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Industry News - August 14th, 2009



Forzani Migrates Multiple Banners to Single Platform

The Forzani Group along with Retail Process Engineering (RPE) announce the successful completion of migrating multiple store banners onto a single integrated retail platform including JDA's Portfolio Merchandise Management (PMM), Win/DSS Point of Sale, Arthur Planning and Allocations systems.

The significantly complex project for Canada's largest national retailer of sporting goods included the migration of multiple companies on varying legacy systems, product hierarchies and product masters onto a single merchandising environment.

The Sport Mart, Sport Chek, Coast Mountain Sports and Hockey Experts banners now share common systems and processes. Migration objectives included standardization of the enterprise; decommission of non-standard applications and aging hardware; and development of a standard and repeatable process to support the company's merger and acquisition strategy.

"Having our corporate banners sharing common standard processes, applications, data and infrastructure will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our retail management practices," said Richard Hannah, Vice President information technology, FGL. "RPE, along with our other partners and our internal team's hard work, contributed to the tremendous success for the largest IT undertaking for FGL."


Manhattan Associates' FieldVision Provides Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility

FieldVision from Manhattan Associates gives retailers the ability to see orders, shipments and inventory, while in process, using map-based technology. FieldVision, offered within Manhattan's Extended Enterprise Management (EEM) solution, leverages technology from Microsoft Bing to provide a bird's-eye view of the products and facilities within the supply chain network through real-time visual mapping - adding a geospatial context to the rich logistics data provided by EEM. FieldVision technology supplies the visual element of a Supply Chain Command Center for customers.

Manhattan Associates' EEM is designed to connect companies with trading partners and customers by integrating existing technologies - including supply chain intelligence and RFID - to provide the overarching visibility and immediate event management capabilities required to immediately interpret global trends and gain real-time insight into the pulse of the supply chain ecosystem.

Capabilities of Manhattan's Extended Enterprise Management include:

- End-to-end visibility of orders, shipments and inventory from sourcing to cargo delivery; 

- A single, consistent, real-time view of your entire global supply chain for greater inventory control and optimal fulfillment channels; 

- Ability to track and monitor supply chain events in real time and respond immediately based on alerts to critical exception events, which may threaten your ability to meet customer commitments; 

- A centralized, browser-based solution allowing customers to manage order fulfillment and automate communications with customers; 

- Light warehousing capabilities for hub and cross-dock facilities to receive and ship goods.


Teradata Releases Teradata 13

Teradata announces the release of Teradata 13, which includes Teradata Database 13, Teradata Tools and Utilities 13, services and partnerships. The Teradata 13 query optimizer has been improved allowing queries to run faster and consume fewer resources.

The query optimizer interprets a query and determines the most efficient way for the database to process it providing business users with a rapid response to their queries. Database administrators and application developers don't have to be involved, because these enhancements deploy automatically.

Teradata 13, with its workload management capabilities, enables data to stream up to two times faster into the data warehouse. Simultaneously, tens-of-thousands of variables can be analyzed directly in the database. The high-speed data loading and analysis do not interrupt or slow each other, providing agility for business users. The loading of data at high speed has been made possible by using specialized tables to support businesses that accumulate massive data volumes like retail and financial services.


Big Lots Adds Test & Learn Management System

Big Lots signs an agreement to license APT's Test & Learn Management System. Big Lots chose APT after a brief pilot, which examined a wide range of the retailer's key challenges and strategies.

Using APT's Test & Learn for Sites, an accessible software module, the Big Lots and APT teams worked together to provide insights that were acted on during the pilot and to demonstrate the potential value of other applications of APT's Test & Learn approach. Big Lots has applied or plans to apply the Test & Learn system to optimize a wide range of new business initiatives, in areas including marketing, merchandising, store operations, labor scheduling, media mix, inventory depth, new product launches, and pricing.

"APT fully delivered on its promises in the pilot phase," said Joe Cooper, CFO of Big Lots. "We are looking forward to the relationship continuing to provide us with a greater ability to design, conduct, and act upon tests of new initiatives, adding keener insight and analytic capability to our organization."


Argos Adds Task Manager Across 700 Stores

Argos rolls out Reflexis Task Manager across its 700 stores. The retailer uses the Reflexis Web-based system to communicate efficiently between corporate, field, and stores. The retail also will use the system to improve planning, and gain feedback and real-time visibility into task execution.

"We selected Task Manager as, in addition to the proven system functionality, we were aware of Reflexis's wide retail expertise and excellent reputation for delivering customer satisfaction," said Doug Duffin, IS Manager. "The implementation was flawless in tight timescales, and we were all impressed with the team's professionalism."


Charming Shoppes Add Application Management

Charming Shoppes signs a five-year strategic agreement with Wipro Limited to provide application management for its entire suite of applications encompassing stores, supply chain, merchandising, marketing and analytics, business intelligence and corporate systems. Wipro will provide hosting services from its U.S.-based data centers and manage infrastructure using a ITIL-based service management framework including data center operations, network and security operations and performance management. These services will be delivered across stores, distribution centers and the corporate brand offices of Charming Shoppes. This partnership will be an integral component of Charming Shoppes' transformation journey to optimize IT spend and improve business agility.

During the term of the agreement, Wipro will work with Charming Shoppes to affect year-over-year improvements in performance and efficiency. Charming Shoppes will maintain a viable ongoing IT operation in Bensalem and retain key retail business and technical expertise.

"As the leading provider of women's specialty plus apparel, our focus is on strengthening our brands and providing a superior customer experience," said Denis Gingue, senior vice president and CIO of Charming Shoppes. "We rely on IT as a critical enabler for our businesses - and strategic partnerships are critical to our future success. We selected Wipro because of their retail and fashion experience, technical competency in infrastructure and applications and their process discipline in IT operations."

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