SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

January 10, 2008 10:00 ET

The 2008 State of the Market in Supply Chain Finance

Supply Chain Finance Is Actively Used by 15% of Enterprises Surveyed; Additional 58% Are Currently Planning More Active Use or Investigating Options

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 10, 2008) - A new research study, "The 2008 State of the Market in Supply Chain Finance," benchmarks the trends in supply chain finance (SCF) over the past 15 months and shows that there has been a slight increase in practical activity in SCF compared to 2006. The report, announced by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), notes that despite the general awareness among corporate professionals that SCF holds a promise of savings and improved financial supply chain efficiencies, there is still a lack of best practice examples and guidelines for the corporate community to follow to improve SCF practices.

For the first time this year, both buyers and suppliers responding to the survey reported that the lack of knowledge of supply chain finance best practices was the key challenge to optimizing their SCF practices. "This finding shows that companies have not yet fully realized the potential of supply chain finance techniques in helping manage the end-to-end supply chain," said Viktoriya Sadlovska, a research analyst at Aberdeen who authored the report. "Aberdeen's research studies in 2006 and 2007 have shown that Best-in-Class supply chain finance users have been able to use both financing and technological capabilities to help them achieve competitive advantage. However, a number of challenges are still preventing many companies from successfully using these practices, including the lack of purchase-to-pay process automation, poor collaboration between supply chain partners, high cost of financing for certain companies/industries and the still-evolving market of available solutions."

Best-in-Class firms in this study (in comparison to Laggards) are:

--  1.8-times as likely to have online visibility into shipment status and
    in-transit inventory, and are 1.5-times as likely to have online visibility
    into financial supply chain events
--  More than twice as likely to use an Electronic Invoice Presentment and
    Payment (EIPP) system, and are 1.7-times as likely to use an automated
    platform to manage accounts receivable or accounts payable transactions
--  1.6-times as likely to have cross-functional goals and metrics in
    place for finance, purchasing, and supply chain
    

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part to the following underwriters: Sungard and Ariba. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4169.

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.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112
Telephone: (617) 723-7890
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