Thursday, May 14, 2015

Last-mile logistics for on-demand delivery apps

Inc. magazine details how venture-backed software startup Onfleet supplies the last-mile logistics for hundreds of on-demand delivery apps.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Marketplace Fairness Act Stalled in Congress

According to McClatchy DC, "the issue is stuck in the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over state taxation affecting interstate commerce. The main point of contention has been whether the sales tax charged should be based on the rate where the buyer lives, as advocates of the Marketplace Fairness Act prefer, or on the rate where the seller is, an alternative offered by House Judiciary Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va.
"A Judiciary aide said ideas had gone through several iterations and that the committee continued to work with all interested parties to find common ground. But lobbyists familiar with fruitless negotiations to find a compromise say retailers consider Goodlatte’s latest proposal so unworkable that they worry it’s actually intended to derail the entire process.
"Retailers are hinging their hopes on a bill being drafted by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, that would place limitations on states auditing businesses outside their borders. The language comes in response to complaints from online vendors such as eBay and Overstock.com. They say the Marketplace Fairness Act as proposed by the Senate would create a compliance nightmare for small businesses, which would have to keep track of more than 9,000 state, local and municipal tax codes."

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/05/07/265920/bid-to-collect-online-sales-taxes.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, April 13, 2015

Desktop Marketing Solutions Changes Company Name to WiseGuys Marketing

Desktop Marketing Solutions Inc. (DMSI), a software and consulting services firm that specializes in data-driven solutions for multi-channel retailers, is changing its name to WiseGuys Marketing.

"When our company was founded in 1998, 'Desktop Marketing' was new and innovative, reflecting the increasing computing power of desktop workstations," explained Bruce Gregoire, founder and CEO of WiseGuys Marketing. "Since then, the services our company offers have expanded considerably, and our original branding no longer represents the full scope of what we do."

"We decided to take the name of our award-winning WiseGuys flagship software, as that brand is well known in our market. WiseGuys also extends across all services: namely, digital and multi-channel marketing, consulting, analytics, and, of course, software," continued Bruce Gregoire. "We believe our clients will benefit measurably with this change, from a more consistent understanding of the breadth of our services."

About WiseGuys Marketing
WiseGuys Marketing is a full-service resource for small to mid-sized multi-channel marketers that sell across websites, email, mobile, catalogs and retail stores. The company offers a combination of experience in direct marketing, database marketing, and catalog retailing. Services include marketing analytics, data hygiene, predictive modeling, segment targeting (RFM analysis), matchback analysis, attribution, lifetime value (LTV), and multi-channel strategy consulting.

The company's flagship software is WiseGuys CRM, an application that uses RFM and LTV analysis to identify highly targeted audiences for marketing campaigns, delivers personalized messages, and tracks results.

Bruce Gregoire, founder and CEO of WiseGuys Marketing, is an Adjunct Professor at the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), where he founded and currently teaches the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) course at the graduate level. WiseGuys Marketing is headquartered in Falls Church, VA.

Friday, March 27, 2015

USPS Scraps April 26th Rate Hike Implementation Date

/From the American Catalog Mailers Association: March 27, 2015, 6:00 PM

"This just in: The USPS announced it will not implement new rates until it resolves all of its proposed market-dominant price changes with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). The PRC has twice remanded the USPS's rate proposal as it pertains to Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services, citing numerous issues and assorted errors. Below is this afternoon's announcement by the postal Board of Governors:

"The Postal Service Governors decided today to delay the implementation of new market-dominant and competitive rates and classification changes until all of our proposed market-dominant changes are approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”). ;This decision was primarily motivated by a desire to eliminate potential adverse impacts on postal customers that might result from a staggered implementation of our new prices.  After considering the complexity of the required programming changes in view of the remand of some of our proposed changes by the Postal Regulatory Committee, the specific complications that our customers might face; the potential cost to the supply chain as a whole of a staggered implementation, the Postal Service has decided to delay implementation until all of our proposed rates and classification changes can be implemented at one time.

