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Industry News - January 9th, 2009



H-E-B Mexico Rolls Out DemandTec Everyday Price Optimization  

Supermercados Internacionales H-E-B, S.A. de C.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of H-E-B Grocery Company, deploys DemandTec's Everyday Price Optimization software service.

H-E-B Mexico leverages DemandTec's price optimization software and consumer demand modeling capabilities to gain insights into the buying behavior of H-E-B's customers in the United States.

"We expect our investment in DemandTec to allow us to automate the manual aspects of our pricing process, create pricing strategies that will give H-E-B Mexico a competitive advantage in the marketplace, and offer our customers the best prices possible," says Rafael Lopez, CIO of H-E-B Mexico.


Tickets.com Launches New Uptix Ticket Program

Tickets.com launches Uptix from Givex, a jointly developed program for storing additional value on event tickets. Integrating Givex technology with Tickets.com's ticketing software; the Uptix program allows individual tickets to have the ability to store data such as cash value and select merchandise.

These tickets can then be used for redemption at various points of purchase such as concessions and retail stands. The program augments the role of a ticket beyond that of event access and allows single ticket buyers and season ticket holders to manage the program themselves on the Internet.

Enabled tickets also may serve as a catalyst for in-game promotions, eventually including a point-based loyalty program where customers can accumulate and redeem points for rewards.

"Givex has years of proven technology in the gift card industry and an exceptional track record in customer service," says Steve DeMots, senior vice president of business development, Tickets.com. "We are pleased to be able to work with Givex to create such a user-friendly product that will help our clients generate incremental sales and marketing opportunities."


Spartan Stores Selects KSS Retail PriceStrat Modeling and Optimization

Spartan Stores implements KSS PriceStrat optimization suite for real-time merchandising simulations. Spartan Stores distributes products to more than 400 independent grocers and also owns and operates 100 retail supermarkets in Michigan, including D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Supermarkets, Felpausch Food Centers, Glen's Markets and VG's Food Centers.

"We have a consistent focus on satisfying our customers' needs and developing effective merchandising strategies," says Alan Hartline, executive vice president of merchandising for Spartan. "After a thorough evaluation process, we chose KSS Retail because of their consistent results working with their retail customers. We look forward to leveraging the predictive insight and modeling capabilities of PriceStrat."


Escalate Retail Partners with Fujitsu for Self-Service Guided Selling Capabilities

Escalate's Guided Selling solution is bundled with Fujitsu's U-Serv kiosks to provide retailers with a self-service package for decreasing the demands on in-store personnel. This will be an integral part of Fujitsu's "Univations" self-service initiative, with the goal of complementing Fujitsu's self-checkout and POS solutions with self-service kiosks and mobile commerce opportunities.

Similarly, the partnership will help Escalate Retail's Buy Anywhere, Fulfill Anywhere Commerce capabilities that provide retailers with tools that give their customers the flexibility and convenience to shop however and wherever they choose.

In the near future, customers will be able to shop in-store kiosks from Fujitsu deployed with Escalate's intelligent Guided Selling application, freeing up sales associates to help others who need more one-on-one assistance.

Escalate's Guided Selling tool helps shoppers navigate complex transactions, such as shopping for a new digital camera without knowing exactly which product fits their needs. Guided Selling also provides opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell additional merchandise, such as a camera bag and extra memory card.


Gump's Goes Live on Ecometry Commerce Suite

Gump's, an upscale San Francisco-based retailer of fine jewelry, furniture and home decor, goes live on Escalate's Ecometry Commerce Suite. Gump's also has selected Escalate Retail's integrated .net e-Commerce solution that will provide the retailer with real-time connectivity and  functionality. Gump's expects to go live with the .net e-commerce solution in its first quarter of 2009.

With continued growth in its online channel, Gump's recognized the need for an order management system with the depth of functionality required for the multi-channel retail space. The company looked to Ecometry for a highly flexible, top-tier order management system to manage its merchandising, orders, warehouse and campaigns across all of its channels.

Since implementing Ecometry, Gump's has seen improvement in end-user productivity. The software's fully GUI-based interface gives users complete control over the application and enables contact center representatives to provide superior customer service. Between the user-friendly interface and Ecometry's ability to increase operational efficiencies, Gump's has experienced material expense improvements in their call center since launching the Ecometry system.

"Our launch of Ecometry was a resounding success," says Philip Moss, vice president of IT and direct operations, Gump's. "Escalate Retail's staff and our IT team both worked very hard on the implementation, and we are proud of the results. The ability to own and manage our own feature-rich application will have a significant impact on the success of Gumps' multi-channel operations."


Sara Lee and IBM Sign Seven-Year Global Services Agreement

Sara Lee signs a seven year agreement with IBM, which will manage and maintain pieces of the consumer products company's global back office operations. IBM will manage a portion of Sara Lee's North American and European Finance (transaction processing) and Global Information Services (applications development and maintenance) groups, as well as the company's global indirect procurement activities.

The agreement between Sara Lee and IBM includes the following:

- Finance & Accounting Solution (F&A) - This solution aims to provide significant savings to the company as it increases the quality of process delivery, deploys new standardized tools, utilizes IBM's Manila Global Delivery Center and dedicates onsite F&A professional support during the transition process.

- Indirect Procurement Services - This includes indirect procurement processes, strategic sourcing, category management and transactional processes that are integrated with accounts payable to enable compliance and drive savings.

- Application Development and Maintenance Service - With online support from IBM's existing Centers of Excellence (CoE) throughout the world, Sara Lee will utilize IBM's ADM model. IBM will set up a Sara Lee CoE in India, where ADM services will be provided for the company's global operations.

"IBM is a trusted and long-standing partner of Sara Lee, with deep experience in large, global programs," says Theo de Kool, Sara Lee's executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer. "Through their worldwide Centers of Excellence, IBM has industry-specific competencies on a global scale and capabilities to secure qualified resources."

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