Monday, July 16, 2007

Inventory Management Software

i-InventoryManagement.com 27 Radio Circle Suite 202 Mt. Kisco, NY 10549.
Inventory Management · Inventory Management Software · Inventory
Management Systems ...

Inventory management refers to the process of managing the stocks of finished products, semi-finished products and raw materials by a firm. Inventory management, if done properly, can bring down costs and increase the revenue of a firm. How much one should invest in inventory management? The answer to this question depends on the volume and value of inventory as a percentage of the total assets of a firm. The importance of inventory management varies according to industries. For example, an automobile dealer has very high inventories, sometimes as high as 50 per cent of the total assets, whereas in the hotel industry it may be as low as 2 to 5 per cent.

The process of inventory management is a continuous one and there are various kinds of solutions available. It is advisable to employ specialized staff for inventory management.

The inventory management process begins as soon as one has started production and ordered raw materials, semi-finished products or any other thing from a supplier. If you are a retailer, then this process begins as soon you have placed your first order with the wholesaler.

Once orders have been placed, there is generally a short period of time available to a firm to put an inventory management plan in place before the supplies are delivered. Inventory management helps a firm to decide in advance where these supplies should be stored. If a firm is getting supplies of small-sized goods, it may not be much of a problem to store them, but in the case of large goods, one has to be careful so that the warehousing space is optimally utilized.

From invoices to purchase orders, there is lot of paperwork and documentation involved in inventory management. Several software programs are available in market, which help in inventory management.


Inventory Management

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Who Is ExchangeFrame?

By Matt Odom
Collectively, Predictix has over 100 work years of experience integrating the most complex

supply chain, inventory management, planning, forecasting, assortment and merchandising

systems on the planet. Some of the names on their client ...


We get this question a lot. As a general philosophy, we believe that it matters less about who we are, and more about the value of the solutions we provide to you, our customers. Nonetheless, it’s still a fair question and we have a great story to tell, so here you go.

ExchangeFrame is a joint venture between Predictix (www.predictix.com) and some of the principal founders of Trafik tradeshow (www.trafiktradeshow.com ), where Predictix is the majority partner in the JV. Our team is a hybrid of some of the brightest minds in retail software and experts from the apparel industry.

Predictix is a fast growing specialty consulting and software company that solves challenging retail science problems for the most elite retailers in the world. With consultants and engineers based in the US and UK, they have worked with retailers on 4 continents, including major grocery retailers, fashion retailers, electronics retailers and more. Collectively, Predictix has over 100 work years of experience integrating the most complex supply chain, inventory management, planning, forecasting, assortment and merchandising systems on the planet. Some of the names on their client list include Office Depot, Best Buy, Kroger, Walgreens, Oracle, Michaels, Hugo Boss, Perry Ellis and more.

The Predictix core of scientists and engineers includes world class talent and some of the very brightest minds in retail software. In fact, many of the engineers on staff were instrumental in designing a significant portion of the Retek Predictive Analytic Stack which was bought by Oracle Retail in 2005 for $630M.

In 2005, Dan Caplin (a co-founder of Trafik Tradeshow) and I were having dinner and trading stories about our respective businesses (at the time, I was working for as a manager at Accenture, on assignment at the Retek Solution Center). Dan said that in hosting tradeshows for the apparel industry, he observed that the nature of the apparel industry was (and still is) largely paper based, from the paper line sheets to the actual order form. Certainly there was an opportunity to help his customers do business better.

Why not digitize the whole interaction and transaction and in doing so, help all players operate more efficiently, create a common platform for all, and ultimately promote more profitable business across the greater apparel industry? While Dan and his colleagues at Trafik had plenty of industry knowledge, could supply subject matter expertise, and provide access to potential users, they simply didn’t have the experience building retail technology platforms.

Enter Predictix. In early 2006, after leaving Accenture / Oracle Retail, I joined Predictix as Director of Operations. Predictix was growing fast and interested in solving interesting retail problems, so I took the idea for ExchangeFrame to Molham Aref, one of the co-founders of Predictix, and an idea started to take shape quickly. After a number of dinner meetings, mad scribbling on napkins, and laying out a business plan – ExchangeFrame was born. Together, the team of veteran retail software experts at Predictix and the contemporary fashion industry experts from Trafik would take ExchangeFrame from being an idea on a napkin to a fully formed company and software service with an immediate goal:

Provide a collaborative, web-based wholesale ordering platform to the boutique and midsized retail community, including retailers, brands, showrooms and tradeshows.

To read more about the birth and launch of ExchangeFrame, you can read a blog entry I wrote on my personal blog called “The 300 Day Gestation of ExchangeFrame”.

Inventory Management

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Differentiation is the key to success in Multi-channel Retailing

By Deepak Sharma(Deepak Sharma)
Fulfilling 95% of online orders in 15 minutes requires each store to integrate its inventory

management system with that of the e-commerce site. Shoppers then can identify online items

in stock at their local store. ...

Internet Retailer is reporting on how retailers are trying to differentiate the buy online/pick up in store programs to stay ahead of the competition. Started in 1999 by Circuit City, the buy online/pickup in store program was quickly caught on by other retailers. Almost all big US retailers have this program today in one way or another. The strategies adopted by different retailers differ, while some are providing guarantee that the order will be ready for pick-up in less than 30 minutes, others have created strategies/campaigns to target consumers during holidays when time is of great essence to their customers. But all this differentiation is paying, as per CompUSA, "customers who buy online and pick up in store spend 35% more than customers who shop only in stores".

Circuit City stores offer one or both conveniences. Individual stores are provided the choice because Circuit City figures they play a key role in making the program work, Mendelsohn says. The retailer guarantees an item ordered online will be ready for pick-up at a designated store in 24 minutes. If not, the customer receives a $24 Circuit City gift card....

As competitors such as Circuit City enhanced their programs by guaranteeing fulfillment in a specified window, CompUSA began working to achieve fulfillment in 15 minutes. The benchmark was based on customer feedback and store data.

After stores demonstrated they could achieve at least a 95% success rate for fulfilling orders in the prescribed time, CompUSA launched its 15-minute guarantee in November 2006. Shoppers also have the option of picking up an online order later the same day or the following day. “We wanted to differentiate our program. The time guarantee and other pick-up options are a way to do that,” Hurlebaus says.

Fulfilling 95% of online orders in 15 minutes requires each store to integrate its inventory management system with that of the e-commerce site. Shoppers then can identify online items in stock at their local store. To improve customer satisfaction, CompUSA allows customers to search the inventory of stores within a 50-mile radius of a designated ZIP code to provide greater availability of products if a customer’s preferred store is out of stock. CompUSA uses an in-house order management system to link store and web site inventories......

“Offering in-store pick-up in most major categories, reserved parking spots, designated pick-up lines in stores, and in-store signage directing consumers to the pick-up area are points of differentiation from our competitors,” a Best Buy spokeswoman says. While competitors such as Circuit City and CompUSA offer some of these services, they do not offer all of them, she adds.

While providing extra service to online shoppers, in-store pick-up also leads to increased purchases, retailers say. CompUSA says customers who buy online and pick up in store spend 35% more than customers who shop only in stores. To encourage cross-channel shopping, CompUSA’s store associates suggest add-on items after a customer purchases something online and arrives for in-store pick-up; the retailer also prints in-store offers on pick-up receipts. “We have been very pleased with the results,” Hurlebaus says.

Inventory Management

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Dual-Function Labels combine EAS and EPC functionality.

ThomasNet Industrial News Room (press release) - New York,NY,USA
May 30, 2007 - Designed for security and inventory management applications,
Evolve(TM) dual-function EAS-EPC labels help retailers improve inventory
...

May 30, 2007 - Designed for security and inventory management applications, Evolve(TM) dual-function EAS-EPC labels help retailers improve inventory visibility at case and item level. Integrated electronic article surveillance (EAS) and radio frequency identification (RFID) labeling products operate in UHF band of 860-960 MHz for traceability and 8.2 MHz for RF-EAS systems. Manufacturing process combines Gen 2-compliant product and EAS circuit compatible with existing systems.

Inventory Management

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New Aberdeen Report Validates Key Trends in Operational Excellence

PR Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA
Globalization, Automation of Inventory Management Processes and Trading
Partner Integration Identified as Top Initiatives REDWOOD CITY, Calif., ...


Globalization, Automation of Inventory Management Processes and Trading
Partner Integration Identified as Top Initiatives

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Increasingly, global supply
chains and new customer-specific fulfillment mandates are driving companies
to embrace transformational initiatives for operational excellence,
according to a new Aberdeen Group benchmark study released this week
titled, "The Supply Chain Innovator's Technology Footprint 2007." Aberdeen
surveyed more than 200 enterprises for the study, which was partially
sponsored by E2open, the leading provider of supply chain management
software-as-a-service (SaaS) for visibility and control over global supply
networks. Aberdeen's key conclusions include:
-- Innovators are 1.5 times more likely than all others to indicate that
globalization is their top driver for supply chain improvements.
-- Inventory management is the top priority for companies, with nearly
two-thirds of respondents indicating that they are reevaluating their
inventory management processes and technologies.
-- Supply chain visibility is the number two priority for companies in
2007 (very closely behind inventory management).
-- Supply chain visibility is a top area of intention to adopt on-demand
applications.
-- Top areas where companies are embarking on short-term ROI projects in
2007 are inventory optimization (42 percent) and supply chain
visibility (38 percent).
-- Supplier enablement for trading partner integration is a top priority
for companies, with 67 percent identifying it as a technology priority.
This, in turn, is driving adoption of new supply chain processes and
technology. According to Aberdeen, five times as many companies plan to
spend more on new supply chain technology in 2007 than plan to spend less
compared to previous years. Aberdeen identified the types of supply chain
infrastructure areas that companies believe are most important for their
supply chain management technology roadmap:
-- Supply chain management exception and alerting platforms: 52 percent.
-- Master data management: 47 percent.
-- Business process management: 46 percent.
The study also identified several best-in-class companies that have
realized significant benefits from innovative supply chain processes and
technologies. One such company, E2open customer Seagate Technology, was
identified as a leading adopter of flexible supply chain applications.
"Aberdeen's research validates conclusions we've drawn from our
customer base that industry leaders are achieving operational excellence by
executing key supply chain transformation initiatives, such as
globalization, lean demand-driven, low cost country-based sourcing,
outsourced manufacturing, process automation and trading partner
integration," said Lorenzo Martinelli, senior vice president, E2open. "Our
proven speed of deployment provides our customers significant advantage
through accelerated return on investment."
"The Supply Chain Innovator's Technology Footprint 2007" is available
for download at
http://www.e2open.com/landing/aberdeen_research_seagate.php.
Additional information on supply chain trends and customer deployments
is available at http://resources.e2open.com.
About E2open, Inc.
E2open is the leading provider of supply chain management
software-as-a- service for visibility and control over global supply
networks. Industry leaders that power their supply chain with E2open
include The Boeing Company, Celestica, Hitachi, IBM, LG Electronics, LSI
Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic), Motorola, Seagate
Technology, Spansion, Vodafone and Wistron. E2open's software-as-a-service
model offers faster payback, larger ROI and reduced risk while requiring
less IT and business resources. Over 15,000 companies worldwide currently
use E2open. Headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., E2open is a privately
held company.

Inventory Management

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Re: RE: Re: Spare Parts Inventory Management

By Ravi Challa
Omi Kell, Can you elaborate on what the point is that you are trying to ma.


Can you elaborate on what the point is that you are trying to make?

Thank god!! you didnt say that since there are too many types of spare
parts...lol


On 4/8/07, Omi Kell via erp-projectmanagement wrote:
>
>
>
> Though I'm agree the main goal of IT and engineering is to avoid downtime,
> it's good to know when and what went wrong. But indeed, forensic evaluation
> should not create lagging in the supply chain.
>
> Spare parts are usually dealt with outside any other system than Excel,
> principally because there are as many style of managing spare parts as there
> are engineering department in the world.

Inventory Management

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Indian Retailer Uses RFID on Garments

RFID Journal - Melville,NY,USA
Sakhi is also using an Orizin handheld RFID reader for item location and
inventory management in the store. Data is transferred, via a Wi-Fi
connection, ...

By Claire Swedberg

April 4, 2007—Sakhi Enterprises, a women's clothing boutique in Bangalore, India, has begun tagging all of its garments for both inventory and security purposes. The retailer's system, installed in February by Orizin Technologies, includes item-level RFID tags, which are interrogated at the point of sale and then removed.

According to Prashant Agrawal, managing director of Orizin Technologies, the system reduces transaction times and speeds the stock-taking process, allowing the daily counting of thousands of items. It also improves security by sending an alert whenever a garment with a tag passes through a reader at the exit—an indication that a theft might be in progress.


Prashant Agrawal
Orizin was established in 2005 by several alumni of the National Institute of Technology, Trichy. It has since installed, or is installing, RFID systems at libraries and retail stores in India, Agrawal says.

Sakhi came to Orizin in November 2005, seeking an automated solution for billing, inventory and merchandise security. "This system should be the latest," Agrawal says, "and should not have to be upgraded for another couple of years." Without RFID, he notes, "billing and stock verification using bar codes was a cumbersome and time-consuming process."

The RFID system Orizin set up includes a station consisting of a desktop RFID reader for tagging items and updating the prices. As items are received at the store, workers outfit them with 867 MHz RFID tags based on EPCglobal's second-generation Electronic Product Code standard. Relevant information, including pricing, materials, size and other information, is updated in a database and linked to the unique EPCs.

At the point of sale, the system also includes a "billing scanner," which sales clerks use in the purchasing process. "Items can be brought near to it," Agrawal explains, "and their information can be captured immediately, creating an invoice that can be automatically printed. Billing of hundreds of items can be generated in a minute."

As the items are billed, the tags are removed and can be reused. If any tag-bearing garment passes an RFID reader stationed at the door, the gate antennas will trigger an audible alarm, alerting staff. Sakhi is also using an Orizin handheld RFID reader for item location and inventory management in the store.

Data is transferred, via a Wi-Fi connection, from the desktop and handheld readers to a server. At the end of the day, the Orizin Web-based software package allows Sakhi to generate a stock list of mismatched or mislocated items, while also providing point-of-sale, security and database management. The data is then uploaded to a Web page hosted by Orizin, where Sakhi management can access daily, weekly and monthly sales figures, as well as data on fast-moving items, inventory details, cash collections and other statistics.

Agrawal says customer loyalty cards containing RFID tags will become available later this year. "The UHF cards will provide faster identification and quicker billing," he says. "In this way, regular customers need not take the pain of identifying themselves." In the future, Sakhi intends to tag clothing items sent out of the store for alterations. "We are planning to extend the usage of tags," he notes, "to work-in-process."

Stock verification, which Agrawal says was Sakhi's greatest concern, has now become automatic with the RFID system. "Everything is working well," he says, adding, "We have some minor issues with some materials, such as silk. RFID tags do not work well with silk items, which are heavily embossed with metallic zari [trim]. We are trying to solve this issue by trying different types of tags."

As Sakhi opens other stores in India, the company would like to deploy RFID in them, as well. "We partnered with Orizin to help better our understanding of the stock movement and, in the bargain, integrate security so as to ensure better control over the retail business," says Neeta Rajendran, Sakhi’s CEO. "The daily reports generated, together with improved and easy stock taking, render a complete solution. Going forward, we expect greater efficiency in stocking maintenance and intelligent management of the same."


Inventory Management

Labels:

RE: RE: Re: Spare Parts Inventory Management

By Omi Kell
Though I'm agree the main goal of IT and engineering is to avoid downtime,

Though I'm agree the main goal of IT and engineering is to avoid downtime, it's good to know when and what went wrong. But indeed, forensic evaluation should not create lagging in the supply chain.

Spare parts are usually dealt with outside any other system than Excel, principally because there are as many style of managing spare parts as there are engineering department in the world.


Inventory Management

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mini pecan & ameratti tartlets

By Gattina(Gattina)
I'ma squirrels, in the sense of inventory management! Yesterday I passed the pantry (with a

thread of intention things won't show up you know...), I spotted some unshelled nuts,

chestnut cream (be in next post), gourmet cookies... time ...

Around this time (early spring) of the year, in my yard I'll start to see hundreds of small holes on the ground. My husband said they're from squirrel digging, most probably looking for the food they hid during the winter. But the funny thing is, the squirrels can't remember where the food hidden, so they'd dig here and there. I'm a squirrel - manage inventory in the same manner. Yesterday I passed the pantry (with any trace of intention things won't show up you know...), I spotted some unshelled nuts, chestnut cream (be in the next post), gourmet cookies... time for clearance.

I'd continue to use a recipe from Flo Braker's. I've only read two of her cook books (published in the early 90) so far, quite technical, but not difficult. She's been teaching for so many years, she knows what make us stupid; she'd take us away from there to the next level. Leading us to next level is not a thing I find in some celebrity chefs nowaday, in my opinions.

Recipe: (yield 10 - 12 mini tartlets)

Filling recipe: I took this recipe as reference, and scaled down. Since I aimed for paste-like consistency, so I gounded the pecans, reduced a bit of sugar and replaced with a handful of amaretti, fine crumble. Plus some halved pecan as garnish.

Tartlet pastry dough's recipe: *adapted from Sweet Miniatures by Flo Braker*

* 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
* a pinch of salt
* 1/8 cup + 1 tsp sugar
* 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
* 1 small egg
* 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

* In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine flour, salt and sugar. Drop in butter slices, use a pastry blend to cut them into flour mixture until they have the consistency of very coarse cornmeal.
* Whisk the egg and vanilla, add into the flour mixture, slightly knead as needed until the dough is formed.
* This step I'm very different from Flo's. She'd just pinch out some dough and press into tins. But I wrapped the dough, send it to fridge to rest for an hour. Then roll it to a 1/8-inch-thick flat sheet (in between rollings, sending back to chill and rest is required). Cut out the round circles and place them into pre-greased and pre-floured mini tart tray. *
* Pre-heat oven to 350F.
* Spoon the filling into tart dough, top with a halved pecan. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until light golden. When the tray is cool enough to touch, unmold, let the tartlets cool completely on rack.

Flo's note: either method you use to shape the dough, please complete one task before beginning another, e.g., first to complete pinching out all the individual dough (my way would be cutting all circles out), second, rolling all the doughs as a ball (N/A to mine), then finally to proceed shaping the dough to ensure it distributes evenly. Handling one movement at a time is easier and faster. You discover you own rhythm from the repetition.


Inventory Management

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project management planning

Source: www.inventorymanagement.com S.P.Jain Center of Management, Dubai .
Singapore S P Jain Dubai has moved its new Campus to Academic City. ...

Carlson School of ManagementThe (Project management planning) mission of the Carlson
Carlson School of Management
The mission of the Carlson School of Management is to advance the practice of management in the context of a global economy with increasing technological ...
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posted by at Sunday, July 15, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Project management planning - Birthday Party Planning. Ideas, Theme Parties, Birthday Party
Birthday Party Planning. Ideas, Theme Parties, Birthday Party Supplies
Birthday party planning ideas, themes, birthday supplies and project management planning decorations, personalized invitations Birthday party planning is fun. Party411.com will help you plan a great birthday party.
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Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)
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Starting a family? Having more kids? Find out how to make the big decisions and project management planning plan for some of life's major events.
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DPD Planning -- Planning
Seattle City Planning engages citizens in an ongoing dialogue about Seattle's future and project management planning plays a central role in guiding the long-term development of the built and project management planning natural environment.
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posted by at Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Corporate Safe Specialists Sponsors Cyber-conference with Armed Forbes
Corporate Safe Specialists Sponsors Cyber-conference with Armed
Forbes - Moore, CPP, is Board Certified in Security Management (CPP). He is an armed robbery expert and project management planning consultant to high-risk occupational groups, as well as print and project management planning broadcast media sources. His writing and project management planning consulting career focus around businesses with a
Source: www.forbes.com
BlueBay says assets under management $13.1 bln
Reuters UK - LONDON, July 13 (Reuters) - BlueBay Asset Management Ltd (BBAY.L: Quote , Profile , Research ) said on Friday it had continued to make strong progress and project management planning its assets under management now stood at $13.1 billion. "These results continue to demonstrate
Source: uk.reuters.com
Weight Watchers Announces Second Quarter 2007 Earnings Conference Call
MSN MoneyCentral - Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company- owned and project management planning franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds over 50,000 weekly meetings where members
Source: news.moneycentral.msn.com
Eaton Vance Closed-End Bank Loan Funds Declare Monthly Dividends
Forbes - On July 13, 2007, Eaton Vance Management, the Boston-based investment adviser, announced the monthly distributions declared on the common shares of two of its closed-end bank loan funds (the "Funds"). The record date for the distributions is July 24
Source: www.forbes.com

posted by at Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Project management planning - Artists for a New South Africa's 'Help African
Artists for a New South Africa's 'Help African Children Orphaned by
Forbes - LOS ANGELES, July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- "Help African Children Orphaned by AIDS," an Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA) initiative, was selected by American Express Members Project as one of the Top 50 charitable ideas from more than 7,000
Source: www.forbes.com
Vietnam youth discuss $1bln vocational training project
Thanhnien - The National Committee for Vietnamese Youth met Thursday to discuss a tremendous US$1bln project to provide training to 50 percent of Vietnam s youth workers. Pending government approval, the project aims to build new international standard
Source: www.thanhniennews.com
Project could land millions in low-cost financing
Boston Herald - H ub developer Arthur Winn and project management planning his investors, as they look to get the $700 million Columbus Center project into construction, are applying for tens of millions in low-cost government financing. Winn s development team is seeking $32 million in tax
Source: business.bostonherald.com
Aramco and project management planning Dow Chemical award KBR Inc. with contract for Saudi
International Herald Tribune - Bob Donaho, Dow Chemical's project director for the Ras Tanura Integrated Project in Saudi Arabia's oil-rich eastern province, said KBR had been selected for its management expertise and project management planning competitiveness. "This mega-project will leverage our refining
Source: www.iht.com
Five-month I-78 project begins Monday
Morris County Daily Record - BEDMINSTER -- A project will begin Monday to lengthen the Interstate 78 westbound acceleration lane from I-287 south, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The work will lengthen the existing acceleration lane by 3,600 feet
Source: www.dailyrecord.com
Scout's project helps soldiers
Antelope Valley Press - The sun is blazing - it's a dry heat with no rain in sight and project management planning any breeze coming through is filled with sand. People walk slowly and project management planning hunt for shade wherever they can find it. No, it's not the Antelope Valley - it's Iraq, and project management planning United States soldiers in
Source: www.avpress.com

posted by at Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Sunshine Project: WelcomeResearch, facts and activism about biological
Sunshine Project: Welcome
Research, facts and project management planning activism about biological weapons and project management planning biotechnology.
Source: www.sunshine-project.org
The Web Standards Project
Promoting standards compliance on the Web.
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Boys and project management planning Girls Club: Project Discover
An educational program of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, Project Discover, offers a summer academic program for motivated elementary Boys & Girls Club Members (3rd-6th grade)
Source: www.projectdiscover.org
Free Science Fair Project Ideas for Grades K-12
Hundreds of detailed science fair project ideas for all grade levels in a wide range of topics from Science Fair Project Ideas Find a science project idea. Science Buddies has developed the Topic
Source: www.sciencebuddies.org

posted by at Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
World Bank grants Mozambique US$100 million (Project management planning) loan for
World Bank grants Mozambique US$100 million loan for road ... - Macauhub
World Bank grants Mozambique US$100 million loan for road ...Macauhub, China - 3 hours agoAn agreement was signed for this purpose in Maputo between the representative of the World Bank, Michael Baxter, and project management planning Mozambique s Planning and project management planning Development ...
Source: news.google.com
IG: Cost data for Justice IT systems not reliable - FCW.com
IG: Cost data for Justice IT systems not reliableFCW.com, VA - 17 hours ago The Office of the Chief Information Officer provides sound project management oversight on the myriad activities associated with the major technology ...
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New Survey Reveals Insights into Driving Performance and project management planning ... - Business Wire (press release)
New Survey Reveals Insights into Driving Performance and project management planning ...Business Wire (press release), CA - 25 minutes agoThe webinar will also feature a live demonstration of Tenrox Project Workforce Management, a solution that helps professional services organization assume ...
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Hans-Hermann Bosch GmbH switches to planning system based on ... - Verivox (Pressemitteilung)
Hans-Hermann Bosch GmbH switches to planning system based on ...Verivox (Pressemitteilung), Germany - Jul 9, 2007Tanja Bosch, Managing Director, Hans-Hermann Bosch GmbH, is very positive about the change management project. Together with the Munich-based supply chain ...
Source: news.google.com

posted by at Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
Contingency Planning & Project ManagementLet us help you
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Source: www.itsthailand.org
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Source: www.ce.cmu.edu
InfoQ: Presentation: Agile Project Management Planning and project management planning
What happens to planning when teams "self organize"? Agile methods are empirical: plan it, do it Presentation: Agile Project Management Planning and project management planning Budgetting. Posted by Deborah Hartmann on
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Project Management Institute PMI best practices for project planning and project management planning control from AJM-PMG Experience has shown us that we inevitably become your trusted ally due to our no-nonsense, roll
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P2M is your key to a successful facility project. As an extension of your organization we define your space needs, budget and project management planning schedule, then
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Project Planning Design & Management
If you ve already begun your project, you ve missed the first and project management planning most important step. services > computer services > project planning design & management . Project Planning Design
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We will use the information from the completed survey to develop a detailed, realistic, project plan. The project plan will define the scope of the
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Offers project management software, tools for resource planning and project management planning project portfolio management. Increase Worker Productivity Across Organizational Roles. Today s enterprise requires optimized
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posted by at Monday, July 9, 2007
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Eva Longoria (Project management planning) & Parker Marry.femalefirst.co.uk - Couples who
Eva Longoria & Parker Marry.
femalefirst.co.uk - Couples who marry in France must take their vows at a city hall - even if they are planning to have a church wedding as well. The ceremony was officiated by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. The newly-married pair are planning a second wedding on Saturday
Source: www.femalefirst.co.uk
Road Trip, planning is the key to fun family travel
Carroll County Times - Tracy Bauhof of Uniontown and project management planning her husband have traveled as far as Maine and project management planning Nova Scotia with their two children, Billy, 10, and project management planning Madeleine, 7. And every summer they hop into the car for the annual trek to Bethany Beach, Del. or Ocean City. Thinking
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Schwarzer condemns Boro planning
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N.A. planning official arrested
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Oil majors are increasingly investing in monitoring stations onshore
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Cable Firms Planning to Charge More for Set-Top Boxes
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Berdych planning Nadal ambush
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2 merged banks planning to build on their local roots
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posted by at Saturday, July 7, 2007
Thursday, July 5, 2007
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posted by at Thursday, July 5, 2007
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
DOE Environmental Management (EM) Home PageThe Faculty Research
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Source: www.em.doe.gov
Management - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Inventory Management

Labels:

Learn More About Warehouse Inventory Management

You want to learn more about warehouse inventory management but don’t
know You’ve been working in warehouse inventory management for awhile, but you are still using all the tactics employed by the previous manager and aren’t sure that these techniques are the most effective solution for your particular industry or application. You want to learn more about warehouse inventory management but don’t know where to begin. There are plenty of sources to consult, if you just know where to look.

Training Courses

If you are truly concerned that your knowledge of warehouse inventory management is insufficient, you can attend training courses at technical colleges or even through continuing education at a university that will help you step through the processes of inventory management that make your job easier and your department more efficient. These are in depth courses that look into the core of inventory management and will run through the processes from beginning to end.

Seminars

If you feel that you are comfortable with the processes of warehouse inventory management but simply need to find more effective techniques to sail a smoother course along the way, you may want to attend inventory management seminars. At these one or two day training courses, the instructor assumes you are familiar with how inventory management is accomplished and simply provides you with additional information regarding the use of tools and techniques that will make you a better manager and increase revenues for your department.

Resources

You can also consult materials on the web and in books and other industrial publications that provide detailed information on simplifying your warehouse inventory management process. Various websites and publications can provide information on the latest innovations in inventory management software, and books have compiled years of experience and tips from a variety of sources that could give you a better idea of how to deal with your own process.

Management Services

If you think you’ve determined the best processes to implement into your warehouse inventory management system but have a mess on your hands or aren’t sure where to begin, you can hire an inventory management company to come in and reorganize your inventory, take a fresh count, and implement the processes you want to efficiently control your inventory. They will even help you set up a software system and train you on its functionality, providing the necessary tools and knowledge for you to maintain control.

Whichever process you decide on, you will ultimately succeed by gaining additional knowledge on the warehouse inventory management process. Knowledge is power, so the more you learn the more successful you’ll be.


Inventory Management

Labels:

Inventory Management | Inventory Management Software | Inventory ...

i-InventoryManagement.com provides detailed information on Inventory
Management, Inventory Management Software, Inventory Management Systems,
...

Inventory management refers to the process of managing the stocks of finished products, semi-finished products and raw materials by a firm. Inventory management, if done properly, can bring down costs and increase the revenue of a firm.
How much one should invest in inventory management? The answer to this question depends on the volume and value of inventory as a percentage of the total assets of a firm. The importance of inventory management varies according to industries. For example, an automobile dealer has very high inventories, sometimes as high as 50 per cent of the total assets, whereas in the hotel industry it may be as low as 2 to 5 per cent.

The process of inventory management is a continuous one and there are various kinds of solutions available. It is advisable to employ specialized staff for inventory management.

The inventory management process begins as soon as one has started production and ordered raw materials, semi-finished products or any other thing from a supplier. If you are a retailer, then this process begins as soon you have placed your first order with the wholesaler.

Once orders have been placed, there is generally a short period of time available to a firm to put an inventory management plan in place before the supplies are delivered. Inventory management helps a firm to decide in advance where these supplies should be stored. If a firm is getting supplies of small-sized goods, it may not be much of a problem to store them, but in the case of large goods, one has to be careful so that the warehousing space is optimally utilized.

From invoices to purchase orders, there is lot of paperwork and documentation involved in inventory management. Several software programs are available in market, which help in inventory management.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Logan Consulting Services

... Center for Inventory Management: http://www.inventorymanagement.com;
Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing International: http://www.cam-i.org
...


Logan Consulting assists clients in cost justifying, evaluating, selecting, and implementing Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). By applying the extensive knowledge and experience of our dedicated staff, the end-result of this process will be a functioning, value-adding MES that provides management with real-time, accurate data to improve the decision making process. The tangible results of this decision making process are:

* Improved customer service in terms or delivery and order status
* Decreased manufacturing cycle time
* Reduced manufacturing costs

Additionally, a properly selected and implemented MES will facilitate increased visibility and ownership on the shop floor while providing planning and scheduling with data crucial to the development of achievable production schedules.

As with any information system implementation, project "success" is ultimately determined by achieving these values and realizing a positive ROI. By retaining Logan Consulting and our proven manufacturing process, MES, and project management experience, you greatly improve your chances for "success" at a reasonable cost.

Features

Logan Consulting services include the following proven features:

* Strategic IS Assessment services to ensure MES fits your companies IT strategy
* Cost Benefit Analysis methodology to ensure a profitable business case is made for the investment in MES software
* Proven MES evaluation and selection templates including RFI's, RFP's, and Functional Evaluations to ensure the package that best meets your needs and delivers against the profitable business case is chosen
* Implementation services focused on delivering value and addressing prioritized goals and opportunities
* A web-enabled GlobalToolkit used to manage project issues, actions, process, and procedures
* A searchable, web-enabled knowledge-base containing solutions from over 50 implementation projects

Impact

The combination of Logan Consulting's services and the resulting successful MES implementation benefits our clients' bottom lines through improved decision making in the back office and more cost-effective use of manufacturing resources and assets on the shop floor.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Logan Consulting Services

... Center for Inventory Management: http://www.inventorymanagement.com;
Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing International: http://www.cam-i.org

Logan Consulting assists clients in cost justifying, evaluating, selecting, and implementing Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). By applying the extensive knowledge and experience of our dedicated staff, the end-result of this process will be a functioning, value-adding MES that provides management with real-time, accurate data to improve the decision making process. The tangible results of this decision making process are:

* Improved customer service in terms or delivery and order status
* Decreased manufacturing cycle time
* Reduced manufacturing costs

Additionally, a properly selected and implemented MES will facilitate increased visibility and ownership on the shop floor while providing planning and scheduling with data crucial to the development of achievable production schedules.

As with any information system implementation, project "success" is ultimately determined by achieving these values and realizing a positive ROI. By retaining Logan Consulting and our proven manufacturing process, MES, and project management experience, you greatly improve your chances for "success" at a reasonable cost.

Features

Logan Consulting services include the following proven features:

* Strategic IS Assessment services to ensure MES fits your companies IT strategy
* Cost Benefit Analysis methodology to ensure a profitable business case is made for the investment in MES software
* Proven MES evaluation and selection templates including RFI's, RFP's, and Functional Evaluations to ensure the package that best meets your needs and delivers against the profitable business case is chosen
* Implementation services focused on delivering value and addressing prioritized goals and opportunities
* A web-enabled GlobalToolkit used to manage project issues, actions, process, and procedures
* A searchable, web-enabled knowledge-base containing solutions from over 50 implementation projects

Impact

The combination of Logan Consulting's services and the resulting successful MES implementation benefits our clients' bottom lines through improved decision making in the back office and more cost-effective use of manufacturing resources and assets on the shop floor.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Professional Services - Management Consulting Services - Surf ...

Center for Inventory Management - http://www.inventorymanagement.com;
Coleman Management Consultants Inc - http://www.hcoleman.com ...


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Inventory Management

Labels:

Inventory Management: Home

What is "Inventory Management" Inventory management is the active control
program which allows the management of sales, purchases and payments. ...

Inventory management is the active control program which allows the management of sales, purchases and payments.

Inventory management software helps create invoices, purchase orders, receiving lists, payment receipts and can print bar coded labels. An inventory management software system configured to your warehouse, retail or product line will help to create revenue for your company. The Inventory Management will control operating costs and provide better understanding. We are your source for inventory management information, inventory management software and tools.

A complete Inventory Management Control system contains the following components:

*

Inventory Management Definition
*

Inventory Management Terms
*

Inventory Management Purposes
*

Definition and Objectives for Inventory Management
*

Organizational Hierarchy of Inventory Management
*

Inventory Management Planning
*

Inventory Management Controls for Inventory
*

Determining Inventory Management Stock Levels

Inventory Management

Labels:

Management Directory

www.inventorymanagement.com 44 - Action Learning With The Partners For
Learning Organization Management, Management Learning, Corporation
Management, ...

Ektron
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LookSmart
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What Is "Inventory Management" Inventory Management Is The Active Control Program Which Allows The Management Of Sales, Purchases And Payments. Inventory Management Software Helps Create Invoices, Purchase Orders, Receiving Lists, Payment Receipts And...
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Inventory Management

Labels:

The Stability of State Economies

By Testa
Explanations include better monetary policy, structural changes (such as improved inventory management, the decline of unionization, the redistribution of jobs from manufacturing to services, banking deregulation), and plain good luck, ...

In recent years, Fed Chairman Bernanke and other economists have been analyzing the causes of the increased stability in the U.S. economy, a phenomenon known as "The Great Moderation." Most of their analyses have focused on the national economy, noting that the fluctuations, or volatility, in GDP growth, employment growth and inflation have declined noticeably over the past 25 years or so. But a Philadelphia Fed economist, Jerry Carlino, recently wrote a paper that looks at the issue at the state level and finds that every state has shared in the decline in employment volatility.

Increased stability has numerous benefits for both households and businesses. When employment is growing at more stable rates, people can be more certain of their job prospects, which makes it easier to decide whether to buy a new car, for example. Similarly, businesses have an easier time deciding whether to invest in new machinery when they can be more certain about the state of the economy. In turn, better decision-making by people and businesses can minimize the potential waste in the economy created by bankruptcies and other problems that can arise when people make decisions that turn out poorly.

Comparing the average volatility (measured in Carlino’s paper as the standard deviation of quarterly changes in employment) before and after 1984, Carlino’s results show that the states of the Seventh District all had declines that ranked in the top half of all U.S. states. Michigan ranked 2nd with a 63.6% drop in volatility, Indiana 4th with 57.1%, Wisconsin 8th with 52.5%, Iowa 16th with 45.3%, and Illinois 20th with 42.7%.

The following graph illustrates how the volatility in total employment has changed over time in each of the District states, converging toward the national average.



Click to enlarge.

One reason for the relatively bigger declines in employment volatility in the Midwest is our concentration in manufacturing and, specifically, our concentration in durable goods manufacturing. Carlino reports that volatility in U.S. factory employment was cut in half after 1984, whereas the declines in employment volatility in services were much smaller. And by my estimates, the volatility reduction in durable goods manufacturing employment was much sharper than that in nondurable goods.

As a result, Seventh District states ranked in the top half of all states in terms of the magnitude of the decline in manufacturing employment volatility. Michigan ranked 1st with a 66.3% drop, Indiana 3rd with 63.1%, Wisconsin 7th with 56.9%, Illinois 12th with 55.7%, and Iowa 22nd with 48.8%.

I’ve also looked at other state-level data series to see if they too reveal evidence of the Great Moderation. The quarterly changes in unemployment rates show similar reductions in volatility to those seen in employment (though the state-level unemployment data only go back to 1976). Real per capita income also shows a reduction in volatility, but the relative reductions are smaller.



Click to enlarge.


Click to enlarge.


Interestingly, whereas the District’s concentration in durable goods manufacturing seemed to lead to larger reductions in volatility compared with other states, that is not the case with changes in unemployment rates and personal income. As shown in the following table, the Midwest states’ reductions in unemployment and income volatility were rather middling.


Click to enlarge.

Carlino notes that the economists who have been tracking the Great Moderation have proposed numerous reasons for the decline in volatility nationwide. Explanations include better monetary policy, structural changes (such as improved inventory management, the decline of unionization, the redistribution of jobs from manufacturing to services, banking deregulation), and plain good luck, in that the economy has not faced any significant crises like the oil embargo of the 1970s.

Regardless of the causes, it is clear that changes in employment and other variables are much more stable here in the Midwest than they were 25 years or so ago. Yet while lower volatility has its benefits, it does not uniformly deliver positive outcomes. Typically, volatility rises during a recession (as shown in the graphs above) then settles back down when the economy recovers and employment expands again.

However, that has not been the case in Michigan. Its volatility in all three variables increased during the 2001 recession and retreated since then, but the state economy has not recovered. Michigan's employment has been stabilizing around an average decline in jobs (-0.2 percent per quarter over the past five years). Its unemployment is high; in April the unemployment rate in Michigan was 7.1%, the highest in the nation. And per capita incomes in Michigan are stabilizing around slow growth of 0.1% per quarter, which is below the national average and among the slowest in the nation.

If you buy the assumption that the observed volatility affects the confidence of business and household decision-making, this means that Michiganders could be getting more certain that the local economy is heading in the wrong direction.

Inventory Management

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Hiring: Flash Designer

Knowledge of online ad server systems and inventory management - 2-5 years' experience in an online media, marketing, or technology organization. Yahoo! Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. For more information or to search all of our ...

Company: Yahoo! Location: Santa Monica, United States

The Internet is a big, busy place, and we at Yahoo! are proud to stand out in the crowd. As the world's number one Internet brand, servicing over a half billion people, we're determined to maintain our commitment to delivering news, entertainment, information and fun... each and every day.

In order to maintain our position as one of the world's most trafficked Internet destinations, we're always on the lookout for people with big ideas and big talent to help us provide our visitors with the innovative products and services they've come to expect from Yahoo!. We're looking for people like you.

How Big Can You Think?

Job Description:

The Yahoo! Consumer/Customer Innovation Team, located in Santa Monica and Sunnyvale, is an innovation lab dedicated to generating new demand for Yahoo! products and services by finding new ways to fulfill consumers' and customers' deepest needs. We're a small, nimble, highly collaborative team with skills in many disciplines and partners in many places - both inside and outside the company. Our charter is to imagine, prototype, and deliver new kinds of experiences and tools that delight customers and consumers, and change the game for Yahoo!.

As Visual Designer-Developer, you will be dedicated to visualizing and prototyping these tools and experiences. Multifaceted projects will require you to tap a broad range of skills, encompassing web page design, web video, in-video advertising, editorial packaging, rich media promotional units, web widgets, and fully featured interactive content modules. You will work side-by-side with marketers, product managers, engineers, content editors, business strategists, data specialists, and external contractors. You must thrive on teamwork and collaboration, and enjoy serving as an advocate for innovation, experimentation, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Responsibilities:

In this unique role, you will:

- Design and prototype new online tools, promotions, and editorial packages
- Integrate front-end design and functionality with back-end web technologies such as xml feeds, content databases, and server-side scripted applications
- Work intensively with web video and emerging web video advertising technologies
- Visualize marketing and programming concepts to support early-stage discussions with potential brand and content partners
- Manage relationships with multiple vendors and contractors
- Stay abreast of emerging developments in the online media & marketing industries
- Build and maintain productive working relationships with colleagues in many disciplines from across the company
- Travel frequently between Santa Monica and Sunnyvale to collaborate with colleagues in both locations

Requirements:

- Strong conceptual and visual design skills; extensive web design experience
- Expert-level knowledge of Flash, JavaScript, CSS, DHTML, XML
- Proficiency with web video editing and related applications
- Strong project management skills; able to multitask and prioritize in a fluid, fast-changing environment
- High level of comfort working in cycles of rapid iteration, prototyping, and testing, often within short overall delivery timeframes
- Exceptional interpersonal skills; comfortable working with colleagues from any discipline or level of the organization
- Innovative, inquisitive, entrepreneurial spirit
- Passion for online media & marketing
- Willingness to travel as needed between Santa Monica and Sunnyvale offices
- Strong knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, PowerPoint
- Strong portfolio (please provide URLs).

Desired qualifications:

- Animation and/or motion design experience
- Knowledge of AJAX application development, PHP or other server-side scripting
- Experience working with a CMS and/or large online content databases
- Knowledge of online ad server systems and inventory management
- 2-5 years' experience in an online media, marketing, or technology organization

Yahoo! Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. For more information or to search all of our openings, please visit http://careers.yahoo.com

To apply for the Flach Designer role, please visit the following link:
http://www02.rmx.scd.yahoo.com/pljb/yahoo/yahoo_jobs/applicant/jobClick.jsp?count=1&id=9646

Inventory Management

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Accurate Inventory Maintenance for Manufacturing Efficiency

By admin
ERP will also provide real-time visibility into inventoried parts, allowing more accurate inventory management decisions. In building efficiencies, an ERP software system will help in the overall maintenance of inventories by enabling ...

Of the many ways to maintain efficiencies in modern manufacturing, none is perhaps more underutilized than the keeping of accurate inventories. Perhaps, this is due to some ancient notion that inventory simply takes care of itself: Orders get taken, parts get ordered, parts get used in production, product leaves shop—and the cycle starts over anew. Perhaps accurate inventory maintenance is considered unnecessary, that there is little margin loss as a result of obsolescence or overstocking.

However, both considerations operate under the same single primary fallacy—that inventory is only an insignificant means to a production end where other factors such as labor and machinery are considered far more important manufacturing elements.Today, though, it is not enough to say that you have a great grasp on the scheduling and maintenance of men and machine on the shop floor. For, without proper inventory maintenance, no amount of efficiency in scheduling and direct-labor costing will prevent production delays due to something such as a lack of parts.

It is for this reason that enterprise resource planning (ERP) software systems have been developed. An intuitive and robust ERP software brings together a wealth of real-time shop floor data that includes the typical tools that keep an accurate accounting of inventory. Inventory control in ERP is designed to manage all inventory-related transactions. For example, using a graphical user interface on the shop floor, you can identify and track information for each standard part within the item master.

ERP will also provide real-time visibility into inventoried parts, allowing more accurate inventory management decisions. In building efficiencies, an ERP software system will help in the overall maintenance of inventories by enabling managers to make better inventory decisions—this, as a result of the performing of everyday tasks that before ERP took hours or even days to produce. However, now with the automated functions of ERP, and the access to real-time data, such tasks such as cycle counting take only minutes to generate a detailed material availability report.

The result of a fully integrated ERP software system is the enhancement of communication between all shop functions. This includes communication between shop floor personnel, sales order clerks, and inventory managers. That is to say, an intuitive and integrated ERP software will automatically tend to inventory maintenance through these on-line tools, with on-hand inventory levels being held at minimal volumes that take advantage of just-in-time (JIT) production mandates. In short, the keeping of accurate inventories helps keep obsolescence down, while at the same time producing automated purchasing when needed.

With so much riding on the maintenance of accurate inventories, it is a wonder that more attention is not given to its importance by manufacturers. Indeed, as waste is eliminated through every aspect of the job shop or make to order manufacturer, little is gained if inventories are not properly accounted for with great regularity. ERP software now allows inventory managers the means to, for once, incorporate the production levels taking place in other vital areas of the plant. As the plant speaks with one mind on the production line, inventory accounting then becomes that last piece in the puzzle where gains in efficiencies are made through the total integration of shop floor communication.

Inventory Management

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Sockeye Supply Chain Introduces Allegro Suite

Sockeye Supply Chain has introduced its Allegro Suite with modules for inbound and outbound supply chain management, inventory management, demand management and supply chain event management. The new Allegro Suite provides enterprises ...

logistics-suite.jpg
Sockeye Supply Chain has introduced its Allegro Suite with modules for inbound and outbound supply chain management, inventory management, demand management and supply chain event management.

The new Allegro Suite provides enterprises with a range of supply chain management capabilities, including features to enable collaboration and inventory visibility.

The Allegro Suite is built on a service oriented architecture (SOA) platform and includes these modules:

Allegro Inbound - Sockeye's inbound supply chain planning module is focused on providing visibility and decision support to manage the replenishment of parts inventory from suppliers to manufacturers. It includes a dynamic replenishment feature that allows for the co-management of inventory levels by the supplier and manufacturer to dynamically address any inventory level discrepancies in real-time. Additionally, the module supports multiple replenishment methods based on the supplier/buyer relationship (e.g., strategic vs. non-strategic) and whether the part is critical/constrained or non-strategic.

Allegro Outbound - Sockeye's outbound supply chain planning module is focused on the planning and monitoring of finished goods inventory movement through the outbound supply chain. For operations planning, the outbound module allows creation of constraint-based production and shipment plans to synchronize supply and demand. For execution, the module provides the visibility and decision support to monitor and resolve problems caused by day-to-day disruptions to production, shipment and inventory plans, Sockeye said.

Allegro Inventory Management - Sockeye's inventory management module enables enterprises to generate inventory targets for any location in the inbound or outbound supply chain. The module supports multiple methods of generating inventory targets to support items in different stages of their lifecycle and different inventory management strategies.

Allegro Demand Management - Sockeye's demand management solution enables enterprises to generate forecasts for finished goods. The forecasts are used to drive operational planning of the outbound supply chain. The module also supports consensus forecasting to promote alignment between sales and operations.

Allegro SCEM - Sockeye said its supply chain event management (SCEM) module is a very flexible tool for addressing a wide range of time critical synchronization problems using real-time supply chain events, alert notification and problem ticketing.


Permalink: Sockeye Supply Chain Introduces Allegro Suite
Tags: allegro Sockeye solutions inventory planning management supply chain inbound outbound logistics pack

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Weekly Newsbytes, Issue 21

AUDIO PODCASTS:

» Cryptography Breakthroughs
New applications. New devices. Convergence. An explosive network effect. And all of it requiring more security. Get the lowdown on the latest in cryptography technology...

» Stop Thinking About Time with Real-Time Java
As a developer, wouldn't you love for someone to abstract all the nasty stuff underneath the APIs to allow you to think about the domain and application workload? The Java Real-Time System 2.0, recently announced at JavaOne, does just that...


PROMOTIONS:

» Try the all new Sun Blade 6000 Modular Server FREE for 60 Days

» Go Green with Speed with a Sun Fire Coolthreads Server for 60 Days

» Test Drive a Sun Fire x64 Server FREE for 60 Days

» Solaris & Java Training: Book Four, Pay for Three


CUSTOMER NEWS:

» Deloitte & Touche LLP and Sun Unveil New Identity and Access Management Offering
The two companies have announced a new Enterprise Role Lifecycle Management (ERLM) offering that enables organisations to simplify compliance management, reporting and user administration of identity and access management (IAM) deployments.

» Customer Snapshot: eBay Inc
You can find it on eBay - even if you didn't know it existed... To power its massively-scaled resource tiers including both commercial and custom databases, eBay relies on a spectrum of Sun x64 and Coolthreads servers, storage and software solutions. In addition, Sun Managed Services provides around-the-clock responsiveness for all datacentre issues related to the database and search tiers, while Sun Educational Services delivers customised training courses for IT teams worldwide.


PRODUCT NEWS:

» Sun Launches Unique Data Management Appliance for Communication Service Providers
If you're looking for a powerful, secure and flexible end-to-end solution to help you address the EU Data Retention Directive, the new Solaris-based Sun Secure Data Retrieval Server (SDRS) may be what you need. As the industry's first end-to-end "plug-and-comply" appliance solution powered by CopperEye's revolutionary "Live Archive" technology, SDRS addresses not only the secure retention and life cycle of communications data, but also the business processes by which this data is rapidly retrieved and securely disclosed.

» Sun Introduces New Offering To Simplify IT Inventory Management
Earlier this week, Sun introduced the Sun Connection Inventory Channel -- a new, free offering for Sun customers that allows sys admins and IT operators to quickly and easily discover, organise and report on their organisation's IT assets. By delivering one-click discovery across systems running the Solaris and Linux, Sun Connection Inventory Channel enables customers to gain valuable insight into their IT operations by tracking critical information including product type, product version, licensing and registration status and support contract ID number.

» Sun Tunes Solaris Express Developer Edition for Enhanced Multicore Development
Sun has announced new functionality for Solaris Express Developer Edition, including new compilers and development tools to help application developers create better applications faster. The OpenSolaris-based distribution offers a new set of products which are optimised for the newest multicore architectures.
By The Editor...(The Editor...)
Sun Introduces New Offering To Simplify IT Inventory Management Earlier this week, Sun introduced the Sun Connection Inventory Channel -- a new, free offering for Sun customers that allows sys admins and IT operators to quickly and ...

TECH CORNER:

» Ask Dr Root
Our local tech whiz, Dr. Root, answers your questions and locates all the cool resources for you on sun.com. This week, learn about Sun's Logical Domains (LDoms) technology and see how by careful architecture, a logical domains environment can help you achieve greater resource usage, better scaling and increased security and isolation...

Inventory Management

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IBS installs its Intelligent Inventory Management System - SHADOW

TechWhack - New Delhi,Delhi,India
This Intelligent Inventory Management System provides small and medium
enterprises an efficient and secure way to manage their inventory. ...

IBS installs its Intelligent Inventory Management System – SHADOW - for The Concern India Foundation

Powerful and secure software enables SMEs to efficiently manage inventory

Mumbai, 14 June, 2007: Intelligent Business Systems (IBS), the Artificial Intelligence (AI) based Business Competitiveness Solutions firm, today announced the successful installation of “SHADOW”- the Intelligent Inventory Management System for The Concern India Foundation. This Intelligent Inventory Management System provides small and medium enterprises an efficient and secure way to manage their inventory. It is especially targeted at distributors, dealers, wholesalers, retailers, warehouse owners, traders and small scale manufacturers. SHADOW would also work well in shopping malls, large department stores, or even small shops keen to professionalise inventory handling.

SHADOW from Intelligent Business Systems (IBS) enables a high level of decision automation, which ensures that inventory control is optimised for a positive impact on the bottom line. This Inventory Management System, offers everything you need to manage your inventory efficiently and cost-effectively with assistance in the advance forecasting of sales, thus enabling effective inventory decisions on the basis of the probable lead time in obtaining items, and careful monitoring of dispatches in order to meet delivery deadlines—parameters that would be impossible to track manually with any reasonable degree of success.

SHADOW has been designed using modern, state-of-the-art approaches to inventory management, including just-in-time stocking principles backed by sophisticated analytics. Detailed descriptions of all items in inventory can be input, with multiple levels of categorisation. This software seamlessly manages the entire inventory cycle, from ordering and receipt of stock, through quality checks and storage, to queries on individual items, to packaging and dispatch, etc. A wide range of essential documents and reports can be generated whenever required, including purchase orders, invoices, product details, supplier details, stock summary and many more. Ancillary reports such as outward gate passes, packaging slips, courier slips and so on can also be produced on demand.

A unique feature of SHADOW is that date and time stamps are automatically affixed to every transaction, allowing for special analysis that can further streamline inventory control as well as serve as input for other systems, in order to determine load factors, cash flow constraints, personnel requirements, and so on. Special features such as customised inventory types, assembly line options, PDF format reports, end-to-end product tracking, and barcode reader interaction make SHADOW the most sophisticated inventory management system in its category. All the routine requirements of standard inventory management have been incorporated into SHADOW, and in addition it has several intelligent features for optimisation of inventory control.

“Using SHADOW one can make decisions for tweaking the supply chain as it provides all the statistical analysis one needs to optimise inventory management” said Dr Kaustubh Chokshi, CEO of Intelligent Business Systems. “SHADOW offers true business intelligence functionality, enabling users to create a real-time, onscreen “dashboard” display of the most important inventory-related parameters they wish to track or be alerted about.”

He added, “There are robust security features and usage logging in SHADOW to ensure that the safety and integrity of the data is maintained at all times. The automated backup ensures that recovery of data is simple and painless in the event of unexpected breakdowns or malfunctions.”

SHADOW is designed for small and medium enterprises with a turnover of up to Rs 100 crore and can be configured for multiple locations. SHADOW is completely scalable and can be upgraded for higher usage levels if required. Ease of use and complete flexibility have been among the key considerations in the design of SHADOW.

About Intelligent Business Systems (www.intelligentsystems.biz)

Intelligent Business Systems Pvt. Ltd. (IBS) is a futuristic and ultramodern company, providing innovative AI Enterprise Solutions and analytic applications for business, incorporating cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. Incorporated in the United Kingdom and recently expanded into India, the core competence of IBS lies in Artificial Intelligence, with a sharp focus in applying the latest AI models to intelligent business solutions customized to specific client needs.

Inventory Management

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sun touts Linux/Solaris inventory management

VNUNet.com - UK
Sun Microsystems today unveiled an inventory management offering that it
claims is the first to deliver one-click discovery across systems running
Solaris ...

Sun Microsystems today unveiled an inventory management offering that it claims is the first to deliver one-click discovery across systems running Solaris and Linux.

Sun Connection Inventory Channel is free for Sun customers and is designed to allow system administrators and IT operators to discover, organise and report on IT assets.

Customers can manage their IT assets by tracking critical information including product type, product version, licensing and registration status and support contract ID number.

"Sun is continuing to expand its offerings to help customers more efficiently manage their data centres," said Steve Wilson, vice president of connected systems at Sun.

"The Sun Connection Inventory Channel provides a simple, powerful way for customers to track, sort, search and group their IT assets and support contracts.

"Ultimately, by automating the process, customers are able to easily understand their assets and make better informed IT decisions for the future."

Many IT administrators have complex management mechanisms in place to benchmark the health and performance of their IT operations.

But often they do not have a single view of the software, systems and storage they have, or where these assets are running.

While some products offer partial automation, keeping track of inventory, managing new additions and tracking removals is difficult, error prone and often requires manual processing.


Inventory Management

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Sun touts Linux/Solaris inventory management

iT News - Australia
By Clement James, 13 June 2007 17:44 AEST Security GLOBAL - Sun
Microsystems today unveiled an inventory management offering that it claims
is the first to ...

GLOBAL - Sun Microsystems today unveiled an inventory management offering that it claims is the first to deliver one-click discovery across systems running Solaris and Linux.

Sun Connection Inventory Channel is free for Sun customers and is designed to allow system administrators and IT operators to discover, organise and report on IT assets.

Customers can manage their IT assets by tracking critical information including product type, product version, licensing and registration status and support contract ID number.

"Sun is continuing to expand its offerings to help customers more efficiently manage their data centres," said Steve Wilson, vice president of connected systems at Sun.
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"The Sun Connection Inventory Channel provides a simple, powerful way for customers to track, sort, search and group their IT assets and support contracts.

"Ultimately, by automating the process, customers are able to easily understand their assets and make better informed IT decisions for the future."

Many IT administrators have complex management mechanisms in place to benchmark the health and performance of their IT operations.

But often they do not have a single view of the software, systems and storage they have, or where these assets are running.

While some products offer partial automation, keeping track of inventory, managing new additions and tracking removals is difficult, error prone and often requires manual processing.

Inventory Management

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Sun Introduces New Offering To Simplify IT Inventory Management

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) today announced the immediate availability of the Sun Connection Inventory Channel, a new, free offering for Sun customers that allows system administrators and I ...

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) today announced the immediate availability of the Sun Connection Inventory Channel, a new, free offering for Sun customers that allows system administrators and IT operators to quickly and easily discover, organize and report on their IT assets. The first inventory management solution to deliver one-click discovery across systems running the Solaris Operating System (OS) and Linux, Sun Connection Inventory Channel enables customers to actively manage their IT assets and gain valuable insight into their IT operations by tracking critical information including product type, product version, licensing and registration status and support contract ID number.

"Sun is continuing to expand its offerings to help customers more efficiently manage their data centers," said Steve Wilson, vice president of Connected Systems, Sun Microsystems. "The Sun Connection Inventory Channel provides a simple, powerful way for customers to track, sort, search and group their IT assets and support contracts. Ultimately, by automating the process, customers are able to easily understand their assets and make better informed IT decisions for the future."

Many IT administrators have complex management mechanisms in place to benchmark the health and performance of their IT operations, but often do not have a single view of what software, systems and storage they have and where these assets are running. While some solutions offer partial automation, keeping track of inventory, managing new additions and tracking removals is difficult, error prone and often requires manual processing.

Sun Connection Inventory Channel provides a unified view of hardware and software assets via a dynamic Web-based user interface. Customers can quickly search through thousands of assets based on a combination of search criteria including host name, product type, product version, support contract ID number and custom, user-defined asset tags.

The Sun Connection Inventory Channel complements the existing Sun Connection Update and Provisioning Channels by providing a lightweight and cost-effective asset management solution on a heterogeneous platform. The Sun Connection Update Channel provides central patch management capabilities on multiple operating platforms. The Provisioning Channel allows customers to perform provisioning tasks such as copy and paste of existing system deployments to new systems running the Solaris OS, Red Hat or SUSE Linux. For more information about Sun Connection, please visit: http://www.sun.com/sunconnection

The Sun Connection Inventory Channel is available free to all customers, whether an enterprise has purchased a high-end UltraSPARC-based server or a start-up has downloaded the Solaris OS for free. Access to the new channel is available at: http://sunconnection.sun.com/inventory

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

A singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world’s most important markets. Sun’s philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at http://sun.com

Inventory Management

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Our Honeymoon with Walmart and China

By RussWilcox(RussWilcox)
The predisposition of Walmart to resell so many items from China, compared with their low profit margins and their incredibly efficient inventory-management system are what makes Walmart so successful, and its customers flocking back. ...

Even though many Americans experience a pang of angst when shopping at Walmart, knowing that many of the items we buy there, like televisions, toys and clothing, are made in China, and we would rather be supporting American companies with our purchases, still the lure of unbelievably low prices cannot be overcome. I know; I just bought a 32” HDTV set there for $498.

The predisposition of Walmart to resell so many items from China, together with their low profit margins and their incredibly efficient inventory-management system are what makes Walmart so successful, and its customers flocking back. A problem is beginning to emerge, however, as we learn that some of the consumables from China contain poisonous materials, and that China’s inspection systems and concerns are laughable.

These problems first showed up in pet food, and the inquiries triggered by the pet food tragedies have turned up case after case of deaths and illnesses of human beings in other countries due to the consumption of Chinese products.

In our e-mail group we are fortunate to have John E. Carey, a retired naval officer who also writes extensively, and who has looked into this problem:

China Killed Your Dog; Now You and Your Kids are at Risk Too
Fixing a corrupt system with up to 1 billion players

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
June 14, 2007

On April 1 of this year I wrote a commentary essay under the headline “China Killed Your Dog.” I said at the time that the mainstream media seemed to be brushing this story under the carpet.

The red meat of “China Killed Your Dog” is this: Chinese food manufacturers use all kinds of inexpensive products as filler and other agents in things like pet food, soy sauce, toothpaste and chewing gum.

The pet food was largely poisoned by a product called melamine, which is used in fertilizer and plastics, mixed with wheat glutin. Using this formula, Chinese manufacturers reduced production costs while still charging cutomers top dollar: as if beef had been used in the pet food.

Melamine is a prohibited substance in American pet food according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, melamine is a widely accepted fertilizer in China. And farmers mix it into livestock feed, pet food and other products because it is plentiful, inexpensive and usually undetected.

When the New York Times reporters in China followed up on this story, they asked some farmers why China couldn’t just stomp out those few using melamine. Farmers told them everyone used melamine this way since the 1950s. The use of melamine is not restricted to a few isolate production houses: it is everywhere in Chinese agriculture.

Since April, there have been several additional revelations about how China produces food and just about everything else. American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have been spot checking to see where Chinese manufacturers cut corners and endanger consumers.

What followed was a series of discoveries of wrong-doing on the part of Chinese manufacturers.

Cold medicine made in China killed 51 people in Panama. The product was found to contain glycerin.

Chinese toothpaste was found to contain diethylene glycol. This is a close relative to the anti-icing spray used on aircraft in winter time and it is know to be poisonous.

And yesterday the CPSC recalled Thomas Train pieces manufactured with lead paint.

The world has known that lead paint is toxic for decades.

Chinese officials made a great show of saying they would provide “100% inspection of all exports.” Of course this is a ridiculous and unworkable plan.

FDA and CPSC officials tried to explain to the Chinese of “building quality into the product from the start.”

This built-in quality idea, of course, came from Japanese auto makers. When Japan began to make higher quality cars than Detroit, Ford, GM and other manufacturers went to Japan to learn why. The Detroit auto men claimed to have the best post production quality inspection and control system on earth. The Japanese said they had very limited post production inspection. The Japanese built the quality in from the start.

This concept horrifies the Chinese. With a population of 1.3 billion and at least 700 million people (China has 200 million migrant workers alone) involved in product production, manufacturing and agriculture; how can China rapidly change the manufacturing culture?

They cannot. This is why the “Culture of Corruption” is of such concern.

China can't just paper over this problem the way it usually does during any crisis. No charm offenive will work. China has to start to turn the ship of state toward honest and integrity or its economy will suffer. This thaght must be a nightmare for Chinese leadership. John. E. Carey

Inventory Management

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Dungeons & Dragons Board Game - Another HeroQuest?

By jbuergel
Most of the truly difficult decisions in the game will be equipment related, and inventory management is significant. I like it, but some might feel confined by the fairly low carrying capacities. Traps also bear mentioning. ...

When I heard that there was a new dungeon crawler that had been put out in Europe but not here in the States, I made sure to put it on my list of things to pick up when I was there a couple years back. I managed to track down a copy in Oxford along with the first expansion, and later picked up the second expansion from Paizo. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, really, other than it was likely to be fairly simple as a Parker Brothers game. But I'll buy essentially any dungeon crawling game, and it's a decent entry, although it's certainly not groundbreaking.

The Presentation

The D&D Adventure Board Game (D&D through the rest of these rules) comes in a largish box featuring a custom molded plastic tray featuring fake stone texture. Swanky! It's a pretty nice production, including 40 miniatures of OK quality - not as nice as those with Descent or the Games Workshop games, about on par with HeroQuest - 5 double-sided 11x11 game boards, several decks of cards (the usual item and monster cards along with some initiative cards), an assortment of card stock tokens featuring some stand-up terrain (pillars and trees), doors that lay flat and various status markers and 10 special dice. The special dice are quite nice, with painted grooves and clear icons. The game also includes the usual rule book and adventure book, the latter feature 11 adventures across three player levels. It's a nice production, and for the money I paid for it, quite a good value. In the States, where you have to pay to import it (if you can find it at all), the cost starts climbing up pretty high. There aren't really any areas of the production I can point to as being poor, the only thing I'd point out is that the miniatures are not extremely detailed. This doesn't really bother me much, but skilled miniature painters might get frustrated.

The Basics

As with its closest relative, HeroQuest, the players always play the same four heroes, so if you play with fewer than four hero players, somebody will have to double up. Someone must also play the GM, here called the Dungeon Master in grand D&D tradition. The game tries its best to stick to D&D terminology, which is nice, I suppose, even if the game has nothing to do with D20 mechanics. The four characters are familiar to anyone who has read the examples in the RPG books: Regdar the human fighter, Lidda the halfling rogue, Jozan the human cleric and Mialee the elven wizard. Each character is represented by a large player card, which has all their stats and a little piece of background printed on it. Around the edge of the card, it also lists your limits on equipment, which is handy, and they also differ amongst the characters, which is interesting. Each character has movement allowance, armor class, carrying capacity and hit points. The spell casters also have spell points.