"While proposed prices for First Class Mail, Special Services and Competitive Products have all been approved by the PRC, prices for the Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services classes have twice been remanded back to the Postal Service by the PRC for a wide array of technical and other concerns that are primarily related to the complexities of the price cap and the manner in which it is calculated.  Rather than subject our customers to a piecemeal implementation of our new prices, the Postal Service has decided that the best course of action would be to wait until our complete price proposal is approved by our regulator.  We have no desire to saddle our valued customers with the additional costs and burdens of a staggered implementation while we work with the PRC to obtain final approval of our remaining prices.  We will set a new implementation date when we propose new prices for Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services in response to the PRC’s March 18th remand order."

Friday, March 06, 2015

PRC Rejects Proposed USPS Rate Increases

March 6, 2015. According to the American Catalog Mailers Assoc, "The Postal Regulatory Commission today rejected proposed rates for Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services, contending that the prices in the USPS proposal from January 15th "do not comply with certain statutory and regulatory requirements and are therefore remanded to the Postal Service for further action.”

According to many long-time postal observers, this was the most poorly prepared rate filing in memory, containing mixed pricing signals and shifts of workload that may create inefficiencies for both USPS and mailers. Highlights from the PRC's Order:
  • PRC determines that the unequal commercial and nonprofit discounts in Standard Mail must be made equal or justified.
  • PRC finds that, without adequate justification, several Standard Mail workshare discounts exceed 100% of avoided costs.
  • The Postal Service must review and resubmit its proposal, including amending rates and Mail Classification language to remedy deficiencies described in the Order, and respond by March 12th.
Whether the Postal Service can make this happen in time for the new rates to be implemented by April 26th as originally intended is questionable. ACMA (and for that matter, the entire mailing industry) has been working diligently since January to understand all implications of the structural changes and new regulations being promulgated.

The entire Postal Service filing, including new FSS rates it contains, represents significant current and long-term changes and challenges for catalog mailers. There are many issues in play that must be satisfactorily resolved. You can expect spirited discussions with postal executives about the rate case at the 2015 National Catalog Forum, April 7-9. We hope you will join us in Washington as we work towards getting these issues resolved. In the meantime, we will monitor this situation and keep you posted as it develops.

Dydacomp is now FreeStyle Solutions

On March 3, 2015, Dydacomp officially changed its name to Freestyle Solutions.  

All personnel, products, phone numbers, and business operations will remain the same – just the name is changing.  

The company remains committed to long-term support for M.O.M., SiteLINK, BizSyncXL and their various services. 

According to the company's press release: 

“We believe that it is important to brand ourselves consistently with the vision and direction that we are taking the company,” announced Fred Lizza, CEO, Freestyle Solutions.  “The majority of new sales growth for small and mid-size merchants now comes from eCommerce channels.  Our customers seek the newest technologies with the power and flexibility to meet their unique business needs. By focusing on these areas, we’re really giving our clients the keys to drive success.”
In 2014, the company announced the General Availability of Freestyle Commerce, the latest cloud-based innovation. Freestyle is tightly integrated with leading third-party eCommerce platforms, including Magento and Amazon, providing always up-to-date business insight needed to grow sales.
Freestyle Solutions will continue to provide Multichannel Order Manager [M.O.M.] to retailers and etailers that prefer an on-premise solution and for those where the feature set of M.O.M. suit their business requirements.

Friday, February 20, 2015

SSL no longer acceptable for data protection, PCI SSC says

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has announced that no version of secure sockets layer (SSL) technology meets its definition of "strong cryptography." Accordingly, it will need to revise its Data Security Standard and Payment Application Data Security Standards.
According to a PCI press release, the announcement was based on finding by the National Institute of Standards and Technology that the Secure Socket Layers v3.0 protocol is no longer acceptable for protection of data due to inherent weaknesses within the protocol.
With no known way to remediate vulnerabilities in the SSL protocol, the PCI SSC is urging organizations to work with IT departments and partners to determine whether they are using SSL and what options they have for upgrading to a strong cryptographic protocol as soon as possible.
Once published, PCI DSS v3.1 will be effective immediately, however, affected requirements will be future-dated to allow organizations time to implement the changes.
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