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Industry News - October 2nd, 2009



Microsoft Dynamics Acquisition Accelerates ERP Innovation

Microsoft announces the acquisition of manufacturing, professional and retail solutions that will extend the capabilities of its Microsoft Dynamics enterprise resource planning (ERP) strategy.

The following acquired technology will be offered as part of Microsoft Dynamics AX:

- A process manufacturing solution acquired from Fullscope Inc., which provides tight integration of business processes across discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing

- A professional service solution acquired from Computer Generated Solutions, which delivers a single system to manage projects and resources, execute financial transactions and customer billing, and match resources with client assignments

- Retail solutions from LS Retail EHF and To-Increase Denmark A/S, a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbus IT Partner A/S, that enable Microsoft to provide an end-to-end retail solution including store management with point-of-sale, merchandising and ERP capabilities

With these technology acquisitions Microsoft is providing core industry functionality embedded into Microsoft Dynamics ERP applications.


AutoZone Improves Inventory Levels, Adds New Sales Tool

AutoZone continues to enhance its IT infrastructure and is focusing on the refinement of its merchandise assortment in order to boost sales. In its latest quarter, the retailer posted a same store sales increase of 5.4 percent in comparison to last year's fourth quarter.

At its Hubs stores, the retailer is improving the productivity of inventory particularly slower turning inventory. "We no longer have to retain certain slower moving SKU's in our satellite stores because we can access the slower turning SKU's from our Hub stores, thereby reducing working capital," says William Rhodes, President and CEO, AutoZone.

AutoZone recently implemented a new sales force management tool that allows it to direct its sales force to specific accounts and provides meaningful data on the outcome of those sales calls. The retailer also has invested in a formal leadership training program for store managers and their leaders in order to improve customer service and grow sales.

Additionally, AutoZone continues to focus on store expansion. The retailer opened 20 new stores during its fourth quarter and has 188 stores in Mexico. For the year, AutoZone opened 40 new stores, compared to 25 new stores last year. The retailer has converted an additional 15 Hub stores to our new model by expanding the hard parts assortment and increasing the delivery frequency to our satellite stores. It currently has converted just under half of our 143 Hubs to this new operating model.


Tesco Lowers Carbon Emissions with New ecoSoftware

Tesco adds CA ecoSoftware to help drive down carbon emissions across its global operations. Tesco uses the ecoSoftware to manage carbon, reduce energy use and become more sustainable. Tesco also will use the software to better manage and govern its sustainability strategies, bringing what have traditionally been disparate departmental efforts into a centralized, cross-enterprise process and program.

With 468,000 Tesco employees working at more than 4,000 locations across 14 countries, the task of accounting for carbon emissions is time-consuming and complex. Tesco has implemented CA ecoSoftware to help increase the efficiency, speed, and accuracy of its carbon accounting process, enabling the company to more effectively track progress in pursuit of its ambitious carbon reduction goals.

"When we announced our plan two years ago to reduce our carbon footprint by 50% across all of our global operations, we knew we were taking on a big task," said Mike Yorwerth, IT director of Tesco. "Since that time a number of people across the business have been involved in measuring, documenting and reporting on our emissions - a time-consuming, largely manual task. We're also overseeing hundreds of projects around the world designed to reduce our carbon footprint, all of which need to be prioritized and measured. With CA ecoSoftware, we expect to streamline the process of data management, helping to reduce errors and operational expenses, and improve our ability to communicate major milestones."

Based on ambitious targets announced in 2007 using 2006 as a baseline, Tesco plans to halve emissions from existing buildings by 2020; halve distribution emissions of each case of goods delivered by 2014; and halve emissions from new stores by 2020. The company has already halved its energy use per square foot in its UK stores and is diverting 100 percent of waste from its UK business away from landfill, achieving this target almost a year ahead of schedule.

CA ecoSoftware offers visual tools designed for evaluating sustainability initiatives, such as projects to reduce carbon emissions or energy consumption, as well as program and project management capabilities, automated assessments for use internally and externally (for suppliers or other third parties), and direct energy metering able to capture information from devices within the datacenter and facilities across the enterprise.


