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Industry News - December 31st, 2008



Guthy-Renker Gains Consumer Direct Business Process Outsourcing from EDS 

Guthy-Renker announces a four-year, contract extension and expansion to the companies' 13-year relationship with EDS, an HP company. The new agreement for consumer direct business process outsourcing (BPO) services supports Guthy-Renker's growing customer base in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other international territories.

"EDS remains an important and trusted business partner to Guthy-Renker as we grow our business across new products, channels and markets," says Kevin Knee, co-president and partner, Guthy-Renker. "As we execute our growth strategy, we rely on EDS' global reach, industry knowledge and technology expertise to help us deliver an exceptional customer experience."

Since 1995, EDS has provided Guthy-Renker with consumer direct services that span order and payment processing, warehouse and fulfillment and call center and customer service to support its global operations and growth. EDS services also help increase revenues through up-selling and customer retention for Guthy-Renker's products such as Proactiv Solution and Sheer Cover.

EDS also will work closely with Guthy-Renker to design, develop, deploy and operate an integrated global order management and customer relationship management (CRM) system. This new system will allow Guthy-Renker to add new products and promotions in current and new markets worldwide. EDS' investment in this new technology platform also will deliver new multi-channel capabilities that enhance EDS' consumer direct services to other clients.


Loblaw Adds Warehouse Management

Loblaw Companies selects Manhattan Associates' Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) from its Distribution Management solution suite.

"Loblaw is focused on improving its warehouse operations to enhance the efficiency and delivery to our stores and customers," says Catherine Booth, senior vice president, IT, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We believe Manhattan Associates provides a proven solution for a grocer of our size that will help us advance our distribution center operations."

Manhattan Associates' WMS helps Loblaw utilize space, people, inventory and equipment continually, to conserve labor, fill orders faster and more accurately, save space and reduce overall inventory.


Aldata Acquires Apollo Retail Space Planning

Aldata and Information Resources announce that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Aldata will acquire all of the assets of IRI's Apollo Retail Space and Assortment Planning business unit.

Apollo Space Planning software helps improve the retail space planning process utilizing advanced merchandizing rules, category assortments, performance criteria and space constraints.

In today's challenging economic climate, retailers are looking to reduce costs, while ensuring customer satisfaction. The combination of supply chain optimization offered by Aldata with space planning automation offered by Apollo allows customer-centric planning to be executed. Forecasted demand levels based on local requirements can also be integrated into the assortment and space planning process, and then automated planograms can be produced for high levels of compliance and ROI.


Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Adds National Gift Card Program

TRocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (RMCF) implements a national gift card program with optional credit and debit processing from integrated payments processor, Mercury Payment Systems.

Mercury's recent technology integration to Retail Anywhere POS allowed RMCF franchisees to process card payments directly through their POS system, eliminating the need for third-party processing software and support.

RMCF franchisees can choose to implement the MercuryGift card program or combine it with Mercury's credit/debit processing. Those who process all payments with Mercury save with free, unlimited MercuryGift transactions and card balance inquiries.

Features include corporate 'pooling' reconciliation and real-time reports. Additionally, RMCF locations not yet using the Retail Anywhere software can use the national solution: Mercury also supports payments made through cash registers using Datacap NoLoad products, terminals, Mercury's Back Office program and online e-commerce tools.


ecVision Enhances Workflow Configuration Capabilities in Retail Supply Chain Software

ecVision announces that with the release of XpressCommerce version 9.0, it delivers greater configurability features for its user base. This modification provides system administration level users the ability to make post-implementation configuration changes to the software installation.

The business process relates to specific documents in the software system and establishes the logic of the information flow that enables the product to continue to move. Similar to a chain that connects one link to the next, a supply chain management software solution needs to link information between all of the parties involved in the product lifecycle. When all of the links are connected and the system is functioning efficiently, the information and goods are flowing. XpressCommerce integrates with other technology solutions to create a single system of record for data and activities shared with others.

XpressCommerce is a Web based solution that connects retailers to its supplier network. The key functionality in the system helps enable retailers to manage capacity and raw material reservations, global sourcing and costing negotiations, customer and purchase orders, track production and shipment milestones. The framework supporting this functionality includes strong collaboration, reporting and visibility tools to provide management teams with the ability to make decisions about their product lifecycle and supply chain operation.


Evolution Robotics Retail Releases LaneHawk Enterprise Manager

Evolution Robotics Retail releases LaneHawk Enterprise Manager, a software application that manages a distributed set of LaneHawk in-store servers deployed in a retail enterprise.

The LaneHawk Enterprise Manager has four primary roles in managing the LaneHawk solution: monitoring status, changing configuration options, performing updates and creating reports. Each of these tasks can be performed on a store-by-store basis, across divisions or across the entire chain.

LaneHawk status updates retrieve data from the store servers and provide views of the state of the LaneHawk server, its connections to camera and POS's and other information describing LaneHawk's state and performance.

The LaneHawk Enterprise Manager provides a way for those managing the LaneHawk system to edit and deploy changes to the configuration options used at the stores. It also provides a tool for pushing out both software and image database (modelset) updates to the stores.

With the data collected from the stores, the LaneHawk Enterprise Manager can prepare a wide variety of reports, including status reports and an analysis of how the system is performing. This performance analysis includes details of which items LaneHawk has detected, and can identify and create a report on potentially fraudulent activity. The reports also provide a measure for current and historical ROI benchmarks..

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