SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

August 12, 2008 11:50 ET

58% of Leading Service Firms Are Integrating Parts Planning and Forecasting, Inventory Management and Logistics

Leading Firms Reduce Out-of-Stock Incidence by 11% Over Past Two Years

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - August 12, 2008) - Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), released new research today, reporting that the drive for increased service efficiency is leading service executives to consider solutions that create seamless linkage between service parts planning and forecasting initiatives and "last-mile" parts execution and logistics activities.

The report provides insight into how organizations are looking holistically at their service supply chain for ways to ensure they have the right part at the right location at the right time to fulfill service requests without carrying needless safety stock or managing large excess part inventories.

The Aberdeen survey of 150 service firms conducted in June 2008 found that the top goal facing organizations is the need to improve customer satisfaction. To support that goal, almost 60% of leading companies are adopting strategic actions to create a totally integrated service workflow, from parts forecasting and planning through logistics and distribution. This report also studies how leading firms are using technology and optimizing processes to better manage the flow of parts.

Survey results showed that the leading firms were more than twice as likely as all other firms to have centralized their service functions, including parts forecasting, procurement, inventory management, and logistics distribution. They also were more than twice as likely as all other firms to measure their parts performance in real time -- and take necessary action. Success characteristics of these leading firms include:

--  a 4.9 rating (1 to 5 scale) in customer retention
--  a 3.7 rating (1 to 5 scale) in spare parts inventory performance
--  an 11% decrease in out-of-stock incidence over the past two years
--  a 5% decrease in parts logistics costs over the past two years
    

"This report, the first to cover the topic of parts management in such detail, provides a benchmark against which firms can measure themselves," stated Jack McAvoy, Research Director, Aberdeen Group. "Post-sales service organizations realize that success requires an effective balance of resources, both people and parts, which can be brought together in a cost-efficient manner to deliver service. Forecasting the right level of spare part requirements as well as engaging the systems necessary to manage the distribution of spare parts to service technicians or customers is a critical driver of service performance and operational excellence."

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Flash Global Logistics and Click Commerce. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5120.

To access all of Aberdeen's complimentary research please visit http://research.aberdeen.com.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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