The players are placed onto the game board, which is dictated by the particular adventure, and someone is nominated to open the door. Whenever a door is opened, the GM deals out the initiative cards, one to each hero and one to themselves. The GM also lays out the revealed room. The players and GM now take their turns in order of the initiative cards, which will change each time a door is opened. By having the GM go possibly in the middle of the heroes, it lends a little bit of uncertainty to how things will go, since the initiative cards are not revealed until it is your turn to take an action (of course, the surprise only lasts for one round). A player turn permits the player to take two actions with their hero, in any order: movement, opening a door, combat, opening a chest, changing an item or taking a special action (casting spells, disarming traps, turning undead, etc). Allowing the players to take any two actions gives them a fair bit of flexibility. Combat is simple, with the player just rolling the dice listed on their character card, totalling up the swords and subtracting the target's armor. The human fighter gets a bonus to his combat, but that's about it.

Spell casting is pretty simple as well. The characters start with certain spells, and they can acquire new spells during their adventure. However, they can only have a limited number equipped and available for use at any time. Each spell cast costs a certain number of spell points, and the spell points only come back when using particular weapons (and rolling particular results). It can be a slow process, regaining spell points, so you do find yourself being careful about when it's right to cast them. You also find yourself really considering whether to equip a more powerful (but more expensive) spell. It's a simple system, but it works well, and the spell points do keep the powerful spells in check.

Monsters, during the GM turn, get one move and one attack. They cannot take a double attack, so they're more limited than the players. Their attacks work the same basic way, and they can make decent headway against the heroes, even the weaker monsters. The game does a nice job of making sure the heroes never feel invulnerable. The other well done part of the basics is that carrying capacities are very limited. When you find new gear, you have to decide if anybody wants it, and frequently it's not an obvious choice. That weapon might have a good power attack, but it's risky, or you could go with this one which will be more consistent but less powerful on average. That spell is more powerful, but it's expensive, so maybe you're better off sticking with the cheap spell. And so on. Most of the truly difficult decisions in the game will be equipment related, and inventory management is significant. I like it, but some might feel confined by the fairly low carrying capacities.

Traps also bear mentioning. Traps can pop up all over the place, and the rogue can find and disarm them. When combat is going on, players might blunder into traps, but once combat is over, there's no time pressure to get them moving. A careful party will therefore be very cautious and investigate for traps carefully. They can get a result that stops them from searching further, forcing another character to have to swap in. It's all kind of tedious, really. I would sometimes just tell the players where the traps were after combat is over, rather than watch them shuffle characters around and search really carefully. Of course, sometimes I'd let them go through the process, because every now and again they'd screw it up and fall in a pit, which is always fun.

The Campaign

Unlike HeroQuest, characters do improve in this game. There are three player levels available, which give the characters more hit points, spell points and access to better loot and spells. You can also start out a character at levels two or three if you need a replacement for a dead character or want to start the campaign in the middle. You also carry over your treasures from adventure to adventure. It's a very simple system, but it is nice that you'll see different stuff as things move along, and it does give some continuity to things. I like this campaign system better than the one in HeroQuest, where you only carry over treasure.

The Good

It's a decent production, and the rules are simple and straightforward. The initiative card mechanic is interesting, the spell system gives good results with a surprising amount of balance, and the encumbrance rules are very effective for forcing some difficult decisions. The players are usually in actual danger even from the weak monsters, and it's nice that they threw in a campaign system, even in a simple way. The geomorphic board provides a decent number of layouts for the dungeon. The action system has reasonable flexibility, and the special actions for each character give good differentiation.

The Bad

The combat system is very basic, and is probably the weakest part of the system. Beyond the decision of what to carry and what spells to cast, the decision on how to fight monsters is pretty obvious. Dealing with traps is tedious, and the campaign runs out of steam fairly quickly and doesn't have a lot of replay value. It's hard to find here in the States, although that's more of a local problem.

A Word about Expansions

There have been two boxed expansions published for this game, one a winter adventures and one an outdoors one. Each comes with a new character (the barbarian and druid, respectively), some new board sections, monster, cards and a new campaign. Both are pretty well done, and good expansions to get if you like the base game, and they'll extend your enjoyment of the game.

Conclusion

In terms of complexity, this is very much like HeroQuest. The mechanics are similarly simple, and they work well at creating a good hack-and-slash type of environment. There are some nice touches in the system, and overall I'd say there are probably a few more interesting decisions going on here than there are in HeroQuest. It's also probably more challenging for the players, meaning it's probably a better choice for slightly older gamers than HeroQuest (although it's still going to appeal more to younger folks than to older folks). Like that game, though, you have to approach D&D on its own terms. It's not a sophisticated game with a lot of agonizing decisions. It's not really a competitive game, like Descent, where the GM is really out to get you. If you're looking for a simple, cooperative dungeon crawler, and desire atmosphere and hacking more than a really advanced game system, this is a good choice. I'd say that purely on the contents of the basic boxes, I like D&D slightly more as a game than HeroQuest, nostalgia for the latter (and awesome furniture!) notwithstanding. But, that leaves out the very strong HeroQuest community online. If you had to pick only one, HeroQuest is probably a better choice, given the wealth of supporting material you can find online. If you're in the mood for something similar but different, it's a nice change of pace, and if for some reason you run across D&D and not HeroQuest, you won't regret D&D as an alternative. A good, solid, simple dungeon crawler.

Inventory Management

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Section Manager II/III - Inventory Management

CA-Orange County, SECTION MANAGER II/III - Inventory Management Contracts Administration & Materials Management (CAMM) OCTA The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is the county's primary transportation agenc.

OCTA

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is the county’s primary transportation agency. OCTA creates funds and delivers efficient transportation for Orange County. We keep Orange County moving with extensive bus and Para transit service, Metrolink commuter rail service, the 91 Express Lanes Toll Road, motorist services and freeway, street and road improvement projects. For all of the exceptional services that we provide, OCTA has received the 2005 Outstanding Transportation System Achievement Award from the American Public Transportation Association.





The Position

Manage the Material management function and inventory control processes including but not limited to the planning, organization, warehousing, replenishing, and surplusing cycles for inventory of part and material, as well as warranty programs for vehicles, parts and equipment in compliance with the Agency’s procedures and safety standards.

This position will also supervise the activities at our three operating facilities.





The Ideal Candidate

Knowledge of principles and materials management, inventory control, accounting, warehouse, with progressive management experience with emphasis to negotiate contracts and communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.





Qualifications

Bachelor's Degree or equivalent in public/business administration, Logistics or related field with approximately five to nine years of progressively responsible experience in a inventory management, warehouse and four years supervision preferably in a union environment. APICS Certification is preferred.







Compensation and Benefits

The Authority has a comprehensive management salary and benefits plan designed to recognize and reward outstanding performance. The specific features of the program include:



* Salary:

Section Manager II $64,688 - $99,112 per year depending on qualifications.

Section Manager III $72,737 - $111,009 per year depending on qualifications.



* Retirement:

Employees do not pay into the Social Security system, except for 1.45 of gross

Income, which is paid into the Medicare portion of Social Security. Instead, contributions are made to the Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) each pay period. OCTA makes a contribution on your behalf and a contribution on the Authority’s behalf. Employees are eligible to retire at age fifty and after completing ten yeas of service.



* Deferred Compensation Plan:

The 457 (b) Deferred compensation Plan provides you with the opportunity to invest a portion of your salary on a pre-tax basis. OCTA will make a matching contribution of 1% of base pay after 5 years of service; 2% of base pay for employees with 10 or more years of service; and 3% of base pay for employees with 20 or more years of service.



* Vacation:

Two (2) weeks paid vacation during the first two years. Three (3) weeks paid vacation after two years. Four (4) weeks paid vacation after nine years.



* Holidays:

Eleven (11) paid holidays per year, which includes four (4) personal paid holidays.



* Sick leave:

Nine (9) days accrued per year increasing to twelve (12) days after three (3) years of service.



* Medical and Dental Insurance:

Medical—Choice of three plans (Kaiser HMO, CIGNA HMO and CIGNA OAP)

Dental—Choice of two plans (SmileSaver HMO and MetLife PPO Plan)

Vision—Choice of two plans (Vision Service Plan for CIGNA members and Kaiser for Kaiser Members)

Authority pays 80% or more of employee/dependent premium for medical/dental/vision coverage.





* Life Insurance:

Equivalent to two times the employee’s annual salary.



* Educational Reimbursement:

Up to $2,000 per year including reimbursement for textbook costs.



* Other Benefits:

- Deferred Compensation Plan

- Flexible Spending Accounts

- Alternative Workweek Schedules

- Computer Reimbursement

- Ergonomic/Wellness Programs

- Employee Assistance Program

Inventory Management

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More libraries using RFID, says expert: http://www...

By Teresa Hartman(Teresa Hartman)
Looking at the NXP Semiconductors website, I found these articles on the same subject: no date - Complete inventory management for libraries

Complete inventory management for libraries

In today's fast moving world, existing systems for checking items in and out of libraries increasingly seem slow, labour intensive, inflexible and prone to inaccuracy. In contrast, RFID based systems improve convenience and flexibility for both the users and the library. Quicker and easier to operate, these systems enable improved inventory control; minimize losses via internal misplacement and theft; reduce manual work for library staff; and deliver better read rates and accuracy than traditional manual handling.

Offering a simple upgrade path for existing set-ups, I·CODE-based library schemes provide secure systems, allowing full traceability and an effective means of gathering data for total information management. They can also be easily installed and offer a wider range of functions. The inherent flexibility of I·CODE technology also allows several participating libraries to connect to a single external host system, enabling more sophisticated return and allocation schemes. At the same time, traditional readers' cards with magnetic stripe or bar-code can be replaced by I·CODE cards enabling fast and convenient identification of people borrowing books.

These systems work by fitting a smart label containing an I·CODE chip, each with its own unique serial number, to every item which can be borrowed or rented from the library. This can be a book, videotape, CD-ROM or DVD. Thus each item can be individually identified, while also storing basic data about the item such as the title, author and code.
Automated check in/out

Entry/exit gates installed with I·CODE readers can identify multiple books carried through the gate by a customer, thanks to I·CODE's anticollision feature. And for fully automated check in, users can simply return rented items to the system by dropping goods into a box, past a flap with a reader device. This automatically registers returned items and also updates the library's inventory status, providing fully automated inventory control. Borrowing books can also be automated in the same way, with registered users choosing items at an interactive screen at the checkout, which are then automatically delivered.
Fast item location

Another function made possible with RFID systems is fast and easy location of books. This can be achieved either by placing antennas on shelves to define their contents, or with a handheld proximity reader, and enables quick inventorying and the location of misplaced items - which can be a serious problem with an average of 200-300 thousand books per library.
Flexible return options

RFID systems allow 'mailboxes' to be located at convenient public places. These have access to a library's database so can register returned items automatically, update the library inventory and log the customer account. If several libraries are connected to the same system, this enables sophisticated inter-library item allocation schemes to be implemented.

All in all, I·CODE RFID systems enable major improvements across all library processes, increasing overall efficiency, raising customer convenience, comfort and flexibility, improving inventorying accuracy and reducing losses, as well as reducing mishandling by library personnel and providing better theft protection.

Inventory Management

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SmartTurn and Boomi Make Software Integrations Affordable for All ...

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
... need integration can subscribe to one complete solution which includes
connectivity to any application or data they require for inventory
management. ...

OAKLAND, Calif. & BERWYN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SmartTurn, the leading on-demand Inventory and Warehouse Management System provider, has partnered with Boomi, a leader in business integration software for small and mid-market (SMB) companies, to radically change enterprise software integration particularly for the under-served SMB market. The partnership will make it easy, affordable and quick for SMB companies to link any combination of software as a service (SaaS) and on-premise applications without the burden of installing software packages or hardware appliances.

For too long, integration has been the Achilles heel of enterprise software implementations because most require linking to legacy systems such as EDI, ERPs, or parcel and barcode packages, which can be timely and costly. SmartTurn™ Inventory and Warehouse Management System and Boomi On DemandSM partnership removes those barriers to adoption and provides a seamless option for integration that offers SMB customers better control and visibility into inventory operations.

When a customer deploys SmartTurn, the Boomi On Demand integration service enables them to link SmartTurn to other SaaS or on-premise applications within their organizations. This is accomplished without implementing a costly integration software platform or developing complex custom code, and is done easily over the Web.

Customers will have the opportunity to use several applications to solve specific business processes and have the freedom to mix and match best-of-breed solutions without being tied to one cumbersome, proprietary application. “Our partnership with Boomi reinforces our belief in the on-demand model and all the inherent values it provides,” said Jim Burleigh, General Manager, SmartTurn. “Savvy customers expect vendors to accommodate integrations and interoperability easily. And that is what the SmartTurn and Boomi partnership will offer.”

SmartTurn customers who need integration can subscribe to one complete solution which includes connectivity to any application or data they require for inventory management. The only requirement is the customer’s high-speed Internet access with no additional integration of hardware software, coding or training costs incurred.

With Boomi On Demand, companies can harness the convenience and availability of the Web to integrate applications – anytime, anywhere. Users can securely build, deploy and manage integrations directly from the Web using only a Web browser. Integrations are built visually with familiar point-and-click, drag-and-drop ease. No coding is required.

“Our partnership with SmartTurn will dramatically increase the availability of integration capabilities to all businesses,” said Bob Moul, President and CEO, Boomi. “SmartTurn and Boomi will make it very easy for customers to work with SaaS vendors and allow them to pay for only the connections and service levels they need, which is the best way to serve our market.”

About SmartTurn

SmartTurn™ Inventory and Warehouse Management System is the first true on-demand warehouse management system to provide enterprise class functionality at a fraction of the cost of traditional license and install software. SmartTurn provides real-time inventory visibility and control. The SmartTurn solution integrates ordering, receiving and shipping to streamline operations. SmartTurn is a division of Navis. For more information, visit www.smartturn.com or www.navis.com.

About Boomi

Boomi improves the efficiency and effectiveness of small and mid-sized businesses by enabling B2B, application and data integration in one easy-to-deploy, simple-to-use product. Boomi’s unique visual integration approach allows users to design and build powerful configurations to handle a broad range of integration needs with point-and-click, drag-and-drop ease. Boomi’s integration projects are up and running in weeks, not months, and do not require any programming resources. Backed by its extraordinary support services, customers quickly see the benefit of their investment in Boomi. For more information about Boomi, visit www.boomi.com.

Inventory Management

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Park City Group Integrates Fresh Market Manager and ActionManager ...

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
... promotion and pricing optimization, perpetual inventory management,
computer aided ordering, work flow and labor scheduling, paperless
documentation and ...

PARK CITY, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Park City Group, Inc. (OTCBB: PCYG), a leading provider of inventory and labor optimization solutions, today announced that a leading international retailer has begun integrating its Fresh Market Manager and ActionManager products to optimize assortment plans, labor and task schedules, manage shrink and stock-outs, and improve quality and freshness for consumers. While numerous convenience stores have integrated Park City Group’s primary products to improve their operations, this is the first time that a supermarket retailer has done so.

The integration of these two suites allows retailers to plan production and have the correct labor plan to insure product freshness thereby maximizing sales and profits from their perishable departments. This system provides a coordinated planning of resources to deliver consumers the right product, at the right price, at the right time. The combined effort marks the completion of the first truly end-to-end Fresh Item Management system in existence delivering capabilities for category management, production planning, forecasting, promotion and pricing optimization, perpetual inventory management, computer aided ordering, work flow and labor scheduling, paperless documentation and more.

Fresh Market Manager is a fully integrated management solution for bakery, deli, food service, meat, seafood, frozen, floral and produce departments. The product helps grocers to achieve improved economic performance by managing shrink (or waste) and stock-outs. FMM also involves suppliers through Supply Chain Profit Link to deliver sales data to both sides facilitating fact-based and profit-focused category review meetings.

Together with its ActionManager solutions, Park City Group delivers one of the most robust integrated business solutions available in the industry. The systems address operations management tasks including: item level category management, inventory and production planning, work flow, scheduling, forecasting, supply and ingredient ordering, producing sales reports/projections, administering skill tests, interviewing assistance, and assessing employee knowledge.

Speaking of the agreement, Randall K. Fields, Park City Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive, said, “Inventory and labor management are the two key controllables for optimizing profit in large, sophisticated supermarket operations. This particular customer has already seen phenomenal results from our Fresh Market Manager product. The integration of both of our primary product suites will yield results far beyond what we have already witnessed when either FMM or ActionManager are installed individually.”

About Park City Group

Park City Group, Inc. (OTCBB: PCYG) develops and markets patented computer software that helps its customers to increase their sales while reducing their inventory and labor costs -- the two largest, controllable expenses in the retail industry. The technology has its genesis in the operations of Mrs. Fields Cookies, co-founded by Randy Fields, chief executive officer of Park City Group. Industry-leading customers such as The Home Depot, Victoria’s Secret, The Limited, Anheuser Busch Entertainment and Tesco Lotus benefit from Park City Group software applications. To find out more about Park City Group, visit www.parkcitygroup.com.

Statements in this press release that relate to Park City Group’s future plans, objectives, expectations, performance, events and the like are forward-looking statements. Future events, risks and uncertainties, individually or in the aggregate, could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Those factors could include changes in economic conditions that may change demand for the Company’s products and services and other factors discussed in the “forward-looking information” section and the “risk factor” section of the management's discussion and analysis included in the Company’s report on Form 10-KSB/A for the year ended June 30, 2006 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This release is comprised of interrelated information that must be interpreted in the context of all of the information provided and care should be exercised not to consider portions of this release out of context. Park City Group uses paid services of investor relations organizations to promote the Company to the investment community. Investments in any company should be considered speculative and prior to acquisition, should be thoroughly researched. Park City Group does not intend to update these forward-looking statements prior to announcement of quarterly or annual results.

Inventory Management

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Online Bookseller Gets Up To Par With 3PAR

InternetNews.com - USA
3PAR's virtualized storage platform supports Alibris' inventory management
system, retail Web site, search engine and e-commerce order processing
system, ...

When a business depends on its ability to manage inventory, being limited by I/O is a bad place to be. So about a year ago, online bookseller Alibris set out to replace its storage infrastructure with one that could meet the high performance needs of the business while providing scalability and ease of management.

Today, the worldwide online exchange for sellers of more than 60 million used, new and out-of-print book, music and movie titles keeps business humming with 3PAR's InServ S800 Storage Server.

"We now have what we need to run our business," said Michael Schaffer, CTO of Emeryville, Calif.-based Alibris. "We have the ability to upgrade and we don't spend nearly as much time as we used to contemplating storage management."

3PAR's virtualized storage platform supports Alibris' inventory management system, retail Web site, search engine and e-commerce order processing system, all of which are based on multiple clustered Microsoft SQL Server databases.

Hitting a Storage Dead End

Founded in 1998, Alibris, with 65 employees, is a B2B and B2C company. On the business side, the company partners with thousands of independent sellers from 45 countries. Alibris partners include popular book sellers such as Barnes & Nobles, Borders and Amazon.com, to name a few. Consumers can also shop on Alibris.com Web sites.

The company's business model enables its business partners to re-price, add, remove and update inventory records around the clock. The timely updates keep automated partners at a competitive advantage. "At the time we sent out an RFP for a new storage system, 1 to 2 million changes were being made daily to our inventory system," said Schaffer.

Because the inventory system replicated to a half dozen database servers, the massive number of daily changes was bogging down system performance. "We were I/O bound on most of our major applications," Schaffer said.

The in-house designed SAN the company had in place at the time wasn't able to meet Alibris' capacity or performance requirements.

"About four years ago, we had the idea to build our own mini-SAN," said Schaffer. "However, the controllers didn't have the power to handle multiple hosts," largely in part because of the demands placed on the system. So in essence, what the company created was a direct-attached storage (DAS) architecture that created islands of lost storage and performance.

"Our storage environment behaved like one controller to one server, each with about 1 to 2 terabytes of storage. It was a dead-end situation," said Schaffer.

What the company needed to support current usage and future growth was a storage system with high performance, high availability, ease of management and strong support.

The Search Is On

About a year ago, Alibris sent out an RFP looking for a vendor solution that would meet its criteria and received responses from EMC, Network Appliance, IBM and 3PAR.

Company decision makers talked with all four vendors and saw demos from EMC, NetApp and 3PAR. "IBM was late to the game and was very similar to EMC," said Schaffer. However, only one vendor, 3PAR, allowed the prospective customer to mess with their storage, as Schaffer puts it.

"3PAR let us pull out cables, pull on the power supply, etc., because that's real world," he said.

The Alibris tech team liked what it saw and took the next step to have the storage solution installed in its environment for further testing. "We wanted to run tests to see if the numbers that 3PAR gave us held up," said Schaffer.

IT ran stress tests using its SQL databases, and while the system was hot, pulled out shelves of disks and nodes. "We discovered that 3PAR's claims about its product were true," he said.

There were several key features of the 3PAR InServ Storage Server product that Schaffer and his IT staff were particular impressed with: automated provisioning, management and load balancing of data center resources. "When my staff understood that we buy storage but they don't choose physical disks, they were definitely interested. All the management work that they were used to doing just went away."

At the end of the day, vendor selection came down to 3PAR and EMC, according to Schaffer. But while EMC had the performance, it didn't provide the ease of management that the 3PAR product offered.

Just in Time

Last July, Alibris signed the purchase order and wrote out the check to 3PAR. With August, the company's busy back-to-school month, just around the corner, the InServ S800 Storage Server was rushed into production. A 3PAR channel partner helped Alibris with the storage server installation. It took less than a day.

The company purchased the InServ S800 Storage Server, two controller nodes and 5 terabytes of disk, most of which was Fibre Channel.

Today, all of company's applications, except financials, have been migrated to the 3PAR storage. "We have plans to upgrade our general ledger, and when we do that we'll do the migration at the same time," said Schaffer.

Earlier this year, the company purchased an additional two nodes and 50 terabytes of raw storage and more near-line storage, giving it the ability to do tiered storage. The InServ S800 can handle up to eight nodes and up to 2,560 disk drives, according to the vendor.

Today, Alibris not only has the storage architecture that meets its business needs, but one that is easy on its IT staff of four. "Prior to getting the 3PAR solution, storage management could eat up as much as 75 percent of someone's time for a few weeks at a time. Now, only 15 percent of our system administrator's time is spent managing storage," said Schaffer.

The company also reports that it's seen more than a 300 percent increase in I/O workload and continues to meet service level requirements, even though the updates that Alibris business partners make to the inventory system on a daily basis have grown to 5 million changes per day.

Inventory Management

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Retail Management: New West Technologies Counted Among Top

Retail Solutions Online (press release) - Erie,PA,USA
Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System and New West Technologies
Mobile Manager offers retailers a complete inventory management system that
integrates ...

Recently, New West Technologies announced it has been selected as a finalist for Microsoft Corp.’s Partner of the Year Award in Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System. Winners for the 2007 Microsoft Partner Program Awards, which recognize top Microsoft Partners delivering market-leading, Microsoft-based solutions, will be announced July 11 in Denver, Colorado at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

“New West is honored to be named as a finalist for Dynamics Point of Sale Solutions Partner of the Year. We are excited to be recognized for our achievements in developing Microsoft based retail solutions and hope to win for the second year in a row. Being one of Microsoft’s go-to partners is very rewarding and helps our team accomplish great things.” says New West Technologies President, Dan King.

Awards will be presented in a number of categories, with winners chosen from a pool of more than 1,800 entrants worldwide. The Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System Partner of the Year award recognizes a Partner who demonstrates excellence in delivering value to our mutual customers. This Partner is a champion in delivering solutions to delight their customers and drive their business productivity. They consistently exceed customer expectations and have earned great loyalty from their customers. This Partner demonstrates leadership within the Microsoft Point of Sale Partner community in terms of adding new customers, driving revenue growth and contributing to the overall success of the Partner community.

“We have a diverse and talented partner ecosystem that each year raises the bar in the design and deployment of customer solutions built on Microsoft technologies,” said Allison L. Watson, corporate vice president, Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group. “We are pleased to recognize New West Technologies as one of our partners leading the field in this category.”

New West is an industry leader integrating retail POS software solutions and Microsoft Retail Management System (RMS). New West’s solution, Mobile Manager, adds the mobility component to Microsoft Dynamics RMS and POS, offering retailers a powerful tool to streamline business processes and efficiency, increase business intelligence and improve customer service all via a mobile hand held device.

Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System and New West Technologies Mobile Manager offers retailers a complete inventory management system that integrates with RMS, POS and New West’s Mobile Cashier.

New West Technologies Mobile Manager allows employees to use downtime to count inventory. When a customer comes in, the employee clicks “save” and picks up inventory counts at another time. No data is stored in the hardware device. A number of devices can be used in multiple locations – all communicating in real time. Devices are routed wirelessly to the company’s main server where the data is stored. If a device is lost, or damaged, no data is lost. With real time inventory management, retailers can have accurate inventory data, identify issues, and stock levels.

The Microsoft Partner Program Awards recognize Microsoft Partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions over the past year.

About New West Technologies
New West Technologies is an innovative leader integrating retail POS software solutions and Microsoft Retail Management System (RMS). New West Technologies customizes business solutions for its clients. Based in Portland, Oregon, New West Technologies is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with competencies in Mobility Solutions, ISV Software Solutions, Microsoft Business Solutions, and Networking Infrastructure Solutions, System Builder and information worker. For more information visit www.newestech.com

Inventory Management

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eBay thinks outside with eBox

All of the functions on eBay, such as search and inventory management, will be accessible as services via application program interfaces (APIs). View: Full Story News source: News.com R ead full story...

eBay is rebuilding its technical infrastructure in a project that could lead to the e-commerce giant hosting applications from outsiders An initiative internally referred to as eBox calls for the company to rebuild the technical guts of its eBay com site as a series of modular services rather than a single unified application The idea is that internal engineers--and potentially outside developers--can use these services as building blocks to construct new applications said Eric Billingsley senior director of eBay Research Labs which is behind the initiative br br Billingsley is scheduled to outline the project which he refers to as an open platform on Tuesday afternoon at the eBay developers conference here In an interview with CNET News com on Monday he described the technology and the company s goals in undertaking the services-oriented architecture eBox aims to make it quicker to build applications by providing pre-built services that can be combined to create new applications without extensive coding All of the functions on eBay such as search and inventory management will be accessible as services via application program interfaces (APIs) br br img src= http www neowin net im ages icons viewicon gif border= 0 class= linked-image View a href= http news com com eBa y thinks outside with eBox 210 0-1032_3-6190508 html part=rss tag=2547-1_3-0-20 subj=news target= _blank Full Story a br img src= http www neowin net im ages icons souricon gif border= 0 class= linked-image News source a href= http news com com target= _blank News com a br br a href= http www neowin net i ndex php act=view id=40915 R ead full story a

Inventory Management

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June News Letter

By ae(ae)
Powerful inventory management Easy & affordable solutions Online sales, Ecommerce reporting Free unlimited support Seats sold update web site immediately Agent distribution We are the small tour operator specialists! ...

CONTENT
- Travel Agent distribution program
- Adventure Engine Webinar- 7 question survey ~ Tell us what you need and enter to win a free subscription to AE
- Industry Stat of the Month
- Partner Special ~ 10% off Adventures in Travel Expo Trade Show booth

Adventure Engine Travel Agent program:
Adventure Engine is establishing up to 50,000 new travel agent connections
in the next 3 months.

We will be beginning product knowledge sessions with our new agencies early as July 2007 including an opportunity to present your trips one on one to agents.

Adventure Engine will be promoting Tour Operators using the Adventure Engine reservation system to Travel Agents so that it is easy to search compare and book your trips with assurance of real time availability

_______________________________________________________________
The Deal for June - save $500 limited offer June 2007
We want to ensure this program has representation from diverse touroperators and are offering a 500 dollar discount as an incentive to getyour trips online.So for a 1250 dollar one time fee you will receive exposure to agents PLUS gain online sales capability, unlimited placements of your trips onpartner web sites (your partners and the Adventure Engine network), office administration systems, merchant accounts including Visa, MC and Amex, reporting and much, much more.
Click hereto review our featuresThis offer ends June 30 so call today!
_________________________________________________________________
Find Out more - free online information session (webinar)
To find out more about this program and Adventure Engine join us in a free Webinar
June 14 , 1:30 p.m. PDT click here to register To view other webinar topics go to http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=daqk4acab.0.suxt84bab.qks4ccbab.1144&ts=S0252&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.adventureengine.com%2Fwebinar.php.
You just need a computer and phone to take part.
Or email us for a demo at your convenience to discuss Adventure Engines benefits in relation to your business.
______________________________________________________________
Take a 7 question Survey and you may win a free subscription to AE
We want to know what features you want next or what are the main reasons you aren't using Adventure Engine yet.
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New Functionality at Adventure Engine - Advanced Inventory Module
Inventory Module is now ready for use.
If you need to track "inventory" like rooms, vehicles, rafts/snowcats and other items you use to run your trips Adventure Engine now offers an advanced inventory module.
This program allows you to assign pieces of your inventory to different trips, as seats of the inventory are booked availability is affected on all trips using that inventory item. You can also transfer clients from one inventory item to another and trip availability adjusts automatically.Includes availability calendar, reporting and online sales for the inventory items. Email us for a demo
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Tip for June
Adventureengine recently presented on the keynote panel at the Online Tourism Revealed National Conference and here is a good statistical bite for our Canadian Operators.

This supports our message - if your trips are not online they may as well not exist.

According to a recent survey for Yahoo! Canada, over 90 per cent of Canadian travel consumers use online resources to learn, explore and book travel. In fact, the survey found that Canadian travellers are more likely to use search engines when planning trips than consulting family or friends.
Click for the reference
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Inventory Management

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RSAG Publishes MultiChannel Fulfillment Report

By Ernie Schell(Ernie Schell)
Emerging Best Practices: Inventory Management Cross-Channel Order Fulfillment Is Still Immature Retailers Tackle the Hardest Things First SECTION IV: Organizational Barriers Technology and Cultural Issues Hamstring Multi-Channel ...


This 25-page report is definitely worthwhile (though a bit discouraging on the challenged state of the art) for anyone interested in both the technologies and operations of multi-channel commerce.

To get a copy, visit the RSAG Website; the link is at the top of the right-hand column, "Industry Research."

Table of Contents
Executive Summary
SECTION I: Overview
Why the Study Was Conducted
Survey Respondent Characteristics
SECTION II: The Business Challenge
Retailers Struggle With Customer Service and Channel Synergies
Retail Winners Track Changing Consumer Behavior
Experienced Multi-Channel Retailers Value Channel Synergy
The Cross-Channel Window Gets Smaller Every Day
SECTION III: Opportunities
"Multi-Channel" Means a Lot of Different Things
Little Movement between Channels, Even As Maturity Grows
Retailers Focus On Efficiency and Customer Service Opportunities
Customer Service Options Remain Sparse
Emerging Best Practices: Fulfillment Methods
Emerging Best Practices: Inventory Management
Cross-Channel Order Fulfillment Is Still Immature
Retailers Tackle the Hardest Things First
SECTION IV: Organizational Barriers
Technology and Cultural Issues Hamstring Multi-Channel Fufillment
Overcoming Organizational Inhibitors: Contradictions Abound
Figure Out the Org Structure First
SECTION V: Technology Enablers
Top Technology Enablers: Inventory and Order Management
Kiosks Not Considered "Multi-channel"
Experienced Multi-Channel Retailers Use More Technology
Technology Adoption: The Advantage and the Curse
SECTION VI: "Bootstrap" Recommendations
Multi-Channel Fulfillment Follows a Learning Curve
Establishing A New Channel
Maturing the Secondary Channel
Driving Synergy across Channels
A Note on Mobility
Appendix: Methodology
Methodology
Defining Retail Winners
Report Sponsors

Inventory Management

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Maximizer, Aspire and Sage, SafeHarbor, INova, Lagan and Macfarlane

By ggalitzine
Combining accounting, ERP, CRM, eCommerce and inventory management into one online application is a traditional feature of NetSuite products. NetSuite competes against mid-market systems such as Microsoft Great Plains, SAP Business One ...

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The New York Dolls’ surprisingly good “reunion” album, One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This:

Maximizer Software, a vendor of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, has announced that West Coast Environmental Law, a not-for-profit law organization, is using Maximizer CRM in a not-for-profit setting.

The organization, which analyzes environmental law, is using Maximizer to manage day-to-day client relations as well as relationships with donors.

Based in Vancouver, West Coast Environmental Law a legal advocacy firm providing their expertise free of charge to those involved in legal matters that affect the environment. As a not-for-profit organization, West Coast Environmental Law needs to serve its group of legal advice clients as well as manage relationships with its financial backers whose donations fund the organization’s programs.

“With very modest resources to devote to information technology,” firm officials said, the organization “required an easy-to-use client and donor relationship management system that could be quickly customized to support its specific requirements.”

“Not-for-profit organizations have many of the same challenges as their corporate peers without the financial and human resources to meet those challenges,” noted Peter Callaghan, Chief Sales Officer, Maximizer Software.


Aspire Technologies, a vendor of sales quoting software products for the global small and midmarkets, has announced its partnership with Sage Software’s Small Business Division as a recognized third party add-on for Peachtree Accounting editions.

The partnership represents the first quoting product to be recognized and listed as a Peachtree 3rd Party Add-on Solution.

Integrated with Peachtree since 1999, QuoteWerks integrates with Peachtree Accounting’s Complete Accounting, Complete Accounting Plus Time & Billing, Peachtree Accounting, Premium Accounting, and Quantum products.

The QuoteWerks Peachtree link is designed to send orders into the user’s Peachtree accounting software. “Only orders are exported to Peachtree, so the user’s accounting software does not become cluttered with dead quotes and prospects,” explains John C. Lewe, IV, President of Aspire Technologies and architect of the QuoteWerks link to Peachtree. “A business can use the QuoteWerks Peachtree link to eliminate double entry and the associated errors.”


SafeHarbor Technology Corporation won a Stevie Award for Best Overall Company and was recognized during the 2007 American Business Awards recently. This award brings the total to 16, of industry honors and recognition that the CRM vendor has received.

Hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” (New York Post, April 27, 2005), The American Business Awards are described by SafeHarbor officials as “the only national, all-encompassing awards program honoring great performances in business.”

Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word “crowned,” the awards were presented during ceremonies at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The ceremonies were hosted by Larry Wilmore of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, videocast live on the Internet, and broadcast nationwide on radio.

SafeHarbor officials describe their business as “moving customer service to the Web,” saying the company’s SmartSupport product is designed to “help clients develop a culture of customer self-service through technology and business practices.”


INova Pharmaceuticals (Australia) has signed with CRM vendor NetSuite distributor NetReturn to supply and implement NetSuite in five of their regional branch offices.

The offices are located in Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Combining accounting, ERP, CRM, eCommerce and inventory management into one online application is a traditional feature of NetSuite products.

NetSuite competes against mid-market systems such as Microsoft Great Plains, SAP Business One and Sage AccPac, emphasizing its “complete front-office to back-office integration” and “lower total cost of ownership,” according to company officials.

INova will use NetSuite to manage expenditure and accounting across the regions. INova will go live with NetSuite at the start of the financial year, 1st July, 2007 after disabling the present 3M infrastructure on the 30th June, 2007.

INova was formerly known as 3M Pharmaceuticals. The re-branding took place in April of this year, after Australian private equity firms Archer Capital and Ironbridge Capital acquired 3M’s pharmaceuticals business in the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions in November 2006.

iNova Pharmaceuticals develops and markets a range of over-the-counter and prescription medicines to Australasia, Asia-Pacific, South Africa and other international markets directly and also through other pharmaceutical companies and agents.


Sevenoaks District Council is improving services to its 109,000 citizens with a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product from Lagan integrated with a contact center supplied by Macfarlane Telesystems.

The combined system is intended to “streamline efficiency and improve customer interaction as well as support Sevenoaks’ strategic plan to expand the range of services it currently provides,” according to municipality officials, who say the system has already raised the number of citizen enquiries resolved on first point of contact from 55 percent to 69.9 percent.

The installation makes use of integration between Lagan’s CRM software and Macfarlane Telesystems’ CallPlus contact center software. The two products have been integrated for Sevenoaks District Council at the Agent Desktop via an integrated screenphone that ensures Customer Service Representatives can view information residing on disparate systems in an integrated way.

This enables CSRs to deal faster and more easily with enquiries, and also handle multiple enquiries on a single call — thereby improving efficiency and delivering a more professional service.

The Lagan/Macfarlane product is already live for services at Sevenoaks District Council including street scene, community development and environmental services.

Brian Hatt, Customer Services Manager at Sevenoaks District Council, said the CRM and contact center product “has already delivered tangible benefits and is helping us achieve our vision of meeting Government targets of 80 percent call resolution.”

Inventory Management

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Industry's first RFID Smart Cabinet for Folded Garments unveiled

By Gautam
It has a patented 3D antenna design and guarantees hundred percent read rate for reliable inventory management. Using it one can scale hundred to five hundred items for matching facility growth. It'sa secure system which requires ...

Here comes the industry’s first RFID Smart Cabinet for Folded Garments from Tagsys. Dubbed as SC400, it is an innovative smart cabinet for medical facilities and laundries. The company is labeling it as the industry’s first RFID enabled dispenser aimed at folded garments. Laundries and medical facilities will be able to trace their items throughout the supply chain.

It has a patented 3D antenna design and guarantees hundred percent read rate for reliable inventory management. Using it one can scale hundred to five hundred items for matching facility growth. It’s a secure system which requires identification of users using batches unlocking only appropriate compartments.

Inventory Management

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Sockeye Takes on Inbound, Outbound Supply Chain Management with ...

Supply & Demand Chain Executive - Gilbert,AZ,USA
... 2007 -- Sockeye Supply Chain has rolled out its Allegro Suite with
modules for inbound and outbound supply chain management, inventory
management, ...

Cupertino, CA — June 13, 2007 — Sockeye Supply Chain has rolled out its Allegro Suite with modules for inbound and outbound supply chain management, inventory management, demand management and supply chain event management.

The new Allegro Suite provides enterprises with a range of supply chain management capabilities, including features to enable collaboration and inventory visibility, according to Sockeye Supply Chain, formerly known as Sockeye Solutions.

"To compete in today's global markets, businesses are outsourcing operations in an effort to reduce costs, increase supply and reach new markets," said Brian Nickerson, CEO of Sockeye Supply Chain. "To realize the potential benefits of this strategy, enterprises need to improve information flow and accelerate decision making across the extended supply chain. The new Allegro Suite helps companies fulfill the next step in creating an efficient global supply chain by providing solutions that enable end-to-end visibility and collaboration with trading partners."

SOA Approach

The Allegro Suite is built and deployed on the Collaborative Application Framework (CAF), a service oriented architecture (SOA) platform designed to deliver applications that address customer's unique business needs. Sockeye said its approach allows companies to implement and deploy new applications rapidly and reconfigure the applications as business requirements evolve. "The Allegro Suite allows Sockeye's customers to quickly adapt to change and solve problems fast at a lower cost," the company said in announcing the new solution.

A supply chain event management solution, known as Allegro SCEM, is included within the suite. This feature allows enterprises to set a number of time-critical synchronization processes using real-time supply chain events, alert notification and problem ticketing. "SCEM enables businesses to immediately act on a supply or demand problem to better manage inventory levels," Sockeye said.

The Allegro Suite works in a multi-enterprise, multi-system and multi-language environment with a flexible architecture, making it a suitable solution for the most complex supply chain needs, according to Sockeye. The suite's modules can be combined and configured to support a range of customized requirements and solve real-world problems with supply chain collaboration, the solution provider said.

Inbound, Outbound and Beyond

The modules include:

Allegro Inbound — Sockeye's inbound supply chain planning module is focused on providing visibility and decision support to manage the replenishment of parts inventory from suppliers to manufacturers. It includes a dynamic replenishment feature that allows for the co-management of inventory levels by the supplier and manufacturer to dynamically address any inventory level discrepancies in real-time. Additionally, the module supports multiple replenishment methods based on the supplier/buyer relationship (e.g., strategic vs. non-strategic) and whether the part is critical/constrained or non-strategic.

Allegro Outbound — Sockeye's outbound supply chain planning module is focused on the planning and monitoring of finished goods inventory movement through the outbound supply chain. For operations planning, the outbound module allows creation of constraint-based production and shipment plans to synchronize supply and demand. For execution, the module provides the visibility and decision support to monitor and resolve problems caused by day-to-day disruptions to production, shipment and inventory plans, Sockeye said.

Allegro Inventory Management — Sockeye's inventory management module enables enterprises to generate inventory targets for any location in the inbound or outbound supply chain. The module supports multiple methods of generating inventory targets to support items in different stages of their lifecycle and different inventory management strategies.

Allegro Demand Management — Sockeye's demand management solution enables enterprises to generate forecasts for finished goods. The forecasts are used to drive operational planning of the outbound supply chain. The module also supports consensus forecasting to promote alignment between sales and operations.

Allegro SCEM — Sockeye said its supply chain event management (SCEM) module is a very flexible tool for addressing a wide range of time critical synchronization problems using real-time supply chain events, alert notification and problem ticketing.

Inventory Management

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links for 2007-06-12

By linkposter
Sun Introduces New Offering To Simplify IT Inventory Management. (tags: sunw connection assetmgmt consulted saas redmonkclients). The CMDB Federation lumbers on. The IT Skeptic brings us up to date on the CMDB federation project. ...

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SAP to offer hosted Business One in India
(tags: sap smb india redmonkclients a1s)
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IBM sings Jazz tune for app development
IBM Rational Team Concert.
(tags: jazz rsdc2007 ibm redmonkclients agile ide eclipse alm alm2.0)
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Global Development and Delivery in Practice: Experiences of the IBM Rational India Lab
RedMonk from IBM Bangalore on global development practices.
(tags: globo india bangalore prjmgmt peopleware programming ibm)
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Adobe Apollo becomes AIR
“Apollo” now called “Adobe Integrated Runtime,” or “AIR.”
(tags: adobe apollo air ria redmonkclients brand)
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VMWare offers Windows-on-Mac tool at half price
(tags: vmware osx apple fusion virtualization)
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First Data Completes Acquisition of FundsXpress
(tags: m&a fundsxpress austin firstdata onlinebanking)
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“Where do I download OpenSolaris”?
Project Indiana is good petri dish for closed source projects going open source to watch. Someone want to record a podcast about it?
(tags: opensolaris indiana opensource solaris community)
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Interview with Antlr 3.0 author Terence Parr
Looks like DSLs could be popping up again…
(tags: antlr parser dsl jboss java via:dehora)
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Basic Keyframing in Final Cut Express
(tags: finalcut video keyframes osx apple)
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Apple’s iPhone open to software developers
(tags: iphone wwdc apple safari leopard)
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Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote
(tags: phone apple wwdc osx keynotes setvejobs leopard)
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Iona adds components to Artix SOA suite
(tags: artix iona redmonklclients esb middleware java)
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Sun Introduces New Offering To Simplify IT Inventory Management
(tags: sunw connection assetmgmt consulted saas redmonkclients)
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The CMDB Federation lumbers on
The IT Skeptic brings us up to date on the CMDB federation project.
(tags: cmdb federation itmanagement standards)
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ITIL Version 3
The IT skeptic’s evolving page on what he’s found out about ITILv3. Too bad this stuff is still pay-ware. Weird standard there…
(tags: itilv3 itil itmanagement)
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Announcing the Hyperic VMware Appliance
Great! Now I just need to clear off more disk space on the MacBookPro…
(tags: hyperic virtualization vmware sysmgmt little4)
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Ted On Flex: Flex 3 - Wednesday: Components and SDK Enhancements
Check out the Deep Link part which more closely binds the anchor of a URL to Flex. Hopefully that will make Flex feel more webby. We’ll see.
(tags: flex adobe urls web flash)
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Zenoss 2.0 Is Here
New version of Zenoss out: new UI, Linux-native WMI (SEXY! HOT!), and much more.
(tags: little4 redmonkclients sysmgmt itmanagement zenoss opensource wmi)
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That Convoluted Marketing Romance: On Divine Delusion, or Revisiting the Pythia
The original Oracle.
(tags: oracle greek myth books)
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BT Acquires TiddlyWiki, Name Change Imminent
…to start BT Open Source stuff.
(tags: bt opensource tidlywiki m&a wikis)
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The Ignorance of Crowds
‘Now that we’ve arrived at the 10th anniversary of the first appearance of “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” it seems like an opportune moment to take a closer look at both the benefits and the limitations of peer production as a means of business inn
(tags: carr opensource crowdsourcing)
Inventory Management

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The Seven Secrets to Drop-Ship Success

By Erik
It may be worth the effort to have a consultant create a small application to import the supplier's stock quantity information into your own inventory management application. Examine your return policy. Make sure that your return policy ...

We don’t always recommend drop-shipping to our community. In fact, we recently provided compelling reasons why selling drop-ship products from a single supplier on EBay was a poor retailing strategy. However, don’t throw the drop-ship baby out with the low margin bath water. A well managed drop-ship strategy can do wonders for your business by increasing your product selection without increasing your inventory investment. You can develop a great drop-ship program by following our tips for drop-ship success.

Remember the RetailBlazer formula for success? Here’s a refresher:

Success = Community + Expertise + Relationships + Branding

It should not come as a surprise to learn that relationships are the most important aspect of a good drop-ship program. The first step in selling drop-shipped products is finding a supplier. There is no shortage of companies that claim to be drop-shippers. Unfortunately, most of these companies are glorified retailers. You won’t get good pricing, you won’t get good service, you won’t get good products. Finding suppliers is hard, right? Not anymore! ProductBlazer puts over 27,000 wholesale suppliers and manufacturers at your fingertips. Here’s a list of twenty drop-ship suppliers to get you started.

1. Understand how drop-shipping is different.

This may seem obvious. The main difference is that you, as retailer, don’t have the product you are selling in inventory–the supplier does. But from your customer’s perspective there should be no, or very little, difference. If your customer contacts you with a question about the product you will need to be able to answer the question without having the physical product on hand. “I’ll call my supplier” isn’t a good answer for customer inquiries!
2. Accept that drop-ship does not equal unlimited supply.

This is one of the biggest “gotchas!” for retailers selling drop-ship products. Just because you are not managing inventory does not mean that no one has to manage inventory. The supplier you are buying from is selling the same products to other retailers. Talk to your account manager and understand the supplier’s backorder policy. Make sure that if your primary supplier is out of stock you will have the ability to shop the order to other suppliers, rather than passing the backorder back to your customer.
3. Start with a single product line.

Walk before you run. Select a single line of products, or even a single SKU, and begin your drop-ship career by selling only those products. It is practically guaranteed that you will encounter hiccups that you had not anticipated–better to start slow, learn the ropes, and then expand your drop-shipping. In a year you may never have to manage inventory again!
4. Establish strong relationships with suppliers.

This is a running theme for the team at ProductBlazer. As a retailer you are only as good as your supplier relationships. It is worth spending the time to get on the phone and introduce yourself to your suppliers. Let the account manager know what you want to sell, your expected volume, and what you are doing to build your business. B2B relationships are a two-way street. All suppliers will check your credit before they start accepting your orders–accept that, and be ready for it.
5. Understand how the supplier communicates price and quantity information.

The best way to avoid backorders is to only sell products that you can actually supply to the customer. It sounds simple, but digesting stock quantity information from your suppliers can be a chore if you don’t have the right information systems in place. All high-volume suppliers will provide you with an electronic file that provides a snapshot of their inventory positions. Some will provide information daily, others hourly, and only rarely in real-time. It may be worth the effort to have a consultant create a small application to import the supplier’s stock quantity information into your own inventory management application.
6. Examine your return policy.

Make sure that your return policy is compatible with the supplier’s return policy. You may find that some suppliers will not accept returns for products they sell through drop-shipping. You need to fully understand the supplier’s reseller agreement before you start sending them orders.
7. Check for pricing changes every day.

Unless you were able to negotiate a custom reseller agreement you need to check for pricing changes every day. The supplier will probably communicate these changes to you along with stock quantity information for all of the products the supplier sells–not just the products that you sell. If there are positive or negative price adjustments you need to know as soon as possible, as you may need to adjust your own retail price for the product.

Drop-shipping isn’t rocket science, but it takes effort to get right. The most important thing is to establish strong supplier relationships. Get started today by using ProductBlazer to find new wholesale suppliers!

Inventory Management

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Inventory Management Made Easy Posted By : Kingston J. Amadan

Depending on the organizational structure of a business, inventory management can be a complicated endeavor. Many businesses require updated inventory figures to be available to not only sales and ordering personnel, but accounting, ...

Depending on the organizational structure of a business, inventory management can be a complicated endeavor. Many businesses require updated inventory figures to be available to not only sales and ordering personnel, but accounting, management and logistics departments as well. When inventory can’t be reconciled companywide, it makes keeping accurate accounts of sales figures, stock levels and availability extremely difficult.

Thankfully, there are several software applications on the market that make keeping track of inventory easy, though not all inventory management solutions are created equally. More recent offerings are designed to allow real time automated adjustment of stock levels to reach multiple departments, providing up to the minute information everywhere it’s needed.

Inventory Management

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Implications of Self-, Outsourced- and OEM-Hosting

By Fred Chong
For instance, if the application is an inventory management SaaS application, business intelligence about best selling products of the month and supply forecasting data can be derived by doing trend analysis on the stored data. ...

The last couple of month I've been talking to many software vendors in China and Singapore and the topic of SaaS hosting is a recurring pain point highlighted by those I met.

More often than not, my attempt to reassure them that my architecture team in Redmond is now feverishly working on SaaS hosting architecture guidance does not seem to appease their anxieties and concerns. (My previous post here described the high level architecture capabilities of a SaaS hosting platform.) I can understand their phlegmatic reactions - hosting is not a core competency for most software vendors and it is no wonder that they are looking for alternatives other than the laborious option of building their own operational capability.

Generally speaking, SaaS providers may consider the following hosting solutions (which can also be thought of as a continuum of options. If you've been following my posts you should now conclude that I really like the continuum way of representing architecture decisions) :

* Software vendor self host and manage their own operational environment
* Software vendor partially or entirely outsource hosting to 3rd party hosters
* Software vendor OEM and license software to 3rd party hosting partners

The right end spectrum of the continuum represents a software vendor's decision to self-host and manage its entire operational infrastructure. The other opposite end of the same continuum represents the decision to OEM and license the SaaS solution to business partners who not only take ownership of the operational responsibilities, but also own the customer relationships with the application tenants. The points between the two ends of the continuum represent decisions to outsource one or more components of the hosting infrastructure to third party hosters. For instance, a software vendor could decide to self host and operate everything except for the billing system which it outsource to a billing solution provider.

For the rest of this post, I want to share some thoughts on the technical and business implications brought about by the above hosting decisions.When software vendors self-host, they (willingly or unwillingly) become the trusted custodian of their customers' data. The customer data include actual business data as well as workflows and business rules that are configured to run the customers' business processes. The software vendor is (legally and contractually) responsible for the "well being" of the hosted customer data.

Frequently, the self-hosting software vendor is actually sitting on a gold mine of information - lots of valuable business knowledge can be mined from analyzing the stored data. For instance, if the application is an inventory management SaaS application, business intelligence about best selling products of the month and supply forecasting data can be derived by doing trend analysis on the stored data. Therefore, having access to customer's data allow the software vendor to offer valua-add services and information back to the tenants, potentially for additional fee.

Technically, it may also be possible for the software vendor to perform cross section analysis of all the tenants' data in order to generalize business practices used by the clients. For instance, a CRM software vendor may be able to analyse and derive from all the configured workflows, patterns of sales processes with the shortest sales closing period. Such knowledge may then be used in business practices classes offered by the software vendor. Of course, such usage of customer data remains a controversial topic as many tenants will be nervous about their trade secrets being published as best practices.

Publication and resale of identifiable private data obviously violates legal regulations and privacy laws. However, it is debateable if derivation of business knowledge by SaaS software vendor should be permitted, especially if the mining process is non-trivial and involves analyzing large samples of data. Perhaps we will see more intellectual property protection discussions around this topic when SaaS adopters see their business practices being "popularized" through their service providers. For those who are skeptical about such practices, let me remind you that the financial industry has been capitalizing on customer data and behavior for a long time. (Next time you take a class on stock market trading from an ex-broker, guess where he learned all his best dog tricks.)

The second hosting model frees the software vendor from having to build and operate all or part of the SaaS hosting infrastructure themselves. In most third party hosting agreements, the software vendor would still maintain access rights to their tenants' data, so there should be little contractual restriction limiting the software vendor from pursueing the business ideas mentioned above. Practically speaking, since the hosting is outsourced to third party, there may be technical barriers that needs to be taken care of before the software vendor can have timely access to their customers' data. For instance, the hosting provider may limit when hosted data can be bulk replicated to a data warehouse. This is because the hoster needs to consider the network bandwidth impact on other hosted software vendors when massive amount of (replication) data is being transmitted over the networks.

The third hosting model actually involves a major shift in the software vendor's business model. In this model, the software vendor provides the solution to their hosting partners who host and resell the solution through licensing and OEM agreement with the software vendor. Profit made is often split in varying proportions between the software vendor and the hosting partner. A key implication here concerns the software vendor's access (more accurately, potential lack of access) to the tenant data. In many OEM arrangements, the custody of the customer data belongs to the partner hosters. Obviously this shift of responsibility comes with benefits and downside for the software vendor. While the software vendor is no longer responsible for the operational availability, integrity and security of the tenants' business data, the vendor is also giving up potential opportunities to monetize on those data assets.

In addition to value added services that could otherwise be provided, the software vendor may also be foregoing a channel of knowledge about the application usage and users' behavior, both of which can be accurately obtained through the operational environment. Furthermore, successful Websites often trial test new features by deploying and making pre-released features available publicly on the Internet. Without an operational environment, the software vendor will have to find partner hosters who will stage and trial run its alpha and beta release features.

Although this post may read like I'm trying to convince you that you should be self-hosting, be assured that this is not my intent. There is really no absolute right or wrong hosting model. What's important is that you as a software vendor understands the price and reward that comes with your hosting decisions.

It seems like a lot of good things in this world are bitter-sweet, and now that you are aware of the implications, you'll have to accept that the after taste of your SaaS hosting decision is no exception.

Inventory Management

Labels:

LXer: Sun Introduces New Offering to Simplify IT Inventory Management

Forum: Syndicated Linux News Posted By: LXer Post Time: 06-11-2007 at 10:16 PM.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced the immediate availability of the Sun Connection Inventory Channel, a new, free offering for Sun customers that allows system administrators and IT operators to quickly and easily discover, organize and report on their IT assets. The first inventory management solution to deliver one-click discovery across systems running the Solaris Operating System (OS) and Linux, Sun Connection Inventory Channel enables customers to actively manage their IT assets and gain valuable insight into their IT operations by tracking critical information including product type, product version, licensing and registration status and support contract ID number.

"Sun is continuing to expand its offerings to help customers more efficiently manage their data centers," said Steve Wilson, vice president of Connected Systems, Sun Microsystems. "The Sun Connection Inventory Channel provides a simple, powerful way for customers to track, sort, search and group their IT assets and support contracts. Ultimately, by automating the process, customers are able to easily understand their assets and make better informed IT decisions for the future."

Many IT administrators have complex management mechanisms in place to benchmark the health and performance of their IT operations, but often do not have a single view of what software, systems and storage they have and where these assets are running. While some solutions offer partial automation, keeping track of inventory, managing new additions and tracking removals is difficult, error prone and often requires manual processing.

Sun Connection Inventory Channel provides a unified view of hardware and software assets via a dynamic Web-based user interface. Customers can quickly search through thousands of assets based on a combination of search criteria including host name, product type, product version, support contract ID number and custom, user-defined asset tags.

The Sun Connection Inventory Channel complements the existing Sun Connection Update and Provisioning Channels by providing a lightweight and cost-effective asset management solution on a heterogeneous platform. The Sun Connection Update Channel provides central patch management capabilities on multiple operating platforms. The Provisioning Channel allows customers to perform provisioning tasks such as copy and paste of existing system deployments to new systems running the Solaris OS, Red Hat or SUSE Linux. For more information about Sun Connection, please visit: http://www.sun.com/sunconnection

The Sun Connection Inventory Channel is available free to all customers, whether an enterprise has purchased a high-end UltraSPARC(R)-based server or a start-up has downloaded the Solaris OS for free. Access to the new channel is available at: http://sunconnection.sun.com/inventory

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

A singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer"(TM) -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world's most important markets. Sun's philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at http://www.sun.com.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Dealer.com Launches Fully Automated Website Solutions for ...

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
... through the ControlCenter(tm) Inventory Management Tool, which allows
simple editing control to upload new vehicles, change photos and vehicle
options. ...

BURLINGTON, Vt.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dealer.com, a leading provider of online marketing solutions for the automotive industry, today announced that it has developed a website solution that will help independent auto dealers drive more sales traffic through the use of a powerful inventory marketing website that is fully integrated with national shopping sites and search engines such a Google, making them more competitive in the marketplace. The new product, CyberCarLot™ is an affordable and easy-to-use inventory marketing website solution for independent dealers that can automatically publish the dealer’s inventory to any or all of up to 60 nationally leading vehicle shopping websites.

CyberCarLot™ allows dealers to market their entire inventory for only $50 per month allowing these dealers to reach thousands of potential customers online. Research shows that 80 percent of car shoppers look online prior to ever stepping foot on a dealer’s lot. Independent dealers can now compete online with CyberCarLot’s™ easy inventory upload of actual vehicle photos allowing the buyer to compare cars and options. Independent dealers can include an online payment calculator and the ability for the potential buyer to request more information or even make an offer online.

With CyberCarLot™, Dealer.com has ensured that independent dealers will have the ability to easily manage their website through the ControlCenter™ Inventory Management Tool, which allows simple editing control to upload new vehicles, change photos and vehicle options. Additionally, all requests can be managed through ControlCenter™, a system that ensures the dealer can manage all inbound leads. The statistics package is also available and allows dealers to recognize customers, streamline their leads and invest marketing dollars into the advertising areas with the most return on investment. Dealers can also upgrade the CyberCarLot™ with several available features including CarFinder™, a tool that will follow up and send photos and details on new arrivals to customers that are on the dealer’s waiting list on the website. Additionally dealers have the option to get unlimited support from Dealer.com’s leading support team.

“This is a product that independent dealers have been asking for and we have taken it a step further by making it the most powerful and most affordable website solution on the market for these dealers,” said Mark Bonfigli, president and CEO of Dealer.com. “CyberCarLot™ allows these dealers to reach their customers online, and generate new customers that they would have never had access to before.”

Dealers using CyberCarLot™ will also have the benefit of their vehicles being posted to Basic Listings on Autotrader.com as well as inventory integration through Google where more consumers are going every day. Dealer.com also provides unlimited training and support at no cost for most website solutions offered. CyberCarLot™ is available now to all independent auto dealers at http://preowned.dealer.com.

About Dealer.com:

Founded in Burlington, VT in 1997, Dealer.com is a leading provider of online marketing solutions for the automotive industry. The company offers the only fully-integrated web-based closed-loop marketing platform that measures the effectiveness of every marketing program while tracking responses, and respondents, from exposure to closure. The platform includes NADA award-winning automotive dealer websites, user-friendly lead management tools, the most proven local search engine advertising solutions available, and unparalleled metrics and web analytics. Dealer.com is the only company to truly revolutionize the online marketing and sales effectiveness for auto dealers with an unmatched level of speed, precision and ease-of-use. For more information, please visit www.dealer.com or call 888-894-8989.

Inventory Management

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Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company Weighs In and Selects ...

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
Improve product forecasting, production planning and inventory management
to reduce lead times, streamline inventory, and increase production
velocity. ...

After Years as “Top Five” Vendor, Intuitive ERP Deemed “Best Value for Price” Based on Functionality Breadth and After-Sale Support

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Consona ERP, a leading provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and services for small and midsize discrete manufacturers, today announced that Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company—a Webb City, Mo.-based manufacturer of both large-capacity scales for the trucking, mining, and railroad industry, and smaller sized scales for the healthcare and food service industries—selected Intuitive ERP as its enterprise-wide business system after a thorough vendor analysis that spanned several years.

Although most manufacturers do not dedicate the same length of time to evaluate ERP solutions, Larry Hicks, vice president of operations for Cardinal Scale, stated that the company’s selection process was purposefully drawn out. “We had been using an MRP solution that was implemented in the ‘80s,” he said. “Over the years, we have created so many disparate systems to manage the business, residing in servers and workstations throughout the company. We took our time because we knew the decision would be critical to the future of our business, and we wanted to wait until the vendor, budget and timing lined up.”

Although the selection process might have been measured, Cardinal Scale’s implementation of Intuitive ERP will be accelerated. In addition to 125 concurrent user licenses, Cardinal Scale purchased Consona ERP’s full-service implementation methodology, where an expanded Consona implementation team performs the entire project management portion of the implementation process to guarantee success. “We wanted to ensure a smooth transition from our existing system to the Intuitive system by taking advantage of Consona’s experienced consultants and developers,” said Hicks. “As a result, we’ll have our people focused on the important task of data conversion and fully learning the system’s .NET architecture and functionality.”

According to Hicks, Intuitive ERP remained in Cardinal Scale’s “top five” over the years because it was clearly a comprehensive, completely integrated ERP system. However, Hicks said it was the people of Consona ERP that ultimately made the difference. “As we investigated further, we found their squad—from the sales and support staff to the management and consulting teams—to be first-class in every way. Strong service and support after the sale, combined with Intuitive ERP’s complete line of modules, provided the best value for the price.”

Hick said that he and the Cardinal Scale and Consona teams will accomplish a number of objectives as part of the implementation:

* Obtain a complete view of customer needs, from contact with regional sales managers to inside sales staff to service to technical support.
* Improve product forecasting, production planning and inventory management to reduce lead times, streamline inventory, and increase production velocity.
* Better equip supervisors and schedulers by automating shop floor data collection and moving from a batch system to real-time data availability.
* Consolidate all disparate systems, data and files within the 100 percent Microsoft .NET Intuitive product and take advantage of its seamless integration with Microsoft products like Word and Excel.
* Prepare the business for its continued international expansion by rolling out Intuitive ERP’s multi-currency and multi-warehouse functionality.

According to Hicks, Cardinal Scale will implement the core functionality in Intuitive ERP Version 8.1, along with several key add-on features, including the customer relationship management module and a Web-based customer portal; an EDI integration that will automate data and file exchange between Cardinal Scale and its suppliers and customers; financial and forecasting analysis tools, as well as a reporting wizard and an enterprise-wide dashboard feature; Intuitive’s new Shop Floor Manager module; and statistical process control, HR, and payroll modules.

“We consider this purchase the start of a long partnership,” added Hicks. “We are looking forward to gaining additional insight and suggestions from the Consona team during our implementation process.”

About Consona Corporation and Intuitive ERP

Consona Corporation (Consona, formerly known as M2M Holdings, Inc.) is a worldwide leader in providing customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and services to the enterprise. The Consona ERP business unit includes two leading products that enable over 2,500 customers to continuously improve their business processes. Intuitive ERP is a comprehensive software application built using 100 percent Microsoft .NET technology that helps manufacturers with mixed-mode production processes integrate every aspect of their business around a single, enterprise-wide system. Intuitive ERP offers functionality that meets the unique market specifications of more than 30 manufacturing industries, including industrial and commercial machinery, rubber and plastics, electronics, transportation equipment, measuring and controlling devices, furniture and fixtures, fabricated metals, and durable goods.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Nokia asks Texas court to stop Qualcomm's unauthorized use of ...

By Maximus(Maximus)
... safety, security and timely delivery of our products and solutions; 12) inventory management risks resulting from shifts in market demand; 13) our ability to source quality components and sub-assemblies without interruption and at ...

Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced it has filed patent counter assertions against Qualcomm in the Eastern District of Texas Court. The filing relates to Qualcomm's unauthorized use of 6 Nokia implementation patents in its MediaFLO and BREW businesses. Qualcomm has in previous litigation sought injunctions against Nokia and therefore in this case Nokia is seeking both damages and injunctive relief.

"Nokia has a strong history of innovation in IP broadcast television and mobile download environments predating Qualcomm's activities," said Tero Ojanperä, chief technology officer, Nokia. "This is another example where Qualcomm has effectively copied Nokia's innovations. We believe that, for MediaFLO to evolve and for BREW to remain viable, Qualcomm needs access to these and many other patented Nokia inventions."

Nokia patents are at the core of MediaFLO and BREW technologies, for example in ensuring the broadcast quality of service within MediaFLO and in enabling the download of applications with BREW. Nokia has also recently declared another set of patents to the Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) as essential for the FLO air interface used in MediaFLO.

Nokia has built one of the strongest and broadest IPR portfolios in the wireless industry over the last 15 years through extensive investments in research and development. Nokia will continue to vigorously defend itself against the infringement and unauthorized use of its intellectual property.

Nokia's patent counter assertions are part of its response to the Qualcomm lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Texas, on 2 April, 2007. In that lawsuit Qualcomm's three patents-in-suit allegedly involve certain types of mobile software download and execution environments. Nokia is confident that the Qualcomm patents are invalid, for example, based on the alleged inventions having been patented or published by other companies, including Nokia, before Qualcomm. In addition, Nokia believes its products do not infringe any of the patents.

Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile devices and provides people with experiences in music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communications networks.


It should be noted that certain statements herein which are not historical facts, including, without limitation, those regarding: A) the timing of product and solution deliveries; B) our ability to develop, implement and commercialize new products, solutions and technologies; C) expectations regarding market growth, developments and structural changes; D) expectations regarding our mobile device volume growth, market share, prices and margins; E) expectations and targets for our results of operations; F) the outcome of pending and threatened litigation; and G) statements preceded by "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "foresee," "target," "estimate," "designed," "plans," "will" or similar expressions are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's best assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. Because they involve risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from the results that we currently expect. Factors that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to: 1) competitiveness of our product portfolio; 2) our ability to identify key market trends and to respond timely and successfully to the needs of our customers; 3) the extent of the growth of the mobile communications industry, as well as the growth and profitability of the new market segments within that industry which we target; 4) the availability of new products and services by network operators and other market participants; 5) our ability to successfully manage costs; 6) the intensity of competition in the mobile communications industry and our ability to maintain or improve our market position and respond successfully to changes in the competitive landscape; 7) the impact of changes in technology and our ability to develop or otherwise acquire complex technologies as required by the market, with full rights needed to use; 8) timely and successful commercialization of complex technologies as new advanced products and solutions; 9) our ability to protect the complex technologies, which we or others develop or that we license, from claims that we have infringed third parties' intellectual property rights, as well as our unrestricted use on commercially acceptable terms of certain technologies in our products and solution offerings; 10) our ability to protect numerous Nokia patented, standardized, or proprietary technologies from third party infringement or actions to invalidate the intellectual property rights of these technologies; 11) our ability to manage efficiently our manufacturing and logistics, as well as to ensure the quality, safety, security and timely delivery of our products and solutions; 12) inventory management risks resulting from shifts in market demand; 13) our ability to source quality components and sub-assemblies without interruption and at acceptable prices; 14) Nokia's and Siemens' ability to successfully integrate the operations, personnel and supporting activities of their respective businesses as a result of the merger of Nokia's networks business and Siemens' carrier-related operations for fixed and mobile networks forming Nokia Siemens Networks; 15) whether, as a result of investigations into alleged violations of law by some current or former employees of Siemens, government authorities or others take actions against Siemens and/or its employees that may involve and affect the carrier-related assets and employees transferred by Siemens to Nokia Siemens Networks, or there may be undetected additional violations that may have occurred prior to the transfer, or ongoing violations that may occur after the transfer, of such assets and employees that could result in additional actions by government authorities; 16) the expense, time, attention and resources of Nokia Siemens Networks and our management to detect, investigate and resolve any situations related to alleged violations of law involving the assets and employees of Siemens carrier-related operations transferred to Nokia Siemens Networks; 17) any impairment of Nokia Siemens Networks customer relationships resulting from the ongoing government investigations involving the Siemens carrier-related operations transferred to Nokia Siemens Networks; 18) developments under large, multi-year contracts or in relation to major customers; 19) general economic conditions globally and, in particular, economic or political turmoil in emerging market countries where we do business; 20) our success in collaboration arrangements relating to development of technologies or new products and solutions; 21) the success, financial condition and performance of our collaboration partners, suppliers and customers; 22) any disruption to information technology systems and networks that our operations rely on; 23) exchange rate fluctuations, including, in particular, fluctuations between the euro, which is our reporting currency, and the US dollar, the Chinese yuan, the UK pound sterling and the Japanese yen, as well as certain other currencies; 24) the management of our customer financing exposure; 25) allegations of possible health risks from electromagnetic fields generated by base stations and mobile devices and lawsuits related to them, regardless of merit; 26) unfavorable outcome of litigations; 27) our ability to recruit, retain and develop appropriately skilled employees; and 28) the impact of changes in government policies, laws or regulations; as well as the risk factors specified on pages 12-24 of the company's annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2006 under "Item 3.D Risk Factors." Other unknown or unpredictable factors or underlying assumptions subsequently proving to be incorrect could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Nokia does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent legally required.

Labels:

Nokia asks Texas court to stop Qualcomm's unauthorized use of ...

By Maximus(Maximus)
... safety, security and timely delivery of our products and solutions; 12) inventory management risks resulting from shifts in market demand; 13) our ability to source quality components and sub-assemblies without interruption and at ...

Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced it has filed patent counter assertions against Qualcomm in the Eastern District of Texas Court. The filing relates to Qualcomm's unauthorized use of 6 Nokia implementation patents in its MediaFLO and BREW businesses. Qualcomm has in previous litigation sought injunctions against Nokia and therefore in this case Nokia is seeking both damages and injunctive relief.

"Nokia has a strong history of innovation in IP broadcast television and mobile download environments predating Qualcomm's activities," said Tero Ojanperä, chief technology officer, Nokia. "This is another example where Qualcomm has effectively copied Nokia's innovations. We believe that, for MediaFLO to evolve and for BREW to remain viable, Qualcomm needs access to these and many other patented Nokia inventions."

Nokia patents are at the core of MediaFLO and BREW technologies, for example in ensuring the broadcast quality of service within MediaFLO and in enabling the download of applications with BREW. Nokia has also recently declared another set of patents to the Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) as essential for the FLO air interface used in MediaFLO.

Nokia has built one of the strongest and broadest IPR portfolios in the wireless industry over the last 15 years through extensive investments in research and development. Nokia will continue to vigorously defend itself against the infringement and unauthorized use of its intellectual property.

Nokia's patent counter assertions are part of its response to the Qualcomm lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Texas, on 2 April, 2007. In that lawsuit Qualcomm's three patents-in-suit allegedly involve certain types of mobile software download and execution environments. Nokia is confident that the Qualcomm patents are invalid, for example, based on the alleged inventions having been patented or published by other companies, including Nokia, before Qualcomm. In addition, Nokia believes its products do not infringe any of the patents.

Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile devices and provides people with experiences in music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communications networks.


It should be noted that certain statements herein which are not historical facts, including, without limitation, those regarding: A) the timing of product and solution deliveries; B) our ability to develop, implement and commercialize new products, solutions and technologies; C) expectations regarding market growth, developments and structural changes; D) expectations regarding our mobile device volume growth, market share, prices and margins; E) expectations and targets for our results of operations; F) the outcome of pending and threatened litigation; and G) statements preceded by "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "foresee," "target," "estimate," "designed," "plans," "will" or similar expressions are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's best assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. Because they involve risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from the results that we currently expect. Factors that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to: 1) competitiveness of our product portfolio; 2) our ability to identify key market trends and to respond timely and successfully to the needs of our customers; 3) the extent of the growth of the mobile communications industry, as well as the growth and profitability of the new market segments within that industry which we target; 4) the availability of new products and services by network operators and other market participants; 5) our ability to successfully manage costs; 6) the intensity of competition in the mobile communications industry and our ability to maintain or improve our market position and respond successfully to changes in the competitive landscape; 7) the impact of changes in technology and our ability to develop or otherwise acquire complex technologies as required by the market, with full rights needed to use; 8) timely and successful commercialization of complex technologies as new advanced products and solutions; 9) our ability to protect the complex technologies, which we or others develop or that we license, from claims that we have infringed third parties' intellectual property rights, as well as our unrestricted use on commercially acceptable terms of certain technologies in our products and solution offerings; 10) our ability to protect numerous Nokia patented, standardized, or proprietary technologies from third party infringement or actions to invalidate the intellectual property rights of these technologies; 11) our ability to manage efficiently our manufacturing and logistics, as well as to ensure the quality, safety, security and timely delivery of our products and solutions; 12) inventory management risks resulting from shifts in market demand; 13) our ability to source quality components and sub-assemblies without interruption and at acceptable prices; 14) Nokia's and Siemens' ability to successfully integrate the operations, personnel and supporting activities of their respective businesses as a result of the merger of Nokia's networks business and Siemens' carrier-related operations for fixed and mobile networks forming Nokia Siemens Networks; 15) whether, as a result of investigations into alleged violations of law by some current or former employees of Siemens, government authorities or others take actions against Siemens and/or its employees that may involve and affect the carrier-related assets and employees transferred by Siemens to Nokia Siemens Networks, or there may be undetected additional violations that may have occurred prior to the transfer, or ongoing violations that may occur after the transfer, of such assets and employees that could result in additional actions by government authorities; 16) the expense, time, attention and resources of Nokia Siemens Networks and our management to detect, investigate and resolve any situations related to alleged violations of law involving the assets and employees of Siemens carrier-related operations transferred to Nokia Siemens Networks; 17) any impairment of Nokia Siemens Networks customer relationships resulting from the ongoing government investigations involving the Siemens carrier-related operations transferred to Nokia Siemens Networks; 18) developments under large, multi-year contracts or in relation to major customers; 19) general economic conditions globally and, in particular, economic or political turmoil in emerging market countries where we do business; 20) our success in collaboration arrangements relating to development of technologies or new products and solutions; 21) the success, financial condition and performance of our collaboration partners, suppliers and customers; 22) any disruption to information technology systems and networks that our operations rely on; 23) exchange rate fluctuations, including, in particular, fluctuations between the euro, which is our reporting currency, and the US dollar, the Chinese yuan, the UK pound sterling and the Japanese yen, as well as certain other currencies; 24) the management of our customer financing exposure; 25) allegations of possible health risks from electromagnetic fields generated by base stations and mobile devices and lawsuits related to them, regardless of merit; 26) unfavorable outcome of litigations; 27) our ability to recruit, retain and develop appropriately skilled employees; and 28) the impact of changes in government policies, laws or regulations; as well as the risk factors specified on pages 12-24 of the company's annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2006 under "Item 3.D Risk Factors." Other unknown or unpredictable factors or underlying assumptions subsequently proving to be incorrect could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Nokia does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent legally required.

Labels:

Sun Looks to Expand Service Offerings

A new inventory management feature offers IT managers a better means of tracking a data center's assets.

Sun Microsystems expects its latest service feature to be the answer for IT managers lost in their own data center.
ADVERTISEMENT

Dubbed Inventory Channel, the latest offering of Sun Connection Services, the Santa Clara, Calif., company's line of networked service offerings, is designed to inventory a data center's assets—physical and virtual—from a single console.

The inventory management tool, a free piece of SOA (service-oriented architecture) that Sun's customers can download through a secure Web portal, will work with a range of hypervisors, including VMware's products and virtualization technology built around the open-source Xen hypervisor. It is compatible with Sun's own Solaris operating system, Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise and Red Hat's Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Besides inventory management, the new feature also allows Sun to update customers on various patches, software upgrades and other hardware recommendations, said Steve Wilson, a vice president of Sun's Connection services. Customers can also use the management tool to order new hardware, software or check on service contracts with Sun.

In the past two years, Sun has looked to expand its data center services offerings to its customers. However, unlike such massive services arms as IBM's Global Services unit and Hewlett-Packard's HP Services group, Sun is looking to focus on its core experience with data centers and infrastructure.

linkSun is offering Intel and AMD blade servers. Click here to read more about it.

The inventory manager is designed to work in what Wilson called the "heterogeneous" data center, which contains a mixture of Sun's own UltraSPARC-based systems as well as x86 servers the company builds using a combination of Intel and Advanced Micro Devices processors.

eWEEK special report: New Directions in Systems Management

The management tool also has the ability to catalog non-Sun data center assets. For example, it will take note of a Dell server that is running a Linux operating system and catalog that system along with all the others. Although the current tool does not support Microsoft Windows, Wilson said Sun will include support for Windows in a later release.

linkClick here to read more Sun and NetBeans.

Wilson said Sun customers have been asking the company for better, easier ways to keep track of both physical and virtual assets in data centers that continue to grow at a persistent pace.

"Customers are asking us for better ways to track assets," Wilson said. "In a lot of ways, bar codes and clipboards don't cut it, especially when it's easier to move assets from place to place in a data center."

The Inventory Channel management tool is available to download starting June 11.

linkCheck out eWEEK.com's Infrastructure Center for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT)

By Rick(Rick)
We've certainly had an emphasis on inventory management. Our return on invested capital has continued to go up. In fact, over the past four years, we have been growing this metric at a compounded annual rate of a little over 40%, ...

This weekend's Wall Street Transcript (subscription required) features an interview with David Pugh, the CEO of Applied Industrial Technologies, (AIT)

This company has a long history dating back to 1923 and has been public since 1953. The company is a value-added distributor of industrial products, fluid power products and engineered products that keep manufacturing systems going. From what originally was a focus on maintenance and repair parts, the company has expanded into power transmission and fluid power products.

This has been an impressive company in terms of its continuous improvement in its basic blocking and tackling. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

The goal would be a continuous increase in return on invested capital. We want to make sure that all of our assets are working properly for us. To do that, we watch many things. We've had an emphasis on gross margins. We've had an emphasis on top-line growth. We've had an emphasis on getting more efficient with receivables. We've certainly had an emphasis on inventory management. Our return on invested capital has continued to go up. In fact, over the past four years, we have been growing this metric at a compounded annual rate of a little over 40%, which would rank us pretty highly with regard to the best in class.



I am impressed with the commitment to ROIC. Again, from the Wall Street Transcript interview:

The single most important one is return on invested capital. That is one that we heard very loudly and clearly about four years ago. We have transformed this company from looking at return on sales to return on invested capital. There was a point in our history where how many assets we had to throw at something to get to the next half point of market share didn't bother us. We changed that and became much more expeditious in closing down under-performing assets that were providing us sales, but no income. We have a stated strategy that we are going to grow profitably in North America within our current product domain - that tells you what we are going to do and what we are not going to do. Getting that focus has helped us take the value of this company up.



Note the improvement that has occurred in ROIC:

1999....4.7%
2000...7.50%
2001...6.60%
2002...3.90%
2003...5.10%
2004...7.50%
2005...11.80%
2006...14.70%
2007(TTM)...15.48%

Sustainable Free Cash Flow per share has improved to $1.64 per share on a TTM basis. Applied's Board of Directors has authorized the purchase of up to 1,500,000 shares of the Company's common stock. This authorization replaces the previous one under which 1,401,000 shares were purchased through March 31, 2007. The new authorization represents approximately 3% of the shares currently outstanding. Prior buybacks have been effective in reducing fully diluted shares outstanding to a current 44.41 million from about 46.6 million two years ago

At current valuations, AIT has a market cap of $1.2 billion. With $85 million in cash on the balance sheet and $76 million in total debt, the company has an enterprise value also of roughly $1.2 billion.

Enterprise Value/EBITDA is about 8.5 times.

The market dynamics of consolidation push smaller competitors out of the marketplace. Though the migration of the US manufacturing base offshore is an ongoing concern, specialization and consolidation emphasize the triumph of service over product price. There remains upside in margin. The company is ramping up its government related business which tends to be persistent and anti-cyclical.

The combination of a sensible M&A strategy that respects return on invested capital looks like a winning approach to me. Combine that with a reasonable valuation, I believe spells opportunity.

Disclaimer: Neither I, my family, nor clients own a current position in AIT.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Sun Introduces New Offering to Simplify IT Inventory Management

LXer (press release) - Kerrville,TX,USA
The first inventory management solution to deliver one-click discovery
across systems running the Solaris Operating System (OS) and Linux, Sun
Connection ...


SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced the immediate availability of the Sun Connection Inventory Channel, a new, free offering for Sun customers that allows system administrators and IT operators to quickly and easily discover, organize and report on their IT assets. The first inventory management solution to deliver one-click discovery across systems running the Solaris Operating System (OS) and Linux, Sun Connection Inventory Channel enables customers to actively manage their IT assets and gain valuable insight into their IT operations by tracking critical information including product type, product version, licensing and registration status and support contract ID number.

"Sun is continuing to expand its offerings to help customers more efficiently manage their data centers," said Steve Wilson, vice president of Connected Systems, Sun Microsystems. "The Sun Connection Inventory Channel provides a simple, powerful way for customers to track, sort, search and group their IT assets and support contracts. Ultimately, by automating the process, customers are able to easily understand their assets and make better informed IT decisions for the future."

Many IT administrators have complex management mechanisms in place to benchmark the health and performance of their IT operations, but often do not have a single view of what software, systems and storage they have and where these assets are running. While some solutions offer partial automation, keeping track of inventory, managing new additions and tracking removals is difficult, error prone and often requires manual processing.

Sun Connection Inventory Channel provides a unified view of hardware and software assets via a dynamic Web-based user interface. Customers can quickly search through thousands of assets based on a combination of search criteria including host name, product type, product version, support contract ID number and custom, user-defined asset tags.

The Sun Connection Inventory Channel complements the existing Sun Connection Update and Provisioning Channels by providing a lightweight and cost-effective asset management solution on a heterogeneous platform. The Sun Connection Update Channel provides central patch management capabilities on multiple operating platforms. The Provisioning Channel allows customers to perform provisioning tasks such as copy and paste of existing system deployments to new systems running the Solaris OS, Red Hat or SUSE Linux. For more information about Sun Connection, please visit: http://www.sun.com/sunconnection

The Sun Connection Inventory Channel is available free to all customers, whether an enterprise has purchased a high-end UltraSPARC(R)-based server or a start-up has downloaded the Solaris OS for free. Access to the new channel is available at: http://sunconnection.sun.com/inventory

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

A singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer"(TM) -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world's most important markets. Sun's philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at http://www.sun.com.

Inventory Management

Labels:

A Brief History of Economic Time

By Speedmaster(Speedmaster)
And the engine of technological progress is ideas -- not just the ideas from engineering laboratories, but also ideas like new methods of crop rotation, or just-in-time inventory management. You can fly from New York to Tokyo partly ...

Nice piece from Steven Landsburg in yesterday's WSJ.

A Brief History of Economic Time - WSJ.com: "Modern humans first emerged about 100,000 years ago. For the next 99,800 years or so, nothing happened. Well, not quite nothing. There were wars, political intrigue, the invention of agriculture -- but none of that stuff had much effect on the quality of people's lives. Almost everyone lived on the modern equivalent of $400 to $600 a year, just above the subsistence level. True, there were always tiny aristocracies who lived far better, but numerically they were quite insignificant.

Then -- just a couple of hundred years ago, maybe 10 generations -- people started getting richer. And richer and richer still. Per capita income, at least in the West, began to grow at the unprecedented rate of about three quarters of a percent per year. A couple of decades later, the same thing was happening around the world.
...
Rising income is only part of the story. One hundred years ago the average American workweek was over 60 hours; today it's under 35. One hundred years ago 6% of manufacturing workers took vacations; today it's over 90%. One hundred years ago the average housekeeper spent 12 hours a day on laundry, cooking, cleaning and sewing; today it's about three hours.

As far as the quality of the goods we buy, try picking up an electronics catalogue from, oh, say, 2001 and ask yourself whether there's anything there you'd want to buy. That was the year my friend Ben spent $600 for a 1.3-megapixel digital camera that weighed a pound and a half. What about services, such as health care? Would you rather purchase today's health care at today's prices or the health care of, say, 1970 at 1970 prices? I don't know any informed person who would choose 1970, which means that despite all the hype about costs, health care now is a better bargain than it's ever been before.
...
The moral is that increases in measured income -- even the phenomenal increases of the past two centuries -- grossly understate the real improvements in our economic condition. The average middle-class American might have a smaller measured income than the European monarchs of the Middle Ages, but I suspect that Tudor King Henry VIII would have traded half his kingdom for modern plumbing, a lifetime supply of antibiotics and access to the Internet.

The source of this wealth -- the engine of prosperity -- is technological progress. And the engine of technological progress is ideas -- not just the ideas from engineering laboratories, but also ideas like new methods of crop rotation, or just-in-time inventory management. You can fly from New York to Tokyo partly because someone figured out how to build an airplane and partly because someone figured out how to insure it."

Inventory Management

Labels:

Civil Aviation Affairs deploys Infor enterprise asset management

AME Info (press release) - United Arab Emirates
The comprehensive solution offers capabilities which cover every aspect of
the asset management life-cycle - maintenance, equipment, inventory
management ...

Infor today announced that Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) Bahrain, which is responsible for the provision of safe and efficient management of all services permitting aviation access to and from Bahrain, is deploying Infor EAM Enterprise Edition (formerly Infor EAM Datastream7i).Infor's industry-leading enterprise asset management solution will be deployed in the Air Navigation and Engineering & Maintenance Department and will provide better management and proactive servicing of more than 10,000 assets.
Infor was chosen following a comprehensive selection process to replace distributed maintenance environments with a central software solution. CAA evaluated Infor alongside other internationally reputed EAM vendors.

Bahrain International Airport offers the most comprehensive range of high quality facilities and services for its customers, employees and community. To enhance the role of the airport as the leading gateway to the region, CAA maintenance teams have to operate with optimum efficiency and economy regarding their performance of services. They must predict equipment downtime and conduct preventive scheduling and maintenance; which are just a few of the core maintenance activities that it conducts. With the continuous growth in aviation traffic, CAA realised the need for a centralised tool to manage all the maintenance activities.
The key criterion in determining the supplier was the business-specific functionality available within the Infor solution and realistic implementation offered by Intertec Systems (Infor's Middle-East EAM partner based in Dubai) and Zayani Computers (Bahrain based implementation partner). The comprehensive solution offers capabilities which cover every aspect of the asset management life-cycle - maintenance, equipment, inventory management and contracts covering department assets. The fact that these can all be easily implemented on standard technology served as a key driver in awarding this project to Infor.

'We chose Infor EAM as we found the 'benefit over cost' factor was highest, whilst the total cost of ownership was lower compared to other EAM solutions. Furthermore we are confident that we will be up and running in time,' commented Mr. Ali Ahmad Mohammed, Director of Air Navigation Civil Aviation Affairs in Bahrain.

CAA now looks forward to a complete overhaul of the work processes with the implementation of this system. These work processes will use an advanced technology and will enable the integration of the various sub-departments, existing in multiple locations. CAA will benefit vastly as this will reduce the maintenance costs and man hours spent on inspecting the safety of this equipment. It will also reduce the downtime and inventory costs, as there will be automatic updates on inventory requirements. The implementation of Infor EAM is also in line with CAA's vision to provide the highest safety standards to its customers.

Claude-Henri Weiller, Infor Channel Manager EMEA for Infor Enterprise Asset Management, said: 'The four key pillars that support many successful companies are its cash, inventory, people and fixed assets. Infor's solutions provide companies like CAA, with the capabilities to effectively manage these critical parts of their business, whilst freeing up valuable resources to focus on enhancing the quality of their customer service.'

Infor EAM solutions allow customers to maintain, manage, and improve the performance of their capital asset infrastructure, such as manufacturing equipment, fleet, and facilities, by combining asset management functionality and advanced reporting with advanced analytics to deliver a powerful platform for optimizing enterprise asset performance. Infor's EAM solutions go beyond traditional management of assets providing information that helps identify key trends and anomalies, forecast performance issues, and helps to make forward-looking decisions to take action.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Building Smart RFID Networks

RFID Journal - Melville,NY,USA
This paradigm shift opens up new avenues and approaches to improving
process efficiency, inventory management and business intelligence. ...

June 11, 2007—RFID technology leads us to a world of connected objects, enabling inventory to speak for its presence and drive processes, as opposed to processes driving inventory. This paradigm shift opens up new avenues and approaches to improving process efficiency, inventory management and business intelligence.

RFID networks enable businesses to build event-driven applications and react to real-time information. If business processes start working with real-time events, enterprises can become more efficient and lean.


To have a successful RFID implementation and reap true benefits, businesses must first identify business goals, build RFID networks that provide visibility into assets and inventory, and collect RFID data and convert it into actions, perhaps in real time.

An RFID network generates a continuous stream of data. Because of its sheer volume, this data needs to be handled very carefully. In the world of connected objects, the goal is to have efficient RFID networks that provide the right information to the right application at the right time (the "3 Rs") and make enterprise-management systems event-driven.

Event-Driven Enterprise-Management Applications
For most companies, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems keep track of the location and quantity of inventory, while supply chain execution (SCE) systems determine how much to produce, where to produce it and how to distribute it. Processes typically control the production and flow of inventory across the supply chain—a process-driven approach. In the world of connected objects, where RFID networks sense the presence (or absence) of inventory, business processes will become driven more by events than by processes. The receipt of a purchase order is an event, and it may trigger several business processes—such as manufacturing and logistics—upon its arrival. A shipment's receipt may lead to several Electronic Product Code (EPC) reads and trigger an electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) application, as well as updates to inventory counts in a warehouse management system (WMS), and the fulfillment of orders awaiting this receipt of shipment.

This fundamental paradigm shift, in which inventory drives processes, fosters efficiencies in the supply chain (or asset utilization) that could not have been achieved in a process-driven world.

Building event-driven processes is a very challenging task, one that requires a tectonic shift in thinking. It may require defining new processes and retraining personnel. Several technical or engineering challenges arise when dealing with a continuous stream of RFID data where time is an integral dimension. Conventional analytical tools have a hard time harnessing actionable intelligence from such data. The biggest cause is RFID data's very nature.

Inventory Management

Labels:

CAA revamp will cut costs

Gulf Daily News - Manama,Bahrain
Infor offers capabilities that cover every aspect of the asset management
lifecycle - maintenance, equipment, inventory management and contracts
covering ...

MANAMA: Bahrain's Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) is overhauling its work processes with the implementation of a new enterprise asset management solution.

The Infor EAM Enterprise Edition will be used in its air navigation and engineering and maintenance department, it was announced yesterday.

It is expected to provide better management and proactive servicing of more than 10,000 assets - enabling the integration of various sub-departments existing in multiple locations.

CAA expects to benefit from reduced maintenance costs and man-hours spent on inspecting the safety of equipment.

It will also reduce the downtime and inventory costs, as there will be automatic updates on inventory requirements.

The solution was chosen following a selection process to replace distributed maintenance environments with a central software solution.

Infor offers capabilities that cover every aspect of the asset management lifecycle - maintenance, equipment, inventory management and contracts covering department assets.

"The four key pillars that support many successful companies are its cash, inventory, people and fixed assets," said Infor channel manager EMEA for Infor Enterprise Asset Management, Claude-Henri Weiller.

"Infor's solutions provide companies like CAA with the capabilities to effectively manage these critical parts of their business, while freeing up valuable resources to focus on enhancing the quality of their customer service."

Zayani Computers is the Bahrain-based implementation partner.

Inventory Management

Labels:

A Short History of Riches and Wealth Creation

By Phil Miller
And the engine of technological progress is ideas -- not just the ideas from engineering laboratories, but also ideas like new methods of crop rotation, or just-in-time inventory management. You can fly from New York to Tokyo partly ...

Steven Landsburg pens this excellent column ($$$) about the history of wealth:

Modern humans first emerged about 100,000 years ago. For the next 99,800 years or so, nothing happened. Well, not quite nothing. There were wars, political intrigue, the invention of agriculture -- but none of that stuff had much effect on the quality of people's lives. Almost everyone lived on the modern equivalent of $400 to $600 a year, just above the subsistence level. True, there were always tiny aristocracies who lived far better, but numerically they were quite insignificant.

Then -- just a couple of hundred years ago, maybe 10 generations -- people started getting richer. And richer and richer still. Per capita income, at least in the West, began to grow at the unprecedented rate of about three quarters of a percent per year. A couple of decades later, the same thing was happening around the world.

Comparing a bit across time:

Rising income is only part of the story. One hundred years ago the average American workweek was over 60 hours; today it's under 35. One hundred years ago 6% of manufacturing workers took vacations; today it's over 90%. One hundred years ago the average housekeeper spent 12 hours a day on laundry, cooking, cleaning and sewing; today it's about three hours.

As far as the quality of the goods we buy, try picking up an electronics catalogue from, oh, say, 2001 and ask yourself whether there's anything there you'd want to buy. That was the year my friend Ben spent $600 for a 1.3-megapixel digital camera that weighed a pound and a half. What about services, such as health care? Would you rather purchase today's health care at today's prices or the health care of, say, 1970 at 1970 prices? I don't know any informed person who would choose 1970, which means that despite all the hype about costs, health care now is a better bargain than it's ever been before.

The moral is that increases in measured income -- even the phenomenal increases of the past two centuries -- grossly understate the real improvements in our economic condition. The average middle-class American might have a smaller measured income than the European monarchs of the Middle Ages, but I suspect that Tudor King Henry VIII would have traded half his kingdom for modern plumbing, a lifetime supply of antibiotics and access to the Internet.

In September of 2005, I wrote this post on the effort it takes to buy a high quality personal computer in 1989 and in 2004. High quality, of course, is relative to the time the computer was produced. In 1989:

It's a Tandy! It costs only $8,499! It's got 2 MB of RAM! It's got a 20 MHZ Intel 386 processor.

Today, I type this blog post on a Dell Dimension 8400 computer with a 3.4 GHZ Pentium 4 Processor and 512 MB of RAM with CD and DVD RW drives and a lot of other goodies! I think we paid around $1,500 or so for our Dell. My, how far computers have come in 16 years!

Think about it this way: in December of 1989, average hourly earnings were $9.97. In December of 2004, average hourly earnings were $15.85 (see here from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank Data Base). So, in 1989, the average worker would have to work approximately 850 hours (more than 20 weeks assuming a 40 hour work week) to earn enough (pre tax) cash to buy a 386. In 2004, the average worker would have to work less than 100 hours to earn enough pre tax cash to buy a Dell Dimension like I describe above.

But back to Landsburg's column. Who planned this explosion in well-being?

The source of this wealth -- the engine of prosperity -- is technological progress. And the engine of technological progress is ideas -- not just the ideas from engineering laboratories, but also ideas like new methods of crop rotation, or just-in-time inventory management. You can fly from New York to Tokyo partly because someone figured out how to build an airplane and partly because someone figured out how to insure it. I'm writing this on a personal computer instead of an electric typewriter partly because someone said, "Hey! I wonder if we can make computer chips out of silicon!" and partly because someone said "Hey! I wonder if we can finance startups with junk bonds!"

In other words, no one person planned it. No all-knowing, all-seeing directing body made it happen. It just happened bit by bit, increment by increment. One person doing his thing. Another person doing her thing. Little bits of coordination here. Little bits of coordination there. Trials here. Errors there. Everyone trying to make things better, even smallish improvements, for him or herself. People competing. People cooperating.

Wealth created.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Every Problem is an opportunity

By pegasus
The efficiency and the competitive advantage of the Traveler's Cheques come from better inventory management. In order to sell foreign currency, the forex merchant has to hold USD. Now this is disadvantageous for him on 2 counts. ...

American Express (estb. in 1850), as the name suggests, was a small time express freight carrier. It also had a small financial arm which carried the Money Order and competed with the US Posts.

Sometime between 1888 and 1890, J.C. Fargo took a trip to Europe and returned frustrated and infuriated. Despite the fact that he was president of American Express and that he carried with him traditional letters of credit, he found it difficult to obtain cash anywhere except in major cities. Mr. Fargo went to Marcellus Flemming Berry and asked him to create a better solution than the traditional letter of credit. Mr. Berry created the American Express Travelers Cheque which was launched in 1891 in denominations of $10, $20, $50, and $100. (source)

After this there was no turning back. American Express soon grow into a bank and is now one of the leading financial giants. It is a fortune 74th Company and its stock is one of the 30 stocks that is used to compute Dow Jones Industrial Average. Hence I would say, every problem is a multi million dollar business opportunity.

For those of you who are wondering what is so great about this financial instrument, here is the explanation:
The efficiency and the competitive advantage of the Traveler’s Cheques come from better inventory management. In order to sell foreign currency, the forex merchant has to hold USD. Now this is disadvantageous for him on 2 counts.
1) His working capital gets blocked in a piece of paper.
2) He is exposing himself to the currency fluctuations.
Which means that suppose he is keeping 1000 USD in his shop, he is effectively blocking 41,000/- INR and say if USD dollar is devaluing he is bleeding money on that too.

However, Traveler’s Cheques is just piece of paper. Since he pays for it only at the time of sale at the exchange rate he is offering to his customer, the risks gets greatly reduced. This also enables him to offer better exchange rate to his customers making him happier :)

For the issuing bank, traveler’s cheques is like any other Demand Draft. The payment is made upfront, but the actual purchase happens much later. So the bank can raise some working capital at little/no cost. The bank gains through brokerage (difference between buying and selling), a tiny percent of them which might never be encashed, and through the extra fees they charge when the customer reports them to be missing. So even though it is offering a service to its customer, it never has to explicitly charge for it.

For the traveler, it is a signature protected piece of document. So if it gets stolen during travel (traveler’s nightmare) he can still report it and recover the funds. Plus as earlier explained, he also get a marginally better exchange rate.

Inventory Management

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Introduction to Management Science with Student CD (9th Edition)

By BIBLIOPHILE(BIBLIOPHILE)
... transshipment, and assignment problems; network flow models; project management; nonlinear programming; probability and statistics; decision analysis; queuing analysis; simulation; forecasting; and inventory management. ...


The objective of this management science book is to help the reader solve the decision-making problems that confront managers in both the public and private sectors. It demonstrates the use of mathematical models to solve these problems, and provides numerous examples and illustrations to help the reader easily understand the material presented. Its concentration on computer solutions with Excel spreadsheets allows the reader to focus on the newest technological tools.

Topics covered in this comprehensive book are linear programming; integer programming; transportation, transshipment, and assignment problems; network flow models; project management; nonlinear programming; probability and statistics; decision analysis; queuing analysis; simulation; forecasting; and inventory management.

With its comprehensive appendices and CD-ROM module examples, this book is an excellent reference work for managers that utilize modeling techniques to solve problems and make decisions.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Zenoss Grows with Open-Source IT Management

eWeek - New York, NY
Zenoss Core, which provides inventory management of IT assets, performance
and availability monitoring, and centralized event and alarm management,


Open-source IT monitoring and management provider Zenoss on June 11 will seek to build momentum behind its alternative to the big four enterprise management offerings when it introduces the second major release of its Zenoss Core tool.

Zenoss, which has seen 170,000 downloads of its free Zenoss Core offering since January and claims to have the most popular IT management project on SourceForge, now has a full Configuration Management Database in its core monitoring tool, according to CEO Bill Karpovich, in Annapolis, Md.
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"We added the ability to mix together data that's automatically discovered and populated with data imported from external sources through Web services APIs as well as manually entered data," Karpovich said. "Then there is also the ability to establish policies. If, for example, a configuration item was discovered one time and not the next, we can now specify policies that certain configuration items are required to be associated with other configuration items," he said.

Users at Medifast applauded the beefed-up CMDB, according to John Hamilton, CIO at the Owings Mills, Md., company. "They really seemed to have built into Version 2.0 what it means to be a central database like that. It does collect all my inventory data for servers, switches, Web servers and so on," he said.

Zenoss Core, which provides inventory management of IT assets, performance and availability monitoring, and centralized event and alarm management, also features greater ease of use and administration in Version 2.0, the company said.

PointerClick here to read more about Zenoss and its open-source IT management strategy.

The open-source tool moves beyond the more cumbersome, first-generation "death by configuration file" interaction by providing a full Web-browser-based user interface, making it easier for more Windows-oriented administrators to use, Karpovich said. The UI is based on AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML).

For customers scaling up their implementations to manage a larger number of devices, Zenoss has made the tool more scalable by adding new distributed data collectors. The aim is to scale to manage thousands of devices across LAN and WAN connections by distributing SNMP and Windows Management Interface event collection in strategic locations in an enterprise network. That reduces the amount of bandwidth taken up by transmitting management data and enabling that data to be sent via secured connections.

Managing the Data Center

Zenoss also added a native WMI collector that runs on Linux, which helps to simplify the management environment, Karpovich said. That WMI feature will allow Zenoss to add in its Zenoss Enterprise Edition a turnkey Linux-based management appliance.

It also ensures that any attack on Windows by viruses or other malware won't affect Zenoss' ability to continue to monitor Windows-based infrastructure, Hamilton said. "It's not the best idea in the world to have a Windows monitoring system monitoring a Windows shop. A Linux-based system wouldn't be affected in the same way by a virus or [other attack]," he said. "Now we won't even need a Windows component to do WMI management."

The new Zenoss appliance, due later in June in the next release of Zenoss Enterprise, will add the ability to perform synthetic testing for Web applications. "We will have an end-user synthetic transaction engine with a WYSIWYG tool for creating scripts for testing against Web applications," Karpovich said.

eWEEK.com Special Report: Open Source in the Enterprise

Hamilton said he was also pleased that the package would allow him to test out how users experience Medifast's eCommerce system. "There are so many back-end pieces to a Web transaction. I am still blind to the whole process. I am looking forward to that," he said.

Finally, Zenoss in both its free Zenoss Core and commercial Zenoss Enterprise versions will add new ZenPacks, which will provide a framework for encapsulating a set of rules for monitoring, collecting performance metrics, setting default thresholds or default mapping of events to prioritization. "We'll have a library of free ZenPacks that customers can use and add to. We're making it easy to build rules that can be shared with others," Karpovich said.

Zenoss Core 2.0 is due to be released on June 11. Zenoss Enterprise Edition 2.0 is due late in June.

Inventory Management

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CRM Surging in Western Europe, SM-Plus 2.07, L2 Fuse, Cutting Edge ...

By ggalitzine
Built on a Microsoft-based technology architecture, the new SM-Plus version 2.07 offers such features as support for complex service contracts, incident escalation, Service Level Agreement compliance, service parts inventory management, ...

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane, for this Bowie fan’s money, a better overall rock listening experience than the ridiculously overpraised Ziggy Stardust. I put Station To Station above the Zigster, and Diamond Dogs if I’m feeling particularly seedy. No, around these parts, pilgrim, Siggy Freudust is throwing elbows with Lodger, Stage and, heck, Let’s Dance for inclusion on the list of the Thin White Duke’s Five Least Maddeningly Inconsistent Albums:

Research firm IDC has issued a report finding that the Western European CRM applications market grew by 6.3 percent in 2006, beating last year’s forecast by almost one percentage point and reaching a value of almost $3 billion.

IDC officials say they see no reason the up tick won’t continue.

The report, titled “Western European CRM Applications, Forecast and Analysis 2007-2011,” finds that early CRM adopters, especially in the financial services and telecommunications sectors, are investing in CRM again, while the low-end segment is seeing a significant impact of software-as-a-service, according to Bo Lykkegaard, IDC’s program manager for European Enterprise Applications as reported on industry journal Web site WiseMarketer.

IDC’s forecast breaks down the CRM application market by deployment model, finding that revenue from on-demand CRM applications grew almost 40 percent during 2006 and is expected to maintain this momentum.

IDC expects on-demand CRM applications to make up almost half of the net market growth of the entire CRM market in Europe during the five-year forecast, and believes that the net effect of on-demand is market expansion as the ease-of-deployment of on-demand attracts first-time buyers of packaged CRM software.


Single Source Systems, Inc., a vendor of service business software, has released a new version of its SM-Plus service business software product for aftermarket product service and support organizations, independent service companies and service-intensive equipment distribution organizations worldwide.

Company officials say all functions integrate with existing ERP, CRM and supply chain systems.

Built on a Microsoft-based technology architecture, the new SM-Plus version 2.07 offers such features as support for complex service contracts, incident escalation, Service Level Agreement compliance, service parts inventory management, new equipment sales and mobile field service.

SM-Plus is an integrated information system that manages and maintains both company-owned and customer-owned assets, and provides service business process support, including call taking, scheduling and dispatch, field service, depot repair, work order management, preventive maintenance, service contracts, purchasing, inventory control, and costing for a total enterprise service management product.

“Our latest benchmark research shows that leading companies are more and more adopting integrated service-specific technology products,” said Steve Roth, SVP, Strategic Service Management practice at Aberdeen Group.


L2, Inc. has announced the presentation of customer case studies as part of its presentation at DM Days New York. The company will present demonstrations of its Fuse technology that helps marketers deliver multi-channel campaigns

The product, L2 Fuse, helps customers use their CRM systems and campaigns to get over 25 percent response rates at one-quarter the cost, to drive better than 300 percent ROI. Fuse, a Web-based software, includes L2 service support to help customers develop campaigns that include sending out dynamically-generated direct mail pieces to prospects, leading recipients to their own PURL.

Each PURL contains a pre-populated form to make it easier for prospects to respond. PURLs are used to provide customized information to existing customers, direct prospects, and encourage participation in a product demonstration, which collect and update customer data to build a quality database for ongoing CRM and marketing efforts.


Pharmaceutical business software vendor Cutting Edge Information has announced the release of the new “Patient Communications Library.” The new collection is comprised of three primary research studies, all geared toward solving common problems many pharmaceutical companies face in the areas of patient adherence, direct-to-patient communication, customer relationship management (CRM) and overall patient education.

Used together, the three reports in the collection will allow pharmaceutical companies to “build a comprehensive strategy to increase the effectiveness of interactions with patients,” according to company officials. Findings from the three-report package cover topics ranging from patient program budgets to organizational support structures for patient education, CRM, and patient adherence and disease management programs.

Download free online summaries at www.cuttingedgeinfo.com.


Jenzabar, a vendor of CRM and other software and services for higher education, announced that last week’s client conference was “the largest event in Jenzabar history.”

JAM 2007 hosted more than 1,300 attendees, including Jenzabar users, client executives, industry partners, Jenzabar client services and technical staff, and thought leaders within higher education. The theme of last week’s event was “Building Stronger Communities,” and numerous sessions focused on how Jenzabar’s product, constituent relationship modules (Jenzabar CRMs), and learning management system can be used.

Representatives from public, private, two-year, four-year and specialty schools came to the conference, which featured more than 325 user information sessions covering the entire range of Jenzabar’s product and service offerings.


Meijer, a family-owned chain of 177 superstores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, has deployed a new marketing tool that optimizes delivery of individualized promotional offers to Meijer customers.

Provided by NCR Corporation and Teradata, a division of NCR, the Enterprise Offer Management product includes NCR’s Copient Logix software and Teradata Customer Relationship Management (CRM), an analytical software portfolio.

Meijer Director of Retail Systems Elmer Robinson said the Enterprise Offer Management “greatly enhances our ability to manage the promotional offers that we extend to shoppers at the checkout and, potentially, at other touchpoints in the future. It provides a ‘closed loop’ product, from data warehousing to campaign management, to offer optimization, to content management to multichannel execution.”

Enterprise Offer Management comprises the processes and technologies that enable retailers to create, manage, execute and evaluate promotional programs. Software components include Teradata CRM, which “helps retailers understand the needs and preferences of different customer groups and automates the delivery of personalized communications through the best channel,” company officials say.


A coyly-unnamed global financial services firm, with “operations in more than 50 countries” has extended and expanded its existing hosted services agreement with Intervoice to use Intervoice’s expertise and capabilities in voice portal, contact center and VoIP technology over the next four years, according to Intervoice officials.

Based on the customer’s minimum commitments, Intervoice is valuing the contract at approximately $17.0 million over 4 years, subject to certain cancellation provisions.

Intervoice has been providing hosted services to enterprises in North America since 1999.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Mobile Alliance: Datalogic Mobile Announces New Strategic

Wireless Workforce Online (press release) - Erie,PA,USA
Datalogic Mobile, the foremost manufacturer of rugged mobile computers
joins forces with SeeControl, the provider of On Demand inventory
management ...

Datalogic Mobile, the foremost manufacturer of rugged mobile computers joins forces with SeeControl, the provider of On Demand inventory management applications that provide total asset visibility across multiple locations.

Under the terms of the agreement, SeeControl will market, sell, and support Datalogic Mobile Falcon 4400 Series Windows CE.Net Mobile Computers. Datalogic Mobile's industrial mobile computers will be used for inventory management and to track assets, running SeeControl's mobile applications connected in real-time to an On Demand inventory management software service. In conjunction with Datalogic Mobile's Falcon , SeeControl will use also hand held readers - Quickscan - from the other Datalogic company, Datalogic Scanning. By combining Datalogic's hardware and SeeControl's rapid, turnkey service, SeeControl will be able to deliver state-of-the-art equipment and service to their customers who require efficient and easy to use computers in warehouses, factories, data centers and field service environments.

"We're delighted to form a Strategic Alliance with Datalogic. Our clients have been extremely satisfied with the leading features and reliability of Falcon and Quickscan products, which work seamlessly with SeeControl's On Demand asset and inventory software service" said Al Cohen, CEO of SeeControl. "With the launch of our own reseller program, SeeControl is pleased to offer Datalogic channel partners an innovative way to rapidly increase their service and product revenue. Additionally, Datalogic partners pursuing new Aerospace and Defense contracts will benefit from SeeControl's integration of Unique Identification (UID) tracking technology, which supports new Department of Defense 2D scanning requirements".

"Inventory management is one of the fast growing market segments where Datalogic Mobile's ruggedized computers can deliver top value to the user, including reliability, first class ergonomics, ease of use and connectivity" commented Marino Tanas, President of Datalogic Mobile Americas. "Partnering with SeeControl means delivering a first class solution that can dramatically increase the customer's return on investment. This strategic alliance will further accelerate our growth in the US market."

About Datalogic Mobile
Datalogic Mobile, part of the Datalogic Group, is a global player in the Rugged Mobile Computers market, offering a full range of products, dedicated to the main target application fields: warehousing solutions, field-force automation and retail in-store. It is the result of the integration of Datalogic and PSC mobile computer business. Datalogic Mobile, based in Lippo di Calderara di Reno (Bologna, Italy), has its Americas office in Eugene (OR). With its strong presence in EMEA, the Americas and Asia/Pacific and the powerful network of partners all over the world, Datalogic Mobile has shown an impressive track record of growth that position itself as the fastest growing player in the mobile market, the real challenger to the top rankers. For more information, please visit www.mobile.datalogic.com or call toll-free: +1-800-310-8300, or International: +1-541-743-4800. For media contacts: pr@mobile.datalogic.com

About SeeControl Inc.
San Mateo, California-based SeeControl Inc. is helping companies of all sizes track and manage inventory and assets-On Demand and across multiple storage locations. It is the global leader in providing real-time data collection coupled with an integrated web-based management reporting, visibility and control software service. SeeControl serves Aerospace, Defense, Healthcare and Manufacturing industries and has delivered dramatic improvements in profitability, compliance and productivity to customers in over twenty-five countries. For more information, please visit www.seecontrol.com or call +1-650-312-1100. For reseller information, please visit www.seecontrol.com/resellers.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Customized Sage SalesLogix System With Sage MAS 90 ERP Integration ...

Web Services Journal - Montvale,NJ,USA
Sage MAS 90 accommodates distribution and light manufacturing needs with
full-featured inventory management, shipment processing, bill of materials
and work ...

SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 06/08/07 -- Sage Software announced today that Qqest Software Systems, a direct marketer of time and attendance products, payroll services, and asset management and maintenance software, has achieved a substantial return on investment from its customized Sage SalesLogix CRM and Sage MAS 90 ERP implementation. Qqest experienced a 28 percent revenue increase upon initially deploying Sage SalesLogix and integrating it with Sage MAS 90 ERP. The company continues to measure month-to-month revenue increases in the tens-of-thousands of dollars. Qqest cites improved employee productivity and higher customer retention rates as additional benefits of its Sage Software solution.

"Our sales went up $70,000 from the previous month after we implemented Sage SalesLogix," said Burke Plummer, president of Qqest. "Since then we have seen sales increase around $30,000 to $40,000 per month, based on a year-to-year comparison."

Customized CRM Overcomes User Resistance

Prior to Sage SalesLogix, Qqest was using three different databases that could not share data. All sales leads were tracked manually by individual employees, slowing the sales process and making accurate oversight of the sales team difficult. The lack of a centralized database made it difficult for support representatives to respond to customer requests, if the associated sales representatives were unavailable.

Qqest evaluated five CRM systems in 2003 and selected Sage SalesLogix for its customization capabilities, ease of use, and ability to integrate with the company's existing Sage MAS 90 ERP system. Unison, a Sage CRM Solutions business partner, was chosen to integrate the Sage Software CRM and ERP systems.

Employees initially expressed concern when Qqest informed them that a CRM system would be implemented. Many sales representatives were attached to their own individual opportunity tracking processes. For example, one of the organization's top-performing sales representatives organized all of his sales data on index cards, stored in a shoebox. Unison studied the sales team's shared processes and individual best practices, and customized a Sage SalesLogix user interface based on a virtual shoebox in order to aid user adoption.

"The flexible nature of Sage SalesLogix allows us to portray data in any desired format and appearance," explained Steve Estes, president of Unison. "For Qqest, we were able to deliver a shoebox filing system layout that put their sales representatives at ease, allowing them to dive into opportunity management and quickly use many of the system's automation capabilities. From customizing the user interface to integrating with Sage MAS 90 ERP, Sage SalesLogix's flexible architecture was critical to making this implementation a success."

Qqest employees using the integrated system have benefited from the sharing of accurate information, and data entry time savings. When a prospect becomes a customer, an order is created in Sage SalesLogix and the account and order information is immediately available in Sage MAS 90 ERP.

Sage SalesLogix was initially implemented for 25 Qqest employees, and currently is used by 130 employees. Looking forward, Qqest has begun a project to upgrade its Sage MAS 90 ERP software to Sage MAS 500 ERP to accommodate its expanding business requirements. The company anticipates further business process enhancements and cost savings by using a credit card processing tool developed by Unison for Sage MAS 500 ERP and Sage SalesLogix.

"Sage Software has provided our team the right tools to streamline the sales processes that have historically aided our most successful representatives, and enabled employees to have a complete view of customer accounts including all associated product inventory, transaction and support records," added Plummer. "The resulting efficiencies have transformed the way we acquire our customers, and keep them happy."

Sage SalesLogix

With more than 300,000 users at over 8,500 companies, Sage SalesLogix is the leading CRM solution for small to medium-sized businesses and divisions of larger enterprises, and is part of the Sage Software family of integrated business management solutions.

Sage SalesLogix enables businesses to acquire, retain and develop profitable customer relationships by increasing sales and marketing performance and maximizing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Sage SalesLogix enables the same user experience, rich customization capabilities, high levels of end-user adoption and low total cost of ownership across Web, Windows and Mobile device deployment options.

Sage SalesLogix is part of Sage CRM Solutions, the only family of CRM products designed specifically for the needs of small and medium-sized businesses that also includes ACT! by Sage, SageCRM and SageCRM.com. For more details, visit www.sagecrmsolutions.com or call (800) 643-6400.

Sage MAS 90 ERP

With more than 26 modules and thousands of industry-specific applications, Sage MAS 90 ERP provides unsurpassed value and functionality for automating business processes. The solution handles core accounting, financial reporting, distribution, manufacturing and e-commerce plus provides powerful business intelligence tools. Sage MAS 90 accommodates distribution and light manufacturing needs with full-featured inventory management, shipment processing, bill of materials and work order modules. The application also provides award-winning CRM, HR and fixed asset functionality through tight integration with Sage CRM solutions, Sage Abra HRMS and Sage FAS Fixed Assets. For more information visit www.sagemas.com or call (800) 854-3415.

About Qqest Software Systems

Qqest Software Systems provides real solutions to today's complex employee management issues. Qqest offers a broad spectrum of products for better employee management -- no matter what type of business you run. We provide solutions for time and attendance (TimeForce), payroll (Qqest Payroll Services), and asset maintenance and management (ManagerPlus).

With over 35,000 customers, Qqest helps clients manage their small- to mid-size businesses the world over. Our software and hardware systems have proven themselves in many industries including manufacturing, construction, agriculture, healthcare, education & government, retail, services and more. Please visit our website at www.qqest.com for more information.

About Unison

Unison has been at the forefront of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and sales force automation industry since 1996. Unison encompasses the entire processes of marketing, sales, customer service and support. Our engineers are fully certified, and each has years of experience in their fields. Our clients have included a wide range of industries and businesses, such as small start-ups to larger corporations such as American Express, Intel, and Merrill Lynch. For more information, visit www.unisonsales.com or call (801) 373-4679.

About Sage Software

Sage Software supports the needs, challenges, and dreams of more than 2.8 million small- and mid-sized business customers in North America through easy-to-use, scalable and customizable software and services. Our products support accounting, operations, customer relationship management, human resources, time tracking, merchant services and the specialized needs of the construction, distribution, healthcare, manufacturing, nonprofit and real estate industries. Sage Software is a subsidiary of The Sage Group plc, a leading international supplier of accounting and business management software solutions and related products and services for small- and mid-sized businesses. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and the Group now has 5.4 million customers and employs over 13,000 people worldwide. For more information, please visit the Web site at www.sagesoftware.com/moreinfo or call (866) 308-2378.

© 2007 Sage Software, Inc. All rights reserved. All other brands are trademarks of their respective companies.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Taking Inventory

T.H.E. Journal - Tustin,CA,USA
"Good asset management practices consist of basic inventory
management," Heine says. "What's your migration plan--what needs to
be replaced or upgraded, ...

Keeping on top of your IT assets is an imperative. The newest products can ensure license compliance while helping with budgeting, software updating, and bug fixing.

Taking InventoryALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS, whether small, 700-student Livingston Manor Central School District in New York, or Florida’s Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth-largest in the country, have at least one thing in common: the challenge of keeping track of their growing number of IT assets.

IT/software asset management (abbreviated IT/AM or IT/SAM) includes information about computer hardware—serial number, configuration, location—and software—license number, patch/update status, settings. In talks with schools and vendors, a primary reason for conducting asset management emerges: license tracking for compliance reporting.

“We have seen organizations that have, in the first year of implementing asset management, found 10 to 20 percent initial savings in licensing,” says Jack Heine, research vice president at IT consultancy Gartner, and author of the December 2006 Gartner report, “How to Find Answers to IT and Software Asset Management Questions.”

It’s about more than licensing, of course. “Good asset management practices consist of basic inventory management,” Heine says. “What’s your migration plan—what needs to be replaced or upgraded, and when? This allows for some precise budgeting. There are significant savings associated with good asset management.” Some IT/SAM products even handle—or are part of suites that can handle— software update/patching, disk reimaging, and per-program access control.

Many schools use established IT/SAM products or modules from companies such as Altiris, BigFix, and Sitekeeper, or utilities provided from vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Microsoft. But many others are using home-grown or modified solutions, even simply databases or spreadsheets.

Handling Your IT Load

The specs on the Lafayette School Corporation in Indiana are daunting: 8,000 students, 750 staff, 20 facilities, and, according to Kevin Little, the district’s CTO and director of facilities, some 4,000 workstations, 350 notebooks, 130 servers, 80 telecom closets, and 8,000 data ports, plus numerous printers. Handling the entire IT administrative load, including deploying and provisioning about 1,000 computers each year, is a staff of four engineers and six techs.

“We had some automation software, but it was bits and pieces,” says Little. “We decided to go with Altiris’ (www.altiris.com) Inventory Solution.” Little’s department uses the product not only for asset management, but also for deployment, patch management, remote control, and desktop snapshots. “We bought the full Altiris enterprise bundle, which includes the Service and Asset Management Suite.”Using the Altiris IT/SAM tools, Little says, “we can see every piece of software installed on every computer in the district, and can also know about the hardware—what size drive, processor type, how much RAM, fragmentation, etc.” He says reports generated by Altiris allow the district to demonstrate compliance with software licenses. “And the system provides proactive information, like when there’s some kind of problem, so we can get information to our help desk or work order system before something fails.” In addition to the Altiris suite, Little says, the district has asset tags installed on every computer, “and that tag information is also in the computer’s BIOS, including ‘where it is’ location information.”

Time savings is another advantage of IT/SAM. Tennessee’s Scott County Schools has around 1,200 PCs and 15 servers in six locations—and “an IT department that’s really an administrator, a secretary, and me as the network technician, plus a general-purpose technician full time,” says Greg Bond, network administrator. “That’s a lot of machines to keep up with. Our farthest school is about 30 minutes from our central office; it would take someone a full day per site to do a simple physical inventory. We needed a package that would let us get a good count of machines and keep track of licensing, to be sure we were legally compliant.”

Bond says he and his team went with NetSupport DNA from NetSupport. “It’s been a critical part of our record keeping.” Without an inventorying tool, Bond says, “it’s impossible to fully know what’s on a machine, unless you have them locked down so tight they wouldn’t be useful. We can also detect programs that somebody else bought and installed, and decide whether we should be purchasing them, and Net- Support DNA helps us figure out where problems are. We can tell daily how many computers have reported in, and decide which machines should be replaced or upgraded.”

Not all school districts use off-theshelf solutions. To track its IT assets, Miami-Dade County (M-DCPS)—with 345,000 students spread across 340 schools—had been using the mainframe- based Property Asset Tracking System it wrote several years ago. The application handles districtwide tracking not only of computers but also furniture and other equipment.

The minimum value for a taggable item was first set at $750, but to reduce work in the field, the limit was increased to $1,000. Since M-DCPS buys many systems for less than $1,000 or even $750, explains Deborah Karcher, the district’s CIO, these systems would not be in the mainframe system.

“We have about 90,000 desktop computers, thousands of routers, over 300 administrative servers, plus another several thousand servers in the school,” says Craig Rinehart, M-DCPS’ administrative director of business and operational services. Additionally, the district is working on a 1-to-1 laptop program. This number of systems, says Rinehart, makes tracking assets imperative.The district was already using BigFix for patch management and didn’t have the funding to buy a separate asset management system. Thomas Sims, M-DCPS’ director of network services, says, “BigFix wrote an add-on for us, allowing us to track asset information in the same database, including details like CPU, amount of RAM, and what software has been installed. We can register systems on the network, and then track them.”

Databases and Spreadsheets

“We do not use any off-the-shelf software for asset management,” says Robert Farrell, director of technology at Livingston Manor CSD. “I built a Microsoft Access database that controls our IT inventory. The database took me roughly a couple of hours to build.” Currently, Farrell says, the district is “tracking computers, laptops, monitors, servers, printers. We do not track software, license renewals, etc. I do that in a spreadsheet, but I will consider eventually adding it to the database.” Farrell also plans to add a repairs tracking section, “so we can tell which devices have been giving us the most problems.” And he wants to add toner tracking. “This is all fairly easy to set up if you have intermediate experience with Access.”

Dike-New Hartford Community School District in Iowa keeps most of its asset information on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, according to Jeremiah Lehr, technology coordinator. “We have about 800 students, so we’re small enough to get by with this sort of solution.”

When does a spreadsheet stop being enough? They’re not automated, “so you spend time keeping it up to date,” says Dave Johnson, Altiris’ market segment manager for service and asset management. “Or an audit may be a compelling event.”

“Look at an integrated solution,” says Lafayette’s Little. “It’s too difficult, especially with a small number of people, to maintain multiple administrative consoles and interfaces. And make sure that the inventory information is in a readable format, and easy to understand.... For example, you want it to say ‘Microsoft Word,’ not just file names.”

Depending on how accurate your current software purchases are, asset management software may not trim your software costs. But it will ensure you know what you have, and where, which will help with repair dispatch, upgrade/replacement decisions...and knowing that your software usage is compliant with the licenses you’ve paid for.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Gifts Australia selects Advanta's ATLAS 3PL software solution

Ferret - Australia
Prior to the upgrade to Advanta's ATLAS 3PL software suite, Gifts
Australia has been using a simple manual inventory management system. ...
Advanta Software, specialist software solutions provider to the 3PL and logistics markets, announced that Gifts Australia has selected Advanta’s ATLAS 3PL software solution to improve operational efficiency and to cater for rapid business growth.

Gifts Australia is an online gift fulfilment organisation serving the Australian national market.

Gifts Australia has created a viable point of difference and a competitive advantage in the online gift fulfilment service industry. As Kim Jenkins – the Director of Gifts Australia explains, “By owning our own warehouse facility, we can dispatch any gift advertised on our website within 24 business hours of order placement to any location within Australia. In addition we provide some value added services such as free gift wrapping and a complementary gift card to our customers”.

Since commencement of trading 6 years ago, Gifts Australia has experienced strong and rapid business growth sparking a need for a system capable of supporting the increasing reporting and warehouse management requirements of the business.

As a result Gifts Australia sought a credible and reliable supplier with a warehouse management software solution that would meet their current and future needs.

Kim and the other Gifts Australia Directors Alison Jones and Simon Gidley decided that “Advanta was the most suitable software solutions provider. Their ATLAS 3PL software suite is a complete solution for the fulfilment and 3PL market, with the ability to manage all aspects of the business ranging from warehousing to e-business. More importantly, Advanta offers to partner with Gifts Australia for the long term. This will allow us to satisfy our on-going needs more efficiently and effectively”

Prior to the upgrade to Advanta’s ATLAS 3PL software suite, Gifts Australia has been using a simple manual inventory management system.

This however was causing significant operational issues, ranging from pick and pack errors due to the increasing volume and complexity of the inventory, increasing staff training costs due to the breadth of the product range; and poor control and management of the warehouse due to lack of up to date information on how the warehouse was performing.

To combat these issues and to cater for ongoing future growth, Gifts Australia selected Advanta’s ATLAS 3PL software suite.

The suite comprises over 30 modules and provides all aspects of Supply Chain Management and Supply Chain Execution, together with Customer Relationship Management and eLogistics.

More specifically, Advanta Software is providing Gifts Australia with modules including: warehouse management, freight management, EDI, order processing, sales analysis, purchasing, report generating, and distribution requirements planning.

Following the implementation of ATLAS 3PL, Gifts Australia expect to address their current operational efficiency issues and aims to improve the level of service they provide to customers.

As Kim states “Gifts Australia expects to reduce pick and pack error rates through the accuracy of an automated warehousing system, reduce labour costs as less staff product training will be required; and develop cost effective reports due to the improved feedback from the ATLAS software suite”.

Kim continues “Our goal is to achieve a 50% business growth rate every year for the next 5 years and we are optimistic in achieving such a goal with the support of Advanta’s ATLAS 3PL software solution”.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Single Source's SM-Plus Version 2.07 Released

TMCnet - USA
... incident escalation, Service Level Agreement compliance, service parts
inventory management, new equipment sales and mobile field service. ...
http://news.tmcnet.com/news/2007/06/08/2699390.htm

Single Source Systems Inc., a vendor of service business software, has released a new version of its SM-Plus service business software product for aftermarket product service and support organizations, independent service companies and service-intensive equipment distribution organizations worldwide.
Company officials say all functions integrate with existing ERP, CRM and supply chain systems.

Built on a Microsoft (News - Alert)-based technology architecture, the new SM-Plus version 2.07 offers such features as support for complex service contracts, incident escalation, Service Level Agreement compliance, service parts inventory management, new equipment sales and mobile field serviceSM-Plus is an integrated information system that manages and maintains both company-owned and customer-owned assets, and provides service business process support, including call taking, scheduling and dispatch, field service, depot repair, work order management, preventive maintenance, service contracts, purchasing, inventory control, and costing for a total enterprise service management product.

“Our latest benchmark research shows that leading companies are more and more adopting integrated service-specific technology products,” said Steve Roth, SVP, strategic service management practice atAberdeen ( News - Alert) Group.

In March, Single Source Systems and ImageCare Maintenance Services announced that IMS selected SM-Plus as its new service management software system.

IMS will use SM-Plus to manage its national sign maintenance operations, including service call taking, preventive maintenance, warranty management and service contracts, company officials said.

“Our research indicates that field service automation solutions can drive such performance improvements up as much as 22 percent inSLA compliance and add an additional 17 percent improvement in customer retention,” said Mark Vigoroso, chief research officer at the Aberdeen Group, at the time.

Inventory Management

Labels:

INTC AMD: Are Margin Risks Recognized at Intel and AMD?

By Trent
Moving along to the trends in inventory management, compared to the year-ago levels Intel's DSI have risen 12% compared to a 13% decline for AMD. However, on a sequential basis both companies are moving closer to even with last year. ...

This post was featured at the Festival of Stocks.

Doug McIntyre at 24/7 Wall St. noted that Intel (INTC - Annual Report) And AMD (AMD) Both Claim Next Few Quarters Will Be Good:

Because the two companies represent virtually 100% of the processor market for PCs it would be hard for both companies to be right.

While Eric Savitz passed on Citigroup’s guess that Intel will consolidate share, the first question that came to my mind was whether it even matters, based on the inventory and gross margin studies I have been doing.

Starting with the actual inventory levels, measured in days sales on hand, Intel has 87.4 days while AMD has 67.8. While the company level inventory could mask trends going on in the channel (such as Hewlett Packard’s (HPQ - Annual Report) “strategic buys“) it does potentially indicate that AMD have less need to discount inventory in the near future, and potentially better margins.

Moving along to the trends in inventory management, compared to the year-ago levels Intel’s DSI have risen 12% compared to a 13% decline for AMD. However, on a sequential basis both companies are moving closer to even with last year. That is to say, the trends are toward mean reversion. Since the picture is mixed I hesitate to draw conclusions regarding margins from this comparison.
Comparing the amount each company produces to the amount it sells, I found that AMD has been producing significantly more than it is selling for the last four quarters, while Intel’s production has been in line with demand for the last three quarters. This contrasts with the actual DSI study, and checking back to the original data it looks to me like the smoothing process (I calculated DSI as the 4-quarter sum of COGS using the 5-quarter average of Inventory) masked the more recent inventory build. Therefore, on balance the data indicate that AMD has more risk to future margins than Intel.

