree's mission is to create a comprehensive Web environment for employees, customers and partners across the enterprise to interact with different systems and work together. Plumtree's Enterprise Web solution consists of integration products for bringing resources from traditional systems together on the Web, shared services such as collaboration, content management and search for building new Web applications, and a portal platform for delivering these Web applications to broad audiences. Plumtree's independence and its Web Services Architecture allow this solution to span rival platforms and systems, helping maximise customers' return on their existing technology investments. With offices in more than a dozen countries, Plumtree has licensed over 600 customers, including Boeing, Ford Motor Company, Procter & Gamble and the U.S. Navy. For more information, visit Plumtree on the Web at

Plumtree is a registered trademark of Plumtree Software, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries. All other registered and unregistered trademarks in this document are the sole property of their respective owners.

PRESS CONTACT: Chris Bowes Bowes Communications +61 (0)2 9387 2332

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