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Industry News - July 3rd, 2008



Staples Optimizes Workforce with Oracle Suite 

Staples upgrades to PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management 9.0. The office products company uses PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management 9.0 to roll out a long-term strategy to better deploy, monitor and manage talent. This technology will help Staples strategically manage talent, from staffing to individual performance, according to business objectives.

The company also is running an Oracle Database and will deploy PeopleSoft Enterprise Time and Labor to reduce gross payroll costs through automated time capture and pay rate calculations.

Staples also plans to identify, plan, observe, improve and reward performance with PeopleSoft Enterprise ePerformance, a Web-deployed solution that simplifies the appraisal aspect of the performance management process, from planning goals and coaching to assessing performance and rewards.

"Upgrading to PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management 9.0 was key in helping us strategically address important operational business objectives. Our upgrade was completed on time and on budget, enabling us to quickly begin gaining benefits from the integrated talent management and end-to-end workforce management system. As we continue to take our workforce management transformation to the next level, we'll be closer to ultimately enhancing the overall shopping experience for customers in our stores," said Staples Director of HR Systems, Bob Solomon.


L.L.Bean Launches New L.L.Bean Visa Card

L.L.Bean and launches its new L.L.Bean Visa card, which will be available July 1. The card rewards loyal customers with coupon dollars good toward L.L.Bean merchandise every time they use the card, plus a wealth of new and improved benefits to make the card even more rewarding than before.

Every time cardmembers make a purchase with their L.L.Bean Visa card, they earn coupon dollars good for L.L.Bean merchandise. Whenever cardmembers earn 10 coupon dollars, a $10 L.L.Bean coupon will be sent to them automatically via their account statement. The card has no annual fee and there are no limits on earned rewards. Cardmembers can earn coupon dollars faster when purchasing L.L.Bean merchandise or at the L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School. Cardmembers can also donate their L.L.Bean coupon dollars to support the National Park Foundation.

In addition to earning L.L.Bean coupon dollars, the new card program offers free shipping, return shipping, monogramming and a choice of three card designs, plus Visa Platinum or Signature benefits with no annual fee and no limits on earned rewards. Consumers can apply for the card online at www.llbeanrewards.com or through any L.L.Bean channel.

"We listened to L.L.Bean customers and learned that they really wanted free return shipping, in addition to the free monogramming and shipping that was already in place," said Shawn Gorman, Vice President of Card Services at L.L.Bean. "We made it an exclusive benefit for cardmembers and gave them the option of personalizing their card with three different L.L.Bean-inspired designs. Finally, the addition of extraordinary Visa Signature benefits - such as access to exclusive events, enticing offers and complimentary concierge services - truly increases the appeal of the L.L.Bean program."

Lucy activewear, a lifestyle apparel company for women, selects the Demandware E-Commerce Platform to enhance its online shopping experience for consumers and to expand its growing cross-channel business.

The lucy brand’s Web site, launched in 1999, has been a key channel for delivering solutions to consumers searching for lifestyle apparel. Since re-launching in 2004, the lucy brand’s online business has more than doubled. To support its continued online growth, lucy activewear is partnering with Demandware, which will deliver merchandising capabilities and manage the hardware and maintenance for the site. The lucy brand expects to launch its enhanced site near the end of 2008.

“Our e-commerce site is a key sales channel for the lucy brand, as approximately 50 percent of our in-store customers also visit us online. In fact, many of our customers come into the store with printouts of outfits that are showcased on the site,” said Rebecca Taubman, director of e-commerce for lucy. “As traffic to our Web site continues to increase, our enhanced Web site and platform will enable us to offer customers a sophisticated, stress-free shopping experience, as well as targeted cross-channel promotions and guaranteed availability.”


Zappos.com Implements Mobile Fulfillment System

Online retailer Zappos.com implements the Kiva Mobile Fulfillment System in four months. Zappos has deployed a fleet of Kiva's mobile robotic drive units and inventory storage pods at its Shepherdsville, Ky. facility to support their rapid order growth and expansion into new categories such as apparel, sportswear and accessories.

"Virtually all the previous automation system deployments I've overseen took a year or more to design, build and test," said Craig Adkins, vice president of fulfillment operations, Zappos.com. "We were amazed that Kiva transformed our new warehouse from bare concrete to fully operational readiness with trained supervisors and associates just four months after we signed the purchase order. We're already working on designs to cube out the building with Kiva's MFS on multi-level mezzanines."

With an emphasis on e-commerce orders requiring split-case picking, the Zappos.com distribution center needs to manage a huge range of unique products, while shipping orders as quickly as possible. The Kiva MFS helps inventory to manage itself, and transforms the DC from a serial-process operation to a massively parallel processing order fulfillment engine. As a result, the Kiva MFS helps breakthrough improvements over generally accepted material handling benchmarks, including order picking speed, order accuracy, volume scalability and flexibility in reconfiguring operations or responding to market changes.


Kings Supermarkets Personalize Web Site Experience for Customers

Kings Supermarkets teams up with Grocery Shopping Network to offer Kings' customers everything they need to plan their shopping trip and create a customized shopping list. On the Web site, customers find an interactive weekly ad linked to thousands of recipes, meal and product suggestions, in-store specials, cooking videos, coupons and more. Those customers with a Kings' loyalty card are able to view a new, personalized grocery ad every week, 'My Personalized Specials.' The 'My Personalized Specials' section of the Web site contains product specials that are specific and relevant to each household's unique shopping needs.

"The Web site is an exceptional tool enabling our customers to save time and money," says Cheryl Good, Manager, Community Relations/Consumer Affairs at Kings Supermarkets. "They can discover all the store's offers before walking the aisles. The site allows customers to easily create a shopping list full of relevant products, coupons, and specials - both advertised and unadvertised - without having to access multiple sources." 


IBM and Epicor Collaborate on Comprehensive Retail Management Offering

Epicor announces a collaborative agreement with IBM to deliver a comprehensive, integrated retail system management product for specialty and department store retailers. As part of the expanded relationship, the two companies will develop and market an offering to centrally manage and support point-of-sale hardware and software via IBM's Remote Management Agent (RMA).

RMA helps retailers manage their store environments, helping them perform remote configuration, software distribution, proactive remote monitoring, asset tracking, diagnostic and problem determination down to the device level.
The combination of the IBM RMA and Epicor Retail Store products provides specialty retailers the ability to remotely monitor, configure and track hardware, software and applications in one store or multiple store locations, from a central point.

Hudson Group, a privately held corporation that operates more than 500 newsstands, bookstores, cafes and premier specialty retail shops in 70 transportation terminals and airports throughout North America is one such customer. "We believe there will be significant value add to our company as IBM and Epicor align more closely in delivering software, hardware and services as a complete package," says Gary MacRae, vice president and CIO of Hudson Group.

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