Interestingly, AMD has already seen a far more significant margin decline (see charts).

amdmargins.jpg

intelmargins.jpg

Since I don’t have access to gross margin estimates, it is hard to tell whether the potential margin pressure is factored in to current estimates. Estimates have been falling for both companies over the last 90 days, and far more so for AMD, suggesting that at least some of the differential is expected. However, the estimates also imply improving margins for both companies in the September quarter compared with the June quarter, in part due to higher expected sales leading up to the seasonally strong part of the year.

If Citigroup is right about AMD’s product delays I would argue that it does matter, and that there is even more risk to AMD’s margins than is currently reflected in estimates.
For more information, see all articles on: Semiconductor HOLDRS (SMH), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Semiconductors, Intel (INTC), Stock Market

This article is for entertainment purposes only and reflects the author's opinion. It is not a solicitation or advice to buy or sell any securities mentioned. Always consult a qualified advisor before making investment decisions.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Applesoft BASIC

By Carl Gundel(Carl Gundel)
Before we started writing inventory management software I tried my hand at creating some graphics. The Apple II had hi-res graphics (for that day), and Applesoft had high level commands for drawing so you didn't need to POKE and PEEK as ...

So settling down to programming on the Apple II+, we had several books to help me with the process. Of course there was the standard green covered Applesoft book, and Mr. Alessi also has another book but I can't remember the title. I tried to find a shot of the book cover on Google but no luck.

Before we started writing inventory management software I tried my hand at creating some graphics. The Apple II had hi-res graphics (for that day), and Applesoft had high level commands for drawing so you didn't need to POKE and PEEK as much as in other BASICs. We had only a green phosphor monitor without color, but this was appropriate for business software development.

When editing a program in Applesoft BASIC, you could type some escape sequences to move the cursor around. If you moved the cursor up to the start of a line on the screen you could then reenter the line by moving the cursor to the right, and you could substitute some characters to change the line of code. This was crude compared to the way you did things on a VIC-20 where you just moved the cursor to the line you wanted to edit, changed just what was needed and hit Return.

Also, I had never written software before that used a floppy disk. This was another thing that I needed to become comfortable with. Our Apple II had 3 floppy drives, each was 143K. We also had a 16K card and a Z80 Softcard so the machine could run CP/M, but this was something we rarely did.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Features : Compiere ERP software is a cross platform Java J2EE solution that provides: * fully integrated ERP and CRM solutions * both front-office (POS, Web Store) and back-office functionality * inventory management * automated ...

BOSTON – June 6, 2007 – Third Screen Media, the leading provider of mobile advertising software and services, today announced that World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) has joined the growing number of companies utilizing Third Screen Media’s first-to-market MADX platform to support its mobile advertising initiatives. WWE joins Third Screen Media’s increasing client roster of publishers who have ad-enabled their mobile Web sites to facilitate the delivery of extensive, innovative content to the mobile consumer.

The success of this year’s WrestleMania® 23 was due in large part to WWE’s rapidly growing fan base – prompting WWE to hit the third screen to support its annual event. Fans of this year’s WrestleMania previewed match-ups, viewed exclusive interviews and obtained up-to-the-minute updates. Fans were also treated to post-match comments from Donald Trump on his epic hair-versus-hair battle against WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. WWE fans will continue to be able to access breaking WWE news as well as purchase ringtones and screensavers— all directly from the WWE mobile WAP site. The recent launch of WWE’s mobile Web site provides advertisers with a valuable property on which to targeting a key demographic, the sports entertainment fan.

“WWE’s fans are incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about everything WWE, and they want to know what’s happening with WWE on a daily basis,” said David Knise, WWE’s Vice President, Interactive Development. “Third Screen Media and its MADX technology allows us to take advantage of mobile advertising opportunities to deliver to our fans an even richer WWE experience on mobile handsets that allows them to get WWE content when they want it, where they want it.”

Using MADX|Publisher, the WWE will create, showcase and sell its mobile advertising inventory, while managing the entire process through the MADX|Publisher’s user-friendly interface. WWE joins entertainment, travel, sports and user-generated content customers that have chosen Third Screen Media to enable their sites for mobile advertising and bring added value to their mobile properties. The tag team of Third Screen Media’s research and planning data and analytics functionality, along with MADX’s reach onto the desktops of major media agencies and advertisers enables efficient planning, buying and delivery of mobile advertising.

“WWE has extremely loyal fans who crave information on the WWE product, on-demand,” said Tim Conley, Senior Vice President, MADX Sales and Service, Third Screen Media. “We are pleased to help WWE provide its extensive fan base with the information they desire, all the while helping our customer realize its business initiatives through mobile advertising.”

About Third Screen Media

Third Screen Media (www.thirdscreenmedia.com) is a software and services company dedicated to enabling advertising on mobile devices. Its MADX product suite links advertisers, publishers and carriers together on a common platform to increase the efficiency and time-to-market for the buying and selling of mobile advertising in WAP, video, MMS and downloadable applications. MADX goes beyond ad delivery by providing in-depth research, planning and publisher inventory management analytical tools, yielding the highest possible ROI. The company’s TSM|Network is North America’s largest single source of mobile advertising inventory, offering best-in-class content, targeted demographics and broad reach. Customers and partners, including many of the world’s largest marketers, advertising agencies and media companies rely on Third Screen Media’s products and services to deliver, manage and optimize mobile advertising campaigns. Third Screen Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL’s Advertising.com.

Trademarks: All World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. ECW is a trademark of WWE Libraries, Inc. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

Inventory Management

Labels:

Third Screen Media Adds World Wrestling Entertainment(r) to its ...

By Kellie Marks
MADX goes beyond ad delivery by providing in-depth research, planning and publisher inventory management analytical tools, yielding the highest possible ROI. The company's TSM|Network is North America's largest single source of mobile ...

BOSTON – June 6, 2007 – Third Screen Media, the leading provider of mobile advertising software and services, today announced that World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) has joined the growing number of companies utilizing Third Screen Media’s first-to-market MADX platform to support its mobile advertising initiatives. WWE joins Third Screen Media’s increasing client roster of publishers who have ad-enabled their mobile Web sites to facilitate the delivery of extensive, innovative content to the mobile consumer.

The success of this year’s WrestleMania® 23 was due in large part to WWE’s rapidly growing fan base – prompting WWE to hit the third screen to support its annual event. Fans of this year’s WrestleMania previewed match-ups, viewed exclusive interviews and obtained up-to-the-minute updates. Fans were also treated to post-match comments from Donald Trump on his epic hair-versus-hair battle against WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. WWE fans will continue to be able to access breaking WWE news as well as purchase ringtones and screensavers— all directly from the WWE mobile WAP site. The recent launch of WWE’s mobile Web site provides advertisers with a valuable property on which to targeting a key demographic, the sports entertainment fan.

“WWE’s fans are incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about everything WWE, and they want to know what’s happening with WWE on a daily basis,” said David Knise, WWE’s Vice President, Interactive Development. “Third Screen Media and its MADX technology allows us to take advantage of mobile advertising opportunities to deliver to our fans an even richer WWE experience on mobile handsets that allows them to get WWE content when they want it, where they want it.”

Using MADX|Publisher, the WWE will create, showcase and sell its mobile advertising inventory, while managing the entire process through the MADX|Publisher’s user-friendly interface. WWE joins entertainment, travel, sports and user-generated content customers that have chosen Third Screen Media to enable their sites for mobile advertising and bring added value to their mobile properties. The tag team of Third Screen Media’s research and planning data and analytics functionality, along with MADX’s reach onto the desktops of major media agencies and advertisers enables efficient planning, buying and delivery of mobile advertising.

“WWE has extremely loyal fans who crave information on the WWE product, on-demand,” said Tim Conley, Senior Vice President, MADX Sales and Service, Third Screen Media. “We are pleased to help WWE provide its extensive fan base with the information they desire, all the while helping our customer realize its business initiatives through mobile advertising.”

About Third Screen Media

Third Screen Media (www.thirdscreenmedia.com) is a software and services company dedicated to enabling advertising on mobile devices. Its MADX product suite links advertisers, publishers and carriers together on a common platform to increase the efficiency and time-to-market for the buying and selling of mobile advertising in WAP, video, MMS and downloadable applications. MADX goes beyond ad delivery by providing in-depth research, planning and publisher inventory management analytical tools, yielding the highest possible ROI. The company’s TSM|Network is North America’s largest single source of mobile advertising inventory, offering best-in-class content, targeted demographics and broad reach. Customers and partners, including many of the world’s largest marketers, advertising agencies and media companies rely on Third Screen Media’s products and services to deliver, manage and optimize mobile advertising campaigns. Third Screen Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL’s Advertising.com.

Trademarks: All World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. ECW is a trademark of WWE Libraries, Inc. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

Inventory Management

Labels:

It's the Auctomatic Age

By Harjeet
To get the ball rolling we are giving the first 1000 sign ups to our inventory management systems 6 months use of auctomatic totally free. Once these are snapped up - everyone gets 60 days free. We're so confident you'll love our ...

Auctomatic News:

* We’re launching in one week at eBay Live!
* Use Auctomatic With no Strings Attached
* Become a Community Leader and get a 50% disount

We’re launching in one week at eBay Live!

The Internet is a wonderful thing but nothing beats good old face-to-face conversation. So we decided that we’re going to launch Auctomatic.com at this year’s eBay Live! We’re packing our bags and heading out to Boston next week so we can show our new approach to selling online in person. Please drop us an email at community@auctomatic.com to let us know if you’re going to be there.

We’ll be at booth number 127 and we’ll be showing off our first product - our inventory management system. Our system will be offering:

* Integrated support for an unlimited number of eBay ID’s per account
* Effortless management of global settings such as payment details
* Powerful labeling of items to make it super easy grouping and finding things

Use Auctomatic With No Strings Attached

Choosing the right software to manage your online sales is a big decision. That’s why we make it really easy to play around with auctomatic before you commit to anything. Even when you decide to sign up, we don’t charge any monthly fees - you only pay us when you sell so you’ll always know that our only interest is in helping you sell more.

To get the ball rolling we are giving the first 1,000 sign ups to our inventory management systems 6 months use of auctomatic totally free. Once these are snapped up - everyone gets 60 days free. We’re so confident you’ll love our product that if you decide to switch after 60 days, we’ll make it super easy and pain-free to take all your data with you.

Become a Community Leader and get a 50% discount

We know that some of you are going to love using our product so much that you’ll want to give something back to the Auctomatic community. And we want to make sure we reward you for your contributions so we’re inviting people to become Auctomatic Community Leaders. Just drop us an email at community@auctomatic.com and tell us a little bit about yourself.

All community leaders will get 50% off all fees and will be given the first access to our new features. As a Community Leader you will have direct input into how Auctomatic is developed and will be in the ideal position to tailor it to your needs. This will give you an added competitive edge over your competitors.

That’s all from us. We look forward to seeing lots of you at eBay Live! and helping you all boost your online sales like never before. Take care!

Inventory Management

Labels:

Baggy McBaggerbag would be fine, too

By Mike Schramm
Hot on the heels of that trinket chain suggestion from the other day, I've got another easily-implementable suggestion for inventory management: I want to name my bags. Not necessarily "Jonah" or "Sally" or "Tricia," although those are ...

Hot on the heels of that trinket chain suggestion from the other day, I've got another easily-implementable suggestion for inventory management: I want to name my bags.

Not necessarily "Jonah" or "Sally" or "Tricia," although those are all very acceptable names for bags. No, I want to be able to label the bag that I keep all of my healing gear in my "Healing Gear Bag." And I want to label the bag that I keep all my quest items in "Quest Item Bag." Clear labels that help me organize exactly how things get laid out in my inventory.

Now, there's already a little bit of that going on-- "special" bags like Enchanting or Soul bags are already labeled, not to mention that you can't put anything in them that doesn't belong there. And obviously the same thing applies to quivers (Related: where on your bag bar do your hunters put your quivers? I always put mine just to the left of my backpack, but I just realized it didn't have to go there all the time).

But I want to put custom labels on all of my bags, so that if I happen to take a vacation (either out of town or to an alt), I can come back and know exactly what's where. There are lots of bag-related addons out there, and for all I know, one of them lets me do exactly this. But I'd like to see a nice and easy implementation in the normal interface.

Inventory Management

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Java in Telecommunications - Order Management API in a Service ...

By Gero Vermaas
It does for example not cover inventory management or CRM.The OM API is autonomous because it does not depend on other APIs to be implemented. If you implement the OM API, you have a fully functional Order Management system which can ...

In the previous episodes in this series we started from a high level Java in the Telecommunications industry, zoomed in on Telemanagement Forum and the basics of OSS/J, described the basics of the Order Management API and now we’ll discuss why the Order Management API fits perfectly in an Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Why is this a relevant question? Virtually any organization does with order management in one way or another and many organizations are currently evaluating or realizing SOAs. Reason enough to check if the Order Management API fits in an SOA.

SOA is the most hyped TLA over the last years… Because SOA is so hyped and every vendor is trying to give a definition that’s a perfect match for their product, we decided to not start with an SOA definition in our JavaOne and TMW presentations. Instead we took a more practical approach and compiled a list of concepts that are important for an SOA. We then checked if the Order Management API applied these concepts. The more concepts applied, the better the fit for use of the Order Management API in a SOA. An easy and efficient approach.

Below is the list of concepts we identified and per concept how this is applied in the Order Management API.

Service reuse Services exposed by the API can be reused for different types of Orders and are not bound to any specific business process.
Modular and autonomous The OM API is modular because it supports various types of Orders and each implementation can extend the types of Order supported. New order types can be plugged in without changing the API. From the larger architecture perspective an OM API implementation can be seen as a module with a clear task: Order Management. It does for example not cover inventory management or CRM.The OM API is autonomous because it does not depend on other APIs to be implemented. If you implement the OM API, you have a fully functional Order Management system which can work autonomously.
Coarse grained It is coarse grained becuase it allows for creation and starting of Orders by one call. There is no nitty-gritty interaction needed to create orders.
Asynchronous Asynchronous interactions are supported by the events that are available on all integration profiles (EJB, XML/JMS and web services) and of course for the XML/JMS profile all interactions are asynchronous.
Stateless While interacting with an OM implementation there is no stateful session being maintained (with the exception of execution large queries in which the result can be queried in batches).
Composable The services exposed by the API can be used in larger business flows.
Described services The services exposed by the API are well described via the XSDs (XML/JMS and webservice profiles), Javadoc (EJB profile).
Ubiquitous domain language/model All entities used in the API are based on the TelemanagementForums Shared Information and Data model. This provides the ubiquitous language.
Please be aware that only generic elements of this model are used to ensure that the API is not bound to telecommunications specific systems only.
Reliable messaging Reliable messaging is supported through the JMS profile (and in future probably also for web service profile using the WS-Reliable Messaging standard).
Loosely coupled Loose coupling is provided through the XML/JMS and web services profile.
XML Document based Both the XML/JMS and web services profile use XML based message exchanges.
Interoperable The web services profile support interoperability with other implementation technologies. Interoperability is also supported by the XML/JMS profile since many JMS providers provide APIs for non-Java clients.

These are all the concepts that apply to the Order Management API. The following concepts are not addressed by the Order Management API and I’ll explain why:

Versioning There is no standard way for versioning of (for example) orders without breaking already connected clients. For example, when you’d add an attribute to an Order on the server, clients that validate the XML against the XML Schema will break.There are some ways to deal with this, but the Order Management API (or the OSS/J APIs in general) dooes not define how this situation should be handled. Luckily the Order Management API does provide support for dynamic attributes and by using these the problem becomes less urgent, but it is something that should be addressed in the future.
Policy Driven, Registry and discovery, Orchestration These concepts should not be defined by one single system in a SOA, but are the responsibility of the SOA eco-system. Order Management API implementations can perfectly participate in a policy driven SOA, or be registered and discovered, or be used by and orchestration engine, but, the API does and should not define how this is realized.
Security The Order Management API itself does not specify how security should be addressed, but because it builds on the JavaEE and web service specifications, the security features of JavaEE and web services can be used to address security needs.

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Systemic change: CIC and Google

As more materials are digitized it promotes stronger thinking about collective approaches to collection management: from access, development, inventory management and preservation perspectives. This direction is visible in emerging ...

Today Google and CIC announce an agreement to digitize ten million volumes across the CIC libraries. Google has been adding new partners since the first announcement was made about the Google 5. Some folks have wondered what rationale has governed selection of partner opportunities. We do not know, but they sure are moving fast! Here are some early thoughts.

The CIC announcement is interesting for several reasons:

* It is a shared effort across a major group of libraries with significant collections. There appears to be strong CIC institutional commitment. Of course, CIC has a history of collaboratively sourced activities and this 'pooling' model makes increasing sense given the necessary policy and service challenges that need to be addressed. In this case, but also across a range of other issues that libraries face as they support changing research and learning behaviors in a reconfigured network environment. For some things, scale matters.
* The libraries have a shared approach to managing the digital copies based on shared infrastructure at the University of Michigan, and serving them up to their user communities. An example of collaborative sourcing.
* Google recently advertized for somebody to work on collection development and we seem to be seeing a stronger focus in this area. Collecting areas of importance within each library [pdf] have been identified for attention. Presumably, these decisions have been influenced by the 'collective collection' of the full Google parnership also.

This initiative in turn prompts some more general thoughts about access:

* One of the most valuable features of the Google initiative is that it digitizes book content, allowing fine-grained discovery over topics, people, places and so on. Of course this presents interesting questions about indexing, retrieval, ranking, and presentation but the advantage of having this access seems clear. It drives use and sales, and it supports enquiry. Without it, the book literature is less accessible than the web literature.
* However, as we are beginning to see on Google Book Search, we are really going beyond 'retrieval as we have known it' in significant ways. Google is mining its assembled resources - in Scholar, in web pages, in books - to create relationships between items and to identify people and places. So we are seeing related editions pulled together, items associated with reviews, items associated with items to which they refer, and so on. As the mass of material grows and as approaches are refined this service will get better. And it will get better in ways that are very difficult for other parties to emulate.
* Currently this material is made available within the Google destination site. Google is an advertizing engine and its approach depends on aggregating attention for adverts. This apporach may be difficult to deploy within a more 'data services' approach where others - especially the partners - have remixable access to content and services. However, the 'utility' value of this resource will be diminished if it is not made available in this way so that others can mobilize these resource within their own environments. How and if this gets done remains to be seen. (See the related discussion about the search API.)
* This type of access seems especially important for the partner libraries. In the early days of this activity there was some discussion of the types of services which would be built on top of the digitized books by the libraries. However, it is difficult, and maybe not very sensible, for the libraries to individually invest in some types of service development. An important factor here is that they cannot benefit from the network effects tha

Inventory Management

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Tekelec Streamlines Inventory Management with ClearOrbit's Gemini ...

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
Prior to Gemini, Tekelec used manual inventory management and data
collection processes that limited the company's efficiencies and
presented numerous ...

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ClearOrbit (www.clearorbit.com), the leading provider of real-time supply chain execution and reverse logistics solutions, today announced that Tekelec has deployed ClearOrbit’s Gemini® Mobile Software solution to automate data collection and streamline the company’s inventory management process. Since implementing Gemini, Tekelec, a high-performance network applications company, reports significant improvements in accuracy, timeliness, visibility and control of data throughout the company’s warehouse and fulfillment center.

Prior to Gemini, Tekelec used manual inventory management and data collection processes that limited the company’s efficiencies and presented numerous obstacles to inventory accuracy and control. Gemini’s automated data collection capabilities optimize accuracy and efficiency by enabling users to record transactions such as receiving, inventory movement and transfers, adjustments and returns with handheld radio-frequency (RF) scanners. To add to their level of inventory control, Tekelec is also making use of Gemini’s Compliance Label Manager™ (CLM™) to generate barcodes for every piece of inventory in its facility, including raw materials and manufactured goods.

“Manual processes greatly limited visibility throughout our inventory management process,” said Mark Rossi, Director of Manufacturing Operations with Tekelec. “Although we’re in phase one of the Gemini implementation, we’ve already seen a drastic reduction in inventory errors, and the CLM module has greatly contributed to this. We look forward to even greater ROI as we continue to expand our current Gemini-driven transactions.”

Rossi adds that Gemini came highly recommended by Tekelec’s IT department because it directly integrated with the company’s existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) data model, unlike other offerings that required adding a proprietary third-party database. This seamless integration, Rossi explains, has helped Tekelec leverage its existing setups, tolerances and profiles in its Oracle discreet manufacturing system.

“We work closely with companies such as Tekelec to identify specific supply chain needs and develop tailored solutions that deliver the efficiencies required to optimize their current and future logistical operations,” said Warren Sumner, vice president of marketing and products for ClearOrbit. “Our unique approach gives customers the tools they need to quickly implement changes that deliver real-time supply chain visibility and directly impact their bottom line.”

About Tekelec

Tekelec is a high-performance network applications company that is accelerating the transition to IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks for service providers around the globe. With its experience at the intersection of network applications and session control, Tekelec creates highly efficient platforms for managing media and delivering network solutions. Corporate headquarters are in Morrisville, N.C., U.S.A. in the Research Triangle Park area, with research and development facilities and sales offices throughout the world.

About ClearOrbit

ClearOrbit’s real-time supply chain execution and returns management solutions improve the speed, visibility, and control of extended manufacturing and distribution supply chains. Since 1994, Austin, TX-based ClearOrbit has assisted more than 275 clients in automating and controlling process execution within their extended supply networks. ClearOrbit delivers on the promise of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems such as those provided by SAP and Oracle with fully integrated bar code label management & printing, mobile applications, collaboration and returns management solutions that address “last mile functionality” issues while complementing the existing infrastructure. ClearOrbit customers include market leaders such as Alcoa, Canon, Cisco, GE and Motorola. For more information, visit www.clearorbit.com.

Inventory Management

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Single Source Releases New SM-Plus(tm) v2.07 Service Business ...

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
... incident escalation, Service Level Agreement (SLA) compliance, service
parts inventory management, new equipment sales and mobile field service.
...

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Single Source Systems, Inc., a leading developer of service business software solutions, has released a new version of its SM-Plus™ service business software solution for aftermarket product service and support organizations, independent service companies and service-intensive equipment distribution organizations worldwide. Built on a flexible Microsoft-based technology architecture, the new SM-Plus version 2.07 offers new features and enhancements to help users deliver total, responsive service while optimizing resources, customer satisfaction and profitability. New and enhanced functions include support for complex service contracts, incident escalation, Service Level Agreement (SLA) compliance, service parts inventory management, new equipment sales and mobile field service.

SM-Plus is an integrated information system that manages and maintains both company-owned and customer-owned assets. SM-Plus provides highly functional service business process support, including call taking, scheduling and dispatch, field service, depot repair, work order management, preventive maintenance, service contracts, purchasing, inventory control, and costing. All functions integrate seamlessly with existing ERP, CRM and supply chain systems for a total enterprise service management solution.

“Our latest benchmark research shows that leading companies are more and more adopting integrated service-specific technology solutions like Single Source SM-Plus to strategically leverage service operations,” said Steve Roth, SVP, Strategic Service Management practice at Aberdeen Group. “In fact, when coupled with the right business processes, these initiatives are yielding double-digit improvements in SLA compliance, service profitability and customer retention.”

“Our goal with this release was to further enhance SM-Plus to help post-sales service organizations, independent service companies and service-intensive distributors better manage people, parts, processes and information to drive profitable growth,” said Tony Petrucciani, Single Source CEO.

Some of the new features and enhancements in SM-Plus 2.07 include:

* Advanced service contract configuration, pricing and discounting
* Automated, simplified incident escalation and Service Level Agreement (SLA) management
* Mobile meter reading, “clock-on/off” service labor tracking and electronic signature capture
* Enhanced service truck stock inventory management
* Flexible, easier-to-use distribution functions added to the SM-Plus Enterprise Management Suite for service-intensive sales organizations including kitting, advanced drop-shipping, special pricing agreement (SPA) support and more

About Single Source Systems, Inc.

For companies that manufacture, sell, install or service technical or industrial products, Single Source is the solution partner of choice. In addition to developing and supporting service management software for almost 400 customers worldwide, Single Source focuses on the total success of its customers – making their businesses easier to manage internally and externally by making it easier for their customers, dealers and suppliers to do business with them. Since 1985, the Company has developed, marketed and supported a powerful line of business software applications including integrated service management systems, ERP extensions, web portals, wireless mobile workforce applications, interface connectivity products and custom developed solutions. Single Source, a Microsoft Gold Certified Independent Software Vendor (ISV), is a two-time winner of the prestigious Inc. 500 fastest growing, privately-held companies in America. For more information visit the Single Source website at http://www.singlesrc.com.

Inventory Management

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State of Tennessee Signs up for Mobile Emergency Inventory ...

Supply & Demand Chain Executive - Gilbert,AZ,USA
By Editorial Staff. Downers Grove, IL -- June 6, 2007 -- The state of
Tennessee has joined the states of Ohio and Georgia, as well as San
Bernardino County, ...

Warehouse solution from IWS manages field-based operations in crises to support disaster preparedness strategies
By Editorial Staff

Downers Grove, IL — June 6, 2007 — The state of Tennessee has joined the states of Ohio and Georgia, as well as San Bernardino County, Calif., in selecting a mobile emergency response solution from Integrated Warehousing Solutions (IWS) to support disaster preparedness strategies.

IWS initially designed its "Go-Kit" solution to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mandate for management and tracking of strategic national stockpiles of lifesaving vaccines as part of a coordinated response to a large-scale bioterrorism or pandemic event.

A self-contained mobile warehouse, the "Go-Kit" supports the activation of distribution and treatment centers in as little as 15 minutes and maintains rigorous control of supplies, according to IWS. It provides visibility both upstream to command centers and downstream to field operations, allowing crisis teams to focus on the most important priorities.

The system comes with options to record critical medical information such as lot control and patient level information, making it well suited for day-to-day public health initiatives such as onsite delivery of flu vaccines or other routine preventative treatments, IWS said.

Incorporating emergency response decision support wizards to control and monitor medical and pharmaceutical supplies, the "Go-Kit" supports command and control personnel, allowing these teams to monitor distribution of supplies in real time without the need to call field personnel and shift resources.

The "Go-Kit" comes in a custom-designed storage container and includes a rugged commercial grade laptop preconfigured with the application, mobile wireless access points, handheld wireless devices and scanners for recording distribution and patient information, printers and satellite telephone.

Inventory Management

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

SAIC Announces Financial Results for First Quarter Fiscal Year 2008

Web Services Journal - Montvale,NJ,USA
... storage, and distribution functions, contributing supply chain
management expertise in forecasting, inventory management, and worldwide
distribution. ...

SAN DIEGO and MCLEAN, Va., June 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SAIC, Inc. , a leading provider of research, engineering, and technology services and solutions, today announced financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2008, which ended April 30, 2007.

"Thanks to the hard work of our 44,000 employees, the company is off to a good start for the year," said Ken Dahlberg, SAIC chairman and chief executive officer. "The company met its financial objectives for the quarter and is on track to achieve all of the metrics contained in the company's guidance for the year. In addition, the enactment of the supplemental spending bill in May should allow our primary customers to fund their critical missions."

Summary Operating Results

Revenues for the quarter were $2.1 billion, up 6 percent from $2.0 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007. Internal, or non-acquisition, growth represented 2 percentage points of the consolidated growth for the quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was $140 million (6.8 percent of revenue), down 1 percent from $142 million (7.3 percent of revenue) in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007. The year-over-year decrease in operating margin was primarily caused by the timing of business development and internal research and development spending, which is forecast to be consistent throughout fiscal year 2008 but was weighted toward the second half of fiscal year 2007.

Income from continuing operations for the quarter was $77 million, down 17 percent from $93 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007. The decrease in income from continuing operations results primarily from a $15 million decrease in interest income and a 3.6 percentage point increase in the effective tax rate. Interest income declined year-over-year in response to declines in average cash and investment balances due to the payment of the $2.45 billion special dividend in November 2006. The tax rate in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007 was lower than normal as a result of the reversal of certain tax contingencies; the tax rate in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 represents a more normative rate of 40 percent.

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations for the quarter were $0.18, down 33 percent from $0.27 in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007, driven by the decrease in income from continuing operations and a higher share count compared to the prior year. The diluted share count for the quarter was 418 million, up 20 percent from 347 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007 as a result of the 86.25 million shares issued in the October 2006 initial public offering (IPO).

Diluted earnings per share, which include discontinued operations, were $0.19 for the quarter, down 39 percent from $0.31 in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007. Discontinued operations include the majority owned subsidiary ANX, which was sold in the third quarter of fiscal year 2007, and Telcordia, which was sold in the first quarter of fiscal year 2006.

Cash Generation and Capital Deployment

The company used $134 million of cash flow in support of operations during the quarter, compared to generating $79 million in cash flow from operations in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007. The decrease in cash flow from operations is in part due to increases during the quarter in the settlement of payables and accrued expenses and in days sales outstanding from 69 to 73 days. The decrease was also attributable to the year-over-year shift from equity to cash of certain bonus payments and retirement plan contributions, timing differences in payments for Employee Stock Purchase Plan and retirement plan activities, and the recategorization of tax benefits received on stock option exercises and other stock awards from cash flow from operations to cash flow from financing activities effective with the October 2006 IPO-related reorganization merger as required by SFAS 123( R ). In general, cash flow from operations is lowest in the first quarter because the company pays its annual bonuses for the prior year in March.

During the quarter, the company used a total of $94 million to repurchase 2.5 million shares under the 40-million share stock repurchase program and 2.7 million shares in privately negotiated transactions or other recurring repurchases from employees in settlement of withholding taxes associated with stock option exercises and vesting events. Share count guidance given by the company expressly assumes no future repurchases under the repurchase program but includes an estimate for other recurring repurchases from employees.

New Business Awards

Net new business bookings totaled $1.5 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year, representing a book-to-bill ratio of 0.7. Net bookings reflect net additions to backlog, derived by taking the change in backlog plus revenue recognized for the period. No bookings value is assigned unless the company has received a signed contract for a priced statement of work. Quarterly net bookings were diminished by $300 million to reflect that the company received notice that a customer intends to move certain tasks from a definite delivery contract to existing indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts. Without this contract category change, net bookings would have been $1.8 billion, yielding a book-to-bill ratio of 0.9.

Notable highlights of competitive definite delivery contracts received during the quarter include:

- Global Positioning System Wing (GPSW) Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I). SAIC won a five-year, $212 million contract to provide SE&I services in support of the GPSW. SAIC will produce and maintain the technical baseline for a dynamic and multi-segment program and deliver a broad range of services, including integration management, engineering process control and improvement, system security, program certification, specialty engineering, logistics, quality assurance, and risk management. - Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Electronic Warfare Technical Services. Under a five-year, $122 million cost-plus-award-fee task order, SAIC will provide engineering, technical, and programmatic support services for surface and airborne electronic warfare to the NSWC, Crane Division. - Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems. SAIC won a three-year, $22 million task order from the SPAWAR Systems Center, Charleston (SSCC) to support the deployment of the Navy ERP Systems, Applications and Products common business solution. SAIC support includes project and financial management, business processes and information, communications and organizational change management, quality assurance, testing, training, helpdesk management, technical environment, business realization, and balanced scorecard/Lean Six Sigma processes.

In addition to these definite delivery awards, SAIC also won several IDIQ contracts that are not included in the bookings total. Notable IDIQ awards during the quarter include:

- U.S. Air Force, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Support Services. SAIC won a five-year, $394 million time-and-materials contract from PACAF to provide a full range of engineering and technical support services. Under this recompeted master contract, SAIC will continue to support systems for PACAF command, control, computers, intelligence, wargaming and force protection. - Military Ground Tires Supply Chain Management (Michelin). SAIC won a single award, firm-fixed-price contract from Michelin North America to help supply ground tires to the U.S. military through the Defense Supply Center-Columbus (DSCC). Under the ten-year, $300 million contract, SAIC will manage the wholesale supply, storage, and distribution functions, contributing supply chain management expertise in forecasting, inventory management, and worldwide distribution. - General Services Administration (GSA) Networx Universal Program. SAIC is a key subcontractor to Qwest Communications International Inc. on the GSA Networx Universal program, which has an estimated value of $20 billion and ceiling of $48.1 billion over 10 years. Qwest is one of three companies to receive a Networx Universal prime contract. SAIC will provide managed security services, managed tiered security services, customer specific design and engineering services, managed hosting services, transition services, and other related professional services. - U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) Technical Services. SAIC was one of three companies awarded a contract to provide technical services to the U.S. Army CMA with a five-year period of performance and a $62 million ceiling. Under this recompeted contract, SAIC will continue to provide engineering design; chemical agent, industrial chemical and pollutant monitoring; technical analysis; quality assurance; safety, security, and surety; training and testing to support CMA's mission of storing and disposing chemicals in a safe and environmentally sound manner.

The company's backlog of signed business orders at the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 was over $14.5 billion, of which $4.8 billion was funded. The negotiated unfunded backlog of $9.7 billion represents the estimated amount to be earned in the future from firm orders for which funding has not been appropriated or otherwise authorized and unexercised priced contract options. Negotiated unfunded backlog does not include any estimate of future potential task orders that might be awarded under IDIQ or other master agreement contract vehicles.

Forward Guidance

The company is reaffirming its guidance for fiscal year 2008 given on December 12, 2006, which is shown in the table below.

Measure FY Ending 1/31/2008 Revenue (billions) $8.70 - $9.00 Diluted EPS from continuing operations $0.83 - $0.88 Diluted share equivalents (millions) 430 Cash flow from operations (millions) $450 or greater About SAIC

SAIC is a leading provider of scientific, engineering, systems integration and technical services and solutions to all branches of the U.S. military, agencies of the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other U.S. Government civil agencies, as well as to customers in selected commercial markets. With more than 44,000 employees in over 150 cities worldwide, SAIC engineers and scientists solve

complex technical challenges requiring innovative solutions for customers' mission-critical functions.

SAIC: FROM SCIENCE TO SOLUTIONS(TM) Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this release contain or are based on "forward- looking" information within the meaning of the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by words such as "expects," "intends," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "guidance" and similar words or phrases. Forward-looking statements in this release include, among others, estimates of future sales, earnings, backlog, outstanding shares and cash flow. These statements reflect our belief and assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. Actual performance and results may differ materially from the guidance and other forward-looking statements made in this release depending on a variety of factors, including: changes in the U.S. Government defense budget or budgetary priorities or delays in the U.S. budget process; changes in U.S. Government procurement rules and regulations; our compliance with various U.S. Government and other government procurement rules and regulations; the outcome of U.S. Government audits of our company; our ability to win contracts with the U.S. Government and others; our ability to attract, train and retain skilled employees; our ability to maintain relationships with prime contractors, subcontractors and joint venture partners; our ability to obtain required security clearances for our employees; our ability to accurately estimate costs associated with our firm-fixed-price and other contracts; resolution of legal and other disputes with our customers and others; our ability to successfully acquire and integrate businesses; our ability to manage risks associated with our international business; our ability to compete with others in the markets in which we operate; and our ability to execute our business plan effectively and to overcome these and other known and unknown risks that we face. These are only some of the factors that may affect the forward-looking statements contained in this release. For further information concerning risks and uncertainties associated with our business, please refer to the filings we make from time to time with the SEC, including the "Risk Factors," "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Legal Proceedings" sections of our latest annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on April 12, 2007, which may be viewed or obtained through the Investor Relations section of our Web site at http://www.saic.com/.

All information in this release is as of June 6, 2007. SAIC expressly disclaims any duty to update the guidance or any other forward-looking statement provided in this release to reflect subsequent events, actual results or changes in the company's expectations. SAIC also disclaims any duty to comment upon or correct information that may be contained in reports published by investment analysts or others.

SAIC, INC. CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (Unaudited, in millions, except per share amounts) Three Months Ended April 30 2007 2006 Revenues $2,068 $1,954 Costs and expenses: Cost of revenues 1,797 1,684 Selling, general and administrative expenses 131 128 Operating income 140 142 Non-operating income (expense): Interest income 14 29 Interest expense (22) (23) Minority interest in income of consolidated subsidiaries (3) (3) Other income, net - 2 Income from continuing operations before income taxes 129 147 Provision for income taxes 52 54 Income from continuing operations 77 93 Discontinued operations: Income from discontinued operations before income taxes 9 1 Provision (benefit) for income taxes 6 (12) Income from discontinued operations 3 13 Net income $80 $106 Earnings per share Basic: Income from continuing operations $0.19 $0.28 Income from discontinued operations 0.01 0.04 $0.20 $0.32 Diluted: Income from continuing operations $0.18 $0.27 Income from discontinued operations 0.01 0.04 $0.19 $0.31 Weighted average shares outstanding: Basic 404 336 Diluted 418 347 SAIC, INC. CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (Unaudited, in millions) April 30, January 31, 2007 2007 ASSETS Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents $943 $1,113 Receivables, net 1,671 1,641 Inventory, prepaid expenses and other current assets 183 191 Total current assets 2,797 2,945 Property, plant and equipment (less accumulated depreciation and amortization of $280 and $268 at April 30, 2007 and January 31, 2007, respectively) 389 387 Intangible assets, net 92 109 Goodwill 964 951 Deferred income taxes 76 57 Other assets 109 109 $4,427 $4,558 LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY Current liabilities: Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $916 $1,042 Accrued payroll and employee benefits 408 519 Income taxes payable 20 73 Notes payable and long-term debt, current portion 129 29 Total current liabilities 1,473 1,663 Notes payable and long-term debt, net of current portion 1,102 1,199 Other long-term liabilities 183 104 Commitments and contingencies Minority interest in consolidated subsidiaries 59 56 Stockholders' equity: Common and preferred stock - - Additional paid-in capital 1,636 1,557 Retained earnings - 6 Accumulated other comprehensive loss (26) (27) Total stockholders' equity 1,610 1,536 $4,427 $4,558 SAIC, INC. CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (Unaudited, in millions) Three Months Ended April 30 2007 2006 Cash flows from operations: Net income $80 $106 Income from discontinued operations (3) (13) Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by (used in) operations: Depreciation and amortization 17 15 Stock-based compensation 23 15 Excess tax benefits from stock- based compensation (27) - Other non-cash items 3 1 Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents, excluding effects of acquisitions and divestitures, resulting from changes in: Receivables (30) 3 Inventory, prepaid expenses and other current assets 2 20 Deferred income taxes - (15) Other assets (2) (3) Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (116) (39) Accrued payroll and employee benefits (111) (74) Income taxes payable 27 61 Other long-term liabilities 3 2 Total cash flows provided by (used in) operations (134) 79 Cash flows from investing activities: Expenditures for property, plant and equipment (12) (18) Acquisition of businesses, net of cash acquired of $1 in 2006 - (14) Purchases of marketable securities available-for-sale - (4,258) Proceeds from sales and maturities of marketable securities available-for-sale - 5,917 Other 4 10 Total cash flows provided by (used in) investing activities (8) 1,637 Cash flows from financing activities: Payments on notes payable and long-term debt (1) (20) Sales of stock and exercise of stock options 35 16 Repurchases of stock (94) (32) Excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation 27 - Other 1 (1) Total cash flows used in financing activities (32) (37) Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents from continuing operations (174) 1,679 Cash flows of discontinued operations: Cash provided by investing activities from discontinued operations 4 1 Increase in cash and cash equivalents from discontinued operations 4 1 Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period 1,113 1,010 Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $943 $2,690 Supplemental schedule of non-cash investing and financing activities: Stock exchanged upon exercise of stock options $85 $52 Stock issued for settlement of accrued employee benefits $4 $32 Fair value of assets acquired in acquisitions $- $18 Cash paid in acquisitions, net of cash acquired - (14) Accrued acquisition payments - (1) Liabilities assumed in acquisitions $- $3 Web Services Journal - Montvale,NJ,USA
... storage, and distribution functions, contributing supply chain
management expertise in forecasting, inventory management, and worldwide
distribution. ...

Inventory Management

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Saas: Omniture and the Extended Enterprise

By Sramana_Mitra
They help in providing this data across all levels in the organization so that informed decisions could be taken about marketing, pricing, product development, supply chain and inventory management. (more...)

Omniture (OMTR) provides on-demand (SaaS) Web analytics solutions that if used effectively can be seen catering to the Enterprise 3.0 trend we discussed earlier.

It provides online business optimization software that can help capture, analyze, and manage data about marketing and sales in businesses that have both offline and online retail stores. Consider this scenario. A customer finds something of interest on an online store and buys it at their brick and mortar store. So the offline and online channels of a store are not independent.

As the boundaries between begin to blur, businesses find it important to measure and analyze cross-channel buying behavior. Omniture provides the analytics on data about customers across different channels. They help in providing this data across all levels in the organization so that informed decisions could be taken about marketing, pricing, product development, supply chain and inventory management.

Along with the data, Omniture also provides a configuration and management tool that helps the client manage the user access for individuals, groups, and functions. Optimum use of this tool would put vital information in the hands of the Extended Enterprise : manufacturers, suppliers, logistics service providers, etc.

Its clients include eBay, AOL, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Oracle, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard as well as Salesforce.com. The industries it caters to include automotive, financial services, media, retail, technology, and travel.

Omniture was founded in 1996 as SuperStats.com and in 2002 it came to be known as Omniture, Inc. It saw a growth of more than 100% for five years and has become a leader in the Web Analytics industry. It went public in June last year at a price of $6.5 and its stock price on 30th May was $17.97 on NASDAQ and the market cap $883.28 million. In 2006, it posted revenue of $79.7 million, a growth of 86% over 2005. For the first quarter in 2007, it had revenue of $29.2 million, a 77% year-to-year quarterly growth and a 24% quarter-to-quarter growth. It is expected to achieve a sales growth of more than 50% by Dec 08.

Omniture acquired two companies in early 2007, Instadia and Touch Clarity. The acquisition of the Danish company Instadia has helped Omniture get a stronger foothold in the Nordic region and Germany. Touch Clarity, a behavioral targeting specialist, on the other hand, helps Omniture add a new dimension to their technology.

Overall, of the companies best positioned to capitalize on the SaaS+Extended Enterprise trends, Omniture is certainly a key one to watch.

Inventory Management

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Kelley Blue Book Launches KARPOWER Online

By 5nizza(5nizza)
Car Dealer Inventory Management and Marketing Solution Now Online Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new- and used-vehicle information, announces that KARPOWER, its long-standing vehicle inventory, pricing, management and ...

Car Dealer Inventory Management and Marketing Solution Now Online

Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new- and used-vehicle information, announces that KARPOWER, its long-standing vehicle inventory, pricing, management and marketing solution, has moved from a software-based CD-ROM to an easy-to-use, always available, Web enabled solution. KARPOWER Online(SM) can be accessed across the entire sales organization, offering dealer management system (DMS) polling, automated Web export capabilities, and necessary information and tools to value, manage, and market used vehicle inventory more efficiently and effectively. This new online version of KARPOWER is the culmination of enhancement requests received and implemented from top dealers across the country over the last several years.

KARPOWER Online's new DMS integration allows dealerships to easily input, manage and market their used vehicle inventory. In addition to having access to 21 years of regionally adjusted Kelley Blue Book Retail, Wholesale and Trade-In Values, KARPOWER Online offers a built-in VIN decoder in which dealers can quickly input and evaluate vehicles rather than individually keying in vehicle details. These two features allow inventory to be captured and more easily managed through KARPOWER Online.

The most popular feature in KARPOWER Online is the capability to customize and print Kelley Blue Book branded window stickers and buyer's guides for a single vehicle or a dealer's entire used-vehicle inventory. Kelley Blue Book window stickers allow dealers to display the Kelley Blue Book seal, consumer-trusted Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail Price, and the dealer's reduced price on each vehicle. In 2006, more than three million used and certified vehicles were sold in the U.S. displaying Kelley Blue Book window stickers.

"Migrating to KARPOWER Online or ordering it new is simple and the price still remains $39 a month," said Mike Romano, vice president, Dealer Strategy, Kelley Blue Book. "With the over 10,000 dealers currently using KARPOWER to access Kelley Blue Book Trade-In, Wholesale and Retail values, we now offer dealers instant access to all of our values in one tool."

A new feature of KARPOWER Online is the Vehicle Fact Sheet. Once a vehicle's data is populated into KARPOWER Online, with a simple click vehicle details can be transformed into a one-page vehicle fact sheet used for further marketing of the vehicle on- and offline. Vehicle Fact Sheets are easily customized to display the dealership name, vehicle details, multiple photos and the Kelley Blue Book Retail Value as well as the dealer's asking price.

"Since migrating to KARPOWER Online we have been using the vehicle fact sheets as a sales tool on- and off-line, handing them to shoppers interested in the vehicle in addition to e-mailing the fact sheets to interested parties through our Internet department," said Jennifer Lees, used vehicle inventory manager of Polar Chevrolet in White Bear Lake, MN. "By allowing the shopper to take a fact sheet home with them, no detail of the vehicle is forgotten and we're finding that the more they look at the vehicle the more they want it. We are seeing more repeat business than before by giving them information to take home."

To further assist dealers in the online marketing of their used vehicle inventory, KARPOWER Online also offers the ability to automatically upload inventory each night, seven days a week to Web sites such as AutoTrader.com, kbb.com and Cars.com. KARPOWER Online allows up to 32 photos per vehicle to be stored within the program. Nightly exports help keep inventory accurate and current, facilitating a greater amount of vehicle sales online.

For more information and details on Kelley Blue Book's all-new KARPOWER Online, please visit http://www.karpower.com/ or to order, call 1-800-Blue-Book.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)

Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource(R), has provided vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web site, kbb.com, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including the New Car Blue Book(R) Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue Book(R) Official Guide. Kbb.com is rated the No. 1 automotive information site by Nielsen//NetRatings and the most visited auto site by J.D. Power and Associates eight years in a row. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than kbb.com; nearly one in every three American car buyers performs their research on kbb.com.


Inventory Management

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FoxyCart Inventory 0.1.0

By The Man Can!
Adds simple inventory management for MODx sites using FoxyCart.com.

This functionality comes in two pieces:

* XML Parser: FoxyCart can be configured to send an encrypted XML file to a URL of your choice. The first snippet parses that XML and decreses inventory as necessary, based on configurable "product code" and "inventory" TVs.
* Add to Cart Link: A very simple snippet that checks a document's inventory TV value and outputs an "available" or "unavailable" chunk, based on inventory being >0 or no

Inventory Management

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LANDesk and Lenovo License Inventory Management Tool at No Charge

Web Services Journal - Montvale,NJ,USA
The solution is optimized for Lenovo PCs and introduces customers to
inventory management tools such as client discovery, extensive
hardware/software data ...

SALT LAKE CITY, June 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- LANDesk Software, a leading provider of IT service management solutions, and Lenovo, a leading provider of PC products, today announced the availability of LANDesk(R) Starter Pack for ThinkVantage(R) Technologies (TVT) -- which may be licensed as part of a promotion at no-charge to owners of Lenovo 3000 ThinkPad and ThinkCentre PCs. The solution is optimized for Lenovo PCs and introduces customers to inventory management tools such as client discovery, extensive hardware/software data collection, integrated lease management information, centralized asset and ThinkVantage reporting, executive dashboard, and remote diagnostic reporting.

According to analyst research, 80 percent of the ownership cost of a PC is incurred after it is purchased. The availability of a robust suite of management tools can significantly improve user productivity, reduce IT support costs, minimize overall lifecycle costs and enhance IT processes. LANDesk Starter Pack for ThinkVantage Technologies brings all these benefits to organizations of any size and extends them to customers that have a heterogeneous computing environment with multiple computing platforms.

"The tracking and management of IT assets can be a daunting task, especially in distributed environments with mobile and remote workers, and multiple branch offices," said Rich Cheston, executive director of software marketing at Lenovo. "LANDesk Starter Pack for ThinkVantage Technologies will help IT administrators better manage their hardware and software assets quickly and cost effectively through powerful inventory collection and reporting, as well as lease management."

ThinkVantage Technologies are PC client-oriented tools that help Lenovo customers improve security and usability, thereby reducing total cost of ownership and minimizing end user support calls. Through the LANDesk Starter Pack for ThinkVantage Technologies, an IT organization can discover and track PC assets, manage these assets from a single console, plan for Windows(TM) Vista upgrades, identify security issues and determine purchase needs for computing platforms including Windows(R), Mac OS, Unix and Linux.

"Lenovo ThinkVantage Technologies provide added value to our customers by delivering management capabilities that reduce the total cost of ownership of their business systems," said Steve Daly, general manager of LANDesk Software. "Coupled with the inventory capability found in LANDesk(R) Inventory Manager through the new LANDesk Starter Pack, organizations will be able to extract maximum value from their investments throughout the various stages of a PC lifecycle, while enjoying the added benefits of enhanced visibility and inventory management of all corporate IT assets."

Pricing and Availability

LANDesk(R) Starter Pack for ThinkVantage Technologies is now available via complementary download to owners of Lenovo 3000 ThinkPad and ThinkCentre PCs manufactured after January 1, 2002. The download can be accessed at http://www.landesk.com/thinkvantage/starterpack. The software can also be purchased for owners of non-Lenovo systems.

About LANDesk Software

LANDesk Software, an Avocent company, is a leading provider of systems, security, and process management solutions for desktops, servers and mobile devices across the enterprise. LANDesk enables thousands of organizations to easily deploy and use end-to-end management solutions. LANDesk is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, with offices located in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and can be found on the Web at http://www.landesk.com/ or by calling 1-800-982-2130.

About Avocent Corporation

Avocent delivers IT operations and infrastructure management solutions for enterprises worldwide, helping customers to reduce costs and simplify complex IT environments via integrated, centralized in-band and out-of-band hardware and software. Additional information is available at: http://www.avocent.com/.

About Lenovo

Lenovo (OTC Pink Sheets: LNVGY) (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is dedicated to building the world's best engineered personal computers. Lenovo's business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group's acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable high-quality, secure and easy-to- use technology products and services worldwide. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information, see http://www.lenovo.com/us/en.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that are forward-looking statements as defined within the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include statements regarding market opportunity, product development, engineering and design activities, integration with third party products and product availability and operability. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made, including the risks associated with general economic conditions, risks attributable to future product demand, sales, and expenses, risks associated with product design efforts and the introduction of new products and technologies, risks associated with reliance on a limited number of component suppliers and single source components, and risk associated with obtaining and protecting intellectual property rights. Other factors that could cause operating and financial results to differ are described in Avocent's reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Copyright (C) 2007 LANDesk Software Ltd. or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. LANDesk is either a registered trademark or trademark of LANDesk Software Ltd. or its affiliated companies in the United States and/or other countries. Avocent and the Avocent logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Avocent Corporation or its subsidiaries. Windows and Vista are registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Other names or brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Inventory Management

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Survey: Most Companies Still Struggle with Inventory Management

Multichannel Merchant - Stamford,CT,USA
... retailers, and distributors in February and March--shows a clear link
between these issues and the need for improved inventory management
practices. ...

A recent survey by Industry Directions, an enterprise technologies analyst firm, sheds new light on three common business pain points: forecast accuracy, overstocks, and expediting.

For instance, 83% of respondents said that overstocks were common in their organizations.

Another large majority, 73% of respondents, said expediting was common, with 40% adding that this problem was getting worse.

And 60% of respondents said their forecast accuracy was below 80%, even for time horizons as short as three months.

The results of the survey—conducted among 190 manufacturers, retailers, and distributors in February and March--shows a clear link between these issues and the need for improved inventory management practices.

Companies across a broad spectrum of manufacturing, distribution, and retail segments are striving to be more demand driven. The demand-driven strategy of allowing actual demand to pull inventory through the company and its supply chain seems simple. For those using traditional supply chain management practices, however, other corporate strategies, along with some outside forces, are making it a challenge to create a truly demand-driven supply and distribution network.

For instance, strategies such as increasing the pace of innovation and appealing to broader ranges of consumers are making product lifecycles shorter and expanding the product mix. Expanding the company’s sales reach, meanwhile, complicates distribution and fulfillment. And the addition of new audiences selecting from a broader range of products makes traditional forecasting by category, product family, or channel less effective.

What’s more, global sourcing is making supply lead times longer, and because of outsourcing, companies have become more dependent on their trading partners. New regulations, new competition, and new technologies also factor in to make a very complex equation.

Most respondents to this study, according to Industry Directions, are still operating in a relatively traditional fashion, reviewing processes and performance, inventory, and service-level targets infrequently. A majority have planning software but not other applications that support dynamic, demand-driven response. Top-performing companies in the study were more likely to use these practices and software.

Inventory Management

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Ace Hardware Hits the Nail on the Head Using Planalytics Business ...

Earthtimes.org - USA
The intelligence from Planalytics can be used throughout our supply chain
to support more effective strategic plans, improved seasonal inventory
management ...


WAYNE, Pa., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Planalytics Inc., the industry-leading provider of business weather solutions, today announced that Ace Hardware Corp., the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry, has selected the Planalytics Business Weather Intelligence platform to measure and manage weather-driven demand influences throughout the chain. Ace Hardware plans to integrate this intelligence into their current business processes.

"Planalytics provides unique opportunities for Ace Hardware and a solution that will bring significant returns on the investment within the first season," comments Frederic Fox, president and CEO at Planalytics, Inc. "Additionally, our solution provides a single point of view on the weather and it's impact throughout the business, which enables more autonomous decision- making at all levels," continues Fox.

"The weather has a significant impact on our business and it's vital that we are able to anticipate and plan for these events. Proactively managing weather means that we can mitigate upcoming risks and take full advantage of capitalizing on opportunities that we would not otherwise have been prepared for. The intelligence from Planalytics can be used throughout our supply chain to support more effective strategic plans, improved seasonal inventory management and better targeted marketing and promotional programs based upon weather-driven changes in customer behavior. We will therefore be implementing Planalytics information as a best practice, prior to integration with our existing JDA Software environment so that the intelligence flows directly through our planning and inventory management processes," says Paul Sikes, director of inventory control for Ace Hardware Corp.

About Planalytics

Planalytics (http://www.planalytics.com/) helps companies reduce risk and improve profitability by identifying and managing the effects of weather on their business. Using a combination of historical and predictive analytics, Planalytics helps clients understand and effectively plan for weather-driven changes in supply, demand, and pricing. The company's products and services provide retailers and manufacturers with specific knowledge of how weather has and will influence their business. Clients use Planalytics' information for improved decision-making both in-season and up to one year in advance to support more effective financial planning, merchandise management, advertising and promotion timing and operational effectiveness.

About Ace Hardware Corp.

Throughout its 80-year history, Ace Hardware has been known as the helpful hardware store by both customers and communities. With 4,600 hardware, home center and building materials stores that generate annual retail sales of more than $12 billion, Ace Hardware is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace currently operates 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and one distribution center in Shanghai. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states and nearly 60 countries. More information about Ace can be found

Inventory Management

Labels:

Kelley Blue Book Launches KARPOWER Online(SM)

PR Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA
Dealer Inventory Management and Marketing Solution Now Online IRVINE,
Calif., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book (http://www.kbb.com), ...

Dealer Inventory Management and Marketing Solution Now Online

IRVINE, Calif., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book
(http://www.kbb.com), the leading provider of new- and used-vehicle
information, announces that KARPOWER, its long-standing vehicle inventory,
pricing, management and marketing solution, has moved from a software-based
CD-ROM to an easy-to-use, always available, Web enabled solution. KARPOWER
Online can be accessed across the entire sales organization, offering
dealer management system (DMS) polling, automated Web export capabilities,
and necessary information and tools to value, manage, and market used
vehicle inventory more efficiently and effectively. This new online version
of KARPOWER is the culmination of enhancement requests received and
implemented from top dealers across the country over the last several
years.
KARPOWER Online's new DMS integration allows dealerships to easily
input, manage and market their used vehicle inventory. In addition to
having access to 21 years of regionally adjusted Kelley Blue Book Retail,
Wholesale and Trade-In Values, KARPOWER Online offers a built-in VIN
decoder in which dealers can quickly input and evaluate vehicles rather
than individually keying in vehicle details. These two features allow
inventory to be captured and more easily managed through KARPOWER Online.
The most popular feature in KARPOWER Online is the capability to
customize and print Kelley Blue Book branded window stickers and buyer's
guides for a single vehicle or a dealer's entire used-vehicle inventory.
Kelley Blue Book window stickers allow dealers to display the Kelley Blue
Book seal, consumer-trusted Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail Price, and
the dealer's reduced price on each vehicle. In 2006, more than three
million used and certified vehicles were sold in the U.S. displaying Kelley
Blue Book window stickers.
"Migrating to KARPOWER Online or ordering it new is simple and the
price still remains $39 a month," said Mike Romano, vice president, Dealer
Strategy, Kelley Blue Book. "With the over 10,000 dealers currently using
KARPOWER to access Kelley Blue Book Trade-In, Wholesale and Retail values,
we now offer dealers instant access to all of our values in one tool."
A new feature of KARPOWER Online is the Vehicle Fact Sheet. Once a
vehicle's data is populated into KARPOWER Online, with a simple click
vehicle details can be transformed into a one-page vehicle fact sheet used
for further marketing of the vehicle on- and offline. Vehicle Fact Sheets
are easily customized to display the dealership name, vehicle details,
multiple photos and the Kelley Blue Book Retail Value as well as the
dealer's asking price.
"Since migrating to KARPOWER Online we have been using the vehicle fact
sheets as a sales tool on- and off-line, handing them to shoppers
interested in the vehicle in addition to e-mailing the fact sheets to
interested parties through our Internet department," said Jennifer Lees,
used vehicle inventory manager of Polar Chevrolet in White Bear Lake, MN.
"By allowing the shopper to take a fact sheet home with them, no detail of
the vehicle is forgotten and we're finding that the more they look at the
vehicle the more they want it. We are seeing more repeat business than
before by giving them information to take home."
To further assist dealers in the online marketing of their used vehicle
inventory, KARPOWER Online also offers the ability to automatically upload
inventory each night, seven days a week to Web sites such as
AutoTrader.com, kbb.com and Cars.com. KARPOWER Online allows up to 32
photos per vehicle to be stored within the program. Nightly exports help
keep inventory accurate and current, facilitating a greater amount of
vehicle sales online.
For more information and details on Kelley Blue Book's all-new KARPOWER
Online, please visit http://www.karpower.com or to order, call
1-800-Blue-Book.
About Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com)
Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource(R), has provided
vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they
need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web
site, kbb.com, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including
the New Car Blue Book(R) Value, which reveals what people actually are
paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values
via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue
Book(R) Official Guide. Kbb.com is rated the No. 1 automotive information
site by Nielsen//NetRatings and the most visited auto site by J.D. Power
and Associates eight years in a row. No other medium reaches more in-market
vehicle shoppers than kbb.com; nearly one in every three American car
buyers performs their research on kbb.com.

Inventory Management

Labels:

CRM from SmartOnline, Telerx's Hire, OnDemandIQ's New Version ...

By ggalitzine@tmcnet.com(ggalitzine@tmcnet.com)
"One of the biggest challenges in this industry is when dealers make a large investment in tools such as lead generating Web sites, inventory management products and search engine marketing, and then don't use them or use only a small ...

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Paul Simon's There Goes Rhymin' Simon:

Telerx, a contact center outsourcer working in the packaged goods and healthcare industries, recently announced the appointment of Linda Schellenger to President, effective immediately.

Schellenger will oversee six interactive communications centers with 2,000 employees while managing strategic development, business planning and client program consultation.

Schellenger recently served as senior vice president of sales and marketing for Telerx, and will serve on the Telerx Board of Directors. Prior to joining the Telerx leadership team in 2006, Schellenger served as chief marketing officer for TCIM Services, Inc.


OnDemandIQ has introduced a Life Sciences version of its OnDemandIQ Insights' hosted business intelligence product.

Specifically designed for small to medium sized sales and marketing organizations in the life sciences industry, OnDemandIQ Insights' is used by organizations to get the information they need "to reclaim selling time and grow sales," according to company officials.

The product integrates relevant data such as script data, CRM call activity and sales information into a Web interface. Pre-configured dashboards and reports based on common industry metrics such as total scripts by product or call activity by day streamline standard reporting so that any user can access the information.

"Unlike most business intelligence software, our focus is on providing actionable sales information to the field," explains Steven Schneider, Principal. "And because the relevant information reps need is at their disposal at any time, their effectiveness in the field is optimized."

OnDemandIQ Insights' analysis capabilities compute more than 100 pre-calculated metrics, including goals tracking and ranking capabilities. The interface allows users to customize their view to highlight key metrics and get more detailed information.


Televerde, a vendor of outsourced business-to-business customer acquisition products and actionable market intelligence, has announced that it has achieved ISO 9001:2000 certification.

Televerde officials claim the company is "one of very few marketing solution outsourcers to earn this certification."

Accepted internationally by the national standards bodies of 157 countries, the ISO 9001:2000 certification recognizes that Televerde met or exceeded a series of requirements guiding how the company performs, manages and ensures quality services.

The inspection to assess the effectiveness of Televerde’s quality management system across their total enterprise was conducted by BSI Management Systems, an independent ISO registrar.

ISO is a non-governmental organization that identifies the international standards required by business, government and society, develops those standards in partnership within the sectors where they will be used, adopts transparent procedures based on national input, and then provides a means to implement these standards worldwide.


Premiere Global Services has launched PGi iRgent, an online communications platform for small and mid-sized businesses.

The product is being billed as bringing Premiere Global’s enterprise class communication technologies together in a product designed for small businesses. With this tool, companies can send information to any recipient contact address — whether by automated voice message to a phone number, text message to a mobile number, e-mail or fax — all from the same Web interface.

Users only have to type a message once, and PGi iRgent delivers that message in the appropriate format to their selected constituents.

PGi iRgent also lets an enterprise’s constituents select the manner in which they want to receive information, based on the content and context of the information itself. For instance, a patient might want to receive a notice about her doctor’s new office hours by e-mail, while at the same time opting to receive a more urgent notice that her appointment has been canceled via text message to her mobile device.

Ken Landoline, Program Manager, Customer Centric Strategies at Yankee Group, noted that whether communicating via e-mail, voice mail, text messaging or fax, "providing the end customer with the ultimate power of choice is a powerful competitive advantage."


XIGroup, a division of Dominion Enterprises, has announced the launch of a customer advocate program designed to "help its dealer customers get the most out of their Web products," company officials say.

XIGroup customer advocates monitor dealer Web site usage and other metrics, then call to offer dealers suggestions, methods for improving results, training tips and ways to stay effectively engaged in the internet marketing process.

"One of the biggest challenges in this industry is when dealers make a large investment in tools such as lead generating Web sites, inventory management products and search engine marketing, and then don't use them or use only a small fraction of the features, thereby never realizing the full potential return on investment," said Brian Burns, General Manager of XIGroup.

Additionally, many dealers don't call vendors when they do encounter problems, which is why XIGroup implemented a proactive approach.

XIGroup offers in-dealership and Webcast training when its Internet products are implemented, but many dealerships use only a small portion of what the products offer. Customer advocates work with the dealers to look at historical information and determine whether the changes they made to their marketing programs worked, and why.


GroupSPARK, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and vendor of private label services including Microsoft Exchange Server, has announced that it is now offering private label Hosted Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, which upgrades the platform for e-mail, mobility and collaboration.

The company says their Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration (HMC) Version 4.0 is "the only platform that Microsoft has designed, tested and validated for Exchange Server 2007 hosting."

According to a recent survey of the hosted services market by Osterman Research, the market for Hosted Microsoft Exchange Server will grow from its current base of 1.4 million mailboxes to over 7 million mailboxes by 2009. This growth represents over $600 million in new revenues.


Smart Online Inc., a vendor of Software-as-a-Service for the small business market, and Jamcracker, the on-demand services company, have announced that the OneBiz platform of private-label small business applications will be available for resale through the Jamcracker Services Delivery Network beginning in the 3rd quarter of 2007.

Smart Online's OneBiz platform features integrated daily-use applications for small businesses, including accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), salesforce automation (SFA), human resources, shared calendars and contacts, dashboards, business plan and marketing plan writers, and more than 2,000 business forms and letters.

Inventory Management

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Strategic Shoppers & their effect on retail inventory management ...

By Deepak Sharma(Deepak Sharma)
Knowledge@Wharton is running an article on how retailers need to focus on Strategic Shoppers to reap the full benefits of lean retail inventory management and variable pricing. Some shoppers just can't help themselves and buy mostly on ...

Knowledge@Wharton is running an article on how retailers need to focus on Strategic Shoppers to reap the full benefits of lean retail inventory management and variable pricing.

Some shoppers just can't help themselves and buy mostly on impulse without regard to price. Others are die-hard bargain hunters, who only open their wallets for a discount.

Then there are the strategic consumers, who are willing to buy full-price sometimes, but at other times they will wait for a bargain. According to new Wharton research, it's these customers that retailers need to focus on in order to reap the full benefits of lean retail inventory management and variable pricing.

In a paper titled, "Purchasing, Pricing and Quick Response in the Presence of Strategic Consumers," Gérard P. Cachon, professor of operations and information management at Wharton, and doctoral student Robert Swinney show how lean inventory systems are far more effective than initially thought in helping retailers determine the ideal size of their orders and the best markdown strategies when taking strategic buyers into account.

