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  Product News published in DM Direct Newsletter
May 12, 2006 Issue
  By DM Review Editorial Staff

All Operations of Monterey Mushrooms Boosted by SPSS Software

Monterey Mushrooms Inc. is using SPSS Inc.'s software to more effectively run all facets of its business from its facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Monterey Mushrooms is the largest grower/shipper and marketer of fresh mushrooms in the United States. Established in 1971 as a single-farm operation, it has grown to an international, multifacility company. It currently operates 14 facilities around the world.

"If we uninstalled the SPSS product line that we have in place today, many areas of our operations would be impacted as our ability to deliver meaningful information would be greatly impaired. We rely on this software every day," said Monterey Mushrooms' senior programmer/analyst Andrew Burnham, who is responsible for deploying SPSS' software at his company.

Monterey Mushrooms has incorporated SPSS technology into many of their daily operations and it has had an immediate impact on the business. Areas of the company affected included sales reporting, payroll balancing, freight distribution, human resources and asset management/general ledger reporting, just to name a few. "With this software, employees are spending a lot less time waiting for reports and gathering information, and more time analyzing the business and making the necessary changes to meet their business goals," said Burnham.

Monterey Mushrooms president and chief executive officer Shah Kazemi is so pleased with SPSS software that he has had it implemented for all senior-level personnel to help them better understand their revenues and margins. The software allows Monterey Mushrooms users to view and interact with customized reports, which are all based on the same information, to help the users make the right decisions quickly.

"Because of SPSS, we're able to see our data as we've never seen it before," added Burnham. "We're able to view it from different angles and perspectives. That allows us to better analyze our margin of profitability and highlight exceptions quickly, which, in turn, allows us to make better business decisions."

City Furniture Pioneers Affordable, Accessible Interior Design with IBM Multichannel Retail Solution

Home furnishings retailer City Furniture has picked IBM to provide services and technology for its new "Academy of Design," which will allow customers to select interior design plans online or in the store.

IBM's Center for e-business Innovation in Atlanta helped City Furniture develop the custom business model and innovative applications for its interior design services for shoppers. IBM is providing services and technology for design kiosks in City Furniture stores throughout South Florida, as well as a Web site that will allow customers to add and view details about their design plans and budgets from the Internet.

"Our technology investment and work with IBM allows us to make great interior design affordable and accessible to our shoppers," said Keith Koenig, City Furniture president. "This multichannel retail solution is the first of its kind in the home furnishings industry."

A custom built IBM kiosk system is the centerpiece of the in-store Academy of Design center. The kiosk will match customers to local designers, based upon budget, style and color preferences, and time frame requirements. City Furniture also selected IBM to design and build an interactive new Web site (www.theacademyofdesign.com). By visiting the Academy of Design in local stores or online, consumers can buy three levels of interior design services - ranging from $295 to $695, to receive a complete design package including in-home consultations, design plans, furniture and accessory selection and placement, a design budget and shopping assistance.

The program also provides City Furniture designers with ThinkPad notebook computers loaded with materials and a customized application to take on house calls. The IBM-designed laptop application allows designers to share floor plans, color palettes, design plans, design budgets, and design and construction suppliers with customers.

The custom application runs on IBM eServer xSeries servers and uses IBM Websphere Application Server, DB2 and DB2 Everyplace software. The application was designed and built using Rational Rose XDE Developer for J2EE and Rational Application Developer.

Abebooks.com Measures Success of Page Redesign with Help of Coremetrics

Abebooks.com, the world's largest online marketplace for books, is using Coremetrics Web analytics to measure the impact of site redesign efforts, enabling the company to gain insight into how refinements to the site affect the bottom line. Abebooks.com lists more than 80 million new, used, rare and out-of-print books from nearly 13,500 booksellers, and is the country's 58th largest e-retail business according to the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide.

"The Internet is our only sales channel, so accurate metrics are critical to keeping our site competitive and responding to changing customer needs and expectations," said Chris Burdge, marketing manager at Abebooks.com. "We rely heavily on Coremetrics analytics to help us understand visitor behavior and identify and implement changes that make it easier for people to find and buy the books they want - whether they're looking for today's bestseller, a rare collectible or a great buy on textbooks."

Coremetrics offers the only hosted Web analytics and precision marketing solution designed to meet the marketing, merchandising and site-design needs of online retailers. Abebooks.com recently used Coremetrics to measure the success of a major design change to its product details page. A primary goal of the redesign was to reduce departure rates from that page. Site designers changed the layout radically, adding new buttons and titles and introducing tabs for easy switching between the book description and a profile of the bookseller. Coremetrics analysis of visitor behavior before and after the change showed a 36 percent increase in conversion. The departure rate from the book details page decreased by 32 percent.

Talecris Biotherapeutics Selects StayinFront CRM Selected to Manage All Points of Customer Interaction

Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Talecris Biotherapeutics has selected StayinFront CRM to manage all points of customer interaction. Talecris is a global biotherapeutic and biotechnology company that discovers, develops and produces critical care treatments for people with life-threatening disorders in a variety of therapeutic areas including immunology, pulmonology and hemostatis.

