Consolidation continues in the distribution software niche, leaving fewer 'pure' players focused solely on distribution sectors: Agilisys Inc., Atlanta, GA, a supplier of enterprise software to select manufacturing and wholesale distribution industries, has acquired wholesale distribution software provider NxTrend, Colorado Springs, CO. NxTrend has $53 million in annual revenues. The deal creates a $290-million company that expands Agilisys' existing wholesale distribution capabilities. The company acquired daly.commerce in March.
R&D Systems Company changed its name to NxTrend Technology in 1995. It acquired Ultimate Data Systems that same year, with its SHIMS software package and about 400 customers. In 1997, NxTrend acquired the ...
Not long ago, I read an article in MDM that seemed to indicate reverse auctions are now a fact of life. I don't agree ﾖ and I think it's dangerous for distributors to allow themselves to believe that. If you believe reverse auctions are a foregone conclusion, you are punting ﾖ right now ﾖ and it's only first down and ten! Either distributors add value or they don't. If you don't, close your doors. If you do, get some backbone, invest some 'lost business' in your company's future ﾖ and shun the reverse auction.
Focus: The electrical niche
My experience is in electrical construction and distribution. I've written for electrical contractors and the distributors that serve them since 1979. How do electrical contractors make money? Not via material purchasing, despite ...
As America's manufacturing sector continues to consolidate and the U.S. economy is increasingly focused on so-called knowledge workers and importing goods from afar, technology can help you leverage assets in new ways and target new revenue streams, whether it's new services to current customers or current products to new customers half a world away.
Today's technology tools, including relational databases and ERP systems, can generate important and insightful information. Although these solutions can save money and vastly improve the internal operational efficiency of any warehouse, don't stop there. The biggest benefit of strategic data intelligence comes not in using it internally, but taking a proactive stance in turning this information into management metrics and fresh, ...
The article on p. 1 of this issue provides a distinct viewpoint on what reverse auctions are doing to channel relationships. Are reverse auctions the wave of the future, or will there be a backlash as we are starting to see with some of the overseas call centers?
The shift of call centers offshore was supposed to offer significant cost savings in many respects. The largest savings were in the transfer of labor costs associated with laden benefit packages to an outsourced, offshore source without those heritage costs built in. Technology provided the low-cost tools to make absolutely no difference if that call center was located in Toledo, Ohio or Toledo, Spain.
The same model has been applied to software programming and development. But there is trouble brewing in ...
The Internet retailers are doing it right. Email your order at 10:22 p.m. tonight and it arrives in two days. And delivery is free. That's doing it right. Radio Shack is doing it right, too. They've dropped the irritating 'Can I have your name and address?' with every sale, even if you are buying a battery.
Walk through the door of any of Radio Shack's 7,000 small, local stores and trained people are ready to answer your questions, get what you want and send you on your way in record time. Why get stressed with parking problems just to get to a big box retailer where there's no one around to help you find what you need?
While doing it right deserves applause, doing it wrong deserves even more attention. See what's going wrong may help to get it right. Here are just a few '
Electronic Data Interchange has made radical changes to traditional transaction-based processes within the distribution industry over the past 20 years, from the early years of price books and POS to today's ﾑpaperless' environment. Implemented correctly, EDI can improve a company's transaction throughput while decreasing error rates many times over though technology, not headcount. Here's a primer on the myths and realities of EDI, and a short implementation guide.
Myths and realities
Simply defined, EDI is the electronic exchange of information between business systems with no human intervention. The key words here are no human intervention. Too often, dial-up and internet services for placing orders or checking stock and the exchange of data files via CD and ...
Business system package selection can be an extremely trying experience for your organization. The traditional process of creating an RFP, distributing it to potential vendors, reviewing the responses, and then sitting through hours of vendor demonstrations can consume valuable hours of key resources and doesn't always produce the desired result. It can also leave the door wide open for the pursuit of ﾑneat' features that don't contribute to the bottom line; Nor does it ensure an apples-to-apples comparison of the packages from vendor to vendor.
An alternative approach is to use a combination of well-defined strategic goals and demonstration scripts to drive the process. The following 10-step recipe is based on experience and results, and premised on the belief that the foundation ...
RosettaNet, the e-business standards consortium, announced the formation of the RosettaNet Global Logistics Council. Cisco, DHL, Exel, FedEx, HP, IBM, Intel, Menlo Logistics, Portnet Singapore, Texas Instruments and UPS are among the first major industry players to join as founding member companies.
The primary goal of the new Logistics Council is to engage value chain stakeholders in the development and deployment of RosettaNet e-business standards to reduce costs, increase velocity, improve data quality and accelerate trading partner connections. Other key areas of focus will include addressing compliance to governmental regulations, security considerations and reducing the variability inherent in complex supply chain models.
Prophet 21, Yardley, PA, a provider of technology solutions for durable goods distributors, has announced the acquisition of Distributor Information Systems Corporation (DISC), Farmington, CT, a provider of enterprise software solutions and services for fluid power distributors.
DISC, founded in 1979, grew out of a fluid power distributor's homegrown system developed during the 1960s and 1970s. Pearse-Pearson Company installed its first online system in 1973, and integrated branch operations into the home office system shortly thereafter. In 1974, the company was approached to make its software system available to other distributors. By 1979, 17 systems had been installed around the U.S., and the company spun off its sister company to market and support the software.
Over the next few years, self-service options will radically change your salesforce and the way you do business with customers. Some customers will simply not value ' and refuse to pay for ' a wholesaler-distributor's outside salesforce. This conclusion comes from findings in the new Facing the Forces of Change: The Road to Opportunity report. Here's an excerpt that outlines sales planning strategies to successfully counter the impact of customer self-service.
Distributors no longer have a lock on information needed by customers to make purchasing and sourcing decisions, since manufacturers and online sources will increasingly make such information more readily available. As a result, the salesforce's perceived value in educating customers about new products and in-use ...