"The consumers are thinking 'Should I buy it now or later?' They form expectations about how likely it is the item will be around and how big the markdown will be," says Cachon. "If a strategic consumer concludes the markdown will be big and available, they will wait. There is an interaction between retailers and consumers when it comes to deciding on pricing and quantity.... They are playing a game."

The research shows that when strategic consumers are factored into a theoretical model, lean inventory -- or so-called "quick response" -- systems are, on average, 67% more profitable.

Inventory Management

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The Secret is Revealed!

Also, of course, the inventory management thing is what I have been doing for the last few years, with great success. They are starting me at the same pay I am making right now, but there are annual bonuses and the possibility for ...

I quit my job today. Just like that. My boss showed up, and I had a little talk with him, and now I am no longer employed with the company I had worked for for 11 years. It's strange to even think about. I'm still a little giddy over the whole thing.
It was bittersweet, because our new assistant manager, “Louie”, is actually a great guy and I will miss working with him.* I was glad he was opening today, rather than “Rita”, but at the same time, it was a shame to have to break the news to him. He was very sympathetic to my situation, and didn't make me feel bad at all for my decision, although he did try to talk me into staying on and finishing out the week. Once I explained how poorly “Rita” had been treating me, he stopped trying to get me to stay on.
I'm sure most of you remember how about ten days ago or so, I mentioned that I had a big secret that I couldn't mention to anyone.** Well, now you can know... I have a new job. I will be starting in one week at (Company Name Deleted), which is a small, growing company that makes storm water filtration systems. I'll be the inventory control clerk for their Portland office.
it sounds like an exciting job. It has just been created, and I'll get to go in and kind of make it up as I go along. This will be great for me, because I am good at that sort of thing, taking something that is kind of disorganized and random, and putting it together into one efficient whole. Also, of course, the inventory management thing is what I have been doing for the last few years, with great success.


They are starting me at the same pay I am making right now, but there are annual bonuses and the possibility for raises on a regular basis. Benefits, like health care and 401k, are almost identical to those I already have, in cost and quality. Of course, the most obvious improvement over my current job is that I will be working Mon – Fri, 7-4, with paid holidays. Also, I will enjoy working for a small company, rather than the huge bureaucracy of my most recent employer. Everyone at the office knows each other by name, and the Portland office represents a good portion of the national workforce for this company. I think they have abut 500 employees nationwide, but I'm not sure about that.
Anyway, this is so exciting, that I thought it called for a celebration!
Now you see how I will have so much time to enjoy this week's Rose Festival, and go out and get all the photos I had been dreaming about. It should be pretty exciting. I also should buy some new shoes, as those that I have are beat up and ready for the garbage.
Finally, I am very proud of myself for keeping this secret for so long! Nobody at work knew, and that was the hardest part. I did feel a little bad for keeping all of you here on the blog in the dark, and for that I am sorry.***

Inventory Management

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SL2007: General Session

By Christina(Christina)
A: (SA) like any 12 step program... our future shouldn't revolve around the OPAC, it was built for our own needs and inventory management, not for the needs of the user. Instead of fixing the OPAC, look at what the users need and creating ...

Eugenie Prime, Stephen Abram, Clifford Lynch
This is all paraphrased.

Q: How do we convince business leadership of the value of libraries?
A: (EP) not ppt, statistics are necessary but not sufficient
(SA) flow, talk ourselves up (why was the article hard to find, why do we think it will be the best, why is it important to read). Like the River with the Rock (like the Grand Canyon)

Q: databases emerge across the enterprise, how do we provide access… federated search? (I think I got the gist of this one)
A: (CL)

Q: How can I make my OPAC not suck… I love my OPAC but
A: (SA) like any 12 step program… our future shouldn’t revolve around the OPAC, it was built for our own needs and inventory management, not for the needs of the user. Instead of fixing the OPAC, look at what the users need and creating the user experience. Look at the engagement strategy (not Google as a model – they’re all about selling ads – look at Yahoo or MSN)
(EP) question said it sucks but I love it… doesn’t matter what you think, what do the customers need?
(SA) it’s not just about better search, it’s about improving the question (like what we do best, question negotiation in the reference interview)
(CL) I’m not sure that’s entirely true. What is the essence of the Google experience? Disagrees that it’s the simple search box. Thinks it’s the guarantee that anything you find in a search you can get to the source in one click [but not really because of the subscription journals searched]. This difference in view of the google experience has a lot to say about how we change our services.
(SA) We have to acknowledge that Google does some things very well. Who What Where – special libraries do the how and when. GS isn’t about better access to research, it’s about selling ads.

Q: Different learning, searching styles of the generations
A: (SA) not change in learning styles, change in rewards for various learning styles (such as sound, visual)… we’re now respecting a larger range of styles. We need to consciously support the various ways of delivering information.

Q: What innovation has had the greatest impact what will have… what competency
A: (CL) competencies: adaptable and curious more important than any narrow technical knowledge which will become obsolete. Need deeper knowledge about how things work.
(EP) leadership competency is more important… Lee Iacocca (sp?) 5 C’s.

Q: How do we go about feeling the love
A: No magic bullet…

Q: (missed) problem about no wanting to collaborate because I want to shine
A: (CL) elaborate webs of collaboration…competing teams, not competing individuals
(EP) Genome project
(SA) difficulty in information sharing and transparency
(CL) pre-competitive data (Genome is a good example). What makes sense to share in a corporation?

Q: Lack of business acumen and respect for the bottom of line is resulting in offshoring of research, etc.
A: (EP) comes back to leadership, leadership from the bottom. Right attitude and confidence in what we have to offer and courage to act on our convictions.

Q: What are the best ways to find out what the users need, why do the things we try fail? How do we become user centered
A: (SA) We evaluate the first time we iterate… you’re not a freakin’ genius…whatever happened to Chanel no.1? Look at a toddler, what a lousy attempt? (need to iterate and fix and not just evaluate the first try and stop).
Use persona, ethnographic other techniques to understand our users and their contexts, they’re not like us.

Q: What should sla do?
A: (EP) the org should do what the individual can’t do for themselves… we have to speak to the business leaders where they are.
(SA) learning laboratory (sandbox) to allow members to play and learn by doing in a risk free environment. Can we promote librarians as being competent in this area.
Room 202 … populate the web virally with reports of the value we provide to the organization…testimonials… the faces of sla. We need to learn these and learn how to adapt them for our own environments.
(CL) maybe we should be thinking more broadly of information competencies in larger organizations (not in libraries) like CIO positions – information is a critical part of the organization. Where do these skills fit into organizations?
(EP) value of the profession to the organization.

Inventory Management

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Datalogic Mobile, SeeControl Team on Mobile Apps

TMCnet - USA
Datalogic Mobile, a maker of rugged mobile computers has announced its
alliance with SeeControl, a provider of on-demand inventory management
applications ...

Datalogic Mobile, a maker of rugged mobile computers has announced its alliance with SeeControl, a provider of on-demand inventory management applications that provide total asset visibility across multiple locations.


As per the agreement, SeeControl will provide marketing, sales and support services to Datalogic Mobile Falcon 4400 Series Windows CE.Net Mobile Computers. These industrial mobile computers will find their use in inventory management, asset tracking and running SeeControl's mobile applications that are connected to an on-demand inventory management software service real-time. Along with Datalogic Mobile's Falcon, SeeControl will also utilize hand held readers - Quickscan – Datalogic Scanning, a subsidiary of Datalogic.

The combination of Datalogic's hardware and SeeControl's rapid, turnkey service will allow SeeControl to deliver state-of-the-art equipment and service to their customers, who seek efficiency and convenience in the computers that they use in warehouses, factories, data centers and field service environments.

Marino Tanas, President of Datalogic Mobile Americas said in a statement, "Inventory management is one of the fast growing market segments where Datalogic Mobile's ruggedized computers can deliver top value to the user, including reliability, first class ergonomics, ease of use and connectivity. Partnering with SeeControl means delivering a first class solution that can dramatically increase the customer's return on investment. This strategic alliance will further accelerate our growth in the US market."

"We're delighted to form a Strategic Alliance with Datalogic,” said Al Cohen, CEO of SeeControl, in a statement. “Our clients have been extremely satisfied with the leading features and reliability of Falcon and Quickscan products, which work seamlessly with SeeControl's On Demand asset and inventory software service.”

Calvin Azuri is a contributing writer for TMCnet

Don't forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Inventory Management

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Sockeye Supply Chain Introduces Allegro Suite

PR Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA
... today announced its Allegro Suite, a product suite that includes
modules for inbound and outbound supply chain management, inventory
management, ...

CUPERTINO, Calif., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Sockeye Supply Chain (formerly Sockeye Solutions), a supplier of collaborative supply chain solutions, today announced its Allegro Suite, a product suite that includes modules for inbound and outbound supply chain management, inventory management, demand management and supply chain event management. The new Allegro Suite provides enterprises with a broad range of supply chain management capabilities, including features that enable collaboration and inventory visibility.

"To compete in today's global markets, businesses are outsourcing operations in an effort to reduce costs, increase supply and reach new markets," said Brian Nickerson, CEO of Sockeye Supply Chain. "To realize the potential benefits of this strategy, enterprises need to improve information flow and accelerate decision making across the extended supply chain. The new Allegro Suite helps companies fulfill the next step in creating an efficient global supply chain by providing solutions that enable end-to-end visibility and collaboration with trading partners."

The Allegro Suite is built and deployed on the Collaborative Application Framework (CAF), a state of the art Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform, which is designed to deliver applications that address customer's unique business needs. The Sockeye approach allows companies to implement and deploy new applications rapidly and easily reconfigure the applications as business requirements evolve. The Allegro Suite allows Sockeye's customers to quickly adapt to change and solve problems fast at a lower cost.

A supply chain event management solution, known as Allegro SCEM, is included within the Allegro Suite. This flexible feature allows enterprises to set a number of time critical synchronization processes using real-time supply chain events, alert notification and problem ticketing. SCEM enables businesses to immediately act on a supply or demand problem to better manage inventory levels.

The Allegro Suite works in a multi-enterprise, multi-system and multi-language environment with a highly flexible architecture, making it a powerful solution for the most complex supply chain needs. The Allegro Suite modules can be combined and configured to support a wide range of customized requirements and solve real-world problems with supply chain collaboration.

Allegro Inbound

Sockeye's inbound supply chain planning module is focused on providing visibility and decision support to manage the replenishment of parts inventory from suppliers to manufacturers. It also includes a dynamic replenishment feature that allows for the co-management of inventory levels by the supplier and manufacturer to dynamically address any inventory level discrepancies in real-time.

Additionally, the module supports multiple replenishment methods based on the supplier/buyer relationship (e.g., strategic vs. non-strategic) and whether the part is critical/constrained or non-strategic.

Allegro Outbound http://www.sockeyesupplychain.com/oscp.html

Sockeye's outbound supply chain planning module is focused on the planning and monitoring of finished goods inventory movement through the outbound supply chain.

For operations planning, the outbound module allows creation of constraint-based production and shipment plans to synchronize supply and demand. For execution, the module provides the visibility and decision support to monitor and resolve problems caused by day-to-day disruptions to production, shipment and inventory plans.

Allegro Inventory Management

Sockeye's inventory management module enables enterprises to generate inventory targets for any location in the inbound or outbound supply chain. The module supports multiple methods of generating inventory targets to support items in different stages of their lifecycle and different inventory management strategies.

Allegro Demand Management

Sockeye's demand management solution enables enterprises to generate forecasts for finished goods. The forecasts are used to drive operational planning of the outbound supply chain. The module also supports consensus forecasting to promote alignment between sales and operations.

Allegro SCEM

Sockeye's supply chain event management (SCEM) module is a very flexible tool for addressing a wide range of time critical synchronization problems using real-time supply chain events, alert notification and problem ticketing.

ABOUT SOCKEYE SUPPLY CHAIN

Sockeye Supply Chain's software enables companies to improve multi-tier supply chain performance with speed and efficiency through inventory reduction, increased profitability and reduced risk. Designed specifically to address customers' unique supply chain needs and challenges, Sockeye's flexible and adaptive technology enables customers to deploy collaborative business processes with ease while delivering maximum supply chain velocity, improved visibility and reduced risk. For more information, email info@sockeyesupplychain.com or visit the Web site at http://www.sockeyesupplychain.com/.

Inventory Management

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CMV Cold Storage Selects Priya(R) Warehouse Management System to ...

PR Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA
CMV Cold Storage will use the inventory management software to provide
real-time information to its customers including pre-receipts, advance
shipping ...

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- CMV Cold Storage, a third party logistics (3PL) company specializing in receiving and shipping for large produce distributors, has selected Motek's Windows-based Priya(R) Warehouse Management System (WMS) to improve inventory accuracy and speed cross dock shipments with inventory that turns daily.

"We believe that by automating our process we will increase speed and efficiency, allowing us to serve more customers and offer them a greater number of services," said Anna Longoria, Office Manager of CMV Cold Storage.

CMV Cold Storage will use the inventory management software to provide real-time information to its customers including pre-receipts, advance shipping notifications and precise, real-time data for on-hand inventory. In addition, Priya will be an essential part of CMV Cold Storage's just-in-time inventory management, as the company strives to drop and ship 100% of its inventory daily.

"Speed and efficiency are key drivers for our customers seeking to automate their 3PL processes," said Ann Price, Motek's CEO. "Equally important is ease-of-use and maintenance, which is why we selected and built Priya on a Microsoft platform from the beginning."

CMV Cold Storage consolidates produce for virtually every large manufacturer providing perishable foods to the United States from Mexico. To better service current customers and prepare for growth, the company sought a robust, 100% Windows warehouse management system that was backed by extraordinary expertise in both inventory management software and the produce industry. In addition, the inventory management software had to work seamlessly with other Microsoft-based programs used by CMV Cold Storage's customers such as FAMOUS produce software.

"Priya is an exceptional system that aligns with our needs and has proven to be a valuable asset throughout the produce industry," added Longoria. "The full-featured system can be easily configured by our IT team to deliver exactly the information we need, when we need it, both to our warehouse staff and to our customers. We believe this system and Motek's in-depth understanding of our business will improve the service we provide our current customers and position us for strong future growth."

About CMV Cold Storage -- http://www.cmvcoldstorage.com/

Based in Nogales, Arizona, CMV began operations in 1999 with a vision of meeting the transfer, handling, storage and information requirements of large produce companies shipping from Mexico to the United States. CMV's state-of- the-art warehouse campus exceeds requirements for temperature, humidity, and handling, has been certified by the USDA and PrimusLabs and was awarded a National Prize for Engineering.

About Motek(R) -- http://www.motek.com/

Founded in 1991, Motek is the warehouse management software technology leader. Motek's single, all-inclusive product, Priya, is the only Tier 1 Microsoft Windows(R)-based WMS available today. Motek's reputation for innovation began when the Smithsonian Institute recognized it for being the first RF WMS on a PC. Since then, Motek has been the first WMS on Windows, the first WMS with real-time engineered labor standards, and the first Windows(R)- based WMS with voice recognition.

Inventory Management

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ERI eXchange 2007 Exhibitor Profiles

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
... integrated system including: POS, sales office, inventory management,
warehouse, distribution center, allocation, E-Commerce, data mining, and
more. ...

ERI eXchange 2007

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ERI eXchange 2007 takes place June 4 - 7, 2007 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Listed below are ERI eXchange exhibitor profiles. For in-depth information about the event, visit http://www.eri-exchange.com/.

Business Wire is the official news wire for ERI eXchange. Breaking news releases and photos are available at Tradeshownews.com, Business Wire's trade show, conference, and event news resource.

Company:
AirDefense
Booth: 727
Media Contact: Kristin Callaway
Phone: 404.909.4646
E-mail: kcallaway@airdefense.net
Web: www.airdefense.net

AirDefense is the market leader in anywhere, anytime wireless security. The company is trusted by more Fortune 500 companies, healthcare organizations and high-security government agencies for enterprise wireless protection than any other company. AirDefense products provide the most advanced solutions for rogue wireless detection, policy enforcement and intrusion prevention, both inside and outside an organization's physical locations and wired networks. Common Criteria-certified, AirDefense enterprise-class products scale to support single offices as well as organizations with hundreds of locations around the globe. Founded in 2001, AirDefense is based in Atlanta, GA and serves nearly 700 government agencies and blue chip corporations.


Company: BELL SIGNS
Media Contact: FRANK ANSLEY OR JACK DANNER
Phone: 800-868-0284
E-mail:

fansley@bellsigns.com or jdanner@bellsigns.com
Web: www.bellsigns.com


Bell Signs Inc. is a full spectrum sign manufacturing company and has been successfully managing national sign programs for the last 27 years. Bell Signs provides our valued clients with the highest quality products using the latest computer technology coupled with superior customer service at a competitive price. This statement is posted in our manufacturing facility for all to see.


Company: Celerant Technology Corp.
Booth: 831
Media Contact: Michele Majka
Phone: 718-605-7733 x141
E-mail: mmajka@celerant.com
Web: www.celerant.com


Celerant Technology’s Command is real-time retail software that manages all areas of a retail organization in one, single, integrated system including: POS, sales office, inventory management, warehouse, distribution center, allocation, E-Commerce, data mining, and more. Our advantage is the flexibility of our Java platform, which gives Celerant professionals the ability to conduct cost-effective analysis and adaptation based on the individual needs of each retailer. The result is a better system that meets the needs of each retail business, and gives them the tools to take command of their success.


Company: Cherry Electrical Products
Booth: 614
Media Contact: Jeremy Jacobs
Phone: 262-942-6537
E-mail: jpjacobs@cherrycorp.com
Web: www.cherrycorp.com

Cherry provides best-of-breed keyboard solutions proven to be of uncompromised quality. With its presence in thousands of retail, healthcare and government locations, Cherry is positioned as a cutting-edge keyboard supplier among the independent peripheral vendors.


Company: Churchill Systems Inc.
Booth: 128
Media Contact: Scott Light
Phone: 1-248-649-1800
E-mail: Scott.Light@churchillsys.com
Web: www.churchillsystems.com


Churchill is a leader in retail-specific demand forecasting, analytics, and optimization software solutions. For nearly twenty years, Churchill has boosted revenues and margins while reducing inventory costs for many Tier One and Tier Two retailers. Companies such as Sears, WalMart, Avon, and Talbot's have successfully benefited from our software solutions for many years.

Whether you're looking to significantly reduce inventory costs, plan more profitable promotions, or need to improve the granularity of your current forecasting processes, Churchill has a solution for you. Visit our website for more details, or stop by our booth located just inside the front entrance.


Company: COLUMBITECH
Booth: 710
Media Contact: Asa Holmstrom
Phone: 212 946 4820
E-mail: asa.holmstrom@columbitech.com
Web: www.columbitech.com

Columbitech offers end-to-end security, convenient always-on connectivity, and optimized performance—for any mobile device on any wireless network. With customers including three of the top ten US retailers, Columbitech has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to understand the business and technical challenges facing the retail industry. By providing cutting-edge security for new equipment and legacy systems Columbitech provides immediate PCI compliance, without requiring additional investments and modifications to the existing wireless infrastructure. For more information, see www.columbitech.com


Company: Comm-Works
Booth: 445
Media Contact: Jacqui Troyanek
Phone: 612.751.5560
E-mail: jtroyanek@comm-works.com
Web: www.comm-works.com

Comm-Works is a leading provider of technology and infrastructure services and solutions for the retail industry. As a single-source provider of network infrastructure services, Comm-Works offers standard-setting, dedicated 24/7 service; real time Web-based project management, Web-WorksSM; a full range of scalable voice and data services, and responsive on-site support provided by a team of 5,000 service partners and 20,000 fully certified technicians. The company currently provides service and support for over 200,000 sites. For more information, go to www.comm-works.com.


Company: Compliance Networks, LLC
Booth: 430
Media Contact: Kevin Harris
Phone: 281-352-2134
E-mail: kevin.harris@compliancenetworks.com
Web: www.compliancenetworks.com/?rss

Compliance Networks is a leading provider of profit improvement solutions to the retail supply chain that enable enterprises to optimize flow within their supply chain and make informed decisions that ultimately increase shareholder value. Since 1999, Compliance Networks' suite of retail-centric vendor compliance and distribution management solutions accelerate retail profits by increasing sales, decreasing costs and mitigating risk throughout the extended supply chain. Compliance Networks is proud to serve leading retailers such as Kohl's, Burlington Coat Factory, Pep Boys, The Sports Authority, Bon-Ton Stores Corporation, Oshmans, Gottschalks Stores, and Dicks Sporting Goods.


Company: DENSO TD SCAN
Booth: 440
Media Contact: Michael Brusate
Phone: (248) 350-3843 ext. 120
E-mail: mike@denso-id.com
Web: www.denso-id.com


DENSO offers a superior alternative to users of portable handheld computers and RFID/barcode scanners searching for a stable and responsive hardware manufacturer. DENSO’s products include support of most competitors’ software including internet browser meta-tags, VT and IBM emulation, which makes migrating to DENSO seamless and affordable. As a member of the TOYOTA group, DENSO is a global leader in high quality electronics and the world's 3rd largest manufacturer of data collection hardware. All of DENSO’s products exceed the industry standard for reliability and durability to meet the stringent requirements of mission critical applications in retail and harsh warehousing environments.


Company: ecVision
Booth: 824
Media Contact: Gary Barraco, Manager, Marketing
Phone: 732-582-3905
E-mail: gbarraco@ecvision.com
Web: www.ecvision.com

ecVision, a proven leader of Product Lifecycle Execution™ (PLE™) solutions, provides a web-based product that connects retailers to their vendors and trading partners, and delivers the key functions of product lifecycle management (PLM) and supply chain execution (SCE) systems in a single solution. With XpressCommerce, retailers are able to be more flexible with the changing consumer trends, increase margins, improve productivity of their global supply network, and quickly deliver quality items to their customers.

Industry-leading companies, including, JCPenney, Limited Brands, Abercrombie & Fitch, BonTon, and Timberland, use ecVision’s award-winning software to transform their supply network collaboration and visibility.


Company: Epson America, Inc.
Booth: 806
Media Contact: Angela Diffly
Phone: 404-221-8895
E-mail: adiffly@ea.epson.com
Web: pos.epson.com

For more than 30 years, Epson has delivered industry-leading technology solutions for the world’s leading retailers. Epson products directly contribute to key retail initiatives by improving customer service at checkout, aiding loss prevention, reducing check processing costs and combating multiple forms of retail fraud. Epson check processing solutions meet a wide range of retailer needs—from Point-of-Purchase imaging (POP) to Back Office Capture (BOC) and Remote Deposit Capture (RDC). From check scanners and mobile printers to digital marketing solutions, Epson leads the way in open architecture products that reduce operating costs and bring new functionality to the point of sale.


Company: Fifth Third Processing Solutions
Booth: 945
Ticker Symbol & Exchange: FITB
Media Contact: Keith Olson
Phone: 847-281-9183
E-mail: keith.olson@53.com
Web: www.53.com

Fifth Third Processing Solutions is one of the nation’s largest providers of credit, debit, ACH and check acceptance services. Fifth Third innovations include the JEANIE® network, Fifth Third DirectSM, and the Premier Issue® gift card program. For more information please contact a sales representative at 800-375-1744 or visit merchant.53.com.


Company: Granite Telecommunications
Booth: 612
Media Contact: Sam Kline
Phone: 617 933 7395
E-mail: skline@granitenet.com
Web: www.granitenet.com

Granite Telecommunications works almost exclusively with multi-location enterprise businesses offering end-to-end service and significant savings.

•Local & long distance
•Broadband
•Wireless
•Infrastructure solutions

A $250 million profitable company with no debt, Granite Telecommunications, manages more than 500,000 business lines, 9,500 customers in more than 120,000 locations. Granite Telecommunications offers

•One point of contact, available 24/7/365
•One bill available on paper, CD or via EDI broken out by location or cost center
•Custom reports to meet the unique needs of customers
•One company, for nationwide service

Granite Telecommunications is simply the best choice for multi-location retailers.


Company: HACKER SAFE
Booth: 545
Media Contact: Nigel Ravenhill
Phone: 707-252-9625
E-mail: pr@scanalert.com
Web: www.scanalert.com

Over 80,000 websites – well over half the Internet Retailer Top 500 – use HACKER SAFE technology to protect their networks, and publicly certify their security to shoppers. In more than 600 A/B tests by retailers as diverse as Ace Hardware, Cabela’s, FTD, GNC, Guitar Center, Helzberg Diamonds, PETCO, PetSmart, Restoration Hardware, Ritz Camera, Sports Authority, and Yankee Candle, HACKER SAFE raised sales conversion an average of 14%. Want to build the trust that will maximize your online sales? Choose HACKER SAFE, the world’s most recognized assurance of Internet security.


Company: H. B. Maynard and Company, Inc.
Booth: 434
Media Contact: Larry Sebbens, Marketing Manager
Phone: 412.921.2400 ext. 178
E-mail: lsebbens@hbmaynard.com

Web:
www.hbmaynard.com

Maynard’s Packaged Solutions for Retail are tailored to your retail business and built with a common vision and development road map to provide a comprehensive strategy that includes the necessary software, training and guidance to ensure a predictable rapid return on investment.

Recognized as a leader and trusted advisor in Workforce Performance Improvement and Labor Management, Maynard delivers fast, affordable packaged solutions for the most critical workforce performance challenges.

Our comprehensive packaged solutions include Engineered Standards for Grocery™, Visual Backroom Management for Retail™, Engineered Standards for Distribution™ and coming soon, Staffing for Pharmacy™.


Company: Lawson
Booth: 825
Media Contact: Terry Blake
Phone: 651-767-7000
E-mail: terry.blake@us.lawson.com
Web: www.lawson.com

Retailers require the support of enterprise-wide solutions in order to enhance business performance and reduce costs. The Lawson solution for retail is an integrated and easy-to-use enterprise-wide solution that helps retailers to improve core business processes—from workforce and financial management to store operations and supply chain management. We aim to be simple to do business with and strive to continuously simplify the implementation, maintenance, and use of our solutions. We believe that performance is the only reality. Why do leading retailers select Lawson? Because simpler is better.


Company: Lexmark
Booth: 933
Ticker Symbol & Exchange: LEX
Media Contact: Tyler Martin
Phone: 859-232-6556
E-mail: tcmartin@lexmark.com
Web: www.lexmark.com

Visit Lexmark #933 at ERI Exchange in Boston June 4-6, 2007.

As a technology leader in the retail industry for over a decade, Lexmark delivers innovative applications and printing solutions for 75% of the world's largest retailers. Our experience and expertise can identify cost-cutting, productivity improvement opportunities throughout your operation. Lexmark's customized retail solutions manage output more effectively, move information faster and actually print less.

With 75% of the world’s top retailers using Lexmark technology, isn’t it time your company learned more about how Lexmark can help you print smarter, save money and get more done?


Company: LogLogic
Booth: 820
Media Contact: Jill Ratkevic; jratkevic@loglogic.com
Phone: 408-215-5900
E-mail: info@loglogic.com
Web: www.loglogic.com

LogLogic is an innovator and market leader in Log Data Management and Intelligence (LMI). LogLogic provides enterprise-class platforms for high-performance data aggregation, retention and analysis on 100% of log data from virtually any device, operating system or application, addressing compliance and risk mitigation demands from enterprises.

LogLogic unleashes the vast potential of log data - protect your information assets, mitigate risk and achieve operational excellence through Log Management and Intelligence (LMI). Easy to install Log appliances automate compliance with regulations - PCI, SOX, GLBA & more.


Company: Multimap
Booth: 1029
Media Contact: Aoibhinn Lawlor
Phone: 44 (0)20 7632 7716
E-mail: aoibhinn@multimap.com
Web: www.multimap.com

Multimap is one of the world's leading providers of mapping and location-based services, and delivers more online maps, driving directions and geo-spatial searches to more companies than any other supplier in Europe. We provide mapping services to over 1,200 businesses worldwide, e.g., ASDA (part of Wal-Mart), HMV, Ford Global, Marks & Spencer and Levi's. We offer a full range of location-based services to businesses, including our cutting-edge API, mobile services, mapping, proximity searching, routing, and aerial images with map overlay. We invite you to stand 1029 to learn more.


Company: RedPrairie
Booth: S9
Media Contact: Renee Truttman
Phone: 262-317-2000
E-mail: info@redprairie.com
Web: www.redprairie.com

BlueCube Retail Productivity Solutions (RPS) from RedPrairie provides Retail Workforce Budgeting, Forecasting, Scheduling, Time & Attendance, Tasks, Learning, Metric Reports, Dashboards & Employee Self-Service to lower labor costs, optimize customer service, drive top-line sales and maximize profitability. RPS is the retail cornerstone of RedPrairie's E2e™ Consumer-Driven Optimization strategy. E2e provides retailers with a revolutionary and competitive advantage by connecting in-store operations with the supply chain.


Company: Retail Solutions Online
Booth: 714
Media Contact: Tony Paris
Phone: 814-897-7700
E-mail: info@retailsolutionsonline.com
Web: www.retailsolutionsonline.com

Retail Solutions Online is the premier sourcing site for the retail, hospitality, and food service industries. Use our supplier directory, product showcase, and offline search service to expedite your discovery of new products and services. Our goal is to help buyers, like you, identify and select suppliers. Visit the Retail Solutions Online booth (714) during ERI eXchange as Steven R. Anderson, chairman and founder of Acorn Systems will be autographing copies of his book, "Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing".


Company: SAS
Booth: 905
Media Contact: Laura Fleek Brumley
Phone: 214-762-0921 (cell)
E-mail: laura.brumley@sas.com
Web: www.sas.com

SAS is the leader in business intelligence and analytical software and services. Customers at 43,000 sites use SAS software to improve performance through insight from data, resulting in faster, more accurate business decisions; more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers; compliance with governmental regulations; research breakthroughs; and better products and processes. Only SAS offers leading data integration, storage, analytics and business intelligence applications within a comprehensive enterprise intelligence platform. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®. www.sas.com


Company: SATO Labeling Solutions America, Inc.
Booth: 1033
Media Contact: Theo Bielowicz
Phone: 1-847-740-6149
E-mail: theo.bielowicz@satolabeling.com
Web: www.satolabeling.com

SATO Labeling Solutions is a leading global provider of innovative label and tag printing solutions throughout the retail supply chain. With more than a century of product marking experience, we began offering Auto-ID solutions more than 40 years ago.

Today, we continue the long standing tradition of offering unique solutions that reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies. Our product offerings include industrial laser printers, direct thermal and thermal transfer printers, handheld labelers, ticket queuing systems, mobile computers, printer accessories, printer supplies, label design software, labels, tags, forms, thermal transfer ribbons, software, and professional services. We are your one-source solution provider.


Company: Supply Chain Management Review
Booth: 118
Media Contact: Brian Ceraolo
Phone: 732-970-1070
E-mail: bceraolo@reedbusiness.com

Web:
www.scmr.com

Supply Chain Management Review is a professional journal dedicated to the art and science of moving materials and products from the raw materials stage through final consumption. Its articles offer insight and information on innovative supply chain techniques, emerging technologies, new research findings, and case studies of industry leaders. In addition, every issue provides comprehensive coverage of business trends, market developments, and technology advances affecting today's supply chain executive.

Visit the Supply Chain Management Review Web Site at www.scmr.com.


Company: Telsource Corporation
Booth: 927
Media Contact: Jennifer Whelan
Phone: (440) 202-4509
E-mail: jwhelan@telsource.com
Web: www.telsource.com

Telsource is a leading manufacturer and provider of comprehensive network technology solutions nationwide for multi-location retail environments. Since 1984, Telsource products and services have enabled fast, reliable deployment of voice, data and information technology to the store level, simplifying management of your network and technology systems. Network maintenance, monitoring and security services maximize uptime, utilizing the Telsource 24/7 Network Management Center and certified field engineering team.

Visit Booth 927 to learn how Telsource can help you develop, implement and maintain your networking systems.


Company: VAI (Vormittag Associates)
Booth: 611
Media Contact: Diane Dady, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 631-588-9500 ext 236
E-mail: ddady@vai.net
Web: www.vai.net


VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is an IBM Premier Business Partner and award winning software developer. VAI’s S2K Enterprise Edition for Retail can transform your retail business into a multi-channel organization. This application offers a complete solution for the retail industry, including Point-of-Sale (POS), Accounting, Inventory Management, CRM, Purchasing, Warehouse Management and e-commerce. By centralizing information across your entire organization, you can locate and move items more effectively, eliminate costly delays, and make more informed decisions. The time is right for VAI's S2K Enterprise Edition for Retail!

Note to Editors: Business Wire's PressPass allows you to create free, custom Web, RSS, and email-based news feeds from more than 160 industry options, dozens of subject categories and thousands of geographic preferences as well as by specific company filters. In addition, PressPass subscribers have access to exclusive content, experts, company profiles, email alerts, survey services and other media services.

Inventory Management

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Enterprises Seen Increasing Technology Spending to Drive Supply ...

Supply & Demand Chain Executive - Gilbert,AZ,USA
Inventory management is the top priority for companies in 2007, while in
2006 inventory management was tied with sales and operations planning
(S&OP)/demand ...

Boston, MA — June 4, 2007 — With increasing globalization of supply and more customer-specific fulfillment mandates, the need for supply chain technology is accelerating year over year, according to a recent report from Aberdeen Group.

In analyzing the plans of 210 enterprises in early 2007, Aberdeen found that supply chain executives are actively seeking technology areas for getting immediate return on investment, the analyst firm reports in "The Supply Chain Innovator's Technology Footprint 2007."

In fact, the researchers found that five times as many companies are planning to spend more on supply chain technology in 2007 as were planning to spend less on such technology.

In the report, Aberdeen divides companies into one of three categories based on their supply chain ambitions and how they will be investing in supply chain technology:

* Strivers: Companies striving to reach industry average with their supply chain technology roadmap.

* Best Practice Seekers: Companies seeking to adopt industry best practices and supporting technology.

* Innovators: Companies looking to create brand new supply chain innovations.

Companies defined as "innovators" were one-and-a-half times more likely than all others to indicate that globalization was their top driver for supply chain improvements, Aberdeen reported.

When compared with their peers, innovators are more likely to be prioritizing pricing optimization, forecasting systems, strategic network design, preferential trade agreement optimization, master scheduling and multi-tier replenishment planning.

"The supply chain technology priorities are different for innovators as compared to all others," said Nari Viswanathan, research director of the supply chain and logistics practice for Aberdeen. "It is important for companies to be aware of the specific actions that innovating companies are taking with respect to their supply chain technology roadmap and benchmark their capabilities against the best-in-class."

Other key findings from this report included:

* Inventory management is the top priority for companies in 2007, while in 2006 inventory management was tied with sales and operations planning (S&OP)/demand management.

* Supply chain visibility is the number two priority for companies in 2007 (very close behind inventory management).

* Service oriented architecture (SOA) and radio frequency identification (RFID) in warehouse are not high priorities for 2007.

* Supply chain visibility and transportation management are the top areas of intention to adopt on-demand applications.

* Top areas where companies are embarking on short-term ROI projects in 2007 are inventory optimization (42 percent), transportation management/fleet management (39 percent) and supply chain visibility (38 percent).

Aberdeen has made this study available free to the public for a limited time through the underwriting of Infor, Hitachi, SoloGlobe and E2Open. The report can be downloaded (registration required) at http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=3981.

Inventory Management

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Jeremy Zawodny joins VRM (perhaps unknowingly)

By Joe
Their inventory management systems simply don't have that kind of flexibility. However, that doesn't mean that they couldn't respond to those RFPs that fit within their parameters or even respond to partial hits with proposals that ...

Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo!, recently asked Where to buy unlocked GSM mobile phones? perhaps unknowingly following in the footsteps of VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) pioneer Doc Searls.

I’m a big fan of Jeremy’s blog, even if that is where he introduced me to the most time consuming addiction I’ve had in years (thanks a lot Jeremy). It is a nice balance of professional and personal posts, useful enough for folks in the search business and authentic enough to feel like you know Jeremy and even come to like him. In short, an enjoyable and successful blog.

In his recent post, he asked:

I may be in the market for a relatively cheap quad-band GSM phone that can be used in various foreign countries. Nothing fancy. I just need something I can drop a SIM card into and make calls and maybe send a few text messages.

The trouble is that I have no idea where to buy one and what to look out for. I’ve seen some available on Amazon.com and, as expected, they seem to be all over eBay. Plus there are various on-line stores that seem to specialize in selling unlocked GSM phones to people in the United States. But I don’t know which are trustworthy.

So if you wanted a handy little Motorola or Nokia GSM phone, where would you buy it on-line? And, if you happen to have a preference, which phone(s) would you look at or try to avoid?

In case you’re wondering, I’ve been a Verizon (CDMA) user for a few years now and have no plans to change that. I’m just looking for something that’d be handy when I and others travel.

Amazing. This is functionally identical to Doc’s VRM Inquiry looking for a new phone back in November 2006:

Okay, I’m gonna ditch my Verizon Wireless account, and the silo’d-to-hell Palm 700p that goes with it (and not with other providers). The Palm is nice in some ways, but its too heavy, too crashy, too lousy at too many things I depend on. (Dialing, for example.)

So here’s my VRM intention-market gesture of the day…

I want a phone that is GSM-based (so it works overseas as well as in the U.S.), works across as much of the U.S. and Canada as possible (Verizon has been a disappointment in this respect), has a GPS, and has an easy-to-use UI. I don’t care about PDA functions, ringtones (I like the old Western Electric bell ring, though), or camera functions. I like keys that are easy to read and use, and an address book that’s easy to synchronize with a computer. It would be nice, for personal reasons (I work for Linux Journal), if it ran on Linux. I’d rather it not (for the same reason) run on Windows. Mostly I just want it to be a good GSM phone with a GPS. And I’m willing to let the GPS function slide, just to get a good phone.

And I’m ready to buy it.

So, who gets my money, and for what? (The Nokia E62 has been recommended, but I’m not sure the phone keys aren’t too small.)

Consider what these posts have in common:

* posted on high-traffic blogs
* written by sophisticated Internet power users
* requests for cell phone and cell phone vendors
* considerable detail about what they want and don’t want in terms of features
* lack of certainty about which product meets their needs best
* lack of certainty about where to buy that product
* a request for help from their readership
* customers ready, willing, and able to buy, right now

What’s fascinating to me is that both of these posts are clear VRM gestures well before any sort of VRM infrastructure is built to handle it. Doc’s worked. And Jeremy’s probably will also, because he has a large enough, friendly enough, and sophisticated enough readership to help him find a phone that fits his needs.

I know that two VRM RFPs don’t make a trend, but for them both to show up in my feed reader and be for GSM phones by sophisticated guys who know as well as most how to research and shop online… I believe it is a bellwether of things to come.

I’ve written a few times about the VRM personal RFP. From my view it is one of the “low hanging fruits” of the VRM world. Shopatron has already demonstrated a viable approach for turning confirmed orders over to a streamlined marketplace of vendors. Now both Doc and Jeremy are showing that even without that streamlined marketplace, for some purchases, just blogging a psuedo-RFP is better than the alternatives.

Many people have raised criticisms about personal RFPs.

1. People don’t want to do all that work
2. People don’t want to wait for responses
3. You can’t change vendor behavior
4. It’s too complicated
5. Vendors can’t handle open-ended RFPs
6. There’s a catch-22: without orders, no vendors. without vendors, no orders.

On the surface, these all seem like valid obstacles. But each one is either untrue or irrelevant.

First, for some purchases, people already do an incredible amount of work. I’ve interviewed a TV buyer who spent 18 months gradually, slowly researching his options before finally purchasing a new 42″ plasma TV. And it took a full three months after he was financially committed to buying it to actually settle on the model and vendor. Another interviewee spend 28 hours over four days researching travel and work options for teaching abroad. She knew what she was looking for, had plenty of experience, and found that this was the kind of research she needed and was willing to do to plan and create her trip.

Clearly, people are willing to put a lot of work into these kinds of purchases. These are complex searches. And it seems clear to me that there are a lot of these kinds of searches that could be made easier with the right tools, including VRM personal RFPs.

Second, there is no reason that a personal RFP requires any more waiting that submitting an HTTP request. Sure, some models of RFP fulfillment have a certain amount of delay, especially if vendors need a human to process the order. I don’t know the reason for the delays at Priceline, but at Shopatron this delay is effectively hidden from the user. Shopatron’s approach works because they have a fixed set of products and vendors–and a fixed price–where they can assure timely delivery: the delay gets eaten up in the shipping and handling rather than in the purchasing.

Once more scalable VRM protocols are defined, vendors will be able to participate in real-time. If Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise are all in the VRM marketspace, there isn’t any reason they couldn’t automate responses to RFPs for rental cars. It’s not automated yet, but then again, neither were any of the direct to consumer shopping services in 1993. The web changed all that, with realtime responses for product inquiries, orders, tracking, returns, and more. So, count on a large number of VRM RFPs creating responses in seconds, especially in well-established markets like travel and real estate.

Third, vendor’s behaviors change all the time. The World-Wide Web changed a lot of things. And so has Shopatron. While new innovations always face challenges the more they disrupt current practices, there are always vendors willing to be first movers if the payoff potential is large enough. There will also be vendors who will fight tooth and nail before they do business any different than what got them where they are today. That’s just part of the challenge. We not only have to find the right vendors, we have to find the right solution, the right way to communicate it, and the right way for them to say “yes.” That’s called sales. Fortunately, I can think of nothing more motivating to a vendor than a confirmed, qualified, and capable customer.

Fourth, it is becoming increasingly clear that people demand solutions to complicated problems. Of course, we want it to be as simple as possible, but we are well beyond the early days of the world wide web where people were learning how to click on hyperlinks. People have sophisticated needs and while the simplicity of the Google search box made a huge difference in how we surf the web, even Google knows they have to move beyond that. We know that getting the right answer can’t happen magically. We are decades away (at least) from mind-reading computers that distill basic needs into real-world products and services. Some how, some way, we must express our intent so that people can respond, even better if computers can respond automatically. The challenge is figuring out how to package RFPs like Doc’s and Jeremy’s without losing the ease, flexibility, and specific vagueness, boundaries that were clear but within which many options would work. The technical challenge is significant, but I don’t believe it is too complicated for users. Instead, I suggest that the solutions we’ve seen so far might be too complicated for users. Sort of like the Internet before hyperlinks.

Fifth, while many vendors can’t handle open-ended RFPs, that doesn’t mean the entire system fails. It simply means that that vendor can only respond to limited RFPs. An unnamed car rental agency responded to Doc’s presentation of VRM with the certainty that they could never respond to all the varied options that people ask for. Their inventory management systems simply don’t have that kind of flexibility. However, that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t respond to those RFPs that fit within their parameters or even respond to partial hits with proposals that clearly specify their limitations. When the waiter apologizes because the restaurant is out of your favorite beer, do you leave the restaurant? Not usually. A VRM RFP needs to enable a sales conversation to take place, one that affords vendors a chance to suggest partial RFPs based on existing capability and capacity. High-end vendors who specialize in custom, high margin requests, would be free to propose a solution that meets the full RFP. Ultimately, the user selects which vendor gets the order.

Sixth, this kind of catch-22 is actually a network effect. It is true that in the beginning there won’t necessarily be a lot of users to attract vendors and that as vendors start to participate, there will be limits on the types of products and services available. This is a catch-22. However, as new vendors join, it becomes increasingly attractive to customers. And the more customers, the more attractive it becomes to vendors. And when this is delivered in an open-standard, open-network environment, the runaway tipping point can happen quickly and in many different markets at once. So, rather than complain about the catch-22, find those seed markets where vendors and customers can readily see the value, and build services to connect people with vendors. There will be early adopters. In the right markets, those adopters will trigger a network effect that catalyzes the entire marketspace, just as the World-Wide Web grew from academia to technology markets to technologists to eventual mainstream adoption.

I don’t know if Jeremy realized he was making a VRM gesture or if he would even consider his post an “RFP,” but perhaps he will see this post and think a bit about how VRM is addressing something fundamentally new, and yet, incredibly close to what we people already need.

The $64,000 question: why didn’t Jeremy just search Yahoo!?

There’s a lot of room to go in search… and NONE of the current search providers–not just Yahoo!–could have answered Doc or Jeremy’s inquiry more effectively than their blog posts. In fixing that problem lies the hope of VRM personal RFPs.


Inventory Management

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Need help C++ inventory project

By jkrege03
In this project were creating an inventory management system for a soda pop company. The menu's and initial part of the program has already been created, my job is to take three fields, sku, quantity, and price and field reports from ...
You're currently browsing the C++ section within the Software Development category of DaniWeb, a massive community of 181,371 software developers, web developers, Internet marketers, and tech gurus who are all enthusiastic about making contacts, networking, and learning from each other. In fact, there are 1,363 IT professionals currently interacting right now! If you are in the IT industry or are just a technology enthusiast, you might find just what you're looking for in DaniWeb. Registration is free, only takes a minute and lets you enjoy all of the interactive features of the site

Inventory Management

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African parrots for sale - Point of Sale: No Longer Just a Place ...

Whether your establishment has a small gift shop or a larger sales item inventory, look for a point of sale module that makes sales inventory management easy. This will allow you to offer improved customer service by viewing real time ...

p>POS is the holy grail. One popular easy to implement system is Quickbooks. Quickbooks Point of Sale is the answer for those who want to move away from a calculator and african parrots for sale regular, analog cash register. Microsoft Point of Sale is a more costly, yet friendly retail-management package for mom-and-pop shops. Point of Sale is a fairly ethereal concept, as we really do not know where exactly the "sale" is made in the buyer's mind. The point of sale is the most visible and african parrots for sale important contact you have with your customers. It is similarly becoming more flexible itself. In addition to software, the location of your POS system in your business is important. Colorful logos and african parrots for sale graphics should be used to direct the attention and african parrots for sale improve message retention of the visitors and african parrots for sale prospects. The touch screen point of sale is ideal for working restaurants and african parrots for sale growing restaurants looking for a better restaurant register. What it comes down to is this: In a well-run establishment, the point of sale is more than just the place where the money comes in. Extending the point of sale is something retailers have been trying to do for years.

Few purchases can have as dramatic an effect on your retail or hospitality venture as a point of sale (POS) system. Be sure to invest in integrated business processing rather than simple exchanges of information in a basic cash register. Get the software component you need to streamline your business process and african parrots for sale improve customer service.

If you re involved with a business that holds inventory, that s another area to be concerned about. How do you make sure that the inventory at each ecommerce site is accurate? Whether your establishment has a small gift shop or a larger sales item inventory, look for a point of sale module that makes sales inventory management easy. This will allow you to offer improved customer service by viewing real time inventory information.

The point of sale is the location where the transaction takes place. It is going to be a point where a whole new form of `marketing-at-retail' is set to emerge - in our service businesses and african parrots for sale supermarkets alike. Keep in mind the important things to look for in POS. Protecting credit card tabulations at the point of sale is challenging. One of the biggest benefits of QuickBooks Point of Sale is that it integrates with QuickBooks Financial Software and african parrots for sale merchant accounts to make this easier for you. Remember, choosing the right spot for a new point of sale is a key decision for a company. In summary, point of sale is giving way to point of service.

Inventory Management

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Microsoft Small Business (Small breed dogs) Server 2003 ...

By dingdongq1(dingdongq1)
Inventory Management - Small Business Software Suite from NetSuite NetSuite's small business software features inventory management software that helps companies slash inventory costs by providing tighter control of stock levels. ...

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Inventory Management - Small Business Software Suite from NetSuite NetSuite's small business software features inventory management software that helps companies slash inventory costs by providing tighter control of stock levels. www.netsuite.com/portal - More from this site
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Inventory Management

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Thoghts on inventory Management Module?

Forum: Microsoft Access Posted By: jdostie Post Time: 06-01-07 at 14:22.

OK, so this is a little complicated, so please bear with me. My company uses a cash accounting method in Quickbooks, but I have a division where we need to keep track of inventory for multiple sites, primarily for keeping track of quantity on hand and being able to research historical transactions. I am thinking that as long as I am building this, I might as well build in a valuation method. So:

I am thinking of having the following: (I’ll attempt to include images of what I’ve already got [with some artifacts of some stuff I was toying with in the past])
tblItemMaster (contains information about the SKU)
tblWarehouseMaster (contains information about Quanitities for the site, and authorized stock levels)
tblInventoryTransactions (contains historical transaction of SKU Items) - SKU level
tblInventoryDocuments (will be modified to allow for multiple trans types) – Document level
tblInventoryFIFOLIFO – contains historical information about items placed in inventory and sold- the intention is to “check off and record when sold” items from inventory. If FIFO, always use the first item first, if LIFO then always use the last item first, if “average cost” then always subtract the first item in inventory. Also if average costing, update the cost of all related SKU’s to update the average when a new item is purchased. This approach allows the accounting method to be changed in the future – although an update might be required from going from one accounting method to another.

In general, I am thinking that I need to:
1. Order inventory – so update the “on order” for whichever warehouse
2. Receive inventory – so update on order, add to inventory for specific warehouse, insert into the FIFOLIFO table, and somehow “check off” the Order document as received.
3. Transfer Inventory – decrease inventory from one warehouse and add it to another
4. Sell Inventory – Reduce stock on hand from warehouse and check off/use item from FIFOLIFO table
5. Adjustments – variations of order or sell to correct inventory discrepancies or return defective product to vendor (and possibly receive defective produce back from customer)
6. Manage “core returns” basically by creating an order to a returns warehouse, and creating a returns document for clearing inventory from the returns warehouse.

I had started this, then adjusted it for a much more ambitions project (some of the artifacts of the more ambitious project still show in the existing tables, and now want to abandon the more ambitious in favor of “simple” inventory management. But before I do, I wanted to see if anyone here had thoughts on the approach.

Please recognize that I know that a true accounting system would be better, but it’s not in the cards with my company at the moment. AND, I need to manage inventory quantities somehow, AND I need to request and list items used on work orders from my existing database anyway, so given all of that, it makes sense to try to do something along these lines.

Inventory Management

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Wal-Mart and produce vendors

By Tom Karst(Tom Karst)
And better inventory management adds immediate benefit by reducing the number of distribution centers needed to maintain inventories. "We used to plan on one (distribution center) for every 50 stores. Now, with better inventory ...

From the various times I have interviewed shippers about being a vendor/partner for Wal-Mart, the discussion inevitably runs to this theme; Wal-Mart makes you take a look at your own operation and makes you better.

In the long term, is there more good than bad in being a Wal-Mart vendor? One article published in December 2003 that looked at that issue in the general sense is "The Wal-Mart You Don't Know," published here by Fast Company.com and written by Charles Fishman.

The subhead read: The giant retailer's low prices often come with a high cost. Wal-Mart's relentless pressure can crush the companies it does business with and force them to send jobs overseas. Are we shopping our way straight to the unemployment line?"



Of course, not a lot of current suppliers wanted to be quoted, but here are some pithy sum-up statements from the article.

For many suppliers, though, the only thing worse than doing business with Wal-Mart may be not doing business with Wal-Mart.

Many companies and their executives frankly admit that supplying Wal-Mart is like getting into the company version of basic training with an implacable Army drill sergeant. The process may be unpleasant. But there can be some positive results.


Here is more of the substance offered by Fishman...


There is no question that Wal-Mart's relentless drive to squeeze out costs has benefited consumers. The giant retailer is at least partly responsible for the low rate of U.S. inflation, and a McKinsey & Co. study concluded that about 12% of the economy's productivity gains in the second half of the 1990s could be traced to Wal-Mart alone.

By now, it is accepted wisdom that Wal-Mart makes the companies it does business with more efficient and focused, leaner and faster. Wal-Mart itself is known for continuous improvement in its ability to handle, move, and track merchandise. It expects the same of its suppliers. But the ability to operate at peak efficiency only gets you in the door at Wal-Mart. Then the real demands start. The public image Wal-Mart projects may be as cheery as its yellow smiley-face mascot, but there is nothing genial about the process by which Wal-Mart gets its suppliers to provide tires and contact lenses, guns and underarm deodorant at every day low prices. Wal-Mart is legendary for forcing its suppliers to redesign everything from their packaging to their computer systems. It is also legendary for quite straightforwardly telling them what it will pay for their goods.

What does Wal-Mart care about? Here is coverage from The Packer from November 2004:

Describing Wal-Mart's produce operations as "young" and "having a lot of room to grow," Scott Clubine, soft fruit buyer for Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Bentonville, Ark., spoke to the Houston Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association at its November meeting.
Clubine emphasized the culture at Wal-Mart remains firmly focused on serving the customer and less on trying to work the art of the deal.
"We try to spend less time haggling over prices or packaging and a lot more time worrying whether we're satisfying the customer," he said.
In the end, Clubine said, if the price is great but the customer doesn't want the product, Wal-Mart loses.
Software tools: Clubine reviewed three Wal-Mart software tools that measure customer behavior and offered them to anyone who becomes a vendor.
The effort, Clubine said, is to help vendors understand where their product is selling and where it is not.
"At Wal-Mart, it's all about turns, and we're constantly measuring how well our inventory turns on each customer's visit," he said.
Clubine described the tools as the following: M-CAPS, which reports sales density by commodity; Market Basket, a system that tracks what customers combine in their shopping cart; and Customer Insights, a demographic profiling system for Wal-Mart sales areas.
The software supports Wal-Mart's cluster store concept for managing inventory levels, Clubine said.
And better inventory management adds immediate benefit by reducing the number of distribution centers needed to maintain inventories.
"We used to plan on one (distribution center) for every 50 stores. Now, with better inventory management, we see the ratio growing to 100 stores for every DC."
"But if you want to do business with us, you have to come to us with a marketing plan that speaks to our customers," he said. "As a buyer, I spend more time working on succeeding at produce sales, and at Wal-Mart, it's all about turns."

In the issue of May 28, The Packer's David Mitchell has reported on changes to Wal-Mart's procurement policies.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has altered its procurement procedures during the past two years, but recent criticisms that the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer has violated terms of its supplier agreements are unwarranted, the company's vice president and divisional merchandise manager for produce and floral said.
"Wal-Mart honors (its) contracts and offers the suppliers the right to talk to Lee Scott, our CEO, or Rob Walton, our chairman, through the open-door process if we do not," said Ron McCormick, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for produce and floral.

Later in the story:

McCormick said a number of factors led to the demise of distribution center assignments, including the growth of the company's consolidation facilities that allow the company to send full truckloads to its 38 food distribution centers.
"Our local purchase program also means that we have many more small growers we are doing direct business with, often combining them to meet the demand of a single (distribution center)," he said. "That single supplier per DC consistency no longer adds value, and actually impedes better customer service."


TK: Wal-Mart's utilization of consolidation facilities, opportunity buys and its growing business with local suppliers may explain changes in procurement policy. But why are more suppliers apparently more apprehensive about their vendor relationship with Wal-Mart? With 17% of the perishables market (Business Week stat) and growing, Wal-Mart's influence won't wane anytime soon. Again I ask, is being a Wal-Mart supplier good for a produce shipper, or, as Fishman so smartly wrote about Vlasic pickles, is the experience "a devastating success?"

Inventory Management

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Tracking engineering changes in SAP for purchased items

In our SAP environment, we want to track small engineering changes to an item without changing the item code. These items do not have a Bill Of Material, nor are they batch tracked. Any suggestions on how to accomplish this?

In our SAP environment, we want to track small engineering changes to an item without changing the item code. These items do not have a Bill Of Material, nor are they batch tracked. Any suggestions on how to accomplish this?

Inventory Management

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Few companies ready for demand-driven inventory management, says ...

Tekrati Industry Analyst Reporter - Belmont,CA,USA
Distribution-intensive businesses are changing radically, yet inventory
management practices at most companies are not keeping up, according to a
...

Distribution-intensive businesses are changing radically, yet inventory management practices at most companies are not keeping up, according to a multiclient study published by Industry Directions. Companies recognize that they must shift to a demand-driven approach to inventory management to meet increasingly volatile consumer demands, however in most cases their inventory management practices remain more traditional and supply-intensive. The study was sponsored by vendors HighJump Software, Logility, Manhattan Associates, and ToolsGroup. Free report.
The analysts found that only a fraction of companies have an inventory management structure appropriate to meeting the demands of dynamic, global, multi-tier supply chains.

The study underscored the difficulty of getting inventory into place in time to meet rapidly changing, dynamic market opportunities for those using traditional practices and systems. By far, customer service is the highest priority respondents cited for their inventory management strategy. Further, the #1 metric companies use to manage inventory management performance is stock-outs.

Yet, shifting to a customer-centric focus can take a toll. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) said that expediting products is a common practice for them. At the same time, an overwhelming majority, 83% of respondents, said that overstocks were common. Meanwhile, of those who said that expediting is common, 40% say that this issue is on the increase. In a group of top performers, 50% say expediting is not common and 27% say overstocks are not common.

"Traditionally, most companies have built their technology and process infrastructure so that they can push inventory through their supply chain and drive down cost," said Julie Fraser, Principal at Industry Directions. "Demand-driven inventory management logically calls for just the opposite � that items be pulled through distribution and production and from suppliers. The good news is that companies realize they have to operate in a demand-driven fashion, and a sub-set of the respondents to this study are well on their way to figuring out how to transform their supply chain to support effective and profitable operation."

The study found forecast accuracy continues to be a challenge for most companies, who report 70% or less forecast accuracy. While demand variability limits forecast accuracy increases, many have the opportunity to improve forecast accuracy by using more partner data and more frequent reviews. Complex and long supply chains also lead to volatility in lead times and even greater challenges in matching supply with demand. Most companies are not reviewing performance with partners or reviewing their distribution and supply networks frequently enough to adjust quickly when problems arise.

While the majority uses a variety of supply chain and logistics planning applications, fewer use software that would help them respond, fulfill, or cover for uncertainty. Some of the applications most commonly cited in plans to purchase do address these issues: performance dashboards, alerts, transportation management, inventory optimization, distribution planning and dynamic planning.

About the study

The Industry Directions multiclient study, "Demand Driven Inventory Management Strategies: Challenges & Opportunities for Distribution-Intensive Companies", is available as a free download, registration required.

Inventory Management

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Datalogic Mobile Announces New Strategic Alliance With SeeControl Inc

Canada NewsWire (press release) - Canada
New Venture Provides On Demand Inventory Management System With Total Asset
Visibility Using Datalogic Mobile's Rugged Mobile Computers EUGENE, OR, ...

New Venture Provides On Demand Inventory Management System With Total
Asset Visibility Using Datalogic Mobile's Rugged Mobile Computers

EUGENE, OR, June 1 /CNW/ - Datalogic Mobile, the foremost manufacturer of
rugged mobile computers joins forces with SeeControl, a leading provider of On
Demand inventory management applications that provide total asset visibility
across multiple locations.
Under the terms of the agreement, SeeControl will market, sell, and
support Datalogic Mobile Falcon(R) 4400 Series Windows(R) CE.Net Mobile
Computers. Datalogic Mobile's industrial mobile computers will be used for
inventory management and to track assets, running SeeControl's mobile
applications connected in real-time to an On Demand inventory management
software service. In conjunction with Datalogic Mobile's Falcon(R) ,
SeeControl will use also hand held readers - Quickscan - from the other
Datalogic company, Datalogic Scanning. By combining Datalogic's hardware and
SeeControl's rapid, turnkey service, SeeControl will be able to deliver
state-of-the-art equipment and service to their customers who require
efficient and easy to use computers in warehouses, factories, data centers and
field service environments.
"We're delighted to form a Strategic Alliance with Datalogic. Our clients
have been extremely satisfied with the leading features and reliability of
Falcon and Quickscan products, which work seamlessly with SeeControl's On
Demand asset and inventory software service" said Al Cohen, CEO of SeeControl.
"With the launch of our own reseller program, SeeControl is pleased to offer
Datalogic channel partners an innovative way to rapidly increase their service
and product revenue. Additionally, Datalogic partners pursuing new Aerospace
and Defense contracts will benefit from SeeControl's integration of Unique
Identification (UID) tracking technology, which supports new Department of
Defense 2D scanning requirements".
"Inventory management is one of the fast growing market segments where
Datalogic Mobile's ruggedized computers can deliver top value to the user,
including reliability, first class ergonomics, ease of use and connectivity"
commented Marino Tanas, President of Datalogic Mobile Americas.
"Partnering with SeeControl means delivering a first class solution that
can dramatically increase the customer's return on investment. This strategic
alliance will further accelerate our growth in the US market."

About Datalogic Mobile

Datalogic Mobile, part of the Datalogic Group, is a global player in the
Rugged Mobile Computers market, offering a full range of products, dedicated
to the main target application fields: warehousing solutions, field-force
automation and retail in-store. It is the result of the integration of
Datalogic and PSC mobile computer business. Datalogic Mobile, based in Lippo
di Calderara di Reno (Bologna, Italy), has its Americas office in Eugene (OR).
With its strong presence in EMEA, the Americas and Asia/Pacific and the
powerful network of partners all over the world, Datalogic Mobile has shown an
impressive track record of growth that position itself as the fastest growing
player in the mobile market, the real challenger to the top rankers. For more
information, please visit www.mobile.datalogic.com or call toll-free:
+1-800-310-8300, or International: +1-541-743-4800. For media contacts:
pr@mobile.datalogic.com

About SeeControl Inc.

San Mateo, California-based SeeControl Inc. is helping companies of all
sizes track and manage inventory and assets-On Demand and across multiple
storage locations. It is the global leader in providing real-time data
collection coupled with an integrated web-based management reporting,
visibility and control software service. SeeControl serves Aerospace, Defense,
Healthcare and Manufacturing industries and has delivered dramatic
improvements in profitability, compliance and productivity to customers in
over twenty-five countries. For more information, please visit

Inventory Management

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Great Example of AdSense Abuse

By James Omdahl
... mba executive cerebral palsy mortgage leads criminal justice rackmount servers brokerage accounts banner stands inventory management software 1031 tax free exchange mortgage lead viaticals llc formation waterproofing medical alert ...

You know how Google’s AdSense is considered one of the best contextual targeting platforms out there? You know how Google tells its AdWords advertisers that by using content match they will be able to tap into some of the most relevant content on the web?

Ummmmm, yeah. We found a case where a site owner is pulling the wool over Google’s eyes by doing some ninja moves on the backend of their site that result in AdWords advertisers wasting money on irrelevant clicks.

Want to see the example? Let’s check it out.

In a different window, open up the domain www.ayparty.com (not hyperlinking of obvious reasons).

AdSense Baddy

At first, when you look at the site you can see a border of AdSense ads surrounding a graphic for Los Duenos Del Flow, which seems to be some type of music group or something. Interestingly, it seems like AdSense has decided to add high cost-per-click contextual ads to the page for products like insurance, leads, mortgages, and the grand-daddy of all keywords Mesothelioma. This might make you wonder if Google is attempting to dupe advertisers and profit from less than qualifies clicks? But they are not (I know, I was bummed too – finding Google being evil would get this blog so much traffic :) ).

In truth it’s the site’s owner who is behind the confusion between content and advertisements. You see, when you view the source behind the page you see this hidden chunk of text in 1pt font:

mesothelioma mesothelioma lawsuits mesothelioma diagnosis mesothelioma treatment pleural mesothelioma conference call consolidate student loan student loan consolidation car donations car donation donate car sell annuity conference calling medical malpractice new jersey life insurance settlement health insurance leads new jersey medical malpractice life settlements structured settlement payment business phone system health care administration data protection money market vehicle donation laser hair removal nyc medical malpractice new york medical malpractice pennsylvania car insurance auto insurance automobile insurance laser hair removal manhattan new york medical malpractice life insurance leads university of phoenix online HR Software nevada llc colorado mortgage asset management cash for structured settlement online class student loan student loans laser hair removal new york content management software telecommunication audit credit card processor car insurance rates web content management home security system mba degree program manufacturing software medical office software merchant Services ce marking refinance loan content management budgeting software dallas movers asbestos lawyer paternity testing structured settlements medical billing software online university medical alarm new jersey web design dna testing 1031 tax deferred exchange mba executive cerebral palsy mortgage leads criminal justice rackmount servers brokerage accounts banner stands inventory management software 1031 tax free exchange mortgage lead viaticals llc formation waterproofing medical alert culinary school culinary schools server racks va home loans stock loans credit card processing rackmount chassis credit counseling .net hosting document management software commercial real estate loans time and attendance content management system home loan Home Loans industrial scales car insurance quote auto insurance quote

If you look really closely you can see all of that stashed at the very top of the page (see image below). So based off of that text, AdSense is picking what it sees as the most relevant ads and serving them up on the site.

AdSense Hidden Text

As a company that advertises with content networks through Google, this is obviously a little disappointing…and a little scary when you think about the thousands of sites like this one that are out there. AdWords does give you the ability to remove sites like this from your content match (which we did), but tracking these sites down is the tough part.

Luckily, or PPC powerhouse Cassie found this site by using the PPSeer service, which she discusses in this blog post. If you do a lot of content match through your PPC accounts, you might want to consider using the service as well.

Inventory Management

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Inventory Management: Pentel Implements Prescient's Vendor Managed ...

Prescient Applied Intelligence, Inc. recenlty announced that Pentel of America has implemented Prescient's vendor managed inventory solution. Pentel conducts VMI with McLane, an industry leader in distribution that services more than ...