In addition to using StayinFront Pharma 9.3, a solution designed especially for the industry-specific needs of the pharmaceutical and life sciences markets, Talecris will deploy StayinFront Pharma Companion on Windows Mobile 5.0 devices, and StayinFront Analytics for data analysis and decision support. StayinFront will provide all implementation services, including data services for the migration and integration of existing data. Additionally, Talecris will utilize StayinFront's ongoing support services including help desk, data center hosting, asset management and project management services.

Bill Zabel, vice president of U.S. Sales for Talecris Biotherapeutics said, "Investing in customer relationship management capabilities is a strategic initiative for Talecris. Our thorough analysis of available pharmaceutical/biotechnology CRM solution providers showed that StayinFront can deliver the total solution - flexible software applications to meet the diverse needs of our business functional groups, and hosting and support services that mean we will be able to launch our system quickly. Finally, StayinFront's global presence gives us assurance that we can leverage the investment and relationship as we grow into new markets internationally."

Agile Software to Incorporate SymphonyRPM Business Analytics Capabilities Into Its Enterprise PLM Offerings

Agile Software Corporation, a leading provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, has selected SymphonyRPM, Inc. for a technology partnership that will enable the delivery of a new class of decision-centric, analytics-based PLM offerings to market.

Through this partnership, Agile will leverage the SymphonyRPM platform to build innovative scenario-based analytics capabilities into its enterprise PLM offerings. Agile customers will benefit from increased visibility into the drivers of product excellence across revenue, cost, quality, compliance and innovation. Customers will also benefit from being able to improve and automate decision-making throughout the product life cycle and the extended enterprise.

"This partnership with SymphonyRPM is an important step in meeting our customers' increasing demand for greater analytics capabilities that help them better manage their product life cycles," said Tal Ball, Agile chief technology officer and senior vice president, products and technology. "We selected the SymphonyRPM platform based on the power and scalability of its analytics engine, breadth of end-user capabilities, ease-of-integration with our existing PLM solutions, and depth of domain knowledge of the SymphonyRPM team."

With the SymphonyRPM platform, Agile is developing a new family of product performance analytics solutions designed to connect its customers' business strategies with their PLM strategies. Agile PLM customers will also benefit from the combination of a collaborative Web-based analytic interface and SymphonyRPM's ability to incorporate and automate the entire decision-making cycle by leveraging what-if analysis and structured decision workflow capabilities.

For example, Agile customers will have the ability to explore trade-off type scenarios to see the immediate result of a change in component cost, quality or lead time at any level of the product hierarchy or to model resource allocation scenarios across their product portfolios. Once a "best-fit" scenario is identified, it can then be routed to the necessary decision-makers for approval and implementation in their Agile PLM solution providing an integrated closed-loop "analysis to decision" process.

Moran Industries Deploys SSA Warehouse Management to Better Serve Customers and Expand into New Markets

Moran Industries, Inc., a premier logistics provider, is using the flexible business rules and configuration capabilities of SSA Warehouse Management (SSA WMS) to better serve existing customers and expand into new markets.

SSA WMS is providing Moran Industries with the flexibility to configure its warehouses to handle diverse customers and complex product lines that often require value-added services (e.g., labeling and shrink wrapping); different pick and pack processes; tracking; different receiving processes across multiple modes of transportation (e.g., rail, over-the-road) and receiving units (e.g., full pallet, parcel, multimodal containers); different requirements for storage and refrigeration and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliance mandates.

"The 3PL [third-party logistics] market is an extremely competitive business environment and our decision to purchase SSA WMS has taken our company to a new level," said Michael Gilger, project director, Moran Industries, Inc. "The industry-leading capabilities of SSA WMS have opened new doors in markets that we previously were unable to serve."

The best-of-breed third-party logistics functionality in SSA WMS is enabling Moran Industries to reengineer its business processes to improve the efficiency and throughput of its warehouse operations, positioning the company to react more quickly to changing customer requirements.

"SSA WMS is enabling us to meet the challenge of complex customer requirements in a way that maintains the efficiency we need to be competitive," Gilger said. "The flexibility and configurability of the solution and the support provided by the SSA Global OnePoint Services team enabled Moran Industries to reduce training costs and go live with SSA WMS at three locations in less than 12 weeks."

SSA SCM, which includes SSA Advanced Planning and Scheduling, SSA Warehouse Management and SSA Transportation Management, is a comprehensive solution utilized by leading retailers, logistics and distribution companies, and manufacturing firms to fuse the demand chain with the supply chain. SSA SCM provides companies with the ability to forecast demand; take an order; give an accurate promise date; source and manufacture the right goods; position inventory properly; and pick, pack and ship efficiently while maintaining a minimal finished goods inventory.


For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Analytics, Business Process Management (BPM), CRM and Web Analytics.

This piece has been brought to you by the DM Review Editorial staff.

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