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Industry News - February 27th, 2009



Office Depot Accelerates Order Processing

Office Depot implements Sterling Fax Conversion Services from Sterling Commerce and AT&T. With this system, Office Depot can automate the manual processing of all faxed orders across its customer service call centers. Automating this process also provides Office Depot with the reporting and visibility capabilities necessary to help achieve Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.

"By implementing this new solution from AT&T, Office Depot will be able to provide flexible IT systems that enable our customers to do business with us the way they want to do business, while still ensuring the highest levels of security," says Tim McGrath, vice president of Customer Service for Office Depot. "Additionally, this new solution helps Office Depot meet important PCI compliance requirements, providing an added level of confidence for our customers."

Office Depot receives many orders directly by fax from consumers, and they require manual order entry and processing. By automating this process through Sterling Fax Conversion Services, Office Depot can increase the level of accuracy and reduce time, requirements and costs.

Sterling Fax Conversion Services converts incoming faxes into electronic data interchange (EDI) or extensible markup language (XML) documents and reverses the process for outgoing documents. This software combines human and artificial intelligence into a streamlined process that helps minimize human intervention and manages costs by efficiently converting fax transactions while detecting and handling errors.


DemandTec Completes Acquisition of Connect3 Systems

DemandTec announces that it has completed its acquisition of privately-held Connect3 Systems.

The Connect3 product suite is being incorporated into the DemandTec End-to-End Promotion Management solution, a suite of software and analytical services for managing the complex promotion process, including internal and external collaboration, promotion calendar optimization, and multi-channel, cross-media execution.

As part of the broader solution, the Connect3 modules will complement existing DemandTec services including Deal Management, Promotion Planning & Optimization and Post Event Analysis and will be marketed going forward as:

-Advertising & Marketing Execution - core application for creating, versioning, and publishing targeted advertisements to be distributed via multiple channels and media vehicles

-Proofing - online and “green" software tool for digital ad proofing

-Signage - interface system for exporting and distributing versioned point-of-purchase, in-store promotional signage or other visual merchandising

-iFlyer and iGadget - Extensions of Ad Planning & Execution enabling retailers to publish flyers to the Web and other promotions via email, smart phones, or third party Internet properties


S&K Menswear Begins Closing 30 Stores

S & K Famous Brands, which operates the S & K Menswear retail chain, gained bankruptcy court approval to begin closing 30 of its remaining 136 value-priced men's clothing stores.

In the year before the company's bankruptcy filing, S & K closed 78 stores and cut jobs as it tried to stay afloat. But merchandise vendors began demanding cash in advance as the U.S. economy declined, making it difficult for the company to buy as much inventory as it needed, S & K told the court last week.

The men's clothing retailer has about 1,095 full and part- time employees and operates about 136 stores under the name S & K Menswear, mostly in the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states.

S & K began in 1967 and grew to more than 200 stores.


The Co-operative Adds Kronos Workforce Management

The Co-operative Group plans to add workforce management from Kronos, in a major project to enhance operational efficiency in its 2,200 UK food stores. The Kronos system will record the working hours of 55,000 staff using biometric data collection terminals, which will be installed in stores in a rolling program over the next two years.

The fully automated time and attendance system, which uses finger scan verification, will replace the current system used by the Group's Food Retail operation that requires some information to be keyed in at store level.

The key benefits include faster and more efficient management of store staffing requirements, which can help reduce costs as well as enable managers in the field and at Head Office to have easier access to important information on longer term staffing trends and patterns.

The system also will reduce the amount of time spent on manual activities such as time capture, employee scheduling and absence management, and ensure compliance with legal requirements on break rules, maximum weekly hours and minimum rest times.

"We are very pleased to have teamed up with Kronos," says Mark Hale, director of food retail information services, The Group. "We wanted a system that would be able to handle efficiently and accurately the huge amount of information that needs to be processed and the Kronos product fitted the bill."

"The use of the workforce management system in our stores will bring many benefits, not least of which will be the cost savings and the freeing up of management time," says Sean Toal, director of food retail operations, The Group. "The system will be able to operate across all our stores and will help them to run more efficiently."


Toys“R”Us Expands E-commerce Partnership

Toys"R"Us extends its relationship with GSI Commerce to include its newly acquired eToys.com and babyuniverse.com brands. GSI will provide e-commerce technology, customer care and marketing services for the Web stores.

GSI has provided e-commerce technology, customer service support, and interactive marketing services for www.Toysrus.com and www.Babiesrus.com since 2006. Last year, the company named gsi interactive, the full-service interactive marketing and design agency of GSI, as its digital agency of record for e-mail marketing, paid search and online advertising, affiliate marketing, content creation and interactive design. As part of the expanded relationship, gsi interactive will also be the digital agency of record for eToys.com and babyuniverse.com.

"We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Toys"R"Us, to include well-respected brands eToys.com and babyuniverse.com," says Scott Hardy, executive vice president of business management for GSI. "We look forward to offering a world-class online experience to new and loyal customers of these sites."


Shearer's Foods Goes Live with RedPrairie E2e Supply Chain Suite

Shearer's Foods goes live with RedPrairie's entire E2e Supply Chain suite in its Navarre, Ohio distribution center. Shearer's implements RedPrairie's Workforce Management (WFM), Warehouse Management (WMS), Transportation Management (TMS) and intuitive user interface.

Shearer's also plans to roll out the software package at its Lubbock, Texas facility in the coming months.

"Our method of moving product from warehouse to shelf operates through an extended distribution network and direct store delivery (DSD)," says Scott Heldreth, Shearer's vice president of logistics and information technology. "So the solution we chose had to manage our main manufacturing facility's distribution center, our workforce, and our remote distribution centers - all simultaneously. RedPrairie's E2e Supply Chain suite had the tools we needed, including Warehouse Management, Transportation Management, and Workforce Management, to manage the backbone of our supply chain operations efficiently and effectively."

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