Prescient Applied Intelligence, Inc. the provider of supply chain and commerce solutions for retailers and suppliers, recenlty announced that Pentel of America has implemented Prescient's vendormanaged inventory (VMI) solution. Pentel conducts VMI with McLane, an industry leader in distribution that services more than 50,000 retail locations and distributes Pentel's products to Wal-Mart.

Pentel, one of the leader in the manufacture and sale of writing instruments and art materials, is using Prescient's VMI solution to gain greater visibility into inventory movement; compare forecasts from multiple sources; generate more accurate orders; ship product more efficiently; and reduce returns. The VMI suite includes Prescient's demand, inventory, and replenishment planning modules.

"Because we have so much more visibility into overstocks, we ended this year's back to school season with half the returns," said Steve Koch, supply chain manager for Pentel. "Prescient also allows us to compare our forecasts to current inventory levels, while giving us the ability to view, plan for, and fulfill future orders."

"Prescient's industry-leading VMI solution gives Pentel a consolidated view of all pertinent data," said Jane Hoffer, president and CEO of Prescient. "Greater visibility means more accurate orders, better replenishment plans, operational efficiencies, and ultimately, happier trading partners."

About Prescient Applied Intelligence
Prescient, founded in 1985, is a leading provider of supply chain and advanced commerce solutions for retailers and suppliers. Prescient's solutions capture information at the point of sale, provide greater visibility into real-time demand and turn data into actionable information across the entire supply chain. As a result, the company's products and services enable trading partners to compete effectively, increase profitability and excel in today's retail business climate. Household brand names like Ahold, Coors, Domino's Pizza, Meijer, Rite Aid, Sara Lee, Schwan's, SUPERVALU, and Wyeth rely on Prescient. For more information, go to www.prescient.com.

Inventory Management

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Integration or Integration vs Interface

For the past 5 years or so I have noticed that there is a wide range of opinions on what Integration really means, as it relates to software. In the market there is a lot of confusion, or misunderstanding with integration. and it's ...

For the past 5 years or so I have noticed that there is a wide range of opinions on what Integration really means, as it relates to software. In the market there is a lot of confusion, or misunderstanding with integration. and it's relation, to or not,to, Interfacing. What has been your experience, and for those of you who are at the 'application end' (i.e. 'real world') what is your definition and applicability? Thanks

Inventory Management

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Advanced Quality Logistics Implements Motek's Priya WMS

Advanced Quality Logistics (AQL), a retail 3PL company, reportedly implemented the Windows-based Priya warehouse management Ssystem (WMS) from Motek (Beverly Hills, Calif.) in a record 30 days, enabling the company to court and win business while processing high volume orders with 99.9% accuracy.
Material Handling Management (press release) - Cleveland,OH,USA
Priya now directs every step of AQL's customer inventory management, from
the time it arrives in bulk containers to the minute it ships to retail
outlets. ...


Priya now directs every step of AQL's customer inventory management, from the time it arrives in bulk containers to the minute it ships to retail outlets. Using wave picking and handheld RF devices, workers can select and consolidate inventory for multiple orders simultaneously. Inventory is sorted by individual retail order and value-added services. Priya directs workers to add store labels, UPC stickers or security tags at centralized pack stations. Upon completion, inventory is scanned and Priya generates shipping labels and packing lists to ensure order accuracy. Priya manages inventory, calculates fees for specialized services, and automatically generates invoices which are exported to QuickBooks and sent to AQL customers.

Inventory Management

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CheckM8 Launches AdVantage 2.0

ADOTAS - New York,NY,USA
... the online advertising industry the most advanced new approaches and
cutting edge technologies for ad serving, inventory management, and rich
media. ...

CheckM8, which provides advanced technologies for ad serving and rich media to the online advertising industry, today announced that it has launched AdVantage 2.0 featuring significant improves in its two-year old ad serving platform.

“Unlike most ad serving technology that was developed back in the mid-90’s when Internet advertising was at its infancy, AdVantage was developed for publishers and with publishers and released in 2005 to solve today’s needs of web publishers,” says Dana Ghavami, President & CEO, CheckM8, Inc. “The second generation AdVantage 2.0 is built on top of a highly scalable and reliable infrastructure for improved performance of continued growth and is now a truly great and more advanced product than any offered by the competition.”

Here is a summary of improvements to AdVantage 2.0.

Inventory forecasting: In addition to existing capabilities which include forecasts based on 3 months of historical data, special days, trends and cleaning out spikes and valleys, CheckM8 added the ability to forecast 12 months into the future (which no ad server can do) and improved the forecasting algorithms to give publishers an even more precise forecast of their available inventory.

Enhanced Video Pre-roll Support: AdVantage 2.0 now has built-in pre-roll video capabilities which provide the ability to create, traffic and serve pre-roll video directly from AdVantage, without the need for any third party video vendor. AdVantage also supports pre-roll ads from all third-party vendors.

Insertion Order Management: AdVantage was the first ad server to provide a built-in insertion order creation module. In version 2.0, CheckM8 added the ability to customize various fields of the IO and to automatically email insertion orders to clients from within the user interface.

Campaign Updates: AdVantage 2.0 reduces the time that takes for new campaigns and campaign changes to get pushed onto the servers. Campaign update rate is now below two minutes down from 5-15 minutes.

Reporting: CheckM8 created a new and improved reporting interface and added several dozen new reports which include graphs and charts as well as ad network reports which can show revenue and revenue share on the ad network and its partner sites.

“Unlike other ad serving companies which are trying to sell one product to two different types of customers and markets (publishers vs. advertisers), CheckM8’s is tailored for the needs of leading brand publishers,” adds Mr. Ghavami.

CheckM8 (www.checkm8.com) offers the online advertising industry the most advanced new approaches and cutting edge technologies for ad serving, inventory management, and rich media. CheckM8’s products help increase efficiency and expand the growth of web publishers. CheckM8 technology is used by leading online publishers including Business Week, Nielsen, Orange, Terra Networks, Time Inc., Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, among many others. CheckM8 is based in NY, with offices in London, Madrid, Stockholm and R&D facilities in Israel.

Inventory Management

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Inventory Management: Pentel Implements Prescient's Vendor

Supply Chain Market (press release) - Erie,PA,USA
Prescient Applied Intelligence, Inc. the provider of supply chain and
commerce solutions for retailers and suppliers, recenlty announced that
Pentel of ...

Prescient Applied Intelligence, Inc. the provider of supply chain and commerce solutions for retailers and suppliers, recenlty announced that Pentel of America has implemented Prescient's vendormanaged inventory (VMI) solution. Pentel conducts VMI with McLane, an industry leader in distribution that services more than 50,000 retail locations and distributes Pentel's products to Wal-Mart.

Pentel, one of the leader in the manufacture and sale of writing instruments and art materials, is using Prescient's VMI solution to gain greater visibility into inventory movement; compare forecasts from multiple sources; generate more accurate orders; ship product more efficiently; and reduce returns. The VMI suite includes Prescient's demand, inventory, and replenishment planning modules.

"Because we have so much more visibility into overstocks, we ended this year's back to school season with half the returns," said Steve Koch, supply chain manager for Pentel. "Prescient also allows us to compare our forecasts to current inventory levels, while giving us the ability to view, plan for, and fulfill future orders."

"Prescient's industry-leading VMI solution gives Pentel a consolidated view of all pertinent data," said Jane Hoffer, president and CEO of Prescient. "Greater visibility means more accurate orders, better replenishment plans, operational efficiencies, and ultimately, happier trading partners."

About Prescient Applied Intelligence
Prescient, founded in 1985, is a leading provider of supply chain and advanced commerce solutions for retailers and suppliers. Prescient's solutions capture information at the point of sale, provide greater visibility into real-time demand and turn data into actionable information across the entire supply chain. As a result, the company's products and services enable trading partners to compete effectively, increase profitability and excel in today's retail business climate. Household brand names like Ahold, Coors, Domino's Pizza, Meijer, Rite Aid, Sara Lee, Schwan's, SUPERVALU, and Wyeth rely on Prescient. For more information, go to www.prescient.com.

Inventory Management

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InnLink and InnQuest Software introduce enhanced interface

Hotel & Motel Management Magazine - Cleveland,OH,USA
Seamless inventory management is the critical link to increased revenue."
Visit InnLink at Booth 535 at HITEC to learn more about the company's
strong ...

Hendersonville, TN – InnLink Central Reservation Services and InnQuest Software are pleased to announce the availability of an enhanced interface between roomMaster 2000 and InnLink’s reservation system. Providing voice and electronic distribution services for hotels of all sizes, InnLink provides connection to the four major global distribution services (GDS), the Pegasus network, as well as, the online travel sites.

The enhanced interface users will reap the benefits of a tighter integration between their hotel property management software and their reservation service. Reservations coming from InnLink are now seamlessly entered into roomMaster 2000, and rates/inventory are uploaded from roomMaster 2000 to InnLink’s central reservation service. This enhancement enables hoteliers to better manage real-time rates and room inventory.

Tremendous gains in efficiency will be experienced by both InnQuest Software and InnLink customers because there is no longer a need for managing online rates and room inventory through a separate extranet which will result in saving time and money for the property.

“We will continue to build relationships that are tangential with industry partners,” states Per-Anders Wendin, InnLink’s C.E.O. “Our relationship with InnQuest Software has grown over the past decade as both of our companies further improve products and services for the mutual benefit of our customers. Seamless inventory management is the critical link to increased revenue.”

Visit InnLink at Booth 535 at HITEC to learn more about the company’s strong portfolio of products and services for the hospitality industry. InnLink will be demonstrating the RESmatrix data management tool which allows hoteliers to manage rates and inventory across multiple channels from a single web-based platform and is known throughout the industry for its ease of use.

About InnQuest Software

InnQuest Software is a leading solutions provider for the hospitality industry committed to providing powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use Windows property management software at an affordable price. InnQuest Software's flagship product, roomMaster 2000, is used in over 3,500 properties of all sizes and types in over 50 countries, including chain, independent, business, boutique, and resort hotels. InnQuest Software is based in Tampa, Florida, with regional offices in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

To learn more about InnQuest Software’s products and services visit www.innquest.com or contact Chuck Dunaj, Director of Sales, at (813) 549-5411 or sales@innquest.com.

About InnLink, LLC:

Founded in 1991, InnLink specializes in the processing of reservations for hotels and hotel companies using vLINK: comprehensive private-label voice reservations; eLINK: Internet, GDS and Channel Distribution; iLINK: a private label Booking Engine, ONtarget: Marketing and Promotional Programs and RESmatrix: Customer Tools for Data, Rate and Inventory Management. InnLink maximizes channel-managed, reservation revenue streams for over 1,200 hotels, resorts, inns, condominiums and extended-stay properties.

To learn more about InnLink’s products and services visit www.innlink.com or contact Mary Skinner, Director of Marketing at 615-264-8087 or mary.skinner@innlink.com

Inventory Management

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RFID News Roundup

RFID Journal - Melville,NY,USA
The S2K platform centralizes support for applications ranging from POS,
accounting and inventory management to customer relationship management,
purchasing, ...

Brooks Automation Announces Compact HF Reader
RFID system provider Brooks Automation has introduced a new high frequency (13.56 MHz) HF reader in a compact form factor. The HF20 USB reader measures just 11 x 7 cm and comes with a USB 2.0 interface that enables end users to run the device off a PC or laptop, and also provides power to the reader. The interrogator includes an integrated antenna with a read-write range of 5 to 15 cm. (The HF20 reader is also available with an external antenna from German manufacturer Lemo, but this version does not come with a USB port.) The HF20 reads and encodes HF tags compliant with the ISO 15693 standard (used for many types of RFID identification cards), as well as NXP Semiconductors' I-Code chip and the candidate EPC HF standard. The interrogator is packaged with a Windows XP driver and configuration software. Further specifications are available on the Brooks site. The HF20 is available now, though pricing information has not yet been released.

Calif. Senate Passes Bill to Keep RFID Out of State IDs
California Senate Bill 30, which would place restrictions on how RFID technology could be deployed in identification cards issued by California state, county or municipal governmental entities, was approved by the California state senate on May 24. The state assembly is now considering the bill. California Senator Joseph Simitian authored the bill, which was part of a larger bill he introduced last year. That bill, SB 768, passed both legislative houses before California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it (see Calif. Gov Terminates RFID ID Bill).

Xterprise Offers Comprehensive RTI Tracking
Xterprise, a provider of RFID-enabled supply chain software applications, has released a new RFID-enabled asset management solution designed to help companies better utilize and track reusable transport items (RTIs). The company is offering the solution as an all-inclusive package, encompassing consulting services, Xterprise's XAM asset management middleware and application software, and a service for attaching and encoding tags to fleets of RTIs (or sourcing consultation for companies that do not already use RTIs). Most firms employ RTIs to ship raw materials or finished goods to or from internal and external supply chain partners. According to Xterprise, the majority of companies using RTIs are not employing efficient management techniques, and do not realize how these inefficiencies are impacting their business. Xterprise president Dean Frew says more than 50 million RTIs are lost, damaged or otherwise removed from service each year, at an estimated loss of nearly $1 billion. In many cases, RTIs are only temporarily misplaced, leading to excess inventory when the company purchases new RTIs to replace them. The Xterprise asset management platform uses RFID technology to provide companies with accurate and up-to-date location data so they can improve RTI utilization, which should result in overall business improvements.

Diagraph's New Midrange Print-Encode-Apply System
Diagraph, a St. Louis supplier of automated label applicators, has announced its midrange automated RFID printer-encoder-applicator, the PA/4600. Capable of encoding and applying 32 labels per minute, the device employs Diagraph's TampTenna design using an integrated antenna, attached to SATO's Lt408 printer-encoder, to encode and apply an RFID smart label to a product in a single motion. The PA/4600 verifies that each inlay is functional and rejects labels with bad inlays prior to application. Diagraph also sells the high-range PA/6000 RFID system, designed to encode, print, verify and apply 100 labels per minute. Available now, the PA/4600 costs $9,500.

VAI Supports VeriFone's RFID-enabled Payment Terminal
Vormittag Associates Inc. (VAI), a provider of enterprise resource planning software for the distribution, manufacturing, retail and service industries, has entered into an agreement with electronic payment technology company VeriFone. Under the terms of the contract, VAI has integrated VeriFone's MX870 payment platform and its RiTA Server payment transaction middleware into VAI's S2K Enterprise Edition for Retail Point-of-Sale software. The VeriFone MX870 is available with an integrated RFID interrogator for processing payments made with MasterCard's PayPass, Visa's payWave or American Express' ExpressPay RFID-enabled cards. By integrating the MX870 POS terminal and RiTA software into the S2K application, retailers will be able to easily send sales data derived from cash, magnetic stripe or RFID-based card transactions to their VAI ERP platforms. The S2K platform centralizes support for applications ranging from POS, accounting and inventory management to customer relationship management, purchasing, warehouse management and e-commerce.

Inventory Management

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Despite Harsh Words from Critics, Share Buybacks Remain a Great ...

By Chad Brand(Chad Brand)
Because buying back stock will boost AZO's earnings more than opening a new store, or implementing new inventory management software will. And when it comes to getting your share price higher, earnings are what matters, not sales, ...


You might know Herb Greenberg, an often quoted columnist for MarketWatch and a frequent guest on CNBC, as someone who focuses on telling the bearish story on the market. Although I’m about to refute one of Herb’s recent blog posts entitled “AutoZone: Sustainable Model?” regarding auto parts retailer AutoZone (AZO), I will admit that there are not enough people out there telling people what could go wrong. Wall Street is too often about selling stocks to people, and with that comes a bias toward making the bullish case for an investment, not the bearish one. Although betting against stocks stacks the odds against you, Herb makes it his duty to tell the other side of the story.

In the case of AutoZone, here is what Herb had to say about the company on May 22nd:

“Earnings per share beat estimates, yet again, thanks to buybacks. Who cares about sales missing estimates? Who cares about sales per square foot that are either down or flat year-over-year for 12 consecutive quarters? Or inventory turns at a multi-year lows? Or sliding sales per store? Or continued weak same-store sales? All that matters, in a buyback story, is earnings per share.

"The point," says one longtime skeptic, "is whether that's a sustainable business model. Anybody can do this for some finite period of time, but only the 'productivity loop' (as exemplified by Wal-Mart in its heyday and others) has proved sustainable.”

Herb does have his facts right, AutoZone has not been greatly improving their sales or inventory turns for a long time. However, when trying to judge the merit of a bearish argument, you have to ask, does any of this stuff matter? From reading Herb’s post, it is obvious that he, as well as the long-time skeptic he quotes for the piece, believe that it does matter in terms of the future for AutoZone stock.

Noticeably absent from the piece, however, are any reasons why sales, sales per square foot, inventory turns, sales per store, and same store sales do matter, or why share buybacks are bad. He simply states that a business model that focuses on buybacks, and not sales or inventory, is not sustainable. There is nothing there that explains why it isn’t sustainable. Why may that be?

If you do some digging into AutoZone’s financials over the last fifteen years, you will see that the model is sustainable. The company has been focusing on stock buybacks since 1999. This year will mark the ninth straight year that choosing buybacks over sales growth has worked for them. The argument that the model isn’t sustainable simply does not hold water because the evidence, which I will detail below, points to the contrary.

Now, why has the model worked? Why has it proved wise for AutoZone to reinvest excess cash into its own shares rather than new stores, or other projects focused on traditional retail metrics? Because buying back stock will boost AZO’s earnings more than opening a new store, or implementing new inventory management software will. And when it comes to getting your share price higher, earnings are what matters, not sales, or comp store sales, or sales per square foot, or inventory turns.

Herb writes “All that matters, in a buyback story, is earnings per share.” That is only partially correct. All that matters, in the stock market, is earnings per share. Stock prices follow earnings over the long term because owning a share of stock entitles you to a piece of the company’s earnings. Not sales, but earnings.

Let’s take a look at AutoZone in more detail. The company’s history since its IPO in 1991 tells two distinctly different stories. From 1991 through 1998, AutoZone focused on traditional retail metrics, the ones Herb and his skeptic friend believe are important when evaluating a stock's investment merit. During that time, sales compounded at a growth rate of 22 percent per year, with same store sales averaging 8 percent growth. Stock buybacks were not used, resulting in total shares outstanding rising each and every year due to option grants.

However, in 1999 AutoZone began to focus on stock buybacks, an effort that was very much an idea from a relatively unknown hedge fund manager by the name of Eddie Lampert, who had begun to amass an investment position in AutoZone stock. Lampert understood the retail sector well, and knew that industry experts loved to focus on same store sales and other metrics like that. But he also knew that such metrics had very little correlation to stock market performance, and as an investor, that is all he really cared about.

As a result of pressure from Eddie and other investors, Autozone began to implement a consistently strong buyback program. Total shares outstanding peaked in 1998, fell year-over-year in 1999, and have fallen every year since. Not surprisingly, with a new focus on share buybacks, there was less cash flow left over to improve store performance in ways that would be reflected in same store sales, sales per share foot, and inventory turn statistics. Not surprisingly, since 1999 sales have only averaged 8 percent growth per year, with same store sales compounding at a 3 percent rate. Both of those are far below the levels achieved before the buyback era began at AutoZone.

So the punch line of course lies in what happened to AutoZone stock during these two distinctly different periods. Herb Greenberg and other long-time skeptics would have you believe, without evidence to support their claims, that sales and inventory matter to Wall Street. I am writing this to prove to you that such arguments are wrong.

AutoZone’s stock ended 1991 (the year of its IPO) at $10 per share and reached $26 by the end of 1998, for an increase of about 150 percent. The buyback program reduced share count for the first time in 1999 and today the shares fetch $127 per share, an increase of about 390 percent from 1998. How could this be the case if sales growth and other metrics of retailing health were so much stronger in the earlier period?

The answer lies in the effects of the buyback program. Share count peaked in 1998 at 154 million and now sits below 70 million. So, if you bought 10% of AutoZone at the end of 1998 and held those shares until today, you would now own 22% of the company, without buying a single additional share. And although AutoZone’s sales growth has slowed in recent years, the company is still larger now than it was then, so shareholders not only have seen their ownership stake more than double, but the entire company is worth more today than it was in 1998.

Hopefully this explains why retail metrics like sales don’t really matter when it comes to share price appreciation. Earnings are all that counts, not just in a buyback story, but in any story involving the stock market. I believe Herb when he characterizes his source as a “long-time” skeptic of AutoZone. He likely has been bearish on the company ever since they decided to put buybacks ahead of sales on their priority list eight years ago. However, the skeptics have been wrong for many years and the reason is pretty simple; the buyback model has proven to be quite sustainable.

Full Disclosure: No position in AutoZone at the time of writing


Inventory Management

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Q & A: Start-Up Inventory

By NAILS Magazine
The POS software we'll be using is Salon Transcripts (STX) <>. It has all kinds of neat features like inventory management, payroll, and client scheduling. Regards,. Nadine. salon MOM.


My wife is thinking about opening a salon. The more I read your blog, the more interested I become in helping her launch it. What I am curious about is the type of inventory you’ll need to open the salon. How many autoclaves, scissors, etc ., will you buy? What are the disposable cost of goods for services (COGS) for each manicure and pedicure? Also, what type of point-of-sale (POS) system will you be using?

T
Hi T,
Our back bar product order is based on enough product to supply a six-week training program and get us through our first month of (projected) services. As our salon is only 15 minutes from OPI’s headquarters, we have the advantage of getting product quickly. (As an OPI Concept salon, we’re using OPI Products for 90% of our services.)



I’m only ordering one full set of implements for each technician until our training is complete. Then, I’ll have a minimum of three sets per tech, based on their preference. OPI has numerous pushers, nippers, and other implements, and I feel it’s important to let our technicians use the ones that work best for them. We’re going to buy two autoclaves.



We plan to have a well-stocked retail area. Our retail order is based on a month’s supply of OPI's top-selling SKUs. Again, we have an advantage working directly with a manufacturer, but I suggest anyone opening their own salon develop a good working relationship with their local distributor. You want to be assured that whatever you need can be purchased without waiting days for delivery. A good DSC (distributor sales consultant) can be a big help getting you what you need when you need it. Plus, the consultant will keep you updated on the latest new products, as well as manufacturers’ new retail merchandising displays.



We also had to plan for our first trip to Costco for operating supplies (like paper goods, pens, trash cans, coffee, broom, and a mop). You have to try and budget for every little expense. I'm sure we'll overlook a few things; this is definitely a learning process.



As far as the COGS, each manufacturer should be able to provide a basic cost per service based on which products and services you plan to offer. This can vary slightly depending on if you use the product as recommended by the manufacturer or if you do it your own way. With that in mind, if your technicians are employees, portion control might be good topic to cover during training.



The POS software we’ll be using is Salon Transcripts (STX). It has all kinds of neat features like inventory management, payroll, and client scheduling.

Inventory Management

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Re: Order and Inventory Synchronization

Please take a look at http://developer.amazonwebservices.com/connect/entry.jspa?externalID=215&categoryID=53. Many tools are available to Sellers, including inventory management tools. I hope that helps. Thanks - Satyen.

We have reviewed all the information. I have some very specific questions. Please be as specific as possible.

1. Is there detailed technical documentation on "Event Notification Web Service"

2. What would be a recomended way for a desktop client application to download orders and then update order status with tracking number.

3. Both "Event Notification Web Service" and AIM (Amazon Inventory Management) seems to allow order download - not sure which one to use and what are the pros and cons of one versus the other. Some comparison would help.

4. I DO NOT see any way to update order status on Amazon via the API's - please point me to applicable API for this.

Inventory Management

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Atlanta's Largest Mercedes Benz Dealer Selects MyDealerLot for ...

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
MyDealerLot has clearly created a leading edge RFID inventory management
system that provides substantial benefits to customers and internal
operations," ...

ROSWELL, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MyDealerLot, provider of the only web-based subscription RFID / Real Time Location Tracking System (RTLS) application for retail automotive dealerships, announces that they have been selected to implement the MyDealerLot Enterprise Suite for RBM of Atlanta - North. RBM will be implementing MyDealerLot software and AeroScout RTLS equipment at its newest state of the art Mercedes facility in North Alpharetta.

“We are very excited to be working with one of Atlanta’s most prestigious and forward thinking dealerships,” said George Cresto, Founder & President MyDealerLot. “RBM clearly understand how having real-time inventory can enable increased customer service and sales, better inventory security, and lowered labor costs from decreased inefficiencies in tracking inventory.”

RBM will affix MyDealerLot tags to all vehicles in inventory at its newest store. Each tag will beacon to a web-enabled ‘dashboard’ capable of displaying the virtual location of each vehicle to within 15 feet. Management at RBM will be able to access their inventory online any time and from anywhere, enabling them to track inventory, reduce floor plan costs and eliminate the need for physical inventory checks. RBM will implement MyDealerLot beginning in September 2007.

“RBM’s success over the years has been tied to three key areas: having the best selection of vehicle available, providing the best overall customer experience, and creating efficiencies within our operation. MyDealerLot has clearly created a leading edge RFID inventory management system that provides substantial benefits to customers and internal operations,” said Randy Powell, General Manager, RBM of Atlanta - North.

MyDealerLot V2.0 is available immediately.

About MyDealerLot

MyDealerLot provides innovative real time location inventory tracking solutions for automotive dealers using RFID / RTLS technologies. The MyDealerLot RTLS (Real Time Location System) is a web-based Wi-Fi vehicle tracking solution which uses radio wave technology (RFID) to provide an ‘always-on’ instant physical vehicle inventory. MyDealerLot also assists dealerships in key tracking, salesperson tracking, test drive tracking, floor plan auditing, service bay tracking and external ‘overflow’ lot tracking. Visit www.mydealerlot.com or call 1-888-MDL-RFID (1-888-635-7343) for more information.

About RBM of Atlanta

RBM of Atlanta has been Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Connection since 1964. We are one of the oldest and largest Mercedes-Benz dealers in the Southeast. When customers come to RBM, they discover a “family” environment that can’t be found anywhere else. That family feeling extends from our management to our employees to the customer, and it keeps RBM employees as well as RBM customers loyal for many years.

Inventory Management

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Analyst Survey Reveals Widespread Inventory Management Pain Points

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
"We have been helping companies for more than a decade address inventory
management issues to achieve faster inventory turns with less supply chain
noise. ...


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A recent survey by Industry Directions, a noted analyst firm specializing in enterprise technologies, sheds new light on three widespread business pain points: forecast accuracy, overstocks and expediting. All are key business issues addressed by inventory optimization solutions such as ToolsGroup’s DPM.

The Industry Directions survey found:

* An overwhelming majority, 83 percent of respondents, said overstocks were common in their organizations. Global sourcing was cited as one cause.
* Another large majority, 73 percent of respondents, said expediting was common. Additionally, 40 percent felt that this problem was getting worse.
* Finally, the study found that forecasting accuracy was a big issue. More than half (60 percent) of all respondents said their forecast accuracy was below 80 percent, even for time horizons as short as three-months.

“Overstocks, expediting and poor forecast accuracy are addressable issues,” said Joseph Shamir, CEO of ToolsGroup. ”We have been helping companies for more than a decade address inventory management issues to achieve faster inventory turns with less supply chain noise.”

Industry Directions surveyed 190 manufacturers, retailers, and distributors, where they also found a clear link between these issues and the need for improved inventory management practices. Top performing companies from the study were more likely to combine best practices for inventory management along with software tools, such as ToolsGroup’s DPM.

“As companies strive to become more demand driven and their environment becomes less predictable, inventory management’s importance grows,” summarized Julie Fraser, principal at Industry Directions.

To learn more about best practices for demand-driven inventory management success, a copy of the full report Demand-Driven Inventory Management Strategies: Challenges and Opportunities for Distribution-Intensive Companies is available on Industry Directions’ Web site at http://www.industrydirections.com.

About Industry Directions

Industry Directions is an industry analyst firm that conducts research on the business processes and enabling technologies used in manufacturing value networks in specific vertical industries. Areas of focus include supply chain, business-to-business, production, lean & other improvement initiatives, enterprise management, product lifecycle management and performance management. To learn more, visit: www.industrydirections.com.

About ToolsGroup

ToolsGroup optimizes inventory in the finished goods supply chain. Its powerful solutions optimize multi-echelon distribution chain inventory, from assembly of finished goods to the end consumer, and from strategic network design to daily operations. Recognized by ARC Advisory group as the #1 inventory optimization firm, ToolsGroup allows supply chain managers to meet demanding service levels, while reducing inventory and operating costs. With more than 100 customers in 29 countries, it is the most experienced inventory optimization software provider worldwide. For more information on ToolsGroup and its solutions, please visit www.ToolsGroup.com.

Inventory Management

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Can Not Increment Variable in Coding : Rails Programming

we are creating a web based Point of Sales and Inventory management system as part of our Information technology Project Management class. i have created a method called buy in my admin controller. ...


Hello everyone,

I am pretty much a complete novice to ruby on rails, i have gone through most of the agile rails book, but it was no help solving my problem.

we are creating a web based Point of Sales and Inventory management system as part of our Information technology Project Management class.

i have created a method called buy in my admin controller.

def buy
@product = Product.find(params[:id])
@product.increment(numonhand)
flash[:notice] = 'Product was bought. inventory was updated.'
redirect_to :action => 'list'
end

i placed a link calling this method along with the default methods such as Show, Edit and Destroy in the list scaffold.
the only problem is that numonhand is not incremented when i click on the link.

does anyone have any ideas as to what i am doing wrong.

any help is greatly appreciated and thank you in advanced.

Inventory Management

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Outside plant group meets, agrees new standards

Also new in a series of Recommendations for the management of network elements in the outside plant is a document detailing the requirements for personal digital assistants (PDAs) as tools for inventory management. ...

The group that looks at outside plant and related indoor installations in ITU-T, Study Group 6, met in Geneva during May. Five new standards (ITU-T Recommendations) will be published as a result. Delegates also looked into a possible restructuring of the group that can be presented to ITU-T's quadrennial World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) to take place in the last quarter of 2008.

In addition, the meeting saw the presentation of the first draft of a guide for developing countries on how to implement its standards. The guide, drawing on the work of the world's key experts in the field, will become an invaluable resource for service providers in developing and, in particular least developed countries. Completion of the first edition is expected for November this year.

As well as the traditional technical discussions within the working groups, a technical tutorial session was held on fibre to the home (FTTH) experiences in China, Spain, US, and Italy. Experts say that this is important for delegates to SG 6 given the fact that FTTH deployments will mean more sophisticated equipment needs to be provisioned outside the central office. A common observation was that the right solutions, in particular for the implementation of the optical fibre infrastructure, need to be cost effective not only in themselves, but in a global view, taking into account the entire product lifecycle, including installation and, above all, maintenance issues.

One new Recommendation reached the final stage of ITU-T approval. ITU-T's L-series Recommendations have long been a reference for owners of optical fibres. The new ITU-T Rec. L.66 gives maintenance criteria for in-service optical cable testing in the outside plant without disrupting normal network operation.

Two Recommendations achieving the first stage of approval - known as Consent - detail safety in high-power optical cables and protection of active electronics in outside plant. Also new in a series of Recommendations for the management of network elements in the outside plant is a document detailing the requirements for personal digital assistants (PDAs) as tools for inventory management. Finally, the Recommendation that defines the marking of optical cables used in shallow water , known as marinized terrestrial cables, has been brought up-to-date given the today's more widespread deployment of fibre.

Inventory Management

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Third Screen Media and Hovr Join Forces to Deliver Advertising to ...

By Kellie Marks
MADX goes beyond ad delivery by providing in-depth research, planning and publisher inventory management analytical tools, yielding the highest possible ROI. The company's TSM|Network is North America's largest and most respected single ...

Partnership Enables Free, Ad-Supported Mobile Social Gaming Community

BOSTON – May 29, 2007 – Third Screen Media, a leading provider of mobile advertising software and services, today announced a strategic partnership with mobile content provider Hovr (http://www.hovr.com/) to sell and serve ads into Hovr’s free mobile social game applications. The partnership provides advertisers within Third Screen Media’s TSM|Network with yet another avenue to target mobile subscribers while providing free, ad-supported mobile games for members of Hovr’s MobileSpace social gaming network. Hovr, the industry’s first ad-supported, consumer-based mobile content and social network provider, is spearheading the evolution of free mobile content across mobile platforms.

The implementation of targeted advertisements into mobile gaming is another example of the growing number of opportunities available for advertisers through the mobile platform. In-game mobile advertising provides advertisers with access to a wide range of desirable demographics; in particular, the youth audience. According to Telephia, a provider of research to the mobile media market, nearly 19 million mobile consumers downloaded a game in Q1 2007, up 47 percent year-over-year. The rising number of game enthusiasts on the mobile platform has caused brands to seek targeting opportunities for their advertising campaigns.

“We rely on highly targeted and relevant advertising imbedded into our mobile games in order to provide our members with a free gaming environment,” said Vipul Sawhney, president, Hovr. “By partnering with Third Screen Media, Hovr improves the ability to provide our members with a rich gaming experience, supported by opt-in advertisements that are interesting, entertaining and totally relevant to our gamers. At the same time we are providing advertisers within the TSM|Network with a new and compelling way to target audiences desirable to the nation’s leading brands.”

Through its TSM|Network, one of the largest, single sources of mobile advertising inventory, Third Screen Media will sell, manage and deliver advertising for Hovr’s free mobile game communities. Hovr’s AdLogic platform dynamically inserts full-screen, interactive, rich advertisements into the free games, ensuring that advertisers reach the right audiences with relevant campaigns, while protecting the privacy of Hovr’s members. The opportunity to advertise in the ever-popular mobile games arena in a non-intrusive way provides advertisers in Third Screen Media’s TSM|Network with an attractive avenue to reach desired audiences. Advertisers can now target MobileSpace users by demographics such as age, gender, location and interests with relevant advertisements that appear during the game loading times.

“As the opportunities continue to expand for advertisers, in-game advertising will become a popular choice for advertisers looking to target the most sought-after younger demographic,” said Jeff Janer, chief marketing officer at Third Screen Media. “Our partnership with Hovr provides advertisers within our TSM|Network access to an audience of younger consumers who enjoy playing mobile games on a daily basis.”

About Third Screen Media

Third Screen Media (www.thirdscreenmedia.com) is a software and services company dedicated to enabling advertising on mobile devices. Its MADX product suite links advertisers, publishers and carriers together on a common platform to increase the efficiency and time-to-market for the buying and selling of mobile advertising in WAP, video, MMS and downloadable applications. MADX goes beyond ad delivery by providing in-depth research, planning and publisher inventory management analytical tools, yielding the highest possible ROI. The company’s TSM|Network is North America’s largest and most respected single source of mobile advertising inventory, offering best-in-class content, targeted demographics and broad reach. Customers and partners, including many of the world’s largest marketers, advertising agencies and media companies rely on Third Screen Media’s products and services to deliver, manage and optimize mobile advertising campaigns. Third Screen Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL’s Advertising.com.

About Hovr Inc.

Hovr is a mobile media company that marries the needs of advertisers seeking to reach the important and growing mobile demographic with the desires of mobile users wanting entertaining content and applications on their mobile phones. Hovr provides users with free ad-supported mobile content such as high-quality, fun-to-play mobile games. The Hovr MobileSpace social network lets users connect, compete and interact with their friends and other players in a compelling community environment. For more information visit

Inventory Management

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Sterling and Esync to ink merger of supply chain management talents

Logistics Management (subscription) - Newton,MA,USA
Inventory management is at the top of many companies' "most wanted"
technology list, according to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group. ...

CHICAGO—Earlier this month, Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc. subsidiary, and ESYNC/TranSystems, a strategic supply chain consulting firm, announced at the DCExpo that they plan to form a relationship, which will focus on supply chain execution strategies that enable companies to lower inventory levels, improve customer satisfaction, and increase operational efficiency.

Inventory management is at the top of many companies’ “most wanted” technology list, according to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group. Fifty-seven percent of all companies surveyed said inventory is a core focus. The researchers say one reason for this high level of interest is the growth in complex, global supply chains. Complex environments like these require companies to study the best practices of colleagues who have already succeeded with those practices, and best practices involve the right marriage of technology and practical expertise

Ken Ramoutar, Sterling’s director of product marketing, told Logistics Management that giving customers access to Esync’s domain expertise will help them build best practices around Sterling’s software.

“The challenge many companies have is putting the experience and the software together,” he adds. “When we look at the evolution of our products we use input from customers and our partners, and we look at where the market is heading. We have to triangulate that way to develop products. Esync is on the ground working day to day with customers and they can give us visibility to some of the things they’re working on for their customers.”

John Hill, partner with Esync, weighed in on the significance of this kind of talent merger as well. He said his company’s previous merger with Transystems, a full-service transportation infrastructure and management consulting company, helped set the table for these kinds of relationships with technology companies.

“We have pretty good scope and reach for a bootstrap company out of Toledo, Ohio,” Hill explained. “With Transystems we have a global reach. What drives us is the client’s needs. So the relationship with Sterling is a natural outgrowth of that. While we’re agnostic about solutions—Sterling is one of many partners—we now have a broader array of options that we can intelligently dispense for our clients.”

Inventory Management

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Financial system gains int'l respect

AntiguaSun - St' John's,Antigua and Barbuda
... financial and inventory management system, represents a key investment
in the development of a modern and transparent financial management system.
...

Finance Minister Dr. Errol Cort delivered the keynote address at an international gathering in Miami last week.

He was the featured speaker at the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) Conference which concluded last Friday.

Dr. Cort was invited to give the conference an overview of the integrated financial management system that was recently installed in the Treasury Department by the government and was used as a case study for the conference.

The minister told the conference the “process of building human and institutional capacity as a vehicle to improve cash and financial management requires the utilisation of practical management information systems that are specifically tailored for governmental usage.”

Rest of th Article

Click here to visit Bank of Antigua

Bank of Antigua

Beginning of the Article

In this regard, the he further stated that “the acquisition of the FreeBalance Financial Accountability programme, which is an integrated financial and inventory management system, represents a key investment in the development of a modern and transparent financial management system.

"It facilitates the integration of financial management services and delivers the capability for recording expenditures electronically. It produces cheques and receipts and generates disbursement reports.”

Dr. Cort said “it was certainly a proud moment for the government of Antigua & Barbuda when, on 29 Nov., 2004, the Treasury Department generated its first electronic cash receipt …. And on 10 Aug., 2006 the first electronic cheque was generated by the Treasury.”

Over 45 countries were represented at the conference and the rest of the Antiguan delegation included Dean Evanson, deputy financial secretary and Ralph Warner, senior budget analyst.

Inventory Management

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Profitable E-commerce solutions just a click away

Promotion World (press release) - San Diego,CA,USA
... cart and a unique checkout process, sales and marketing information,
management of merchandising account, inventory management and e-commerce
hosting. " ...
Pomona, California -- Shopstorenow.com, the site which is developed by Neo Orange Software System, provides profitable e-commerce solutions where interested people can establish online stores. The owner of shopstorenow.com, T.S. Anand speaks about the unique shopping cart and its features and he says, “Through shopstorenow.com clients can automatically download electronic products, do flexible front store management, store administration, integrated online payment options, proper sales analysis, accounting facility and shopping cart which enables our clients to create e-store without any HTML coding as such. There is provision of on screen shopping list, shipping calculator, different layout for the cart and a unique checkout process, sales and marketing information, management of merchandising account, inventory management and e-commerce hosting. “The well defined shopping cart can integrate with the existing customer sites with facilities like HTML code generator tool, steps to generate the “Add to button” codes and proper backend support like invoice management, shipping, sales tax etc. There are unique SEO features facilitating SEO marketing and promotion with characteristics like unique product title and mega tag for each product page, user defined title, mega tags and Meta description and individual title, Meta tags and Meta Description for the product and categories. This feature helps in increasing the site ranking in search engines.

Shopstorenow.com helps in optimization of website text and eventually sites get placed in Google page rank. On successful store creation clients can get to do live chat with customers, solve scripting needs and many other provisions like sales and inventory forecasting, free real time web stats, bulk import, UPS, USPS, Fedex, Canadian shipping and integrated shipping solutions and drop shipping integration etc.

Clients can visit the site Shopstorenow.com for more value added facilities and shopping cart solutions of Shopstorenow.com and for the demo of the site and the admin panel. Log onto Shopstorenow.com or dial 1-877-792-2075 for assistance.

Inventory Management

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IWS Signs State of Tennessee for Emergency Response Solution

TMC Net - Norwalk,CT,USA
The win results from field-tested ability to provide accurate, reliable and
responsive inventory management and distribution of critical resources
during ...

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. --(Business Wire)-- Integrated Warehousing Solutions (IWS) today announced that the state of Tennessee has joined the states of Ohio and Georgia, as well as San Bernardino County, Calif. in selecting the IRMS 'Go-Kit', a mobile emergency response solution, to support disaster preparedness strategies. The win results from field-tested ability to provide accurate, reliable and responsive inventory management and distribution of critical resources during emergencies.
IWS' 'Go-Kit' was initially designed meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mandate for management and tracking of Strategic National Stockpiles of lifesaving vaccines as part of a coordinated response to a large-scale bioterrorism or pandemic event. A self-contained mobile warehouse, the 'Go-Kit' supports the activation of distribution and treatment centers in as little as 15 minutes and maintains rigorous control of supplies. It provides complete visibility both upstream - to command centers - and downstream - to field operations, allowing crisis teams to focus on the most important priorities. The system comes with options to record critical medical information such as lot control and patient level information making it well suited for day-to-day public health initiatives such as on-site delivery of flu vaccines or other routine preventative treatments.

"Our government customers are taking every possible step to plan for the ultimate safety of their citizens," said Carl Brewer, president of IWS. "We're pleased to be a part of this commitment, providing the infrastructure that can quickly scale to meet the unexpected and get help quickly when and where it's needed most."
Incorporating emergency response Decision Support wizards to control and monitor medical and pharmaceutical supplies, the 'Go-Kit' supports command and control personnel, allowing these teams to monitor distribution of supplies in real-time, without the need to call field personnel and shift resources.

The 'Go-Kit' comes in a custom-designed storage container and includes a rugged commercial grade laptop pre-configured with the application, mobile wireless access points, handheld wireless devices and scanners for recording distribution and patient information, printers and satellite telephone. For more information, please visit www.irmswms.com.

About Integrated Warehousing Solutions

Integrated Warehousing Solutions is a global supplier of industry-leading supply chain execution, distribution and inventory control solutions, including the award-winning: IRMS Warehouse Management System and IRMS Emergency Response Mobile Distribution Solution Go-Kit (for RSS, RDN and POD level), directly and through selected VAR channels, for optimal supply chain execution, communication and connectivity. Services include logistics consulting, project management, RFID, material handling and systems integration, data conversion, deployment, training and ongoing local and global maintenance, upgrade and support. Integrated Warehousing Solutions, LLC, an operating unit of UPP Business Holdings, Inc., is headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, and can be reached at 800-682-2910 or on the web at www.irmswms.com.

Inventory Management

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Inventory Control Software suits Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

ThomasNet Industrial News Room (press release) - New York,NY,USA
May 4, 2007 Santa Ana, CA - AutoCrib has released its new client/server
inventory management software application, AutoCrib 5.2. ...

ThomasNet® Industrial Newsroom provides current, reliable industrial news articles which are delivered on a timely basis. This comprehensive news source delivers new industrial product news that covers a wide range of products from adhesives through waste handling equipment. This premier news source will help serve the new product information needs of the industrial marketplace through websites, e-marketplaces and online publications that serve them.


Press Release Date: May 4, 2007

Inventory Control Software suits Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

With ability to manage point of use dispensing systems, AutoCrib v5.2 delivers enterprise class database stability in large networked AutoCrib environments, and security in communicating with external information systems. It provides search capability for wildcard search across all text fields, external PO field to reference external purchasing system PO#, allows for free-form entry of PO line items, enables Spot Buys to flow through inspection, and changes bin number throughout database.

AutoCrib Releases Software Update 5.2



May 4, 2007 Santa Ana, CA - AutoCrib has released its new client/server inventory management software application, AutoCrib 5.2. This release has been rewritten for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 building upon its predecessor's SQL Server 2000 technology. "AutoCrib is continuously reinvesting in its technology to always align with today's and emerging IT architecture," states Jonathan Kim, CTO of AutoCrib. It provides enterprise class database stability in large networked AutoCrib environments, as well as increased security and flexibility in communicating with external information systems.

As with previous versions, AutoCrib 5.2 is capable of managing AutoCrib's extensive line of point of use dispensing systems as well as traditional cribs and stores. Release 5.2 contains in excess of fifty new features and subsystems. Some of these new features:
o Search capability has been enhanced to allow wildcard (%, &) search across all text fields o Allows for free-form entry of PO line items o External PO field to reference external purchasing system PO# (i.e.: P21 PO#) o Allows Spot Buys to flow through inspection o Changes a bin number throughout the database, including history.

AutoCrib will begin shipping their system PCs with MS SQL Express 2005 in place of the MS SQL Desktop Engine (MSDE). This entry level configuration allows for 10 concurrent connections when using the Win XP operating system, opposed to only 5 with MSDE and can eliminate the need to invest in a complete SQL Server for many mid-range users. Higher editions of SQL Server and Windows Server enable AutoCrib 5.2 the scalability to meet the needs of even the fastest growing companies.

About AutoCrib

AutoCrib is based in Santa Ana, California, and has been in business since 1995. The company is a pioneer in point-of-use dispensing systems and software solutions that solve many common inventory management problems related to tooling, safety supplies and MRO items. AutoCrib has an excellent reputation for outstanding technical support and customer service for both large and small clients.

Inventory Management

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Meditation and Memory

By ghuts
Small Business Inventory Management Software Business Object Software Business Mapping Software Cd Business Card Software Business Card Free Make Software Print Business Card Free Software Small Business Marketing Software ...

Meditation is a wonderful method of helping the entire body to relax. Through a system of breathing exercises the body naturally feels the stress being released and for many people it allows them to be much more open and receptive.

Meditation can also aid in helping with memory. When a person feels relaxed the memory seems to function much better. Through the use of breathing and concentration the memory feels alive and vibrant once again.

Remember the last time you forgot someone’s name or their birthday? It was probably during a period where you had a great deal on your mind or you were feeling stress.

Upon realizing your forgetfulness this generally stirs up even more anxiety which again leads to more memory problems. It’s a cycle that some people find themselves constantly in.

By employing some of the techniques of meditation that people have been using for years, you can help open up your mind and memory thus allowing it to function better.

It’s wonderful to imagine having the ability to recall names, numbers and important dates without having to look for pieces of paper or check a calendar. Instead it would all be there within your memory.

Meditation does not need to be a complicated process. There are simple exercises that anyone can do for a few moments each day that will help boost the memory.

The key to using meditation as a memory booster is that it will help build concentration which works hand in hand with developing memory.

Finding a quiet spot is very helpful when you want to meditate. Some people also feel that having essential oils or candles burning adds to the necessary ambiance.

If that does help you relax than it’s going to beneficial to the entire process including helping you to reenergize your mind. There are also certain scents of oils and candles that are said to be beneficial for memory function.

Meditation can be taught in a class and there are usually classes offered at natural health care facilities and often even at regular gyms.

Some of the classes are geared towards helping the memory to function. For a person who feels as though their mind isn’t as sharp as it once was, taking one of these classes will benefit them for years to come.

Building up a regular routine of meditation to aid in boosting the memory will also build self-esteem. Feeling as though you are on top of your game mentally is a wonderful self-image booster.

For someone who feels less comfortable within a class of people learning meditation, there are many books and manuals that offer substantial information on mediation as a method of empowering the memory.

Some offer illustrations of body position and along with descriptions for the breathing exercises. Following the methods outlined daily will open the person up to the benefits of meditation.

By using the techniques described they will not only be relaxing their bodies but fueling their memory as well. Having a relaxed and clear mind is one of the most important aspects to having a strong memory.

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Inventory Management

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Inventory Associate

By dunross
Purpose of this position is to provide Inventory Management Support to Refining and Production sites in Europe in the areas of stock decisions, reorder process and KPI monitoring to ensure optimal Warehousing Operations and optimized ...

Process Support Analyst - Support Advisor

Dunross is currently seeking suitable candidates to fill a position of Process Support Analyst - Support Advisor for a procurement department of our client.

Purpose of this position is production and analysis of metrics (SAP and non-SAP) related to the process execution, assistance to process and system users (SAP/Spike and other)., maintenance of training process related documentation, maintenance of data and document repository, involvement in process improvement initiatives, training material development.

Location of Job: Prague

Requirements:
- Fluent in English
- Strong Ethics, Controls and Operations Integrity awareness
- Safe behavior
- Communication skills/customer mindset
- Proficient with Microsoft Office suite
- Will have to know and demonstrate several systems such as SAP, SPIKE and other Intranet based tools

Inventory Management

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My New Database Application: Cash Advance Control Book

By vannara
PS If you are interested in tailoring a Database Application to suit your business operations such as bookkeeping, inventory management, payroll, POS ... please feel free to contact me.

Since I have been assigned as a National Finance Assistance to assist the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to manage the Strengthening Cambodia’s Response to HIV/AIDS programme, I must have done something to improve the financial management of the programme so that the programme’s resources will be utilized effectively to achieve the programme’s goals.

adv-app-3.jpgAfter starting my work for a few weeks, I realized that the programme must have an appropriate tool to control the Cash Advance as the disbursement routine of programme was mostly in Advance form. Meaning to say the Finance Department released cash advance to the Implementing Department of the programme to conduct the activities planned in the Annual Work Plan. Then the cash advance liquidation will be made later in 14 days after completion of the activities implementation.

adv-app-4.jpgRecognizing the importance of controlling the cash advance (the programme will be not shortage of fund and the cash advance will be not used for personal interest), with guidance and support from my uncle who is a database developer, I have developed an application called Cash Advance Control Book to manage the cash advance of the programme. This application was developed by using the database application software of the Microsoft called Microsoft Access.

In return of my effort, my application was congratulated by my colleagues of the Department of Finance. As a result, the Department of Finance can control the cash advance easily in which the outstanding cash advance is controlled and avoid the overdue cash advance.

Special thank to my uncle who give me a chance to engage in IT world. Without your support, this application could not come to live.

P.S. If you are interested in tailoring a Database Application to suit your business operations such as bookkeeping, inventory management, payroll, POS … please feel free to contact me.

Inventory Management

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Supply Chain Management ( )

5) While oversized inventories is a costly inventory management strategy, low fill rates are also costly. Business may be lost through cancelled orders, and the company's reputation may be severely damaged. It's therefore in a company's ...


A supply chain is a network of facilities and distribution option that performs the functions of procurement of materials, transformation of these materials into intermediate and finished products, and the distribution of these finished products to customers

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a business strategy in which business providers with the supply chain jointly commit to work closely together to bring maximum value to the consumers and/or their customers for the least possible overall supply chain cost and time. The ultimate objective is to satisfy the needs of consumers. In essence, SCM is a consumer driven management practice.
A typical supply chain involves industry players such as materials suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, logistics service providers, government, banks & consumers.

Information
Channel

1) The classic objective of logistics : able to have the right products in the right quantities(at the right place) at the right moment at minimal cost.

Delivery reliability and Delivery times are both aspects of customer service, which is highly dependent on flexibility and inventory.

2) Supply Chain Management is divided into 3 levels of decision making
Strategic level : long term decisions are made that are related to location, production, inventory and transportation.
a) Location decisions – are concerned with the size, number and geographic location of supply chain entities, such as plants, inventories or distribution centers.
b) Production decisions – to determine which products to produce, where to produce them, which suppliers to use, from which plants to supply distribution centers, and so on.
c) Inventory decisions – are concerned with the way of managing inventories throughout the supply chain.
d) Transport decisions – are made on the modes of transport to use.
Tactical level : medium term decisions are made, such as weekly demand forecasts, distribution and transportation planning, production planning and materials requirement planning.
Operational level : is concerned with the very short term decisions made from day to day. The border between the tactical and operational level is vague.

3) Three key terms within SCM
a) Customer satisfaction : says something about the level of satisfaction among a company’s customers. Typical measures of customer service are a company’s ability to fill orders within due date (fill rate), or its ability to deliver products to customers within the time quoted(on-time delivery). Other metrics is to measure the average time from order to delivery.
b) Inventories : Manufacturing entities have inventories for raw products(RPI) , products in the production process(WIP) , and finished products(FGI) . In addition there are often warehouse or distribution centers between the different levels of supply chain. Inventories are costly. In addition it is desirable to avoid so-called dead inventory.
c) Flexibility : The overall flexibility of a supply chain will therefore depend on the flexibility of all the entities in a supply chain, and their interrelation.

4) Inventory is a Flexibility Buffer
Customer will not wait this long from order to delivery. The manufacturer needs to plan ahead, and therefore also to estimate future demand by making demand forecasts. If planning of production and inventories was perfect we would be able to implement a pure Just In Time strategy, with components arriving as they are needed, and finished goods being shipped as they leave the assembly line. But in a supply chain there are many events that cannot be foreseen and uncertainties that need to be accounted for. These may be : late shipments from suppliers, defect incoming material, imperfect production yield, production process breakdown, or highly uncertain product demands.
The long lead times make the manufacturer inflexible, and vulnerable to unforeseen changes and inaccurate demand forecasts.
A manufacturer will account for the uncertainties and unforeseen events by keeping safety stocks. The safety stocks assure the necessary flexibility, or rather they act as buffers for the lacks of flexibility in supply chain.

5) While oversized inventories is a costly inventory management strategy, low fill rates are also costly. Business may be lost through cancelled orders, and the company’s reputation may be severely damaged. It’s therefore in a company’s interest to balance inventory holding cost and the cost of imperfect customer satisfaction. The trade-off inventory vs. customer satisfaction is one of the classic issues of logistics and supply chain management.

6) Eight pitfalls related to inventory management are described :
a) No supply chain metrics : In supply chain with multiple sites, each site will often have its fairly autonomous management team. The objectives of the various teams may differ, and even be conflicting. Inventory may for example be reduced at a Site A of a supply chain, and from a local perspective, the performance is enhanced. But the inventory decrease may also decrease Site A’s flexibility. Because Site A now responds more slowly to changes, Site B, which is Site A’s customer will have to increase its inventory (of Site A parts) in order to maintain its flexibility and level of customer service. The lack of supply chain metrics has prevented managers at Site A to see that their local improvements have not lead to improved overall performance of supply chain. The objective of supply chain metrics is to give the basis for evaluations of the performance of the whole supply chain as one system.
b) Inadequate definition of customer service : Too few and in-concise metrics for customer service. The evaluation of performance becomes difficult, and certain aspects of customer service may be overlooked.
c) Inaccurate delivery status data : Customers are not correctly informed of delivery dates of orders and of late deliveries. Companies can often not readily retrieve the information needed to do so.
d) Inefficient information systems : Databases at different operation sites that describe system environment, inventories, backlog, future production plans, and so on are often not linked. Information must be retrieved manually, and this can be a long process. Planning cycles may therefore be long, using highly uncertain demand forecasts. The wrong products are made, and inventories and backlogs grow.
e) Ignoring the impact of uncertainties : Too often supply chains do not track uncertainties such as suppliers’ delivery times, the quality of incoming materials, manufacturing process time, transit times, and so on. This leads to non-optimal stocking levels. In some cases uncertainties are properly tracked, but there is no follow-up.
f) Simplistic inventory stocking policies : Stocking policies are often not linked to knowledge of the uncertainties mentioned above. Stocking policies are often based on the quantity usage of the items stocked. This says nothing about the uncertainty associated with the usage. Analysis show that stocking levels could be greatly reduced by transferring stocking policies from being quantity base to being uncertainty base.
g) Organizational barriers : Entities in a supply chain may belong to different organizations within the same company. The organizations will independently measure the performance of the entities. While each entity is occupied with achieving local goals (much like in pitfall a), important synergies may be lost.
h) An incomplete view of the supply chain : Supply chain managers are often focussed only on the internal supply chain. Going beyond the internal supply chain by including external suppliers and customers often exposes new opportunities for improving internal operations.

7) Globalization
A longer supply chain will often involve longer order to delivery lead times.
The consequences of longer lead times will often be :
- less dependable forecasts as these have to be made earlier
- reduced production flexibility i.e. greater difficulties to adjust to order changes
- higher levels of inventory
The evident answer to problem of longer lead times is to speed up the supply chain. But a limit is often reached beyond which further to shorten lead times are futile. When lead times can no longer be shorten, an important tool for improving the supply chain performance is that of increased coordination : the order, forecasting, procurement, and information sharing procedures among the members of supply chain.

8) Improving Supply Chain Management
Integration and Coordination :
In enterprise, integration can simply mean that each unit of organization will have access to information relevant to its task and will understand how its actions will impact other parts of organization thereby enabling it to choose alternatives that optimize the organization’s goal. The key to integration is coordination. To coordinate is to manage dependencies among activities so as to achieve coherent operation the entire system.
General coordination is the integration of different functions e.g. inventory and production planning, sales, and distribution.
Multi-plant coordination is that on which production decisions are coordinated among the plants of an internal supply chain. The objective is to coordinate the production plans of several plants in a vertical integrated manufacturing company so that the overall performance of the company is improved.
Information Technology :
The rapid development within the information technology and software engineering gives unprecedented opportunities for integration and coordination. The modern computer networks have the ability to rapidly distribute information to all concerned entities of an enterprise. The networks also present an infrastructure for coordination of planning and operational processes, not only within organization, but also among them.

9) Modeling and Simulation
The facility or process of interest is usually called a system, and in order to study it scientifically we often have to make a set of assumptions about how it works. These assumptions, which usually take the form of mathematical or logical relationships, constitute a model that is used to try a gain some understanding of how to corresponding system behaves.
If the relationships that compose the model are simple enough, it may be possible to use mathematical method to obtain exact information on questions of interest; this is called an analytic solution. However, most real-world systems are too complex to allow realistic models to be evaluated analytically, and these models must be studied by means of simulation. In simulation we use a computer to evaluate a model numerically, and data are gathered in order to estimate the desired true characteristic of model.
Modeling and simulation are most often used to test the impact strategic level decisions have on supply chain performance. This may for example be the impact of restructuring the supply chain by reducing the number of plants, changing modes of transport, or relocating warehouse. Simulation as a method, does not give the optimal solution. It simply allows the user to test different solutions. Simulations are run with various parameters or “ set-ups ”, and the results are analyzed and compared to arrive at the optimal solution among those tested.
In this thesis simulation is used to evaluate the impact of information sharing and coordination. All physical entities will remain unchanged, while the ways the entities share information and coordinate problem solving is varied.

Inventory Management

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Book burning as inventory management

Quillblog - Toronto,Ontario,Canada
Getting rid of extra stock is a perpetual headache for most booksellers
(not to mention publishers). If returns aren't an option, deep discounts
aren't ...

Getting rid of extra stock is a perpetual headache for most booksellers (not to mention publishers). If returns aren’t an option, deep discounts aren’t working, and no one will take them as donations, what do you do?

A used bookstore owner in Kansas City, Missouri, has an idea: burn them! Publicly!

Tom Wayne has amassed thousands of books in a warehouse during the 10 years he has run his used book store, Prospero’s Books. His collection ranges from best sellers, such as Tom Clancy’s “The Hunt for Red October” and Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire of the Vanities,” to obscure titles, like a bound report from the Fourth Pan-American Conference held in Buenos Aires in 1910. But when he wanted to thin out the collection, he found he couldn’t even give away books to libraries or thrift shops; they said they were full.

So on Sunday, Wayne began burning his books in protest of what he sees as society’s diminishing support for the printed word.

“This is the funeral pyre for thought in America today,” Wayne told spectators outside his bookstore as he lit the first batch of books.

The fire blazed for about 50 minutes before the Kansas City Fire Department put it out because Wayne didn’t have a permit for burning.

Wayne said next time he will get a permit. He said he envisions monthly bonfires until his supply — estimated at 20,000 books — is exhausted.

Wayne admits the burning was a “knee-jerk reaction,” but also claims “it’s a good excuse for fun.”

Really, what could be more fun and uplifting than a book burning? Though if you really want to get people talking (not to mention reading), why not display some of those titles – along with some unsold paintings from your local art store – as part of a homemade Entartete Kunst exhibit? We all love forbidden fruit! Free balloons for the kids!

Inventory Management

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Checkpoint Introduces Dual-Function Security/Tracking Tags

IndustryWeek - USA
... retail industry and its supply chain, has announced its new
dual-function "Evolve" EAS-EPC labels for security and inventory management
applications. ...

May 29, 2007 -- Checkpoint Systems, a manufacturer and marketer of iIdentification, tracking, security and merchandising solutions for the retail industry and its supply chain, has announced its new dual-function "Evolve" EAS-EPC labels for security and inventory management applications. Representing the industry's first truly integrated electronic article surveillance (EAS) and radio frequency identification (RFID) labeling product, the new dual-function labels are designed to help retailers improve their inventory visibility at case and item level, while at the same time maximize the benefits of their EAS security systems.

"As products move through the supply chain, on-shelf availability is negatively impacted by theft, damage and paperwork errors," says George Off, Checkpoint CEO. "The combined functionality of the Evolve labels provide the benefits of EAS theft deterrence and EPC inventory visibility."

The patent-pending Evolve labels operate in the UHF band of 860 to 960 MHz for the additional advantage of traceability, and at 8.2 MHz for RF-EAS systems. As an added benefit, the EAS performance is significantly enhanced. The UHF antenna incorporates the use of Impinj Monza silicon and allows the ability to track information at a greater read distance at the receiving dock doors and onto the sales floor. The Evolve labels can be used in conjunction with existing Checkpoint RF EAS systems and are Gen 2 compliant to work with Checkpoint's UHF Portals or any certified Gen 2 reader and antenna hardware.

Evolve labels can be customized to support a variety of form factor requirements and are available now for trials. For more information

Inventory Management

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Weber Grill Parts

CMMS Keeps It Running; Inventory Management System Success. What's The Craziest Thing You've Bought Online? Turbo Sport Infrared Stainless Steel Portable Grill; Ultimate Barbeque: HEMI- Powered 345 horsepower, 5.7-Liter V8 Grill ...

A long time ago, at the peak of the first (and yes, now we can say the first) Web bubble, I ordered my Weber Grill online. Flash forward a bunch of years and here it is, Memorial Day 2007… time to break out the barbecue and sunblock. As I opened up my trusty Weber for the first time this season, I was aghast. A bunch of the Flavorizer bars had rusted away to nothingness. I went to the Web to look for Weber Grill parts, knowing full well that there was no way to order them in time for the big weekend…

While I need a set of Flavorizer bars at the very least, I’ll probably go whole hog and pick up a pair of stainless steel cooking grates and an igniter, just in case. Those little sparkers always seem to conk out at the worst possible moment (when you can’t find a single match in the house). It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick up a set of burners, too. Might as well rebuild the entire beast, I say.

A slew of online retailers offer Weber Grill Parts these days, from Amazon through the specialty shops like barbecues.com and weberstuff.com. (I hoped to see the parts I needed at homedepot.com, but not a chance.) Amazon has a five piece set of stainless steel Flavorizer bars for $34.52 and a set of five piece set of porcelain bars for $24.95. A pair of stainless steel cooking grates is $39.85 at Amazon, and a set of porcelain enameled cooking grates is $29.93.

I might stop by the big box while we’re out this weekend to see if there’s any chance they have what we need in stock. If not, I’ll just have to order online and wait it out …

Inventory Management

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The Arrival

By ghuts
Small Business Inventory Management Small Business Management Training Small Business Travel Expense Management Small Business Management System Business Credit Management Small Small Business Risk Management ...

To arrive at a certain destination in life is described as a person being a success at what they have accomplished in life. Success is where you can finally get to breathe a little or take a break from all the hard work. It also means to accomplish ones goals, the American dream, to own a house, and to be better off then the previous generation. The question that has been pondered is simply arriving good enough?

As I sit here at my desk as I do every morning I thought to myself I have finally arrived. I have arrived to the destination and place that I am meant to be. It’s been a long and hard road, but I am finally a self employed entrepreneur, and I am doing exactly what I’ve wanted to do my whole life. Although I didn’t really know it and it’s been a long road to finding this out but fate has finally stepped in. The thoughts of having a home based business enables me to pick and choose my time, to spend more time with the family. Being there at home when the children get out of school and making those doctors appointments. I get to do more with the children then most parents who work outside of the home.

Being self employed I have noticed that I seem to work harder now then ever. It requires discipline, sacrifice, and dedication. Self employment is not the only job out there that requires time but your finances depend on how hard you work. Just how much do you have to sacrifice or give up to finally make your dreams come true?

Most home based businesses or other upper management positions require at least 50-60 hours a week. It requires the ability to put things on hold, especially when you work out of your home. If you have children that are always running in and out it requires the ability to control your emotions and not let them get the best of you. The emotional toll it takes on a person can be quite substantial. Especially being interrupted when you are in your thought process mode and if you break it at that moment you may not get it back.

