SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

March 23, 2011 10:00 ET

Columbus IT, Aberdeen Group Launch Benchmarking Tool to Support Discrete Manufacturers

Tool Generates Downloadable Report With Customized Recommendations

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) - Columbus IT, a developer of software solutions for the manufacturing and distribution industries, has partnered with research firm Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), to develop an online tool to help manufacturers highlight the areas of their business where they can drive the greatest operational efficiencies.

Aberdeen's past research into manufacturing organizations will be used to help companies compare their IT operations with similarly sized firms. This enables them to benchmark themselves against companies considered best-in-class, based on Aberdeen's research data.

"As a leading business application consultancy, we're always looking for ways to bring high value to the markets we serve," stated Cody R. Aufricht, Vice President of Marketing at Columbus IT. "This assessment tool delivers our clients an immediately downloadable report, with customized recommendations from Aberdeen, at no cost."

The assessment tool uses Aberdeen's PACE™ (Pressures, Actions, Capabilities & Enablers) research model. By completing a 10-15 minute online survey participants receive a personalized analysis of how their organization compares to industry peers, and helps them to quickly identify key capabilities and technologies used by companies with top performance.

"We evaluate and classify manufacturers based on a variety of important performance indicators such as On-time and Complete Shipments, OEE, Successful New Product Introductions, and Profitability," said Matthew Littlefield, a Senior Research Analyst with the Aberdeen Group's Global Manufacturing Practice. "We assess the use of methodologies such as Lean and Continuous Improvement and help manufacturers improve business processes."

Littlefield adds, "We are also able to correlate performance against the use of specific technology enablers and make specific recommendations for manufacturers to improve visibility and overall performance. The report that is provided at the end of the assessment will allow manufacturers the ability to see where they fall in comparison to top ranked companies, build a business case for new initiatives or investment, and map out an action plan to improve."

The assessment, based on a 15-minute survey, is part of Aberdeen's Assessment Tool Series, which was launched in 2004.

To find out more about the tool please visit www.columbusit.com

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company
Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is 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 or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

About Columbus IT
Columbus IT is the go-to Microsoft partner for companies that compete in the Manufacturing and Distribution sectors throughout the world. Only Columbus IT leverages their own award-winning software with leading Microsoft applications, custom application development and industry-specific process knowledge to provide manufacturers the solutions they need to reduce operating costs and increase profits.

Columbus IT employs more than 1,000 staff operating in 27 countries and with a total customer base of more than 5,000 medium-sized, enterprise and international companies. Read more at www.columbusit.com.

(C) 2011 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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