Most business problems that impact profitability boil down to a pretty straightforward ROI calculation: Will the cost to fix the problem justify the expense? The rub is getting the awareness of the scope and impact of the problem to know there is a problem and how to fix it.
The issue of data synchronization (see article on p. 1) is just such an iceberg for wholesale distribution. Part of the problem is that free markets tend not to be neat and orderly by nature. Why should I push for standards when every fiber of my business is oriented to gaining competitive advantage in my markets? Won't whatever benefits gained by clean data in the supply chain be neutralized if my competitor gets the same advantage? A fair question.
The bottom line of the study is there is an opportunity ...
The Timken Co., Canton, OH, announced the extension of online services to authorized Australian and New Zealand distributors through The Timken Store at www.endorsia.com. The site provides 24/7 access to product availability, pricing, order placement, order status and other value-added applications.
''As part of Timken's global e-business initiative, this service allows our distributor partners in Australia and New Zealand to conduct business more efficiently, anytime day or night,'' said Alastair Simkin, general manager - distribution management - Asia Pacific. ''Timken's commitment to Endorsia is a customer-driven initiative that streamlines business transactions, bringing real value to both Timken and our distributors.''
Jointly owned by Timken, INA Holding Schaeffler ...
More than ever, distribution firms are looking at information technology projects on an ROI basis. Here are 10 ways to keep technology focused on results.
1. Know your inventory
2. Make technology "business-centric"
3. Understand your errors
4. Do business with yourself
5. Standardize business information
6. Warehouse your data
7. Gather the sales details
8. Understand transaction costs
9. Involve I/T staff in the business
10. Stay strategic
With business systems at the core of so many processes today in distribution companies, the successful implementation of process improvements and cost control measures rely at least partially on computer systems and staff. It is not uncommon to see managers ...
Airgas Inc., Radnor, PA, extended its e-business presence into three more e-marketplace systems, which allow companies to manage procurement with multiple suppliers through a single common interface.
The e-marketplaces recently added include Commerce One, iProcure and Point2Point. Airgas also expanded its software platform capabilities to allow customers to connect directly with it through SAP's Open Catalog Interface application software.
"We are committed to providing flexible, easy-to-use alternatives to the way our customers conduct business with us," said Airgas vice president for strategic planning and market development Kelly Justice. Other Airgas e-business channels include third-party e-marketplaces such as Ariba and Exostar, its B2B Web site, ...
A new book by Texas A&M faculty examines the impact of technology changes in the 1990s on distribution channels and the changes distributors need to make to compete effectively in the future.
Distribution firms will have to meet increasing demands to automate information that is difficult to automate. This means that distributors will have to standardize regular, routine processes and determine which irregular processes are of strategic importance and which need to be eliminated or changed. That's one of the conclusions of eDistribution, a book by F. Barry Lawrence, Daniel F. Jennings and Brian E. Reynolds, all affiliated with the Industrial Distribution program at Texas A&M University.
As they discuss the importance of collecting and managing data, the authors ...
Executive summary: As the dust and rubble from dot-com smoke and this tough economic cycle start to clear, companies are beginning to evaluate information technology challenges in a new light. As company networks become more complex and diverse, a centralized computing infrastructure ﾖ similar in concept to the dumb terminals of the past ﾖ makes more sense than full-blown independent PCs on every desk. Here's why.
Are your monthly expenses for information technology equipment and software creeping upward? Most distributors answer yes. Consider that expenses like subscriptions to protect from computer viruses and Internet hackers didn't even exist two years ago! With PCs sprouting on so many desks, there is increasing complexity and hidden costs creeping into most IT ...
Intermat, Inc., Houston, TX, has acquired the assets of Intermat Catalog Services, formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of MRO Software, Inc. Intermat, Inc. is a company formed by an investor group led by Intermat Catalog Services' founder Jeff Beauchamp, Intermat Catalog Services' current management, and Genesis Park, LP.
Intermat is a provider of cataloging software and solutions for MRO materials. Its products and services enable supply chain optimization and improved utilization of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Electronic Data Interchanges (EDI), and eCommerce marketplaces, by providing customers with accurate, consistent and reliable data. Intermat's proprietary cataloging methodology, the Standard Modifier Dictionary, is used daily by more than ...
MRO Software, Inc.,Bedford, MA, announced results for the company's first quarter of fiscal year 2003 ended Dec. 31, 2002.
Total revenues for the first quarter were $43.9 million compared with $46.5 million for the first quarter of the prior year, a decrease of 6 percent. On a GAAP basis, the company reported a profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 of $0.4 million compared with a net loss of $1.9 million for the same quarter last year.
Pro-forma net income (see Schedule A) for the first quarter was $1.2 million, or compared with net income of $0.7 million for same quarter last year. Pro-forma net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 is adjusted for the amortization of other intangibles and their related tax effects. Pro-forma net income for the first quarter of ...
Software Solutions, Inc., Duluth, GA, a provider of software and services for the distribution market, has changed its corporate name to Aperum.ﾙ The name change reflects the company's renewed strategic direction to improve brand identity and reinforce its position as a market leader.
Aperum is derived from the Latin word Aperio, which means "to make clear." Aperum will launch an advertising campaign this month introducing the new name and the company as "The Clear Choice in Distribution Software."
"Our new name captures the essence of our Company," said Randy Keith, president of Aperum. "As the original pioneer in the mid-market distribution software industry, we have been the clear choice in distribution solutions for more than 23 years. While our name has changed, ...
Some experienced executives at both ends of the supply chain are launching MRO Direct, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, an MRO direct sourcing option targeting Fortune 500 manufacturers. The company hopes to change the structure of the MRO industry with a new business model and an old value proposition: Lower the price of indirect materials procurement with a focus on reducing invoice and order processing costs. The group is developing a supplier network that to date includes TruServ Corporation, United Stationers Supply Company, AirGas Direct Industrial, SecureRite, Production Tool Supply, and Lagasse Inc.
The company says it is unveiling a new business model for Fortune 500 manufacturers seeking to increase their earnings by lowering the costs associated with MRO procurement. The model is a ...