I remember one of those instances of losing track when my daughter interrupted me one day. She knew I had an aunt that I hadn’t seen in a while and she was under the impression that I didn’t know where she was at. So while I was busy working she knocked on the door again and in the usual tone of interruption I screamed what! This is when she told me she thought she found my aunt on one of those online databases. When she told me this it brought tears to my eyes as I could tell she was only trying to surprise and make me happy. It was then at that moment when I realized I was working way too hard and I really needed to get my priorities in order.

You miss out on some of the little things in life. For parents that have the younger children you may miss out on all of the firsts. The first tooth, words, crawling, or steps and so on. For the little older you may miss out on teaching them how to read, taking time bathe the dog together, or going for walks. Even more critical are the years right before becoming a teenager, the preteen years. Having “the talk” with them. Probably the most important talk you will ever have with them in their life. Keeping kids off drugs, premature sex, dating is not something to take lightly. It doesn’t stop there because in the years beyond it becomes a reinforcement issue. It is important to go to a few games, watch the ballet, cheerleading, choir, and how about a good old fashion bike ride in the park.

Not taking the time necessary reminds me of a song in the seventy’s called Cats in the Cradle. I am sure most have heard of it as there has been a remake or two. The father is so busy with his schedule that he had denied several requests from his young son to play ball or to spend some time with him. It didn’t seem to bother his son as he was very proud of his father and deemed that he would be just like his father someday. It happened just as he said it would; he did become like his father.

The boy now a man is all grown up with his own family to take care of as well as his own pressures in life. The father whose son has moved away and he is now lonely and wondering what he’s been doing. So the father calls him up one day and asked when he would come by. The son denies his request saying the new job is a hassle, the kids have the flu, but at the end of the conversation he says it’s been great talking to you dad. It occurred to the father his boy had grown up to be exactly like him.

You have heard the saying take time to smell the roses. You better do it quick because once they’re gone they quickly fade into the past. Just the memories last and if there aren’t any memories made there won’t be any to remember. Time is money we all know that but time is something else as well. Time is love, above all else. “It is the most precious commodity in the world and should be lavished on those we care about most. (Sidney J. Harris, “Money is Time,” Clearing the Ground, (1986).”

Take the time right now to plan the vacation or if that is stretching it, then stop what your doing right now and go spend some time with that child or give the other person in your life a hug. That’s what I am going to do after I come up with a fantastic ending to this article. Gotcha! I already had the ending in mind before I wrote it. The way I see it is that it just isn’t “good enough” to simply “arrive,” but rather if you enjoyed the ride.

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Inventory Management

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Uncertainty, Consumer Demand, and the 80/20 Rule

As I wrote about here, the emergence of readily accessible and relatively inexpensive CAD software and expertise, rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, just-in-time inventory management, and various direct marketing techniques may ...

Ask the chairman of P&G - the $70 billion consumer goods giant - who is more important to his company's success: Wal-Mart or housewives. Sure, it's a tough choice, but I suspect that he'd answer "housewives." In other words, although the Long Tail distribution of market outcomes in the highly competitive world of consumer products is undoubtedly the result of the interaction of supply and demand, it seems likely to me that the dynamics of demand provide the foundation for the emergence of the winner-takes-most characteristic of consumer markets. Furthermore, the fundamental uncertainty of such dynamics are critically important for an individual inventor (and others in the innovation chain) to understand and appreciate when making investment decisions.

Skewed Demand

Robert Cialdini wrote Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, one of the best selling books of its kind over the last decade or so. In it, he notes the following:

In general, when we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct.

In the context of buying decisions, we tend to look to others to the extent that we're uncertain about what movie to watch, book to buy, or music to listen to. It's a reasonably rational strategy in an uncertain world. More generally, our buying behaviors are more likely to be socially contingent to the extent that the promised value is qualitative, experiential, and emotional. That's important, because the dynamics of "social contagion" or "information cascades" are characterized by threshold rules or tipping points that are the signatures of "power law", "scale free", or "Long Tail" distributions.

As Chris Anderson has explored in a book, his weblog, and a downloadable manifesto, many consumer markets can be described in terms of a "short head" composed of a handful of hits and a "long tail" composed of everybody else. This is popularly known as the 80/20 rule, in which 80% of the revenue is generated by 20% of the products. Although directionally correct, the relative proportions aren't fixed. For example, data from the book business shows that something like 87% of book sales are attributable to just under 8% of the 1.2 million books published in a recent year. In other words, the book publishing industry reflects something like a 87/8 rule, which might look something like this:

(Distribution generated by demonstration tool developed by Fiona Maclachlan.)

Movies, similarly, seem to be distributed according to something like an 80/6 "rule". Clearly, books and movies fit the criteria of qualitative, experiential, and emotional. But, what about more tangible and objectively functional consumer products? Well, even sporting goods, for instance, are well described by something along the lines of a 60/10 rule:

In any case, the improbable (i.e. hits) dominate the distribution, a point that Nassim Nicholas Taleb makes more generally in Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan. The implication for inventors of consumer products is sobering: Given a market composed of 100 distinct offerings, a 10% market share implies a #2 market ranking. If your product's sales rank falls outside of the top 10%, your market share is likely to fall below 1%. That is why, in my previous post, that I suggest that even in a success case, the range of revenue for a new, compelling product in a $400 million annual market might range between $4 million and $40 million and his most likely to be at the low end of the range.

Many times when we use words such as likely or expected, we are referring to the average or the mean of a distribution. That makes a lot of sense if the distribution is the familiar bell-shaped curve, or normal distribution. But, the average has no meaning (i.e. there is no representative scale) in the case of highly skewed Long Tail distributions. In such cases (which, ironically, may be the more normal when it comes to the demand for consumer products), the median or mode of the distribution are better indicators of "likely" outcomes.

Democratizing Supply Effects

Although I think it is appropriate to focus on demand dynamics, Chris Anderson has some interesting hypotheses regarding changes on the supply side. More specifically, he sees three key trends:

* The tools of production are becoming less expensive and more widely available.
* The cost of inventory and distribution is falling.
* The cost of search - the matching of supply and demand - is falling.

While most pronounced in the digital world of entertainment products such as movies and music, these trends extend to the physical world, as well. P&G has explicitly acknowledged the democratization of invention - the fuzzy front end of production - in its embrace of Open Innovation. As I wrote about here, the emergence of readily accessible and relatively inexpensive CAD software and expertise, rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, just-in-time inventory management, and various direct marketing techniques may mean that the distinction between digital products and physical products is more blurry than we commonly assume.

Anderson believes that these trends will shift the relative proportion of demand away from the short head toward the long tail. But, Anderson acknowledges the continuing importance of hits, while offering hope for the masses:

I've described the Long Tail as the death of the 80/20 Rule, even though it's actually nothing of the sort. The real 80/20 Rule is just the acknowledgment that a Pareto distribution is at work, and some things will sell a lot better than others...What the Long Tail offers, however, is the encouragement to not be dominated by the Rule. Even if 20 percent of the products account for 80 percent of the revenue, that's no reason not to carry the other 80 percent of the products. In Long Tail markets, where the carrying costs of inventory are low, the incentive is there to carry everything, regardless of the volume of its sales. Who knows - with good search and recommendations, a bottom 80 percent product could turn into a top 20 percent product.

Much of Anderson's writing describes the emergence of Long Tail aggregators such as Rhapsody, iTunes, and NetFlix. More broadly, Google, eBay, and Amazon.com are aggregators in that they provide a platform for reducing the cost of distribution and search across a broad range of products - digital and tangible, alike. Guthy-Renker, HSN, and EIP are variants on what might be called Long Tail prospectors - firms that search the "Long Tail of things" in order to connect the next hit with the capacities that can take advantage of economies of scale and scope, which remain important in the tangible world. (In a very real sense, EIP represents a search innovation.)

Implications for Inventors

* Having a great product helps, but there is no linear, causal relationship between the quality of your invention and market success. (See the suggested reading list below for more.)
* Look at the potential market from the top-down and the bottom-up. Try to be realistic. Express your conclusions in terms of a range of revenue. Divide the result by 10 to give you an idea of the "home run" potential of your product. Divide that number by 10 to give you a "likely success case" revenue estimate. Think in terms of probabilities; avoid point forecasts.
* Look for ways to run an in-market experiment as quickly and inexpensively as possible. In highly information-based markets, Anderson notes, "It's more expensive to evaluate than to release. Just do it!." (As I noted here, some venture capitalists are beginning to favor market experimentation over analysis, as well.)
* Invest assuming the likelihood of modest returns, but recognize that there is at least a small chance that your product will trigger a global cascade of demand. That is, it could really be a hit. Consequently, give early thought about how you might sell or license your product to a company that has the operational capacity to take advantage of the hit when it happens, because the window of opportunity is likely to slam shut very quickly.
* Respect the unavoidable uncertainty that surrounds the innovation process. Acknowledge the risk that others - including licensees and customers - are taking in adopting your product as theirs. On the other hand, don't fear uncertainty - it is the source of disproportionate opportunity.

More Reading

Feedback-driven, complex, non-linear systems are hard to understand and, quite often, counter-intuitive. In addition to the resources mentioned above, you may find the following useful in your exploration of the Long Tail:

* Critical Mass by Philip Ball - This book goes deeper than The Tipping Point and brings together some of the ideas presented in books such as Emergence, Ubiquity, Nexus, and Linked.
* Six Degrees by Duncan Watts - Includes a nice description of the dynamics of information cascades as well as to the limits of our ability to engineer social epidemics.

Inventory Management

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HelpSpot helpdesk initial impressions

By David Szpunar
My main problem is...no asset tracking or inventory management are included. I agree that Ian Landsman, the HelpSpot creator, has some good points when I asked about this on his forums. And the response time (to my question along with the ...

In reading some of Jason Powell’s old posts about helpdesk software, I discovered a comment by the author of a system called Userscape HelpSpot. The system has obviously gone through some changes since the original post. I haven’t seen the original, but the changes appear to be good because I really like the system! The interface is simple and uses enough AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript And XML) (think Web 2.0) to be responsive and intuitive. This is my impression from using the hosted trial for the last few hours anyway.

There’s a 15% non-profit discount, and the licensing cost is not prohibitive. It also does threaded email tracking very well, and includes a knowledge base and forum that are simple and make sense from the user and administration experiences. And it includes RSS feeds of several useful areas, along with very good reporting that has flexible filtering and drill-down features.

My main problem is…no asset tracking or inventory management are included. I agree that Ian Landsman, the HelpSpot creator, has some good points when I asked about this on his forums. And the response time (to my question along with the others listed, as well as to my trial setup request) shows me that support is excellent, which makes high quality, fast support a two-for-two find recently if you include MozyPro.

I will try Ian’s suggestion of using an asset tag with a custom field to at least track which systems are being referred to in a ticket, which could work. This could work well in conjunction with Spiceworks (also see posts here and here), which has a good (not perfect) inventory interface but a newly created helpdesk that’s not as poweful as HelpSpot.

I haven’t tried all the helpdesk options out by far. ManageEngine ServiceDesk is the one Jason and team is using at Granger Community Church now. I’ve installed the free version, and I’m impressed with the very large number of features. However, it’s a bit more complex than I’d like, especially given that I may have some non-IT department help with entering tickets soon. Like Ian said, in fact, it tries to do everything. And it’s more expensive than HelpSpot for the configuration we need (initially and recurring). Does anyone want to write (or find) an inventory/asset application that has an interface that’s simple like HelpSpot and integrates with the same? I can’t put my finger on what is keeping me from liking Spiceworks as much as I want to. The speed, perhaps? The unresolved errors in some cases? Probably a combination, plus there are some interface items that just feel “clunky” to me, as nice as it is.

So I’m narrowing down the helpdesk search, and still on the lookout for the inventory side. I’m not convinced in any particular direction yet, but I’m finding more and more acceptable choices. At least it’s progress.

Well, it’s probably a good time to get to bed. And get around to enjoying the start of a long weekend. And conclude what has now turned into a rant, or a ramble. Thanks for your indulgence. Comments welcome.

Inventory Management

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Materials/Logistics

By Sastha(Sastha)
Experience with inventory management systems. Responsible for purchasing and inventory for the new Columbus - MS Facility. Experience in industrial purchasing and inventory. Strong computer skills. Prefer previous experience in a plant ...

Siemens Energy and Automation, Inc. (SEA) is a Siemens U.S. operating company Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia. SEA manufactures and markets one of the world's broadest ranges of electrical and electronic products, systems and services to industrial and construction market customers. For more information: www.sea.siemens.com.

Siemens AG is one of the largest global electronics and engineering companies with worldwide sales of $96 billion in fiscal 2005. Founded nearly 160 years ago, the company is a leader in Medical, Power, Automation and Control, Transportation, Information and Communications, Lighting, Building Technologies, Water Technologies and Services and Home Appliances. With its global headquarters in Munich, Siemens AG and its subsidiaries employ 460,000 people in 190 countries. For more information on Siemens in the United States: www.usa.siemens.com.

Job Description
Job Family Responsibilities:
Participates in monitoring of semi-complex materials through the production cycle. Participates in the preparation and maintenance of basic reports; analyzes supplier capability; participates in make/buy studies and cost analyses. Participates in creating integrated project plans and schedules for the supply teams capital and development projects. Participates in the effectiveness evaluation of current material control standards. Supports the planning and coordination of new product introductions; assess the impact and support changes to overall production schedules.


Key Responsibilities:
Performs important areas of standard professional level work that typically requires processing and interpreting, more complex, less clearly-defined issues. Refers semi-complex, unusual problems to others. Identifies and resolves readily identifiable, clearly-defined problems.

Inventory Management

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Decision Automation in BI - Selecting Decisions to Automate

By Cyril Brookes
For example, automatic price adjustment could impact BI systems supporting Order Entry, Production Scheduling, CRM, Inventory Management, etc. In a comment to my last post, James Taylor, proposed that this Phase as originally proposed ...

Barring a directive from on-high, i.e. the Executive Floor, so to speak, it can be difficult deciding which new projects, or old ones for that matter, will benefit from automation of business decision making. Selecting the right project candidates is critical. Obviously sophisticated automation of unimportant decisions is a waste of time, however interesting the technology might be.

This post follows on from that of May 17/18. I proposed a set of five project selection and implementation Phases for decision automation projects. This version gives more detail on the first three of these. A later post will deal with the last two.

This discussion is a work in progress. I’ve built several automated decision systems, but have not attempted to define a project management methodology for them. Any further suggestions are welcome, Dear Reader.

The Phases suggested in my last post have been modified in the light of comments and suggestions from many readers. They currently are:

1. Identify the controllable business variables in your business environment
2. Determine the business processes, and relevant decisions, that impact those controllable variables
3. Identify the BI systems that support the business processes and decision contexts selected in Phase 2
4. Design the business analytics that are the basis of the decision automation: business rules, predictive analyses, time series analyses wherever Phase 3 indicates potential value
5. Evaluate feasibility and profitability of implementing the analytics created in Phase 4

Note: Phases 4 and 5 will be iterative.

Discussion on Phase 1

Phase 1 is, I believe, a novel idea in this context. Most authors writing on Decision Automation focus on decisions and business processes as their starting point, but I think this can result in poor project selection. Just because a business process is important to the enterprise does not mean that automating decisions that are critical to success is the right thing to do. Empowering managers to perform better with improved conventional BI systems may be an optimal answer.

As I see it, controllable variables are likely to be the least common denominators for automated BI. Decisions that can be automated must look to adjust, or consciously not-adjust, one or more of these. Unless it is feasible to monitor and adjust a particular controllable variable there is no point in making a decision that requires this; there’s nothing to do. I might decide that sailing a 50 metre yacht around the world is desirable, but without the funds to purchase it, or ability to sail it effectively, the decision is rather pointless. I may as well decide to fly to the moon.

Or in a business context, deciding to raise product prices when all our customers are on fixed price contracts would be equally useless.

Therefore, a portfolio of identified, automatically adjustable, control variables is an essential commodity in the business of decision making automation.

These adjustable variables are limited in number, because of the nature of business. Below I offer some examples of such control levers, drawn from a product manufacture and/or distribution business context. I chose this sector because it is somewhat different from the insurance or financial services examples that are usually presented in decision automation discourses.

It’s not a complete list, of course, but does demonstrate, I hope, that the gene pool for business process controllability is both limited and deterministic; and, therefore, is a good place to start a search for opportunities and new sources of sustainable competitive advantage. I’ve collated the examples into rough categories, similar to Porter’s Value Chain approach.

Controlling Input Logistics

* Ordering raw materials or manufacturing components
* Adjusting re-order criteria for raw materials or components
* Changing supplier preference rankings
* Cancelling, or modifying, outstanding orders, either to suppliers or from customers

Controlling Operations

* Customer order acceptance, modification or rejection
* Scheduling, and re-scheduling production operations due to quality, demand, raw material or other factors
* Staff short-term allocation to service points based on demand, profit maximization
* Staff longer-term rostering based on advance demand

Managing Distribution

* Re-allocating product during production from a scheduled customer to another based on quality, demand, priority or other criteria
* Scheduling and re-scheduling despatch operations based on production actualities
* Ordering and re-scheduling distribution capacity to meet customer or production imperatives

Setting Financial Variables

* Setting and re-setting prices dynamically on products and/or services
* Adjusting sales commissions or incentives based on demand, performance, or inventory
* Setting and re-setting inventory levels based on cash flow imperatives
* Issuing outstanding payment demand and collection procedures

Directing CRM Activity

* Changing customer credit or priority status
* Placing customers or suppliers on or off credit or other watch-lists based on order, supply and payment patterns
* Issuing outstanding payment demand and collection procedures

Supporting Management

* Adjusting alerting alarm parameters
* Activating these alarms
* Modifying financial or sales performance report or alert distribution lists

Managing Services

* Adjustment of spare parts inventory levels
* Movement of spare parts inventory to different locations based on usage statistics
* Automatic ordering of spare parts and adjustment to order quantities
* Re-allocation of service personnel to divisions or areas

This list should prompt similar candidates for other business sectors. Hopefully it will stimulate your ideas on where you may usefully introduce automatic decisions within the existing and potential BI systems, rather than simply report the facts and rely on management to take action.

Discussion on Phase 2

The aim of this Phase is to discover business processes, existing or planned, that contain and impact one or more of these candidate control parameters and may benefit from automation. Further, the relevant decisions that require adjustment of these control variables must be identified.

The same control variables are likely to appear in multiple business processes. For example, automatic price adjustment could impact BI systems supporting Order Entry, Production Scheduling, CRM, Inventory Management, etc.

In a comment to my last post, James Taylor, proposed that this Phase as originally proposed also required identifying the decisions that would be automated.

I accept that this is correct, we are making decisions to change the settings (or to leave them as they are, a non-decision) of one or more of these control variables. We must, however, realize that these control variables often impact more than one business process. Therefore, there is a very real danger of cross-coupling with unexpected side-effects of a decision, if we don’t check its impact on all business processes impacted by the relevant control variables.

I won’t attempt to list relevant business processes, and associated decisions, that contain or impact specific control variables. This is a blog post, not a text book. Also, any Dear Reader who has stayed with me this far is more than capable of doing his/her own assessment for his/her business.

Discussion on Phase 3

Having identified the candidate business processes, and associated decisions, that should benefit from decision automation, it should be relatively easy to determine the specific BI systems, existing or potential, that will provide the context for the automation.

In my experience, a BI system that contains decision automation components will also provide management information to support human executive decisions. At the very least, it will need to report on decisions taken automatically, and their impact. But, often the operational components that contain automation will also drive tactical and strategic information presentation – directly or indirectly.

Therefore, it will be necessary, before moving to design the business analytics, rules, etc., to determine scope and architecture of the BI system, just like a conventional, information reporting only, project. The metadata describing the character of the underlying data will need to be specified, otherwise the business rule and statistical analyses will become compromised, if not immediately then at some time in the future as green-field turns to brown-field.

Unfortunately, in the real world of system design, analysts prefer to concentrate on the interesting bits, and avoid the boring, housekeeping parts. Specifying business rules, designing trend and pattern matching algorithms, building forecasting models is usually very exciting and challenging stuff. But the enthusiasm for such pursuits has to be sublimated until the overall architecture and scope are determined.

Otherwise we may end up with efficiency at the expense of effectiveness. Not a good result.

In a later post I will discuss Phases 4 and 5; the interesting bits

Inventory Management

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New Factory Progress

By CentralVac Guru
In addition to a comprehensive computer controlled inventory management, it will also contain new manufacturing equipment that will speed up the manufacturing processes. All of our sales and management staff will also be housed in the ...

MD Manufacturing has made another long-term committment to keeping jobs in America as evidenced by our recent unveiling of plans to build a new state-of-the-art factory and warehouse here in Bakersfield, California. While we understand the pressure for many manufacturers to outsource their products overseas, our new factory will be designed to compete further on a world-wide economic scale.

Yes, we do purchase some goods from Asia, and we must state that their quality has been improving but a proper balance would necessitate making our most standard and high-quality products here in the states. True evidence of our quality is an order just this week for another container-load of our central vacuums by our agents in China! Yes USA manufactured goods being shipped to China! This is not easy!

Our new facility should hopefully break ground this summer and we hope to occupy the building before next summer. In addition to a comprehensive computer controlled inventory management, it will also contain new manufacturing equipment that will speed up the manufacturing processes. All of our sales and management staff will also be housed in the facility along with a 5000 square feet of research. An extensive studio will also allow expanded video and photography capabilities and we are even planning on expanding our webinar capabilities.

So dealers, we hope you appreciate our unparalled support. For retail viewers of our site, you are just sratching the surface of what it is that makes MD Manufaturing the technology leader of the industry!

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2007 at 3:25 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Inventory Management

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Finding Your Servers With Solaris

By Marc Hamilton
Did someone walk out with the server in building 2a last night or did one of your developers just download the latest Solaris OS and wipe out your fancy inventory management software by mistake? Well, Sun is about to change all that ...

If you are an average CIO, you probably follow one of several ways to find out how many servers you have in your datacenter and on your network.
# You ask your outsourced service partner, who by the way probably charges you on a per server basis, to tell you how many servers they are managing for you. Hum, what sounds funny about that?
# You ask your sys-admin to run her home grown scripts that were written 5 years ago
# You ask your admin to walk around and count (as in with pencil and paper)
# You buy some expensive inventory management software and load it on every server

There are actually some pretty good solutions for the latter, until you think about how many servers on your network actually run the same OS as when they were purchased and first installed. Did someone walk out with the server in building 2a last night or did one of your developers just download the latest Solaris OS and wipe out your fancy inventory management software by mistake? Well, Sun is about to change all that with a new technology we call service tags. Steve Wilson, who runs the Sun Connection software team, explains the details of Service Tags in his blog. But the concept works like this:

Using technologies and protocols such as SLP (RFC 2608), ZeroConf and XML, every server running Solaris, be it a Sun server or one from another vendor, will soon include service tags. Currently there are 881 systems from virtually every major vendor, including Sun, Dell, HP, and IBM on the Solaris Hardware Compatibility List. In the next month you will be able to download service tags as an add-on package for Solaris and they will come standard in the next release. If you have a Sun x64 server with ILOM (Integrated Lights Out Management), service tags will be integrated into the ILOM software so you won't even have to have Solaris booted to find your server. Over time, service tags will be built into every piece of Sun hardware and software. Then, using Sun Connection, you can quickly and easily register the service tags on all your systems. You could even create a cool map like this that shows where all your servers are.

So what about privacy and security? You can always turn service tags off, but why would you? I guess there are people with General Motors cars that don't enable their OnStar service because of privacy concerns. If you are concerned about what data we collect and how we ensure the security of that data, Steve Wilson's Sun Connection team would be happy to explain it to you.

Inventory Management

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Under pressure to structure supply chain and storage

Express Computers - Bombay,India
... of market conditions and has improved the decision-making process
leading to better inventory management, and structured production planning.
...

FMCG companies have placed EAS, desktops and storage as their top three technology priorities. EAS gives them tighter control over their processes while desktops are a must for them and also storing vital information and having an effective DR mechanism is also high on their priority list. By Abhinav Singh

There is stiff competition amongst FMCG companies putting pressure on their wafer thin margins but they are using IT as a business enabler to their manufacturing processes. With tight supply chain schedules and intense competition the pressure is always on to bring new products to the marketplace. These companies are now using enterprise solutions to gain visibility into their schedules, customer requirements and their inventories. All of them have invested on desktops and notebooks too to enable their top management and mobile workforce to stay connected.

As per the survey, many FMCG companies consider storage as an important IT asset and want to have DR policies along with regularly archiving their e-mail and databases that contains vital sales and marketing information and customer leads.

The top three

As per the survey, the top technology areas on which the FMCG/consumer durables companies had invested were EAS (enterprise application software), followed by desktops and then storage.

As far as enterprise application software is concerned of the ten FMCG firms surveyed that had invested in enterprise applications, all had invested in ERP. This was followed by the investments on databases and messaging with 70 percent having invested in each of these and then CRM with 50 percent. While investment in ERP will continue with 42 percent of 12 respondents planning to invest in ERP this year and around 50 percent in CRM and a third of them want to streamline their supply chain.

By investing in EAS, FMCG companies have already experienced better utilisation of resources, faster time to market and have been able to formulate effective marketing strategies. Through effective use of EAS they have been able to improve service levels with their dealers in getting up-to-date information of potential stock-out scenarios, which has been made possible due to better visibility in sales, inventories and production-in-progress data.

EAS has been the top IT investment area for FMCG companies because they want to enhance productivity. Take the case of Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) where consolidation of information has led to operational excellence at its manufacturing plants across the country. Since finance, planning and inventory are all integrated, the company can focus on its core business—production.

Parle Products Ltd is using a home-grown ERP system, which has modules such as material management, finance and accounting and payroll. The company has also developed a home-grown depot management system, which is required to keep control over its depots located across the country. Gaurav Sharma, EDP In charge, Parle Products Ltd says, “Through the depot management system we get weekly reports on how many trucks were booked and the number of boxes dispatched in each truck. This helps us keep tight control over the goods being dispatched from our depots.”

The consolidation of enterprise-wide information has also helped these companies conduct better market analysis. There has been a continuous increase in the level of competition in the market, and EAS has helped these companies understand customer preferences. EAS has helped them improve their intimacy with customers and they have been able to analyse consumer behaviour and understand brand performance in the market. This has helped FMCG companies innovate with products as per customer preferences. Many of these companies are using business intelligence (BI) tools for better market analysis. FMCG companies are also forecasting cash flows through their ERP systems and have been able to significantly speed up accounts closure by more than 50 percent. Many companies such as HLL have experienced a reduction in potential stock-out scenarios and there has been visibility of inventory across locations thereby reducing the load on the system.

According to K G Mohan, vice president-IT, Hindustan Lever Limited, HLL has been able to enhance its supply chain system, check stock inventory online, and gain a deeper understanding of customer requirements. It has also eased the process of capturing market data and there is more visibility throughout the organisation. It has also helped in formulating market strategies by providing better understanding of market conditions and has improved the decision-making process leading to better inventory management, and structured production planning. It is now easy for the company to analyse the performance of its sales staff, thereby leading to enhanced productivity.

EAS has also helped FMCG companies manage their unprecedented growth. Take the case of LG Electronics Ltd, which has deployed additional modules of its ERP system to manage its growth. The most important one being costing (CO) and evaluation, which the company has added to the Oracle E-Business Suite (ERP) that it uses. Both these modules have been developed in-house and customised as per the company’s requirement. Daya Prakash, program manager, LG CNS Global says, “The costing module helps us analyse the exact cost of the finished product looking at the materials procured to manufacture it. It also helps in fixing the margin and price of the product. The evaluation system helps us in performance evaluation of our sales team as to how they are performing—keeping track of operations, daily targets/monthly targets, leads generated and follow up on the same and the like.”

In a FMCG company, a smoothly functioning supply chain is crucial if businesses are to survive in competitive markets. Mumbai-based FMCG major Marico Industries Ltd. is no exception. Its biggest challenge was to create efficiencies in distribution, this being the area in which the greatest competitive advantage can be achieved in India. Marico has a big supply chain to cover the country. Its supply chain consists of five factories, around 15 plus contract manufacturers, two consolidation centres to manage logistics activities, 30 depots, with hundreds of super distributors, distributors, stockists, wholesalers and retailers.

Vinod Kamath, chief, Finance and IT, at Marico who had been associated with the supply chain initiatives says, “We had standalone systems at the headquarters and in each of our 30 depots, and they weren’t integrated with each other. All the planning was done in Excel, which meant that we lacked data visibility and the management reports were inconsistent.” The result was obvious—inaccurate forecasts, long planning cycles, no transparency of warehouse stock, and a delayed response to customer needs. “It would have been impossible to improve the efficiency of the distribution based on this method,” says Kamath. What the company needed was a state-of-the art IT system to streamline the supply chain and minimise time-to-market. Kamath adds that Marico works with low levels of stock and its responses must be lightning-fast.

With SAP APO, the company has managed to shorten its planning cycles and introduce online reporting. Before implementing SAP, distributors had a warehouse stock out of around 30 percent each. Within six months of the implementation, Marico had managed to reduce stock outs to 20 percent. Kamath says, “This 10 percent reduction in stock outs means a corresponding increase in revenue.” The monitoring functionality of mySAP SCM APO allows the effectiveness of each distributor to be measured, and helps pinpoint the reasons for any changes.

Desktops: the next priority

All the surveyed FMCG companies have invested in PCs and 92 percent on notebooks. One in four had deployed Thin Clients. As per the survey, 67 percent of FMCG companies are planning to invest on notebooks, 58 percent on PCs and one in four on Thin Clients.

Take the case of Electrolux, now part of the Videocon Group. The company had outsourced its desktop management to Wipro Infotech. Now it wants to invest in desktops and do away with the AMC with Wipro Infotech. Anil Bhatia, senior manager-Business Solution Group, Electrolux, says, “We would now like to manage the desktops ourselves as we have to incur heavy cost in the outsourcing model. We want our offices desktop PCs to be linked to the ERP system (presently J D Edwards but soon migrating to SAP because Videocon is using SAP ERP) and for this we require desktops and they are strategic to us.” Electrolux has also provided notebooks to about 90 of its employees and these notebooks are helpful in cases where the workforce is on the move.

Similarly LG Electronics has also invested in desktops and a majority of them are desktops with LCD monitors. According to Prakash, there are around 2,000 PCs in the organisation. These PCs are used across the country for LG Electronics India employees and the choice of LCD monitors was because it occupies less space and is power efficient vis-a-vis CRT monitors. The company has provided 500 plus notebooks to its managerial staff, which provides them flexibility in accessing corporate data using Wi-Fi at its corporate office in Noida.

Many FMCG companies are also opting for thin clients these days and they are displacing PCs in part. D Banerjee, assistant general manager—Systems, DCM Shriram Industries Ltd says, “We have both LCD PCs as well as thin clients. Notebook usage is still confined to senior executives and mainly used to provide connectivity to the corporate network while the executives are out of the office.”

Thin clients are proving to be formidable alternatives to branded PCs at some FMCG companies. Many companies are replacing PCs with thin clients. What’s interesting is the fact that the low cost of thin clients is not the primary reason for their deployment. Thin-clients bring with them ease of manageability. Many FMCG companies have offices spread across locations and hence it is easier to manage thin-clients from a central server, thus requiring minimal support staff. Thin clients also address security aspects well.

That said it is likely that when some FMCG companies are successful in getting the same PC functionality with better manageability and security they will go for thin clients in the future. Thin clients can be a competitive alternative to branded PCs, particularly if the Total cost of Ownership (TCO) is taken into account. If one compares the cost of managing thin-clients it is a direct saving for a large enterprise in the FMCG sector. Thin clients also consume less power; this can prove to be a big saving for an enterprise. A thin client consumes 10 watts, whereas a PC consumes at least 150 Watts. For large enterprises with hundreds or thousands of machines, this can result in huge savings.

Broadly speaking large FMCG companies who have multiple offices around the country with desktops running into thousands will find it easy to manage and use thin clients. Banerjee says, “As a thin client has no hard disk or floppy drives and can be managed from a central server, maintenance is simpler and requires fewer support staff. Many FMCG companies that I know are always concerned with the issue of security. They can look to these machines as an easy and low-cost alternative to PCs.” Barring cases where performance is critical, as in engineering workstations, thin clients can easily stand in for PCs. According to industry pundits the total cost of ownership (TCO) can be 30 to 60 percent lower in the case of thin-clients.

Storage gains ground
Many FMCG companies have offices spread across locations and hence it is easier to manage thin-clients from a central server, thus requiring minimal support staff. Thin clients also address security aspects well

Of the ten respondents from this vertical who had invested in storage, 70 percent had already invested on SAN technology, the highest in all verticals surveyed. A significant number, 60 percent, continue to use DAS—which we feel will change this year, as they will be investing in networked storage.

As far as the adoption of secondary storage by FMCG companies is concerned, 75 percent of 8 respondents had invested on tape drives. About 25 percent were using Virtual Tape Libraries (VTL). Tape continues to be a major investment area followed by VTL. Also as part of their storage strategy, 86 percent of 7 FMCG respondents had invested on database archiving software to back up the data on tape drives followed by 57 percent who had gone for e-mail archiving software. 42 percent of 12 respondents intend to invest in e-mail and database archiving software in the coming year as well.

The penetration of network storage was very high amongst large FMCG companies as per the survey. The logic behind going in for network storage is the requirement to go in for multiple Disaster Recovery sites and also for a BCP (Business Continuity Plan). Electrolux has adopted SAN for block storage purposes—mainly CAD/CAM/CAE data that are used for product design. Bhatia says, “Block-level storage is very important for our organisation as many of our users used to accidentally delete design files. Thanks to the SAN, all the files are safely stored.” The company is also following a comprehensive e-mail archiving policy. Most Electrolux employees use Lotus Notes for e-mail and all their messages are archived using a storage solution from EMC-Legato. As per policy, these messages are archived for a few months. DCM Shriram Industries Ltd uses DAS but it is also considering and evaluating networked storage so that it can plan a DR strategy.

FMCG companies have realised the importance of VTL, as it is an archival storage technology that makes it possible to save data as if it were being stored on tape although it may actually be stored on hard disk or on another storage medium. VTL is facilitating faster backup and recovery and lower operating costs. VTL can be used with a hierarchical storage management (HSM) system in which data is moved as it falls through various usage thresholds to slower but less costly forms of storage media. VTL is also used as part of a (SAN) where less-frequently used or archived data can be managed by a single virtual tape server for a number of networked computers.

LG Electronics India has a proper DR set-up across its two manufacturing plants located in Noida and Pune. On a normal day, Noida’s (manufacturing plant and corporate office) users are connected to the Noida server and the Pune (plant) users are connected to the Pune server. If the Noida server fails all the critical users–both plant and corporate–would be connected to the Pune server to execute critical activities such as sales and production. A similar connection to Noida is made if the Pune server fails. LG Electronics India has classified all the information into two categories–critical and sensitive. (Critical data refers to the ERP and business-related data while sensitive data includes all e-mail, Excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations).

The company also has an e-mail and database archiving solution from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) which it is using for storing e-mail of all its employees who are on Lotus Notes. Prakash says, “E-mail archiving is part of our ILM strategy which we are following as we have to adhere to statutory compliance requirements. We have a policy whereby we store all our transactional data for more than eight years and all our e-mail messages are stored for more than one year.”

In a similar fashion database and e-mail archiving holds the utmost importance for Parle Products, which is using a storage solution from Intransa for this purpose. The company has kept its storage solution at a Reliance data centre in Bangalore with the aim of bringing about storage consolidation for the purpose of putting in place a Disaster Recovery set-up. The company strongly believes in having an effective DR policy for data protection and in turn having a robust storage policy.

Technology is a high priority for FMCG companies in order to stay ahead of competition and also in analysing the competition which is equally important for them. Enhancing information delivery capabilities using front-end reporting tools for better market and self analysis will continue to be a priority for Indian FMCG companies. Additionally Web enabling all their applications and consolidation of information through EAS will help FMCG companies in bringing efficiency to their processes as they will have real time online information about their manufacturing plants, distribution points, distributors and retailers. In order to provide access to different applications to their employees they will need to invest on desktops and in order to preserve all the information they will need to invest on having effective storage strategies and policies.

Inventory Management

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Lean vs. Lean Maintenance

Plant Services - Itasca,IL,USA
The same seven areas of waste, the same initiatives such as just-in-time
inventory management, and the same sort of focus on the day-to-day without
...

PlantServices.com
Keywords: "lean" and "lean maintenance"

The recent popularity in lean manufacturing has spilled over into the maintenance world, with more and more organizations attempting to apply the principles of lean to their asset management departments. But it isn't that simple, says Reliability Expert Daryl Mather. He explains which principles apply and which don't in his latest Web column.

During the past decade, the “LEAN” phenomenon has allowed manufacturing industries to greatly increase their levels of profitability and productivity. Combined with other initiatives, such as TPM, LEAN has allowed these companies to focus on the efficiency of their production processes. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines efficient as being “productive without waste.” Recently, we have seen many consultancies and companies starting to talk about terms such as “LEAN Maintenance,” an attempt to bring the same efficiency improvement approach into the world of physical asset management.

The thinking behind this is laudable, and many companies have been able to benefit greatly from the waste elimination focus that LEAN fosters.

The problem is that the same fundamental principles have been bought directly from the production environment into the asset maintenance environment. The same seven areas of waste, the same initiatives such as just-in-time inventory management, and the same sort of focus on the day-to-day without including a longer term focus.

(In the most extreme cases it appears as if LEAN seems to be a metaphor for every buzz word and service that a consultancy has to offer – but that would be cynical)

“So what?” you say. “Why should maintenance be any different?”

The reason why a lean maintenance approach cannot just be a mirror image of a lean production approach is because the business dynamics of asset maintenance and those of production are fundamentally different.

A short summary of the differences is below, but in my new book, tentatively titled Asset Resource Planning: Lean Strategies for Efficient Maintenance, this is explained in a lot more detail.

1. Production plans are driven by sales forecasts and in the near term by sales orders. This means they are driven by an exact schedule of works. Asset maintenance, on the other hand, is driven in part by a schedule of routine work and in part by the likelihood of failure of the assets under management. This means that initiatives such as JIT inventory management have only a limited ability to assist the efficiency of the maintenance process. Issues such as just-in-case inventory management are far more important. This has implications not only within the area of operations, but throughout the entire supply chain. Often the improvement of a supply chain is based on “how we buy,” the probabilistic nature of asset maintenance means also that we need to be thinking about “why we buy.”
2. Production efficiency is gained almost entirely through present operations. So to be “productive without waste” is thought of in terms of the day-to-day activities involved in managing the production processes (And rightly so). Asset maintenance being “productive without waste” has an additional time perspective. A large part of any asset maintenance spent over time relates to asset replacement and refurbishment intervals. Depending on the type of plant these are often very large scale costs on par with the initial equipment purchase in terms of magnitude. So “productive without waste” means not replacing these too early, and often in not allowing them to fail completely before replacement. In order to be truly efficient we need to control a range of issues related to asset use, type, expected life and other issues. This is significant and reaches outside of the maintenance function itself. For example – a machine that is subject to regular overload situations is likely to have a shortened life expectancy, meaning that capital will need to be spent on it at an earlier stage than previously thought.
3. The last issue we will explore here is that of data management and collection. Improvement of production processes can often be made through recording and acting upon dynamic operational information.Data management and collection is also useful in asset maintenance but we also need to be able to confidently forecast spending in the future and how that is affected by current activities.

This requires data other than the dynamic operational data. It also requires static data on equipment type, location and age; as well as a range of data regarding failure rates, asset condition and other areas.

While this seems straight forward, when this task is not correctly managed it can be a tremendous strain on the resources of the asset maintenance department.

So where does this leave us? If we believe firmly, as I do, that LEAN maintenance needs a different focus than that of LEAN production, what should it be?

I have put together a list of eight areas where the majority of waste in maintenance occurs.
While some of these are the same as those in a standard LEAN approach, there are some notable differences. Some items have been deleted from the list of wasteful activities, while others have been added.

1. Unproductive work – Efficiently doing work that doesn’t need to be done!
2. Delays in motion – Waiting times, delays waiting for parts, machinery, people, etc.
3. Unnecessary motion – Unneeded travel, trips to tool stores or workshops, looking for items, moving mobile work stations around without good reason.
4. Poor management of inventory – Not able to have the right parts at the right time. A complex area that can cause many of the other areas of waste on this list.
5. Rework – Having to repeat tasks, or do additional tasks, as a result of poor workmanship.
6. Underutilization of people – Using people to the limits of their qualifications, not to the limits of their abilities!
7. Ineffective data management – Collecting data that is of no use, or failure to collect data which is vital.
8. Misapplication of machinery – Incorrect operation or deliberate operational strategies leading to maintenance work being done when it needn’t be.

If we really want to deliver “productivity without waste,” or efficiency, in asset maintenance, then we need a different version of LEAN; one that takes into account the unique business dynamics of the area that we work in.

Inventory Management

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Failure to implement ERP module properly leads to systems nightmare

By Scott(Scott)
In any case the inventory management practices in this unnamed industry are bizarre and inefficient. If "emergency" requests for product are a common occurrence, common sense would dictate that a vendor have some minimum stock at all ...

Because of poor policy and lack of controls in their systems, a salesman was able to make a price change without any oversight. What was intended to be a several thousand dollar gain resulted in a several million dollar loss – not to mention the lost opportunities of any future sales to Customers A and B - which I don’t even want to think about how much that adds up to. A proper pricing policy and a system, such as Oracle Advanced Pricing, with the necessary controls to enforce this policy would have ultimately prevented this situation.


My comment on the story went as follows:

I couldn’t agree more with your conclusion; unfortunately many organizations see getting the details in their business systems set up properly as low priority items; and outside of accounting departments controls are seen as hindrances rather than necessary safeguards to prevent the kind of disaster you just described.

In any case the inventory management practices in this unnamed industry are bizarre and inefficient. If “emergency” requests for product are a common occurrence, common sense would dictate that a vendor have some minimum stock at all times to handle “emergency” requests. The practice of “borrowing” previously sold parts to ship to another customer pending production of another unit is a legal, accounting, and logistical nightmare. How does the vendor keep track of “borrowed” parts, and “temporary” sales? How do they keep track of which entity has ownership of the part in question at any given time? What happens if the truck carrying the part crashes and destroys the part? Which insurance company will pay for the loss in that case?

It would be nice to know what industry this is so I could either short the stocks of companies in the industry or avoid unknowingly seeking employment in this industry altogether.

Inventory Management

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Update: Asset Trustee 8.0

The automated hardware/software asset inventory system adds more flexible asset and inventory management, network device discovery capabilities, and other changes.

Digital Thought Software's deDigital Effects Volume 4 is a collection of 76 effect plug-ins for iMovie HD. The package includes Burn, Gloom, XRay, Pencil, Sphere, Pop Art, Unfold, Distortion FX, Floating Tiles, Aquarium, Frame, Comic, Sun Beam, and others. deDigital Effects Volume 4 is $19.95 for Mac OS X 10.4 (Universal Binary) with iLife 05 or 06.

Macware released WebGhost, a utility for anonymous web surfing. The software redirects web connections either through the company's own anonymous proxy server or through public anonymous proxy servers to obscure your IP address. It also provides access to Safari's privacy tools for private browsing, cache and history clearing, popup blocking, and so forth. In addition, it tests and rates its list of public proxy servers to help with selections. WebGhost is a Universal Binary priced at $29.99 for Mac OS X 10.4 and is "compatible with standards-compliant browsers including Safari, OmniWeb and Camino."


Updated Products

ConceptDraw 7.1 is a cross-platform vector drawing program for flowcharts, diagrams, and technical drawings. This release adds import/export of MS Visio xml files, the Table View interface to manage object properties in tabular form, the ability to open ConceptDraw 1.x formatted files, better performance during drawing and operations with objects, and other improvements. ConceptDraw is $299 for Mac OS X 10.4 (Universal Binary) or Windows Vista/XP/2000.

Chromatic Bytes' ZeusDraw 1.2 is a vector drawing program that provides both vector and pixel brushes, paths that don't require secondary selection tools for editing, in-place editing of text without text boxes, and other features. This release adds conversion of most imported PDF, PS, and EPS files into editable ZeusDraw objects, a revised Print dialog with more accessible features and the ability to print only the current selection, and other changes. ZeusDraw is $90 for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and up (Universal Binary).

Xnet Communications' iSoftPhone 1.4 is a VoIP Internet phone application. It includes Address Book integration, customizable ringtones, a missed calls history, conference calling, multi-line support, multi-server support, multiple simultaneous connections, and other features. This release adds Bonjour support for detecting other users within the local network environment, improved support for popular SIP providers, enhanced support for Bluetooth devices (better sound, more reliable performance), and other changes. iSoftPhone is priced starting at $75 for Mac OS X 10.4 (Universal Binary).

Major Malfunction 1.5 is an audio plug-in for Ableton Live that offers real-time mutation of Live audio under your control. It syncs to the Ableton Live tempo automatically and includes DSP effects, storage of eight different 64 step patterns, automation and control via MIDI, and other features. This release adds new effects (distortion, vocoder, slow down, silence), enhancements to the gate effect, a new master multipass filter, click reduction, effect gapping, improved preset management, better automation support, and other changes. Major Malfunction is $15 for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and up (Universal Binary) with Ableton Live 4 or later.

Xyle scope 1.2 is a tool for examining CSS use on web pages. It can display HTML source, make all underlying CSS files available, provide customizable automatic formatting of displayed files, highlight an HTML element's formatting box, and more. This release adds significantly improved live editing, styling of content-driven sites with local style sheets even if they reside on a remote server, an integrated CSS 2.1 properties reference, and iPhone and custom user agent strings. Xyle scope is a Universal Binary priced at $19.95 for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and up.

Screen Sieve 1.1 is a utility for searching the contents of the active window in any Mac OS X application that supports Accessibility. When activated with a hot key, it dims the screen and then highlights all visible matching character strings as you type, including button names, window titles, and other items. This release adds the ability to scroll in windows while searching, a hit counter, support for multiple monitors, and French and Japanese localizations. Screen Sieve is a Universal Binary and is free (donations welcome) for Mac OS X 10.4.

Elmer 7.0 creates and grades sample tests to help prepare for the ham radio written examination. It includes all FCC question pools for each of the three written exams: Technician, General, and Extra Class. This release updates to the new General Class question pool, which went into effect July 1, 2007. Elmer is $24.99 for Mac OS X (Universal Binary), Classic Mac OS, or Windows.

BetterHandles 1.01 is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator that combines a tool and palette to enhance working with Bezier curve handles, including the ability to select multiple handles and collectively move, extend, rotate, or retract them. This release adds Illustrator CS3-compatibility, a reverse path direction command, and other improvements. BetterHandles is $19 for a personal/non-profit license ($29 commercial) for Mac OS X (Illustrator 10/CS/CS2), Mac OS 9 (Illustrator 10), or Windows (Illustrator 10/CS/CS2).

JS8 Media's ReelBean Pro 2.95 is a movie converter and player that can export to video iPod format, Apple TV, and others, including AVI, MPEG-4, H.264, digital video stream, and QuickTime movies. It can also play streaming media and DVDs, record audio, select and edit parts of movies, and save parts to new files. This release adds support for Quartz Composer (.qtz) files, interface tweaks, and some minor bug fixes. ReelBean Pro is $15 for Mac OS X 10.4 (Universal Binary).


Announcements and Previews

eX-cinder's Magnet 1.5 beta provides advanced motion tracking for video compositing and special effects. With it, you can attach tracking probes to moving elements, create compositions linked to the probes, and then preview and render the result. It includes direct access to iPhoto and iMovie media, iSight support, and other features. This beta release includes many new compositions, better integration with Quartz Compositions, preview mode, improved mouse tools, faster incremental tracking, and motion smoothing. During the one month beta period, Magnet is $29.99 (regularly $39.99) for Mac OS X 10.4 and up (Universal Binary).

Sourcebits' FunBooth 0.9 uses real-time face detection in live video to let you apply "props" to your face and capture pictures. It includes a props dock, control of prop dimensions and placement, image controls (brightness, contrast, saturation, tint), export to iPhoto and Flickr, and other features. FunBooth is a Universal Binary priced at $9.99 for Mac OS X.

Inventory Management

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Alcatel-Lucent unveils unique service risk management tool that ...

WebWire (press release) - Atlanta,GA,USA
The SRM is interoperable with third party OSS, NMS and IT Management
systems for asset and inventory management. An open application programming
interface ...

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) has unveiled the Alcatel-Lucent Service Risk Management (SRM) product, a unique technology geared to support the security needs of carriers, managed security service providers and medium-to-large enterprises. It significantly reduces the time and operational costs associated with identifying security vulnerabilities, enabling companies to more quickly deploy remediation activities.

Alcatel-Lucent’s security management system leverages information inherent in the operating support systems and IT systems of service providers and enterprises to instantly assess the potential impact of threats identified by the Alcatel-Lucent Threat Management Centre to network security. The centre offers threat management services that provide vulnerability detection, security monitoring and incident response capabilities, which leverage Alcatel-Lucent’s experience as the co-founder and operator of the Computer Emergency Response Team – Industry, Services and Tertiary (CERT-IST).

The SRM is being showcased in live demonstrations at TeleManagement World in Nice May 20-24.

This comprehensive scalable security solution was developed in response to the broad deployment of feature-rich services by carrier and large enterprises and their need for an expanded level of network vulnerability assessments.

The solution is an intelligent risk analysis engine that maps the known infrastructure (Information Technology and Network Technology) assets to a vulnerability database. The vulnerability database is maintained through regular updates from the Alcatel-Lucent Threat Management Centre. Using information available in the OSS, Network Management Systems (NMS) and IT Management Systems, the SRM creates a service level view of the assets and network topology based on real business needs of the organization. As vulnerabilities and security exposure are identified in the network, the potential impact is ranked and prioritized according to those business needs. Using this tool, security staff can rapidly pinpoint the key set of vulnerabilities and setup a plan for remediation efforts.

Other systems and applications available for vulnerability assessment and management today tend to rely on scanning techniques to identify the potential security vulnerabilities. While an effective scanning approach is critical to a comprehensive security solution, it is not a solution that can be used network wide on a daily basis. With more than 20 vulnerability advisories being published on a daily basis, to be effective vulnerability assessment and management need to move beyond periodic scanning techniques and make use of effective inventory and configuration data that can be referenced immediately. The SRM is the first solution to address the needs of the carrier and enterprise in this way.

“As carriers and service providers expand their product portfolio to offer feature-rich triple-play services, the systems and applications they run will be increasingly exposed to security vulnerabilities. Customers will have access to high-definition content through legitimate services,” said Doug Wiemer, Director of the SRM project within Alcatel-Lucent Ventures. “Hackers, on-the-other-hand, must be prevented from leveraging the potential for exposure of these systems to abuse. The SRM was developed to help optimize the efforts of vulnerability management, reduce the risk of security exposure and reduce the operational costs associated to securing the infrastructure.”

The concept of SRM was initially conceived as a collaborative research project between Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and the Alcatel-Lucent Research and Innovation center in Canada. The research project was incubated by Alcatel-Lucent Ventures - an initiative to commercialize unique innovations out of Alcatel-Lucent’s research community. The SRM product is expected to be generally available in the third quarter of 2007.

"The SRM is based on risk and vulnerability management research that was conducted in collaboration with Defence Research and Development Canada, under the Defence Industrial Research Program. The successful research phase resulted in methods to link security exposure to mission or service delivery risk management," said Dr. Julie Lefebvre, head of the Network Information Operations section at DRDC. "The ability to have near-real-time understanding of security vulnerability exposure, rather than waiting for the next periodic scan, was also very interesting for defence research."

Interoperable with Third-Party Solutions

The SRM is interoperable with third party OSS, NMS and IT Management systems for asset and inventory management. An open application programming interface (API) has been developed to facilitate rapid integration and deployment in any network and IT environment where OSS, NMS, inventory systems or configuration management systems are used.

Inventory Management

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Microsoft -- Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2007

CPA Technology Advisor - Beltsville,MD,USA
... integration with Office products, job costing, multi-currency
capabilities, expanded inventory management functions, contact management
tools, ...

After some adjustments and name changes to its products since Microsoft debuted its accounting system last year, the company seems to be settling in for the long run with two primary packages. Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007 is a free single-user system for very small businesses, providing users with GL, AP, AR, invoicing, online banking and integration with PayPal and eBay, along with remote access to the accounting system for the business’ professional accountant. Office Accounting Express 2007 is included with Office Professional 2007, Office Ultimate 2007 and Office Small Business Edition 2007 or can be downloaded from www.ideawins.com. Users of the Express version can upgrade to the full version if necessary.

For businesses with more complex requirements, Microsoft also offers a more fully featured version called Office Accounting Professional 2007 (formerly Small Business Accounting), which provides the full accounting functions including inventory, multicurrency, fixed assets and sales order processing, along with support for up to eight simultaneous users (each with a licensed copy of the program), integration with Office products, job costing, multi-currency capabilities, expanded inventory management functions, contact management tools, more customization options, additional payroll capabilities and optional business services. Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2007 costs $149.95 for a single-user license that can support any number of companies.

Ease of Use/Basic Functionality -- 5 Stars
Virtually everyone is familiar with Microsoft products, so it is of little surprise that one of Office Accounting Professional’s biggest draws is its completely Office-esque interface, which not only acts and feels like traditional Windows programs, but also offers the best direct integration with Word, Excel and Outlook, with the ability to easily save reports into one of these formats or use mail and contact management functions. Setup tasks are simplified by various wizards that guide company, client and inventory setup, with template charts of accounts for most traditional industry and business types.

The system opens to a multi-panel screen that can be customized to display account summaries and personalized reminder notices for items such as overdue invoices, back orders, payables and payroll tasks. It also shows graphical elements such as cash flow projections and provides links to specific tasks, such as new accounts and journal entries, as well as search functions via the Find panel. This allows users to search through the chart of accounts, journal entries, inventory items, customers, vendors, employees, transactions and other data.

Office Accounting Professional provides excellent customer and vendor lists that offer multiple searching and sorting methods along with at-a-glance data and balance information. The system’s data-entry screens allow on-the-fly addition of new customers and drop-down selection lists, as well as smart entry forms. Overall, the system provides outstanding navigation and an intuitive layout that should be almost immediately comfortable to most users. One little annoyance, however, is that the screen includes a small advertising panel for associated products and services. In Office Accounting Professional 2007, this advertising panel can be easily turned off by clicking the “Add/remove content” link on the top right of any workflow screen.

Core Features/Expandability -- 4.5 Stars
Core modules are accessible either from traditional pull-down menus across the top or from a menu on the left, which includes options for Company, Customers, Vendors, Employees, Banking, Online Sales and Reports. Working within one of these core areas provides the user with a general workflow diagram that shows primary tasks in this area, while task options also appear on the left in the Task menu and at the bottom of the screen. Each of the primary module dashboard screens can be customized to show overviews of key data as desired by individual users.

In addition to GL, AR and AP, Office Accounting Professional offers inventory, payroll, HR functions, job costing and fixed asset management. Additional payroll functions and full-service options are available through ADP, while advanced integrated contact management capabilities are available in Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager. Integrated electronic banking is available with hundreds of institutions, which greatly improves and eases the reconciliation process and also provides electronic vendor bill paying options. For check-based payments, MICR printing is available. Credit card acceptance is offered as well as options for PayPal online payments by customers. Time tracking and billing options are available for service-based industries. Microsoft’s inventory functions support kits and assembly items (but not subcategories), as well as multiple pricing levels and discounts per customer or item, but the program only offers FIFO costing, and does not easily support multiple geographic warehouse locations.

Among the most notable new features for 2007 is the Accountant Transfer Wizard, which allows businesses to securely transfer data in real-time with their external CPA or accounting professional. Also with the professional accountant in mind, Microsoft has added a Payroll Center for Accountants, which allows the professional to manage payroll for multiple clients from one location, with the ability to share responsibilities and print batch checks for multiple clients at one time. Microsoft has also added a fixed asset management system with calculations for all traditional depreciation methods and treatments. The separate Microsoft Point of Sale system can integrate with the accounting program to provide a fully functional retail system.

Businesses using Accounting Express can move upward into Office Accounting Professional with ease since the programs are built on the same general code and utilize the same interface. There is no simple upward migration from Pro, however, since Microsoft’s Dynamics and other higher-end accounting packages are built on varying systems.

Reporting & Management Functions -- 4.5 Stars
Office Accounting Professional offers unparalleled integration with other Office programs such as Excel, Word and Outlook, as well as analysis tools that can generate pivot tables and Access database reports. Improved forms customization options allow users to tailor forms and reports to their needs and save them for future use, with editing functions and client correspondence tools available using Word. The system also gives the ability to easily e-mail documents using Outlook. Traditional reporting options include full financials, trial balance, transaction reports, cash flow, AR aging, sales and payables. As previously mentioned, the new Accountant Transfer Wizard is a great addition, allowing management to transfer accounting data files to their accountant without closing a period and in real time, with corrections synched back into the system. Office Accounting Professional can print signature-ready payroll and tax forms.

Audit Trail, Integrity & Accountant Control Tools -- 4.5 Stars
Office Accounting Professional offers an always-on audit trail that logs all transactions and journal entries, tracking user and data information. The program also includes customizable security roles that allow permission-based access to user groups, roles and specific users in an organization. ::::;

Import/Export/Integration -- 5 Stars
The program feels and works like an Office application because it is an Office application, providing excellent interaction with other programs like Word, Excel, Outlook and Access, as well as with the Business Contact Manager add-on to Outlook, which provides advanced contact management functions. The system also works with Microsoft Office Live for secure data exchange and can be used with Microsoft Point of Sale for retail environments. Online sales options allow the ability to utilize eBay and other online sales sites, with data automatically processed into the accounting system. Office Accounting Professional can save files to PDF, Excel, Access, XML and text formats, with text-based reports and correspondence savable in both *.DOC and *.DOCX formats. The program can import data from Intuit, Excel and Money files. Optional payroll services are also available through built-in integration with ADP.

Help & Support Options -- 4 Stars
Office Accounting Professional’s built-in Help and assistance features are excellent, providing right-click menus and field-specific assistance, along with links to support and program updates and an online user community. Additionally, a link is offered to an Accountant Finder function that allows small businesses to search for a professional near them. The listed providers are members of Microsoft’s free Professional Accountants’ Network. Various Help and instructional panels within the interface also provide guidance. Microsoft offers free initial support, but support thereafter can be pricey.

Relative Value -- 4.5 Stars
Microsoft Office Accounting Professional is a great bargain for businesses with less complex inventory needs, based upon its capabilities and its ultimate ease of use. While current third-party options available to users for add-on features are not as plentiful as the larger partner market of QuickBooks, Microsoft has been developing this network quickly. The program offers basic inventory options but strong functionality in other core areas, with average reporting capabilities that are strengthened by its tight integration with Word and Excel. The system can now support up to eight users.

Inventory Management

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BNSF Railway streamlines fuel management

Bizjournals.com - Charlotte,NC,USA
... manually managing complex diesel fuel supply chain processes while
taking into account inventory management, fuel procurement, delivery and
financial ...

With approximately 1.5 billion gallons of fuel being purchased each year, manually managing complex diesel fuel supply chain processes while taking into account inventory management, fuel procurement, delivery and financial reconciliation was a task BNSF was eager to streamline, accordingto a FuelQuest news release.

The goal of the fuel management system implementation is to improve controls and maximize efficiency through streamlining operations, reducing paperwork and maximizing employee value.

"With volatility high and fuel prices at a premium, BNSF is looking for every possibility to reduce our overall fuel spend, and a key objective is ensuring that fuel contract pricing is strictly adhered to," said Casey Gourley, director of fuel management for BNSF.

A subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. (NYSE:BNI), BNSF Railway Co. operates a North American rail network of about 32,000 route miles in 28 states and two Canadian provinces.

Inventory Management

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Alliance Data Signs Multi-Year Private Label Credit Card Services ...

PR Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA
Alliance Data's platform will also seamlessly integrate with
Gardner-White's inventory management system, which tracks in real time all
merchandise ...

DALLAS, May 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS) , a leading provider of loyalty and marketing solutions derived from transaction-rich data, today announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement to provide private label credit card services for leading regional retailer Gardner-White Furniture Inc. (Gardner-White). Headquartered in Warren, Mich., Gardner-White is a top 100 U.S. multi-channel furniture retailer of high-quality, affordable home furnishings. Gardner-White sells merchandise through its website and six retail locations in Michigan, with a seventh location opening later this summer.

Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide private label credit card services including account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services for Gardner-White. Alliance Data's platform will also seamlessly integrate with Gardner-White's inventory management system, which tracks in real time all merchandise inventory, delivery, and purchases, including purchases made with the Gardner-White private label credit card.

"We continually strive to enhance the experience of our customers across all channels at Gardner-White stores or through our website," said Barbara Tronstein, vice-president of Gardner-White Furniture. "Alliance Data's marketing expertise and flexibility makes them the perfect partner. Finance- based promotions are a critical component of our marketing strategy. Alliance Data's offering allows merchants to customize their program. Equally important, they think like a retailer and understand the need to satisfy the consumer, and to drive sales."

"We are pleased to be partnering with Gardner-White to help them grow their business through our fully integrated private label credit card program," said Ivan Szeftel, president of Retail Services for Alliance Data. "Alliance Data has extensive experience in the retail industry and furniture vertical in particular. Our critical contributions to this partnership include a deep understanding of consumer purchase behavior; progressive credit and marketing programs that augment Gardner-White's marketing and sales strategies; and finally, our ability to harness these tools and expertise to help Gardner-White attract and retain loyal, profitable customers."

About Gardner-White Furniture

Gardner-White is a privately held Michigan corporation that operates retail furniture stores in Southeast Michigan. They are one of the Top 100 Furniture retailers in the US. Gardner-White is a major advertiser in their marketplace. Suppliers include Serta, Simmons, Tempur-Pedic, Ashley, Douglas, Lifestyle and Thornwood.

About Alliance Data

Alliance Data (NYSE: ADS) is a leading provider of marketing, loyalty and transaction services, managing over 120 million consumer relationships for some of North America's most recognizable companies. Using transaction-rich data, Alliance Data creates and manages customized solutions that change consumer behavior and that enable its clients to create and enhance customer loyalty to build stronger, mutually beneficial relationships with their customers. Headquartered in Dallas, Alliance Data employs over 9,000 associates at more than 60 locations worldwide. Alliance Data's brands include AIR MILES(R), North America's premier coalition loyalty program, and Epsilon(R), a leading provider of multi-channel, data-driven technologies and marketing services. For more information about the Company, visit its website, http://www.alliancedata.com/.

Alliance Data's Safe Harbor Statement/Forward Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements may use words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "predict," "project" and similar expressions as they relate to us or our management. When we make forward-looking statements, we are basing them on our management's beliefs and assumptions, using information currently available to us. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, these forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

If one or more of these or other risks or uncertainties materialize, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may vary materially from what we projected. Any forward-looking statements contained in this news release reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We have no intention, and disclaim any obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future results or otherwise.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Alliance Data Systems Corporation's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year. Risk factors may be updated in Item 1A in each of the company's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for each quarterly period subsequent to the Company's most recent Form 10-K.

Inventory Management

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Software used by small grocery retailers to manage inventory and ...

How much do these packages cost for installation, maintenance, etc? Is it easy to query for specific information from these (such as prices for a specific list of items)? Thanks.

How much do these packages cost for installation, maintenance, etc? Is it easy to query for specific information from these (such as prices for a specific list of items)?
Thanks

Inventory Management

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Europe's Skype Small Business Pack for Resellers

By Phil Wolff
Skype's policies on reseller inventory management and returns. Whether the reseller product roadmap includes Skype Certified or Skype Compatible hardware and software. This is a great next step for Skype's ecosystem. ...

So you're a Skype-crazy consultant in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden or the UK. You want to sell Skype to customers. But how?

First, join The Skype Reseller Program. Free to apply, apparently, and one short form.

Then buy the Small Business Pack (shipping early June) at a discounted rate, starting at 20% off the €99 recommended retail price. Sell your packs.

Then buy €99 Skype voucher packs at 5% off and sell them.

Discounts improve with volume.

Things we don't know:

*

Skype's acceptance criteria for reseller applicants.
*

What keeps a small or medium sized business from enrolling in the programme to secure discounts for themselves.
*

When the programme and products will spread to the other markets.
*

Whether resellers based outside the 12 core countries (e.g. Spain) may sell into those countries.
*

Whether these markups are deep enough for resellers to be effective.
*

How long until reseller support delivers:
o point of sale displays
o sales training
o co-operative advertising funds
o lead generation
o specialist certification
*

Skype's policies on reseller inventory management and returns.
*

Whether the reseller product roadmap includes Skype Certified or Skype Compatible hardware and software.

This is a great next step for Skype's ecosystem.

Thanks to Dan York for tipping me to Scott Davidson's announcement.

Skype news release below the fold.


Inventory Management

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Women Entrepreneurs Say Technology Is Key to Their Success

By excelisy
Solutions built with FileMaker Pro are used for a wide range of functions to help small business run smarter — from customer and inventory management all the way to email campaign management and much more without the need for IS/IT ...
SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 22 /PRNewswire/ — Women entrepreneurs, who will represent half of all new small businesses in the U.S. by 2009, say that technology is a key factor in the success of their businesses and that they are comfortable with the digital era.