Sears Builds Drop-Ship Supplier Network

Sears Canada has teamed up with CommerceHub to provide supplier integration to build its drop-ship supplier network. CommerceHub will provide a direct connection to Sears Canada's existing order management systems for processing purchase orders, order acknowledgements, inventory and fulfillment data with drop-ship suppliers.

"We are building a drop-ship network as part of our online strategy to increase product selection and inventory efficiency," said Simon Rodrigue, Sears Canada AVP of E-Commerce. "We selected the CommerceHub platform to reliably integrate our existing systems with new and current suppliers."

Sears Canada now has the ability to bring on new suppliers and expand product selection with all its suppliers without incurring inventory and handling costs. The Sears Canada drop-ship supplier network enables orders to be sent directly to suppliers, manufacturers and distributors who then fulfill and ship the merchandise directly to customers.

The Supply-on-Demand platform also enables purchase orders to be sent to each supplier with all the information required to create customized Sears Canada branded packing slips for direct-ship customer orders..


Tommy Hilfiger Launches on Apple iPhone

Tommy Hilfiger announces the launch of Tommy Hilfiger for iPhone, a downloadable mobile shopping application available via iTunes and Apple's App Store, in partnership with ATG. The application, built on ATG Mobile for iPhone and iPod touch, lets consumers explore, search, and purchase Tommy Hilfiger anytime, anywhere.

After downloading the free application, shoppers can:

- Browse the complete Tommy Hilfiger collection with a flick and a scroll
- Use search and filters to easily find the latest styles in their favorite category, size or price range
- Touch, pan and zoom images to view intricate product and outfit details
- Add their favorite items to a cart and easily checkout with quick-fill capabilities to enter shipping and billing information
- Register to receive news on the latest products and initiatives available when shopping online or via a mobile device

The new Tommy Hilfiger application connects consumers through the Web, iPhone and/or iPod touch to the Tommy Hilfiger stores as if they were experiencing the stores in-person. If shoppers can't find an item in the local store, they can check availability on the iPhone and place an order. To make shopping as convenient as possible, shopping carts will follow consumers, regardless if they start online or on their iPhone. If an item is out-of-stock, shoppers can sign up for push notifications directly to their iPhones.

"Our customers are already using iPhones and other web-enabled mobile devices to quickly connect and research products - our iPhone application enables the natural next step of making a purchase," said Kate Terry, Executive Vice President of Global E-commerce at Tommy Hilfiger Group. "Creating a smooth and entertaining experience for shoppers to explore, search and buy from the brand is an important function of our web-based initiatives, so we are very excited to launch our Tommy Hilfiger for iPhone application. We are also happy to partner with ATG, a well-renowned innovator in e-commerce."


Cache Implements PLM and Global Sourcing

Cache implements NGC's PLM and global sourcing software to improve speed to market, collaboration and efficiency throughout the retailer's product development and production process.

The Web-based software will provide Cache with its entire product lifecycle including assortment planning; financial line planning; costing and pre-production; management of purchase orders and Work in Progress and quality control. The software also includes raw materials management, which will allow Cache to closely manage the purchase and usage of all raw material inventories located around the world.

With raw materials management capabilities, Cache will be able to instantly access detailed information on raw materials in all locations worldwide at all times.

e-PLM and e-SPS streamline product design and production through centralized data and a Web-based portal that can simplifies communications and collaboration throughout the global supply chain. The software's automated calendars automatically trigger alerts when events and activities don't happen on time - which helps ensure that key deadlines are met and ultimately shortening the design/production process.

"NGC's software will facilitate real-time collaboration with our vendors about styles and production orders, and will enable Cache to deliver the highest quality goods while also controlling costs and improving turnaround time," said Joanne Marselle, Vice President of Planning and Production for Cache.

"The advanced tools such as factory profiling, vendor scorecards, and exception and milestone reporting offered by NGC's e-PLM will allow Cache to align itself with best suppliers, produce more efficiently, and improve margins," said Ashok Gandhi, Vice President of Finance for Cache.

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