Saturday, March 21, 2009

Supplier-Direct Fulfillment Strategy

As the US government rushes to implement its economic stimulus package and the economy continues to slow, merchants need a strategy to manage the high cost of carrying inventory and control its impact on operating costs. CommerceHub, the Supply-on-Demand platform for supply chain integration and fulfillment solutions, has developed an industry report, "Managing the High Cost of Inventory in Today’s Challenging Economy," on implementing or expanding a Supplier-Direct Fulfillment (SDF) strategy to control the high cost of inventory and logistics.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Parcelnet in UK Rebrands as Hermes

Parcelnet, the UK's largest home delivery courier network, is to be rebranded as Hermes following the decision last year to integrate the company into a newly-formed European services division. The move is part of an ongoing strategy to build a sustainable international business and create the first cross-border business-to-consumer delivery solution.

Direct catalog retailers JD Williams and Lands’ End have become the first companies to use the new service, with consumer goods collected in the UK for onward delivery to private addresses across Germany.

This development will see the company become an integral part of a new international operation that combined already handles 22 per cent of all home deliveries across Europe, and is designed to take advantage of a growing market that is forecasted to almost double in value to €10.5bn by 2016. Hermes Logistik Gruppe, the largest home delivery service in Germany and a leading operator in Austria, is working with other key businesses within France and Italy to create a single branded presence across all major European markets.

The rebranding represents the next stage of the newly-named Hermes’ development, enabling it to benefit from greater investment in IT and infrastructure. For example, electronic signature capture will be introduced across all services to meet customer demand for real-time tracking of parcels, and a new head office and a national hub will open later this year. A wider service offering will also be introduced, including the cross-border delivery solution and a next-day service in the UK.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

ProSource Acquires nFocus

ProSource Development has acquired nFocus Technologies and announced that the companies will be merging to provide strategic solutions to the global Microsoft user community.

nFocus provides US sales and system support for Omnica, a UK-based multichannel order management and fulfillment solution on the Microsoft Dynamics/AX platform.

FedEx Profit Plummets, Announces Cost Cuts

MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 19, 2009 -- FedEx Corp. today reported earnings of $0.31 per diluted share for the third quarter ended February 28, compared to $1.26 per diluted share a year ago.

"Our financial performance was sharply lower during the quarter due to the global recession," said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer. "While we are gaining market share in all of our transportation segments, the downturn in our industry and the severity and expected duration of the recession require that we take additional actions."

Cost-Reduction Actions

In light of the continuing deterioration in the global economy, FedEx will implement additional cost-reduction initiatives, both in the U.S. and internationally. These measures include the following:

* Network capacity reductions at FedEx Express and FedEx Freight
* Further reduction of personnel and work hours
* Expansion of previously announced pay actions to include non-U.S. employees, where permitted
* Streamlining of information technology systems and other internal processes
* Additional reductions in other spending categories
* Increased economies in the acquisition of goods and services

These cost-reduction actions are expected to result in fourth quarter charges of approximately $100 million, excluding any potential asset impairment charges. For fiscal 2010, these actions are targeted to reduce expenses by approximately $1.0 billion.

"Our goal when we implemented compensation reductions in January for U.S. salaried personnel was to both protect our business and minimize the loss of jobs,” said Smith. "With industrial production and global trade trends worsening since last quarter, we are applying these additional measures to continue to secure as many of our jobs as possible during this downturn. We remain focused on providing outstanding service, and will ensure that our actions do not impede our industry-leading customer experience."


FedEx expects earnings to be $0.45 to $0.70 per diluted share in the fourth quarter, excluding any one-time charges. Earnings in last year’s fourth quarter were $1.45 per diluted share, excluding a charge of $891 million ($696 million, net of tax, or $2.22 per diluted share) related predominately to non-cash asset impairment charges associated with the decision to minimize the use of the Kinko’s trade name and a reduction in the value of the goodwill resulting from the Kinko’s acquisition. This outlook assumes continued weak global macroeconomic conditions and stable fuel prices.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Training Course on PCI Compliance

The PCI Security Standards Council is offering a two-day training course in Chicago, April 6-7.

The course is based directly on the PCI SSC Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) training program. Attendees will learn what the QSAs learn so they can better prepare for an on-site PCI DSS assessment or perform the assessment internally. This is not a certification course.

The course will cover: an overview of the PCI Program, Scoping a PCI DSS Assessment, PCI DSS v1.2 Requirements, and Compensating Controls.

In addition to the QSA training materials, the Standards training course will also cover how to develop an internal PCI DSS compliance program to sustain PCI compliance after the on-site assessment is complete. The PCI DSS Compliance module will discuss how to develop an internal compliance program, sustain PCI DSS compliance and discuss security best practices outside of PCI DSS to improve the merchants overall security program.

For further information, see PCI Training Course.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

UK Job Seekers Get Free Ads

Jane Revell-Higgins, publisher of Catalogue & eBusiness Magazine, is offering job seekers from the catalogue/multi-channel sector in the UK free ads in the CataloguesCatalogues weekly enewsletter.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Congress Mulls Greater Web Privacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top U.S. lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday said he is working to develop a bill to impose mandatory guidelines on Internet companies to protect user privacy, because the current voluntary approach is falling short.

Rep. Rick Boucher, a Democrat from Virginia that heads the telecommunications subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, described his intent as imposing "mandatory guidelines applicable to all Websites."

Privacy advocates say regulations on big Internet and phone companies are too lax, giving the firms excessive control over consumers' personal information.

"I do believe that there should be a minimum set of statutory requirements that should apply to all behavioral advertising," the congressman said in an interview with Reuters.

He said he is working very closely with Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns and Rep. Joe Barton, ranking Republicans on the subcommittee and full committee, respectively.

"We will be doing this together," he said.

Congress is evidently motivated by Google's announcement of a new plan to target consumers using so-called behavioral advertising, in which a content company, Internet service provider, or intermediary firm tracks an individual's online use over time to target ads. In Google's case, their strategy puts to use the resources from last year's Doubleclick acquisition.

"We believe that ads are a valuable source of information — one that can connect people to the advertisers offering products, services and ideas that interest them," said Susan Wojcicki, VP, product management at Google, in a blog post that broke the news. "By making ads more relevant, and improving the connection between advertisers and our users, we can create more value for everyone. Users get more useful ads, and these more relevant ads generate higher returns for advertisers and publishers."

Boucher said he did not have all the details he needed on the plan. But he said he will judge it based on how prominent the notice of Google's policy is displayed, how concisely it is stated, and how understandable it is to consumers.
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