In a nationwide survey commissioned by FileMaker, Inc., maker of FileMaker Pro database software, 83 percent of women-owned businesses with less than 100 employees reported that technology is key to the success of their business, and 51 percent use database software to organize and manage important business information.

“Many women entrepreneurs find that FileMaker Pro is the perfect business tool to help ensure their success,” said Ann Monroe, Product Marketing Manager, FileMaker. “Millions of small business owners have embraced FileMaker Pro for many years because of its legendary ease of use and ability to get new users comfortable with creating and managing databases.”

Businesswomen react to FileMaker survey results

“Women small business owners instinctively know that technology solutions that help them become more efficient or access data more productively can provide a competitive edge,” said Ginny Wilmerding, entrepreneur and author of “Smart Women & Small Business” . “Among the main reasons women are in business for themselves to begin with are flexibility and independence. Using the right technology is a prime example of ways that women can “work smarter” and maintain control of their businesses and lives.”

“The key to being a successful entrepreneur is to take advantage of all of today’s technological opportunities in order to stay in the game,” says Marilynne Eichinger, president, Museum Tour Catalog, a successful retail catalog company marketing quality, entertaining educational products for children, parents and educators based in Milwaukie, Oregon.

Research firm IDC projects that by 2009, 97 percent of U.S. companies will be small businesses. Many recent studies indicate than more than half of new businesses are started by women.

FileMaker Pro, the #1-selling easy-to-use database software is widely used by millions of small businesses throughout the world. Solutions built with FileMaker Pro are used for a wide range of functions to help small business run smarter — from customer and inventory management all the way to email campaign management and much more without the need for IS/IT support and extensive training. FileMaker also offers the Business Productivity Kit, a solution for managing all aspects of a growing business, available at no cost when downloaded with the free 30-day trial of FileMaker Pro.

Major Survey Findings

The survey of women small business owners uncovered trends in technology, entrepreneurial issues and work and family, including:

Technology Important to Success, But Many Entrepreneurs Still Use Paper Files

— 83 percent agree or strongly agree that “technology is an important
factor in my business’ success.”
— About half (51 percent) of women-owned businesses use database software
to organize and manage important business information.
— 70 percent say they “know enough about how technology can help improve
my business.”

Want to Be Own Boss

Women entrepreneurs start their businesses to give them more control over their career.

— 61 percent said the primary reason they started their own business was
“independence/to be my own boss.”
— 13 percent said they started their own business because they “needed
more convenient hours because of my family.”
— Only eight percent said that “making more money” was the primary reason
for starting their own business.

More Time, Less Money

Running a small business has had some unexpected results for women entrepreneurs.

— Nearly 4 out of 10 women entrepreneurs (39.3 percent) said “the
business takes more of my time than I expected.”
— 43 percent said they have “made less money than I thought I would.”
— 36 percent (35.8) said their business “requires more capital” than
expected.
— 35 percent said that running their own business “is more stressful than
I expected.”

Women entrepreneurs embrace technology

— 82 percent of women business owners said their two leading sources of
information about new technologies are websites (68 percent) and
publications (55 percent). Only 15 percent cited a technology
consultant.
— 77 percent say “most business software is easy enough for small
businesses to use.”

Background and Methodology

The nationwide survey of 201 small business owners and CEOs was conducted in March 2007, by Greenfield Online , an independent data collection firm, on behalf of FileMaker, Inc. Respondents to the survey included women who owned their own business or were the CEO, whose companies’ employed less than 100 people. Quotas were set regionally, to ensure nationally representative results.

Inventory Management

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Supply Chain Group

MMH.com (subscription) - Newton,MA,USA
"Fifty-seven percent of all companies surveyed placed inventory management
at the top of their 'most wanted' technology list," said Beth Enslow, ...

Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) subsidiary, and ESYNC | TranSystems, a strategic supply chain consulting firm, today announced a relationship to address companies' needs to solve complex order fulfillment challenges. The relationship focuses on supply chain execution - the warehouse and transportation processes that enable companies to lower inventory levels, improve customer satisfaction, and increase operational efficiency. Sterling Commerce and ESYNC are highlighting best practices as part of their participation in DC/Expo in Chicago this week (Booths #615 and #404 respectively).

"Fifty-seven percent of all companies surveyed placed inventory management at the top of their 'most wanted' technology list," said Beth Enslow, senior vice president, Enterprise Research and Supply Chain Practice Leader at Aberdeen Group of a recent survey conducted for Global Logistics & Supply Chain Strategies. "Inventory really pulled away as a core focus, and one reason for this high level of interest is the growth in complex, global supply chains."

"Changing market conditions are creating new challenges in fulfillment that require a different approach to supply chain execution. To succeed, companies must manage the complexity of delivering multiple product lines across multiple customer channels, from a matrix of warehouse types, and through multiple delivery options," said Lorne Jones, logistics industry executive at Sterling Commerce. "The relationship between Sterling Commerce and ESYNC will help companies profitably manage across all these dimensions by combining our best-of-breed supply chain execution software with ESYNC's proven best practices and consulting expertise."

The relationship between Sterling Commerce and ESYNC will help companies transform their fulfillment systems into strategic differentiators by using Sterling Commerce supply chain execution solutions - Sterling Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) and Sterling Transportation Management (TMS) - and ESYNC strategic consulting and implementation services. ESYNC, with methodologies and best practices learned from more than 90 implementations completed over the last five years, helps guide the customer to update their processes and procedures.

"ESYNC prides itself on working with the leading supply chain applications providers in order to deliver the best-of-breed solutions our customers need to compete in today's complex world," said John Sidell, principal at ESYNC. "We combine the power of these solutions with our approach to supply chain strategy, facility design, project planning and software evaluation and selection to ensure that our clients' best interests are at the forefront of all we do."

The Sterling Commerce supply chain execution solutions orchestrate the delivery of goods and services across the extended enterprise. Sterling WMS and Sterling TMS reduce inventory, transportation, and warehouse costs by automating resource-intensive processes:
Sterling WMS enables innovative inventory strategies by allowing companies to manage inventory globally across all fulfillment locations. To meet varying requirements, it provides the industry's highest level of configurability and supports multiple operating requirements across industries, customers, products and warehouse types.Sterling TMS is the leading on-demand network for transportation management, providing a 7000+ member logistics network that increases capacity and simplifies and automates carrier communications. It enables shippers and carriers to view, plan, execute, settle and analyze their inbound and outbound transportation.

ESYNC associates bring a depth of experience in supply chain operations and large, complex warehouse management systems (WMS) projects. Building upon this considerable background, ESYNC offers the most effective deployment process in the supply chain consulting industry. ESYNC supply chain execution services include business case development, supply chain and inventory stocking optimization, and workforce productivity analysis. These services will ensure that the customer's supply chain strategy and programs are closely aligned with corporate strategy and performance metrics, including:
Business case development helps companies build the value proposition for their warehouse, labor and transportation infrastructure improvement initiatives.Supply chain and inventory stocking optimization uses modeling tools and seasoned operational expertise to help design and deploy the right inventory optimization strategy.Workforce productivity analysis ensures the operations team's workload is balanced and sequenced to reduce unnecessary downtime and improve productivity.

About ESYNC | TranSystems

ESYNC is a strategic supply chain consulting, integration and implementation services firm that helps clients achieve bottom-line results by bringing the real world experience, methodologies and seasoned resources necessary to meet their supply chain challenges. ESYNC's service offerings facilitate development of supply chain strategies, optimize logistics networks and operations and, when appropriate, deploy technology and software systems. In April of 2007 ESYNC merged with TranSystems, a full-service transportation infrastructure and management consulting company. For more information, visitor.

About Sterling Commerce

Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), helps 80 percent of the FORTUNE® 500 thrive in a global economy by solving complex business process challenges. The company's innovative software and services integrate customers' systems ? inside and outside the four walls of the enterprise ? so companies can conduct business without borders. Sterling Commerce solutions help customers adopt best practices in e-sales, supply chain execution, payment processing and business-to-business integration. The solutions also give executives and front-line managers greater visibility inside and outside the enterprise in order to improve profitability, reduce costs and minimize risk. Sterling Commerce enables businesses to innovate key processes in real time, while continuing to deploy ERP or transaction system infrastructures. With more than 30,000 customers worldwide, Sterling Commerce has unparalleled experience in retail, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, financial services, supply chain, logistics, and telecommunications. More information on Sterling Commerce can be found at.

Inventory Management

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University of Arkansas Kicks Off Apparel and Footwear RFID Study

RFID Journal - Melville,NY,USA
One retail process that will likely be examined is inventory management and
the ability to determine what a retailer has in stock, as well as where
items ...

May 23, 2007—The University of Arkansas' RFID Research Center is teaming with an apparel retailer and two consumer goods associations on an RFID study designed to better understand the benefits of item-level tagging and how it might solve problems retailers struggle with, such as inventory management. The study will incorporate research, lab testing and an RFID pilot.

"We have had conversations with several retailers and industry groups over the past year or so. I think the technology has advanced to the point where it is ready to be examined in depth," says Bill Hardgrave, director of the RFID Research Center, which is part of the Information Technology Research Center (ITRC) at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. "The industry is ready to take a hard look at this technology, based in part on the success that RFID has found in such areas as consumer packaged goods supply chain [processes] and asset management."

Initially, University of Arkansas researchers will examine how retailers might utilize item-level RFID tags, and in which processes RFID might have the greatest impact. The researchers also intend to study the technology in a University of Arkansas lab that re-creates a retail store setting.

One retail process that will likely be examined is inventory management and the ability to determine what a retailer has in stock, as well as where items are at any given time. This, Hardgrave says, is a major issue. "Taking inventory efficiently and accurately is very important," he explains, "and is currently very laborious and inaccurate with bar codes." Bar-code scanners require a clear line-of-sight to scan each bar code, so it is common for employees to miss items during inventory counts. RFID has the potential to provide automated inventory counts in real time—for example, he says, when using smart (RFID-enabled) shelves. RFID also enables the quick location of a specific product in a store.

Additionally, the study will investigate whether RFID can provide benefits for consumers, such as a system in which customers can skip checkout lines and instead pay for their items using RFID. That way, says Hardgrave, customers could make their purchases and walk out of a store in a fraction of the time required to purchase items at a typical store today.

The pilot will test item-level tagging of apparel and footwear. That is a market sector where RFID seems to show promise because the products are RF-friendly and of high value, as compared with other consumer goods. Item-level RFID tags might also help retailers more efficiently manage the many sizes and styles in which apparel and footwear are made. More efficient inventory processes, and fewer misplaced goods on store floors, can result in apparel and footwear—which are often seasonal and subject to fashion trends—being available for sale when they need to be.

The pilot is also expected to test RFID's use in dressing rooms, storage areas and checkout lines. In such settings, customers could lay tagged items on a counter equipped with an RFID reader, or walk through an RFID portal with the products in hand, and have the items automatically charged to a credit card.
"Ultimately," Hardgrave notes, "we want to show those areas where RFID is a solution to common problems of apparel and footwear retailers. We want to see if RFID works."
The research center is collaborating with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), a supply chain management association, and the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions Association (VICS), a retail and consumer-goods industry organization. Both groups are providing funding for the project. The retail store participating in the study has not yet been named. The testing should be finished by the end of 2007, with results of the study made available to both associations.

Inventory Management

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Is A Finish Line Inc. Turnaround Approaching?

Seeking Alpha - New York,NY,USA
The company has invested in an impressive inventory management system that
should help it become more efficient. Most of its senior management has
been with ...

Alex Shadunsky submits: Finish Line Inc. (FINL) is a mall-based specialty retailer which specializes in apparel and footwear. It has three different stores:

Finish Line – sells brand name footwear and soft goods, currently 693 stores
Man Alive – street fashion retailer, currently 87 open stores
Paiva – new store concept for active women, currently 15 open stores

While Man Alive and Paiva are recent growth strategies, the Finish Line stores have been open for business since 1976. Its biggest supplier is Nike (NKE), which accounted for over 50% of its total purchases the last 2 years. It has had some recent struggles. For Fiscal year 2007, its earnings were $.68 per diluted share compared to $1.23 per diluted share in Fiscal year 2006. This was due to a 5.7% decline in comparable store net sales.

SG&A increased 10% year over year, that put further pressure on earnings. Sales only increased 2.5% year over year, but 1.87% of that growth was aided by the additional week in the Fiscal 2007 year. That has led to a depressed stock price; it is currently trading around $12 a share.

Industry

Shoe retailers face a lot of competition. One aspect that they cannot compete on is price, as the big retailers like JCPenney (JCP) and Walmart (WMT) will take market share away in a blink of an eye. Finish Line’s main competitor is Foot Locker (FL), and it has had recent struggles of its own. Just earlier this month it issued a downside revision to its 1st quarter outlook. Foot Locker said that its USA stores suffered a big decline, which is the only market where Finish Line operates. There currently seem to be obvious issues in specialty athletic shoe retailers. An obvious question would be: are there major issues in specialty athletic shoe retailers or just a normal business cycle?

Company

The company has invested in an impressive inventory management system that should help it become more efficient. Most of its senior management has been with the company at least a decade, besides the President and the Chief Merchandising Officer. Its two founders are still with the company in senior management positions. Its new Chief Merchandiser Officer, Sam Sato from Nordstrom, is very experienced in this area and management is very excited about having him come aboard. Man Alive comparable store net sales were up 4.4% compared to the 4th quarter of the previous year, which is a bright spot. It's also currently working on a partnership with Nike that should be rolled out later this year.

Valuation

It's currently trading at a trailing price/earnings of 18.09 and a forward price/earnings ratio for Fiscal 2009 of 12.89. The trailing P/E seems a bit high for a company having so many short-term problems. It also pays a dividend of $.10 a year which is a yield of 0.8%. Its Price/Book ratio is 1.28 and Price/Sales is 0.44, which are both great valuations. It has a solid balance sheet with almost $63 million in cash and no debt. Its cash flows from operations are solid, but most of that cash is going towards capital expenditures on new stores, therefore, free cash flow is suspect. Return on Equity has been low, 7.2% last year and 14.1% the year before.

Technicals

Weekly Chart

The picture is not pretty. The long-term trend is down, it’s been in a long-term trading channel since 2005 and still has not broken that trend. There was some strength in FINL at the end of last year, but since 2007 it’s been trending down. It has not found support at the 50 Weekly Moving Average and it is acting as resistance. Short-term, it has been beat down because of the Foot Locker warning.

FINL_05_21_2007_Weekly

Daily Chart

FINL just recently crossed below the three major moving averages. RSI is showing almost oversold levels and MACD is showing negative momentum. Ever since the late November high, there have been lower lows and lower highs. It looks like it will be heading down to its late summer levels of $10-$11 a share.

FINL_05_21_2007_Daily

Personal Experience

I worked at Finish Line as a sales associate a few years ago while I was still in high school. It wasn’t one of my favorite jobs as a teenager. I wanted to work there because I was a Michael Jordan fan and wanted to get to know more about his line of sneakers and sneakers in general. The pay was pretty close to the minimum level. Management concentrated a lot on the apparel. A lot of people visited Finish Line just to see the new authentic jerseys they have in stock. There was also a lot of pressure to sell something with the sneakers, either a pair of socks, shoe cleaner, shoe laces, etc. to average up the items per transaction.

As a customer, I sometimes wander in its stores when I am at the mall. It usually has the newest footwear and apparel in stock. Its prices are definitely higher compared to JCPenney or other major retailers. Prices are similar to Foot Locker. Foot Locker’s and Finish Line’s store setups are generally alike. It's very antsy to try to sell something, as soon as I walk in there, usually there is a Sales Associate next to me immediately.

Conclusion

Finish Line is currently going through some tough times and this will continue for at least the near future. It has made some changes inside the company, that hopefully will start paying dividends in the near future, but the Finish Line stores are struggling and it will take a little bit longer to turn them around. Hopefully, the Nike partnership will quicken the turn around of the Finish Line stores. I would stay away from FINL in the near future. Management said that the second half results of Fiscal Year 2008 are key and they could give some hints to future performance, positive or negative. Waiting until later this year, before making any decisions, would be a prudent move on an investor’s part.

Inventory Management

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PCG Software Announces HealthCare Information Management Inc ...

Insurance News Net - Harrisburg,PA,USA
... SymKey(R) Kwik Actions(TM) - Special Ability Work Navigation tool;
ScanClaims(TM), a complete work-flow and inventory management solution for
document ...

Healthcare Payer Organizations Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers MALIBU, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 23, 2007--PCG Software, a leading provider of innovative software solutions designed to increase profitability for healthcare payer and provider organizations, today announced that HealthCare Information Management, Inc. (HCIM) has joined the company's Affiliate Vendor program. The two companies will leverage their combined technology and consulting expertise to develop new products that will streamline the processing of medical claims and help end abusive billing practices for healthcare organizations.

"We are committed to building affiliations with strong companies that share our same business values and goals," said Michael Lubao, chief executive officer of PCG Software. "HealthCare Information Management has a strong customer base and keen insight into what this market needs in terms of technology and services. Together, we will be able to deliver game-changing solutions that help customers from both companies increase profitability."

"Working alongside PCG software, we have begun to develop new solutions for claims adjudication that will prove to streamline payment and billing processes," said Mike Wilson, chief executive officer of HealthCare Information Management. "This is a very exciting time and opportunity for both companies and our customers. As we combine all of our significant expertise, we will be able to deliver some of the most effective automated tools in the industry."

PCG Software's cost containment solutions allow healthcare organizations to monitor their internal claims process to identify unclean claims and reduce payment for improper or erroneous coding to conserve premium dollars. For more information on building a relationship with PCG Software as an affiliate vendor, please contact Carol Berry, president, PCG Software, (877) 789-1291, cberry@pcgsoftware.com.

About PCG Software

Established in 1984, PCG is a leading provider of innovative software solutions designed to slow the escalating costs of healthcare. The company works with healthcare payer organizations to increase profitability and maximize financial recoveries, while assisting their provider partners to improve the accuracy of billing processes. The company's flagship software solution enhances claims adjudication systems with more than 30 million edits per claim and uses investigative profiling reports to graphically indicate patterns of fraud and abuse. Through more accurate and efficient claims adjudication, this fraud and abuse prevention software acts as an automated cost containment system for national and regional health insurance plans, independent practice associations and third party administrators. More information about PCG can be found on the World Wide Web at www.pcgsoftware.com.





About HealthCare Information Management

HealthCare Information Management, Inc. (HCIM) delivers technology solutions and consulting services to the managed care / payer industry.

HCIM's products include; SymKey(R), an advanced auto-adjudication claims system; SymKey(R) Kwik Actions(TM) - Special Ability Work Navigation tool; ScanClaims(TM), a complete work-flow and inventory management solution for document scanning, imaging and OCR; Appeals Manager(TM), an automated solution to handle appeals, grievances and resolutions and P4P - Data Management Solution, a robust pay-for-performance solution.

HCIM's consultants are trained and certified in successfully implementing the latest technologies and versions of the industry's leading payer software applications. Our services include payer application software implementation services such as: project planning, business rules configuration, interface/integration of third party applications, conversions, custom software development, report development, testing, and technology/business assessments.

HCIM has accumulated over 150 years of expertise in managed care, healthcare, information technology, and business management. For more information about HCIM's products and services visit the HCIM web site at: www.hcim.com.


Inventory Management

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Cash Services Manager

CT-Hartford, Manage daily CMS operations which may include deposit verification, change order preparation, currency/coin inventory management and balance and audit function; while providing services to Loomis cust.

Manage daily CMS operations which may include deposit verification, change order preparation, currency/coin inventory management and balance and audit function; while providing services to Loomis customers. Perform supervisory responsibilities for personnel actions and monitor staff performance. Ensure accountability and security of all funds and adhere to compliance, industry standards, audit requirements, and company policies. Assure quality customer service, schedule staffing to meet productivity goals, and approve exception processing.

Requirements:
# Five or more years experience in a banking operations environment or cash processing function.
# Demonstrates, strong supervisory and administrative skills, interpersonal skills, oral and written communication skills.
# Proficient use of MS Office, proprietary software, and good typing skills.
# A college degree is preferred.



General Responsibilities:
Implement, monitor, and recommend changes to policies and procedures to ensure accountability and security of all currency and coin.

Train new and existing CMS staff in all aspects of processing functions, policy and procedure execution and implementation of new processes.

Exercise managerial authority regarding staffing, hiring, performance appraisals, promotions, salary increases, terminations, and staff development.

Review and enforce operating systems and procedures within the branch and dependent procedures outside the department. Update as needed to ensure process effectiveness and control, accountability, and security of all cash movement and inventory information.

Monitor workflow and adjust staffing needs and maintenance schedules as needed to ensure quality levels of service and performance in conjunction with CMS Manager.

Communicate with internal and external Loomis customers to address and resolve problems, special requests, and/or discrepancy situations.

Inventory Management

Labels:

New Research Shows Companies Struggle to Ensure Inventory Keeps ...

PR Web (press release) - Ferndale,WA,USA
While companies recognize that they must shift to a demand-driven approach
to inventory management to meet increasingly volatile consumer demands, ...

While companies recognize that they must shift to a demand-driven approach to inventory management to meet increasingly volatile consumer demands, most companies' inventory management practices remain more traditional and supply-intensive.

Boston, MA (PRWEB) May 22, 2007 -- While companies recognize that they must shift to a demand-driven approach to inventory management to meet increasingly volatile consumer demands, most companies' inventory management practices remain more traditional and supply-intensive. Further, only a fraction of companies' inventory management structure is appropriate to meet the demands of dynamic, global, multi-tier supply chains. These findings are the result of Industry Directions' recent study, Demand Driven Inventory Management Strategies: Challenges & Opportunities for Distribution-Intensive Companies. The survey garnered responses from 190 respondents from a range of manufacturers, retailers, and distribution and wholesale companies.

The study underscored the difficulty of getting inventory into place in time to meet rapidly changing, dynamic market opportunities for those using traditional practices and systems. By far, customer service is the highest priority respondents cited for their inventory management strategy. Further, the #1 metric companies use to manage inventory management performance is stock-outs.

Yet, shifting to a customer-centric focus can take a toll. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) said that expediting products is a common practice for them. At the same time, an overwhelming majority, 83% of respondents, said that overstocks were common. Meanwhile, of those who said that expediting is common, 40% say that this issue is on the increase. In a group of top performers, 50% say expediting is not common and 27% say overstocks are not common.

"Traditionally, most companies have built their technology and process infrastructure so that they can push inventory through their supply chain and drive down cost," said Julie Fraser, Principal at Industry Directions. "Demand-driven inventory management logically calls for just the opposite -- that items be pulled through distribution and production and from suppliers. The good news is that companies realize they have to operate in a demand-driven fashion, and a sub-set of the respondents to this study are well on their way to figuring out how to transform their supply chain to support effective and profitable operation."

The study found forecast accuracy continues to be a challenge for most companies, who report 70% or less forecast accuracy. While demand variability limits forecast accuracy increases, many have the opportunity to improve forecast accuracy by using more partner data and more frequent reviews. Complex and long supply chains also lead to volatility in lead times and even greater challenges in matching supply with demand. Most companies are not reviewing performance with partners or reviewing their distribution and supply networks frequently enough to adjust quickly when problems arise.

While the majority uses a variety of supply chain and logistics planning applications, fewer use software that would help them respond, fulfill or cover for uncertainty. Some of the applications most commonly cited in plans to purchase do address these issues: performance dashboards, alerts, transportation management, inventory optimization, distribution planning and dynamic planning.

This study was sponsored by HighJump Software, a 3M company www.highjumpsoftware.com, Logility www.logility.com, Manhattan Associates www.manh.com and ToolsGroup www.toolsgroup.com. Free copies of this survey report are available at: www.industrydirections.com.

About Industry Directions
Industry Directions is an industry analyst firm that conducts research on the business processes and enabling technologies used in manufacturing value networks in specific vertical industries. Areas of focus include supply chain, business-to-business, production, lean & other improvement initiatives, enterprise management, product lifecycle management and performance management. To learn more, visit: www.industrydirections.com.

Inventory Management

Labels:

SINGTEL SELECTS AXIOM SYSTEMS FOR END-TO-END SERVICE FULFILLMENT ...

Telephony World (press release) - USA
Axiom Systems' AXIOSS Suite incorporates delivery applications for order
management, inventory management and service activation. ...

SINGTEL SELECTS AXIOM SYSTEMS FOR END-TO-END SERVICE FULFILLMENT OF BROADBAND SERVICES

Singapore, 22 May 2007. Axiom Systems, the leading provider of service fulfillment software for telecommunications companies, today announced that one of Asia-Pacific's key service providers, SingTel, has deployed AXIOSS® for the end-to-end service design, creation and delivery of its business and consumer broadband services. Working with leading IT & communications engineering services provider, NCS Group, and systems integrator, Fastwire, the contract demonstrates the capabilities of the AXIOSS Suite in helping service providers take exciting next generation services to market faster than ever before.

SingTel requires a flexible service fulfillment solution that can scale to meet the demands of growing broadband adoption and the launch of complex packaged services such as multi-play. Axiom Systems' AXIOSS Suite incorporates delivery applications for order management, inventory management and service activation. By deploying AXIOSS, SingTel will have the potential to bring new products to market within days of concept.

Mrs. Tan Kah Rhu, Vice President of Core Engineering at SingTel said, "Our objective is to have a next generation service fulfillment platform, tightly integrated with service assurance that gives us full visibility of our network resources and infrastructure, and which can be centrally managed for rapid provisioning of orders."

"We selected NCS and Fastwire to prioritize the rollout of our OSS solution and identified Axiom Systems' AXIOSS as the platform," continued Mrs. Tan. "Our aim is to offer our customers products they need and service levels they expect, quickly, while keeping control of our costs and maintaining our position as Asia Pacific's leading communications provider".

Garry Munden, Axiom System's Regional Director for Asia-Pacific commented, "This is a truly exciting time for the company in Asia and working closely with SingTel, NCS Group and Fastwire has extended the success we have seen in other regions. This win demonstrates that Axiom Systems has a market leading product portfolio that can be deployed in a very short timeframe, and is adaptable to the rapidly evolving needs of service providers. The end result for our customers is fast, low cost and low maintenance service creation and fulfillment. We look forward to a continuing successful relationship with SingTel."

About Singtel
SingTel is Asia's leading communications group with operations and investments in more than 20 countries and territories around the world. SingTel's highly developed international network provides direct connections from Singapore to more than 100 countries, and is Asia's largest multi-market mobile operator, serving more than 100 million customers in seven markets. SingTel employs more than 19,000 people worldwide and had a turnover of S$13.14 billion (US$8.12 billion) and net profit after tax of S$4.16 billion (US$2.57 billion) for the year ended 31 March 2006. For more information on SingTel please visit www.singtel.com

About NCS Group
NCS Group is a leading information technology (IT) and communications engineering services provider with about 4,000 staff located in 10 countries across the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. NCS has in-depth domain knowledge and unique delivery capabilities which focus on defining, realising and sustaining Business Value for its Customers via the innovative use of technology. With proven expertise in consulting, development, systems integration and infrastructure management and solutions, gained while serving government and commercial organisations across the region, NCS delivers end-to-end support for every organisation's technology needs. NCS is headquartered in Singapore and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the SingTel Group.

About Fastwire
Fastwire is a systems integrator providing advanced technology services for Service Providers, specialising in the design, implementation and support of turnkey OSS and network solutions in Australasia and the Asia Pacific region. Operating since early 1998 with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, New Zealand and Singapore, our service provider customers now include SingTel, Vodafone, Telstra, Telkomsel, Time, UeComm, AAPT and Telecom NZ.

About Axiom Systems
Axiom Systems is the leader in software for the design and delivery of wireline and wireless services for communications providers. Axiom Systems provides customers with advanced solutions that include IPTV, VoIP, IP VPN and Triple Play. The company provides the AXIOSS® Suite of operational solutions for order management, service inventory and service activation. More Service Providers in Europe use AXIOSS for IP and broadband fulfillment than any other vendor. Global customers include - Cable & Wireless, Deutsche Telekom, TeliaSonera, AOL, Telekom Austria, TDC, Telecom New Zealand, NTL, Telecom Italia and TelMex. The company is headquartered in the UK, with regional offices in Rome, Munich, Paris, Madrid, Budapest, Seattle, WA, Sydney, Wellington and Singapore

Inventory Management

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The Wittern Group Introduces Vending Machines For Drug Storage And ...

AMonline.com - Fort Atkinson,WI,USA
The Wittern Group has introduced UCapIt, a new solution for drug inventory
management by taking a traditional glassfront vending machine and turning
it into ...

The Wittern Group has introduced UCapIt, a new solution for drug inventory management by taking a traditional glassfront vending machine and turning it into an automatic, controlled access pharmacy.

UCapIt, a program created by Fawn Manufacturing and National Vending, designed the machine for EMS agencies, law enforcement offices, hospitals, and other locations where employees need 24-hour access to controlled substances. The machine uses multiple forms of ID verification to restrict access to its items, including pin number entry, proximity card readers, biometric readers, bar code scanners, and more. Each site configures their machines to grant different levels of access to individual employees based on their clearance level.

Chip Wittern, director of UCapIt, explained that the creation of the UCapIt machine was motivated by these sites' need for constant, reliable inventory control. For locations that store or use controlled substances, problems such as internal drug theft or missing inventory represent enormous risks. "The UCapIt machine resolves all of the security and personal liability issues at a price that is very affordable," Wittern said in a prepared statement.

The UCapIt machines track inventory in addition to controlling drug access. All withdrawals from the machine are catalogued and regulated by professional clearance. The dispensing history of the machine is accessible online, and the machines can be programmed to page or email key personnel to notify them of low stock, expiring products, loss of power or Internet connection, and other emergencies. The machine's software also generates usage reports, inventory, refill lists, and other data.

One of the first organizations to implement the UCapIt system is the City of West Des Moines Emergency Medical Services. The West Des Moines EMS worked with UCapIt to create a controlled access system customized for their operations on several sites across three counties.

Rob Dehnert, a paramedic specialist for the West Des Moines EMS, said that the UCapIt system has worked "very well" for them.

"The biggest thing that we were after was control and accountability for our drugs. We really had a very poor system before," he said. The drugs "were secure behind a lock and key, but there were numerous keys and there was no individual accountability. This system allows us to track our inventory by individual to make sure that all of our drugs are going to the places they're supposed to be."

Dehnert noted that the other crucial benefit of the UCapIt system is better inventory management. Because their operations span three counties, it has been difficult in the past for the West Des Moines EMS to synchronize real-time inventory information among all of their sites. The U-Cap-It system's web-accessible records provide live data for all of the sites simultaneously.

Anyone who has ever pounded a vending machine in anger after watching a purchase "hang up" might wonder if a traditional vending machine is reliable enough to dispense pharmaceutical products or controlled substances. But the UCapIt machines have a vend-sensor system that ensures the delivery of any selected item. Light beams crisscross the delivery tray, and if the light beams are not broken by the falling product, the coil will inch forward until the product falls through the beams. At this point the coil will immediately stop before vending a second item. The delivery tray is padded to cushion each item's landing, and particularly delicate items are placed in bubble-wrap envelopes to further prevent them from breaking on impact.

The new machines have been very popular with the West Des Moines EMS workers, although there were a lot of jokes at first, Dehnert said, as workers asked each other, "Which button do I press for a Snickers?"

"After that, it turned into 'Wow, this really makes sense,'" he said. Dehnert described the system as a "eureka" moment for his team. "The vending machine is really a pretty simple idea, and we're applying to a highly dangerous situation involving drugs and narcotics," he said.

UCapIt is a pioneer of automatic pharmaceutical dispensing. UCapIt's equipment is built by Fawn Manufacturing, a Wittern Group company and one of the largest providers of vending equipment in the world with over 75 years of experience, and is distributed by National Vending, also a part of The Wittern Group. VendNovation, a vending technology company, designed and manages the vend tracking and reporting systems for UCapIt's machines.

Inventory Management

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XIGroup Receives NIADA Preferred Provider Status

PR Web (press release) - Ferndale,WA,USA
The Preferred Provider status applies to the XIGroup's four core offerings;
including web site design, do-it-yourself inventory management, ...

XI Group announced today that it has received the NIADA (National Independent Automobile Dealers' Association) Preferred Provider designation for its web solutions designed to help independent automotive dealers sell more cars faster on the Internet. The Preferred Provider status applies to the XIGroup's four core offerings; including web site design, do-it-yourself inventory management, inventory marketing and Search Engine Marketing services.

Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) May 22, 2007 -- XIGroup, a division of Dominion Enterprises, announced today that it has received the NIADA (National Independent Automobile Dealers' Association) Preferred Provider designation for its web solutions designed to help independent automotive dealers sell more cars faster on the Internet. The Preferred Provider status applies to the XIGroup's four core offerings; including web site design, do-it-yourself inventory management, inventory marketing and Search Engine Marketing services.

Before awarding Preferred Provider status, NIADA conducts a thorough background check on each company, including an examination of financial statements and insurance records, and approves only suppliers that meet their exhaustive criteria. XIGroup is one of less than twenty companies to receive the designation to date.

Our web marketing solutions are among the most effective in the market and should give any of NIADA's 20,500+ members the opportunity to sell more cars on the internet.
"I am excited about our NIADA Preferred Provider status because we believe that it gives XIGroup tremendous credibility in the Independent market," said Brian Burns, General Manager of XIGroup. "Our web marketing solutions are among the most effective in the market and should give any of NIADA's 20,500+ members the opportunity to sell more cars on the internet."

XIGroup has been helping dealers sell cars on the internet since 1998. In 2007 the company released Inventory Accelerator, a comprehensive internet marketing solution that allows dealers to update inventory on third party web sites, as well as their own web site, from one central administration panel. A friendly user interface makes uploading photos and vehicle specs easy and fast, and the application includes an eBay Motors interface tool that allows dealers to send vehicles to auction with a few simple clicks.

XIGroup will demonstrate the power of Inventory Accelerator in Booth #625 at the NIADA Exposition, June 12th-16th in Nashville, TN.

About XIGroup
XIGroup, a division of Dominion Enterprises, provides auto dealers with a web solution designed to help dealers sell cars on the internet. The company's four core product offerings can be purchased separately or integrated together. Services include Website Design; Search Engine Marketing, Inventory Promotion, and a Do-It-Yourself Inventory Management tool.

XIGroup was founded in 1998 and released its first inventory management tool in 2000. With more than 450 dealer customers and one of the industry's highest customer retention rates, the company's growth has been steady and organic, resulting from word of mouth due to outstanding customer service and fast, personal response. For more information, please visit www.xigroup.com

About Dominion Enterprises
Dominion Enterprises, headquartered in Norfolk, Va., is a leading media and information services company serving employment, real estate, automotive, recreation and industrial markets in the United States. The company operates a variety of technology businesses that offer Internet marketing, Web site design and hosting, lead generation, CRM, and data capture and distribution services including Advanced Access, PowerSports Network, and Dealer Specialties. The company has more than 500 paid and free magazine titles such as For Rent, Harmon Homes, The Employment Guide, Boat Trader, Cycle Trader and RV Trader with a combined weekly circulation of over 5 million, and more than 40 market-leading Web sites such as ForRent.com, EmploymentGuide.com, Homes.com, and TraderOnline.com reaching more than 8 million unique monthly visitors. The company has nearly 6,600 employees nationwide and 2006 annual revenue of over $850 million. For more information on Dominion Enterprises, visit dominionenterprises.com.

Inventory Management

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Fixing the Marketing-CEO Disconnect

Unlike operations where there are established techniques in inventory management and reengineering, there are no obvious and permanent cost-cutting results to be gained through marketing, short of simply slashing the advertising budget. ...
http://hbswk.hbs.edu/rss/5674.html

In most companies, no one knows and understands your customers and their changing needs better than the marketing department. Certainly that knowledge should be routinely presented and understood by the chief executive and board of directors, right?

But over time, and for a number of reasons, the marketing function and the C-suite often drift apart, resulting in a disconnect between the overall strategy of the company and what marketing understands to be the actual needs of customers. One result is that company strategy becomes less attuned to market needs, resulting in eroding profits and susceptibility to competition. How to repair the rift?

Two HBS faculty developed a CD-based program called Measuring Marketing Performance targeted at senior executives—namely CEOs, COOs, and CMOs. The tutorial helps execs understand how the customer base is segmented, how the size and profitability of each segment is changing, and how the company's products and services address the needs of each segment.

The product was developed by Gail McGovern, a professor of management practice, and John Quelch, the Senior Associate Dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration, in collaboration with Harvard Business School's Educational Technology Group. McGovern will be using the product in the Advanced Management Program "Managing for Senior Executives" program in June.

The program has been made available for purchase through Harvard Business School Publishing.

We asked McGovern to discuss the CEO-marketing rift in more detail and describe the benefits of the tutorial.

Sean Silverthorne: Why has marketing evolved so far from the executive suite over the years? You'd think corporate leaders would want to align the marketing function with the overall direction of the company.

Gail McGovern: In many companies, marketing exists far from the executive suite because the CEO perceives that there is not the same pressing need to master the marketing discipline as there is, for example, to master finance due to compliance issues surrounding Sarbanes-Oxley. Unlike operations where there are established techniques in inventory management and reengineering, there are no obvious and permanent cost-cutting results to be gained through marketing, short of simply slashing the advertising budget. In addition, marketing is not naturally inherent in a CEO's day-to-day job as is organizational behavior/leadership.

Part of the problem is the current corporate climate, in which questions of governance and financial purity dominate CEOs' and boards' attention. Additionally, boards, and even CEOs, have been lulled into complacency by the chief marketing officer (CMO). With the emergence of the CMO position, one might expect that oversight of marketing would be efficiently consolidated. However, marketing decision making has been increasingly pushed down through the corporate hierarchy. While CEOs have commonly delegated advertising and advertising strategy to outside agencies, now they are delegating sales, distribution strategy, pricing, and product development to CMOs, who often lack overarching strategic responsibility. CEOs expect their CMOs to drive marketing decisions, but no one is singularly accountable for the results.

This lack of accountability makes it very difficult to track the financial impact of marketing investments, and so marketing becomes abstract to both the CEO and board.

Q: What are the consequences of not having this alignment?

A: When a firm's marketing activities are not supportive of its greater strategic goals, the result can be low growth and declining margins. The presumption of organic growth is baked into most companies' stock value, but many companies and their boards are faced with a requirement for organic growth that they're unsure how to meet. For these companies, the yawning gap between actual revenue growth and investors' expectations is a ticking time bomb. Marketing is the way in which firms can close this gap because it encompasses all the activities of an organization that listen to the customers' voice and ultimately generates profitable relationships.

CEOs expect their CMOs to drive marketing decisions, but no one is singularly accountable for the results.

Second, responsibility for brand equity still resides in the marketing function, yet brand equity has never been more volatile and important. Today, powerful brands can emerge almost overnight. Similarly, in recent years brands have toppled virtually overnight. Poor marketing is largely to blame.

Third, and perhaps most important, the fundamental nature of marketing has shifted so rapidly that many companies have not kept pace, making them vulnerable to more savvy competitors, and unable to capitalize on new growth opportunities. Over the past 10 years the mix of marketing skills needed by a company has radically changed, and many senior executives—specifically, those who have remained detached from the marketing discipline—have not kept pace. The changes within the discipline have been particularly pronounced in the area of customer relationship management; not only have the technologies to support CRM changed radically in recent years, but the principles that firms use to serve customers have evolved as well.

Q: What are the key challenges in aligning marketing activities with corporate strategy?

A: The key challenge is to develop a set of metrics that measure the impact of marketing activities against the goals of the corporation. Many marketing managers will tell you that marketing performance can't be measured. It's not that managers are short on measurement tools, or that marketing metrics lack utility. The problem is that these managers don't know what metrics to measure or how to interpret the results. They may collect all manner of plausible marketing-performance metrics, from customer satisfaction to retention, but if these can't be correlated with marketing activities and revenue results, the data aren't very helpful.

Indeed, popular metrics such as customer satisfaction, acquisition, and retention have turned out to be very poor indicators of customers' true perceptions or the success of marketing activities. Often, they're downright misleading. High overall customer satisfaction scores, for example, often mask narrow but important pain points—areas of major dissatisfaction—such as unhappiness with poor customer service or long wait times. They can also mask backsliding against competitors; while gently climbing satisfaction scores may be reassuring to management and the board, if competitors' scores are increasing faster it should be a cause for alarm. Acquisition rates may be robust, but if old customers are abandoning ship as fast as new ones are coming on board, strong acquisition can give a deceptive picture of marketing performance. And what, exactly, should the board make of stable customer retention? If customers are staying on because they're held hostage by a contract, good retention may be obscuring the truth that customers will flee the instant they can.

Selecting the wrong metrics can actually cause firms to lose ground with customers. For example, Starbucks was measuring "innovative beverages" as a key metric. As a result, their efforts were focused on designing complex drinks that ultimately slowed their operations. They subsequently learned that customers valued fast service more than product innovation and added staff to shorten waiting times. Similarly, Kinko's was measuring on-time performance for copying large batch jobs for their corporate accounts. Their staff was thus engaged in back office activities to generate these copies. However in actuality, their customers were seeking a more user-friendly layout in their retail stores.

These examples show that even if today's boards wanted to exercise their governance role over marketing activities, they often wouldn't have the information they need to make sound judgments. Boards need a fundamental understanding of how the company is meeting its customers' needs, and how marketing strategy supports this goal. It is rare to find a firm that provides its board with a scorecard that allows this.

Q: From a 30,000-foot view, how do the Measuring Market Performance CD and tools help? Once users complete the tutorial, what will they have learned?

A: The tutorial provides instructions as to how to improve the link between high level corporate strategy and the marketing function.

Selecting the wrong metrics can actually cause firms to lose ground with customers.

First, participants are exposed to three companies in which marketing programs are tightly aligned with corporate strategy. Second, the CD explains how to create a marketing dashboard that can reveal the true performance of a company's marketing activities. The resulting dashboard can be used to inform boards of directors and senior leaders as to how well their marketing efforts are supporting customers' needs. Unlike isolated measures of marketing performance that are often insufficient, irrelevant, or misleading, this dashboard allows the board to quickly and routinely assess how effectively marketing is supporting corporate strategy and determine when marketing and strategy are misaligned. Armed with a clear understanding of marketing's role and performance, the board can optimize this critical function in the organization.

The dashboard is structured to develop and track:

* Business Drivers: business conditions that, when manipulated or changed, will affect performance directly and predictably. Business drivers are leading indicators of revenue growth.
* Pipeline of Growth Ideas: a set of future customer initiatives and innovations that translate into sustainable future growth.
* Marketing Talent Pool: the skills that are needed to facilitate the marketing function as well as a plan to address any gaps through staffing, training, and/or outsourcing.

Lastly, the tutorial takes participants into the Harvard Business School classroom, where they can experience first-hand how other executives learned to master the marketing dashboard creation process.

Inventory Management

Labels:

bebo recruiting - ad ops

By angel gambino(angel gambino)
Familiarity working with one of the major ad serving or inventory management solutions (DART, Atlas, 24/7, etc.). • Comprehensive understanding of campaign success metrics: conversions, CPM's, CPA’s • Familiarity with rich media tags, ...

Join the country's leading and fastest growing social networking company. Bebo is seeking an Ad Operations Associate to work in our London office. The Ad Operations Associate's main responsibility is to manage and implement ad campaigns while maintain drive revenue growth with existing Fortune 1000 advertisers in one or more regions.

Responsibilities
• Monitor placements and campaigns for performance and delivery; develop continuing strategies to increase advertising product performance
• Advise/consult with product and business teams regarding advertising inventory, new ad placements, site optimization for ads, availability forecasting, campaign performance and sell-thru reporting.
• Liaise with ad sales partners regarding planning, prioritization, scheduling and delivery of campaigns.
• Supply revenue projection and delivery reports and end of the month reporting.
• Coordinate between business and product teams in the area of sponsored or advertising-driven special projects.

Qualifications
• 1-2 years experience in ad operations working with online ad sales preferably with a top Internet destination site, ad network provider or advertising agency
• Familiarity working with one of the major ad serving or inventory management solutions (DART, Atlas, 24/7, etc.).
• Comprehensive understanding of campaign success metrics: conversions, CPM's, CPA’s
• Familiarity with rich media tags, basic understanding of Java Script and basic HTML.
• Able to work independently, generate new campaign and product ideas, understand the business process and work in a team environment
• Proven analytic ability and willingness to proactively make informed decisions based on data-analysis and inferences from analysis
• Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills
• Experience with Excel, Word and PowerPoint a must
• Team Player with a great, positive attitude
• Ability to work in fast-paced start-up and juggle multiple priorities while meeting deadlines
• Willingness to increase scope of responsibility quickly
• Must be organized and possess great attention to detail
• BA/BS degree required

Inventory Management

Labels:

Can you help me find software to facilitate local organic food ...

By tracym
Blue Link Elite is an integrated accounting, business management and inventory management software solution. Developed exclusively with Microsoft Technology, Elite delivers power and flexibility with ease of use and after-sales support. ...

Answer: There are many types of food distribution software available. I have copied information from several software companies below. You may also be interested in using the Oklahoma Food Cooperative software—it is available for free and may be what you need. Their Web site provides more information on their software.

Food Distribution Software Companies

• Entree
NECS Entree is a Food Distribution Software application for Windows that delivers both tremendous power and ease-of-use not seen in other food distributing software. With 1,500 distributors running their foodservice operation on NECS, it makes us the largest food distributing software vendor in this category. Ideal for full line distribution, meat distribution, seafood distribution, produce distribution and cheese distribution.
www.necs.com/entree.asp
800-766-6327
sales@necs.com

• foodManager
LightHouse Systems Group provides computer software and services for the food distribution industry that handles inventory, sales, pricing, credit, and production. Functions include simplified order entry, multiple query windows at the touch of a button (quick response to customer inquiries), dual unit-of-measure tracking capabilities by item (e.g. cases & pounds), full lot tracking w/ comprehensive reporting sub-system.
www.lsgltd.com
800-957-4583
info@lighthousesystemsgroup.com

• TurningPoint
TurningPoint is a modular software system that streamlines information and processes across all areas of your business. With total integration of sales, inventory, purchasing, order entry, shipping, accounting, CRM, payroll and management, you can realize more profits, gain tighter control of your inventory and simplify your life. TurningPoint is an excellent option for companies who need better inventory and sales management at an affordable price.
www.redwingsoftware.com/rwssn/?Page=7
800-732-9464
info@redwingsoftware.com

• Produce Pro Software
Produce Pro is a uniquely customized, fully integrated resource management and accounting system, designed to support and streamline the fresh produce distribution cycle. Our strategic consulting, customized training programs, custom software development, support, and hardware integration services are unparalleled. Vendor profiling allows your staff to quickly and easily order products and supplies.
www.producepro.com
Produce Pro, Inc. Headquarters
630-395-9600
info@producepro.com

• Blue Link Elite
Blue Link Elite is an integrated accounting, business management and inventory management software solution. Developed exclusively with Microsoft Technology, Elite delivers power and flexibility with ease of use and after-sales support. Modules include bank management, inventory control, order entry and invoicing, job costing, production control, contact management and payroll. Targeted at mid-size companies in the wholesale distribution sector with 5 - 100 employees in North America.
www.bluelink.ca/products/accounting/
1-877-BLU-LINK
info@bluelink.ca

• Edible Software
Edible Software enables wholesale grocery, meat, produce, seafood, and general food distributors to increase their bottom line through increased efficiency and improved productivity. By streamlining sales and purchasing, and controlling inventory, quantities and costs, Edible Software provides management with the critical, timely information needed to make the right business decisions.
www.ediblesoftware.com
832.200.8000
sales@ediblesoftware.com

• Visual Produce
A software program designed to address the business needs of fresh produce Wholesalers, Distributors, Packers, Shippers, Processors, Brokers and Growers. Since 1982, Visual Produce has evolved into a premier Windows based ERP system focused exclusively on this area. We excel in addressing the unique business problems of companies involved in the production, processing and distribution of fresh produce to the marketplace.
www.silvercreek.com
208-388-4555
info@Silvercreek.com

• CSTA Financials
Aimed at small and mid-size enterprises, CSTA Financials, originally designed as a Food Distribution software, has incorporated a vast number of features that makes it excellent not only as a food distribution software, but also as an Accounting Distribution software for Consumer Products and most other products.
www.commercesolutionsllc.com
786-228-8707
consulting@commercesolutionsllc.com

Inventory Management

Labels:

Copyright to infinity… and beyond!

By Evo
... though I’m not sure, having been unfamiliar with her or her work prior to this mention. Color me undereducated. ² - Some things, like store layouts and inventory management systems, are in fact protected by copyright. Understood. ...

Boing Boing has the scoop on SF author Mark Halprin rattling the chains very much Mark Twain style for not only an extension of copyright, but in fact perpetual copyright. To quote from his NYT opinion piece:

Were I tomorrow to write the great American novel (again?), 70 years after my death the rights to it, though taxed at inheritance, would be stripped from my children and grandchildren. To the claim that this provision strikes malefactors of great wealth, one might ask, first, where the heirs of Sylvia Plath1 berth their 200-foot yachts. And, second, why, when such a stiff penalty is not applied to the owners of Rockefeller Center or Wal-Mart, it is brought to bear against legions of harmless drudges who, other than a handful of literary plutocrats (manufacturers, really), are destined by the nature of things to be no more financially secure than a seal in the Central Park Zoo.

Mark is falling into the trap that many of the zealots of copyright often do — confusing intellectual property with real property. Looked at in this light, his argument doesn’t hold water. In fact, the rights of intellectual property holders are far more stringent than that of owners of real property. I’ll illustrate using various analogies from Mark’s post.

* Rockefeller Center & Wal-Mart - Actually, nothing is stopping anyone from copying the exact business plan of either entity. In fact, many try. While the names of either business are protected, that’s a trademark issue and not copyright issue. If you want to do everything they do and try and beat them at their own game — go for it. Nothing2 is stopping you.
* Automobile manufacturers - Automakers patent the mechanics of their cars, and those patents run out in much less time than the current US copyright statutes. Some manunfacturers have also put special protection on aspects of their brand (Porsche is notorious for protecting its “silhouette”), but this again is more of a trademark issue than one of copyright.
* Farmers (he says “…drew its living from the land”) - Farmers have the least amount of protection. Take a drive across the plains sometimes. One field after another planted at roughly the same time, using in some cases identical seeds, creating a monocrop which all matures and is ready for harvest at the same time. Talk about your copy infringements…

His argument just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Yes, copyright should be enforced and defended. And even though ideas can and do continue on for years after the person who created those ideas has passed on, it’s ludicrous to try and attempt to assign perpetual financial benefit to those ideas. The heirs of Sam Walton will collect their check from Wal-Mart only as long as it remains a viable competitor in the marketplace and remains a going concern. The children of a farmer will only reap benefit from the land for as long as it remains fertile and they are willing to work it or pay for it to be worked. What other situation allows heirs to do nothing more than sit back and relax for 70 years after the death of the originator, counting the money it still brings in? I’ll grant you that trust funds and nest eggs do serve such a purpose, but without careful reinvesting, they to will run their course.

No, the holes in the argument are too great to even start contemplating the sheer magnitude of attempting to enforce such lunacy. Get me past those, then we can have fun on figuring how how much I owe to Shakespeare — or how many of his decedents would be lining up to receive their fair share!

1 - I had to look up this link to get the reference. I think he’s trying to say that Slvia’s heirs are deserved of large boats, though I’m not sure, having been unfamiliar with her or her work prior to this mention. Color me undereducated.

2 - Some things, like store layouts and inventory management systems, are in fact protected by copyright. Understood.

Inventory Management

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Mughamrat Releases Mobile Inventory Management Control

Dubai, United Arab Emirates –April 30, 2007– Mughamrat, CO. has announced the release of their Multilingual Mobile Inventory Management Control Suite 1.2 for Window CE & Window Mobile. The Market leader in advanced mobility solutions ...

Dubai, United Arab Emirates –April 30, 2007– Mughamrat, CO. has announced the release of their Multilingual Mobile Inventory Management Control Suite 1.2 for Window CE & Window Mobile. The Market leader in advanced mobility solutions and personalized technical customer support has designed MS3 1.2 from the ground up to enable companies to create an all inclusive and highly integrated inventory tracking solution.

MS3 Inventory 1.2 unlike other existent mobile solutions offers an Arabic/English easy-to-use interface and a user support that works together to provide a reliable inventory option. Based on Microsoft’s .NET 03 & 05 technology, it enables users to access multiple databases using a single application, and can streamline data entry with its highly “customizable” interface. Users can work in real time, offline or a combination of both, depending on connectivity availability. In addition, MS3 Inventory 1.2 offers the perfect balance of performance and affordability.

“MS Inventory Suite 1.2 module is an offspring of many successful years” Said Rudy R. Lachhab, Mughamrat’s Regional Manager “Our extensive expertise in the supply chain of Mobile Solution with a comprehensive approach to implementation are now offering MS3 with a significant leap in functionality, it is designed to operate side-by-side in handling daily operational requirements of daily distribution and inventory control activities within any organization”

Since Mughamrat’s foundation, its focus has been on developing the expertise and skills to implement mobility application solutions. Mughamrat has being offering tailor-made mobile solutions to large companies and organizations. The company now focuses on five specific areas of mobile solutions including Electronic Meter Reading, Mobile Van sales, Mobile Survey, Inventory Management control and General Inspection solutions. In addition, Mughamrat has extensive expertise in the migration of information technology products to support the Arabic language, along with the development of Arabic SDKs for all platforms, and mobility drivers for Arabic language applications.


Inventory Management

Labels:

Mughamrat Releases Mobile Inventory Management Control

Dubai, United Arab Emirates –April 30, 2007– Mughamrat, CO. has announced the release of their Multilingual Mobile Inventory Management Control Suite 1.2 for Window CE & Window Mobile. The Market leader in advanced mobility solutions ...

Dubai, United Arab Emirates –April 30, 2007– Mughamrat, CO. has announced the release of their Multilingual Mobile Inventory Management Control Suite 1.2 for Window CE & Window Mobile. The Market leader in advanced mobility solutions and personalized technical customer support has designed MS3 1.2 from the ground up to enable companies to create an all inclusive and highly integrated inventory tracking solution.

MS3 Inventory 1.2 unlike other existent mobile solutions offers an Arabic/English easy-to-use interface and a user support that works together to provide a reliable inventory option. Based on Microsoft’s .NET 03 & 05 technology, it enables users to access multiple databases using a single application, and can streamline data entry with its highly “customizable” interface. Users can work in real time, offline or a combination of both, depending on connectivity availability. In addition, MS3 Inventory 1.2 offers the perfect balance of performance and affordability.

“MS Inventory Suite 1.2 module is an offspring of many successful years” Said Rudy R. Lachhab, Mughamrat’s Regional Manager “Our extensive expertise in the supply chain of Mobile Solution with a comprehensive approach to implementation are now offering MS3 with a significant leap in functionality, it is designed to operate side-by-side in handling daily operational requirements of daily distribution and inventory control activities within any organization”

Since Mughamrat’s foundation, its focus has been on developing the expertise and skills to implement mobility application solutions. Mughamrat has being offering tailor-made mobile solutions to large companies and organizations. The company now focuses on five specific areas of mobile solutions including Electronic Meter Reading, Mobile Van sales, Mobile Survey, Inventory Management control and General Inspection solutions. In addition, Mughamrat has extensive expertise in the migration of information technology products to support the Arabic language, along with the development of Arabic SDKs for all platforms, and mobility drivers for Arabic language applications.


Inventory Management

Labels:

Advanced Quality Logistics Goes Live in 30 Days with Motek's Priya ...

Earthtimes.org - USA
Priya directs every step of AQL's customer inventory management, from the
time it arrives in bulk containers to the minute it ships to retail
outlets. ...

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Advanced Quality Logistics (AQL), an emerging retail 3PL company, implemented Motek's Windows- based Priya(R) Warehouse Management System (WMS) in a record 30 days, enabling the company to aggressively court and win business while processing complicated, high volume orders with 99.9% accuracy.

"In the 15 years I have been implementing warehouse management systems at third party logistics companies, I have never seen a system as comprehensive and easy to use as Priya," said AQL's managing director Owen Schmidt. "Without a doubt, Priya gives us a competitive advantage against established 3PLs vying for new business, while supporting organic growth from existing accounts."

Priya directs every step of AQL's customer inventory management, from the time it arrives in bulk containers to the minute it ships to retail outlets. Using wave picking and Priya's handheld RF devices, workers can select and consolidate inventory for multiple orders simultaneously. Inventory is sorted by individual retail order and value-added services. Priya directs workers to add store labels, UPC stickers or security tags at centralized pack stations. Upon completion, inventory is scanned and Priya generates shipping labels and packing lists to ensure order accuracy. Priya manages inventory, calculates fees for specialized services, and automatically generates invoices which are exported to QuickBooks and sent to AQL customers.

"Priya's flexibility enabled us to meet every requirement despite an aggressive deployment schedule," said Motek project manager Fran Rifkin. "Motek's proprietary, 22-step implementation process, Tycan, kept the project on track and under budget."

AQL now has the infrastructure in place to handle their aggressive growth without sacrificing customer service. "With Priya, AQL speeds accurate orders to retailers across North American, enabling them to bring the world's best retail products to their customers," Schmidt added.

About AQL

Advanced Quality Logistics (AQL) specializes in third party logistics and distribution serving the retail supply chain throughout Northern America, Canada, Europe and Asia. AQL services include comprehensive distribution and transportation services supporting high volume pick and pack plus case/pallet shipping to all major retail chains, specialty stores and direct to consumer. Utilizing best in class vendor/partners such as Motek, AQL provides advanced, real-time distribution information electronically to its' customers via EDI interfaces and web site portal. AQL conveniently located in San Pedro, California operating from a class "A" facility, ocean/air landed freight is received timely and at reduced transportation costs compared to facilities located farther inland providing a cost effective solution for the customer.

Founded in 1991, Motek is the warehouse management software technology leader. Motek's single, all-inclusive product, Priya, is the only Tier 1 Microsoft Windows(R)-based WMS available today. Motek's reputation for innovation began when the Smithsonian Institute recognized it for being the first RF WMS on a PC. Since then, Motek has been the first WMS on Windows, the first WMS with real-time engineered labor standards, and the first Windows(R)- based WMS with voice recognition.

Inventory Management

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Fixing the Marketing-CEO Disconnect

Working Knowledge - Cambridge,MA,USA
Unlike operations where there are established techniques in inventory
management and reengineering, there are no obvious and permanent
cost-cutting results ...

In most companies, no one knows and understands your customers and their changing needs better than the marketing department. Certainly that knowledge should be routinely presented and understood by the chief executive and board of directors, right?

But over time, and for a number of reasons, the marketing function and the C-suite often drift apart, resulting in a disconnect between the overall strategy of the company and what marketing understands to be the actual needs of customers. One result is that company strategy becomes less attuned to market needs, resulting in eroding profits and susceptibility to competition. How to repair the rift?

Two HBS faculty developed a CD-based program called Measuring Marketing Performance targeted at senior executives—namely CEOs, COOs, and CMOs. The tutorial helps execs understand how the customer base is segmented, how the size and profitability of each segment is changing, and how the company's products and services address the needs of each segment.

The product was developed by Gail McGovern, a professor of management practice, and John Quelch, the Senior Associate Dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration, in collaboration with Harvard Business School's Educational Technology Group. McGovern will be using the product in the Advanced Management Program "Managing for Senior Executives" program in June.

The program has been made available for purchase through Harvard Business School Publishing.

We asked McGovern to discuss the CEO-marketing rift in more detail and describe the benefits of the tutorial.

Sean Silverthorne: Why has marketing evolved so far from the executive suite over the years? You'd think corporate leaders would want to align the marketing function with the overall direction of the company.

Gail McGovern: In many companies, marketing exists far from the executive suite because the CEO perceives that there is not the same pressing need to master the marketing discipline as there is, for example, to master finance due to compliance issues surrounding Sarbanes-Oxley. Unlike operations where there are established techniques in inventory management and reengineering, there are no obvious and permanent cost-cutting results to be gained through marketing, short of simply slashing the advertising budget. In addition, marketing is not naturally inherent in a CEO's day-to-day job as is organizational behavior/leadership.

Part of the problem is the current corporate climate, in which questions of governance and financial purity dominate CEOs' and boards' attention. Additionally, boards, and even CEOs, have been lulled into complacency by the chief marketing officer (CMO). With the emergence of the CMO position, one might expect that oversight of marketing would be efficiently consolidated. However, marketing decision making has been increasingly pushed down through the corporate hierarchy. While CEOs have commonly delegated advertising and advertising strategy to outside agencies, now they are delegating sales, distribution strategy, pricing, and product development to CMOs, who often lack overarching strategic responsibility. CEOs expect their CMOs to drive marketing decisions, but no one is singularly accountable for the results.

This lack of accountability makes it very difficult to track the financial impact of marketing investments, and so marketing becomes abstract to both the CEO and board.

Q: What are the consequences of not having this alignment?

A: When a firm's marketing activities are not supportive of its greater strategic goals, the result can be low growth and declining margins. The presumption of organic growth is baked into most companies' stock value, but many companies and their boards are faced with a requirement for organic growth that they're unsure how to meet. For these companies, the yawning gap between actual revenue growth and investors' expectations is a ticking time bomb. Marketing is the way in which firms can close this gap because it encompasses all the activities of an organization that listen to the customers' voice and ultimately generates profitable relationships.

CEOs expect their CMOs to drive marketing decisions, but no one is singularly accountable for the results.

Second, responsibility for brand equity still resides in the marketing function, yet brand equity has never been more volatile and important. Today, powerful brands can emerge almost overnight. Similarly, in recent years brands have toppled virtually overnight. Poor marketing is largely to blame.

Third, and perhaps most important, the fundamental nature of marketing has shifted so rapidly that many companies have not kept pace, making them vulnerable to more savvy competitors, and unable to capitalize on new growth opportunities. Over the past 10 years the mix of marketing skills needed by a company has radically changed, and many senior executives—specifically, those who have remained detached from the marketing discipline—have not kept pace. The changes within the discipline have been particularly pronounced in the area of customer relationship management; not only have the technologies to support CRM changed radically in recent years, but the principles that firms use to serve customers have evolved as well.

Q: What are the key challenges in aligning marketing activities with corporate strategy?

A: The key challenge is to develop a set of metrics that measure the impact of marketing activities against the goals of the corporation. Many marketing managers will tell you that marketing performance can't be measured. It's not that managers are short on measurement tools, or that marketing metrics lack utility. The problem is that these managers don't know what metrics to measure or how to interpret the results. They may collect all manner of plausible marketing-performance metrics, from customer satisfaction to retention, but if these can't be correlated with marketing activities and revenue results, the data aren't very helpful.

Indeed, popular metrics such as customer satisfaction, acquisition, and retention have turned out to be very poor indicators of customers' true perceptions or the success of marketing activities. Often, they're downright misleading. High overall customer satisfaction scores, for example, often mask narrow but important pain points—areas of major dissatisfaction—such as unhappiness with poor customer service or long wait times. They can also mask backsliding against competitors; while gently climbing satisfaction scores may be reassuring to management and the board, if competitors' scores are increasing faster it should be a cause for alarm. Acquisition rates may be robust, but if old customers are abandoning ship as fast as new ones are coming on board, strong acquisition can give a deceptive picture of marketing performance. And what, exactly, should the board make of stable customer retention? If customers are staying on because they're held hostage by a contract, good retention may be obscuring the truth that customers will flee the instant they can.

Selecting the wrong metrics can actually cause firms to lose ground with customers. For example, Starbucks was measuring "innovative beverages" as a key metric. As a result, their efforts were focused on designing complex drinks that ultimately slowed their operations. They subsequently learned that customers valued fast service more than product innovation and added staff to shorten waiting times. Similarly, Kinko's was measuring on-time performance for copying large batch jobs for their corporate accounts. Their staff was thus engaged in back office activities to generate these copies. However in actuality, their customers were seeking a more user-friendly layout in their retail stores.

These examples show that even if today's boards wanted to exercise their governance role over marketing activities, they often wouldn't have the information they need to make sound judgments. Boards need a fundamental understanding of how the company is meeting its customers' needs, and how marketing strategy supports this goal. It is rare to find a firm that provides its board with a scorecard that allows this.

Q: From a 30,000-foot view, how do the Measuring Market Performance CD and tools help? Once users complete the tutorial, what will they have learned?

A: The tutorial provides instructions as to how to improve the link between high level corporate strategy and the marketing function.

Selecting the wrong metrics can actually cause firms to lose ground with customers.

First, participants are exposed to three companies in which marketing programs are tightly aligned with corporate strategy. Second, the CD explains how to create a marketing dashboard that can reveal the true performance of a company's marketing activities. The resulting dashboard can be used to inform boards of directors and senior leaders as to how well their marketing efforts are supporting customers' needs. Unlike isolated measures of marketing performance that are often insufficient,