SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

July 11, 2007 13:00 ET

Companies Gain Significant Financial Performance Achievements Through Executive S&OP

Creation of a Profit Optimized Supply-Demand Balanced Plan, Usage of Demand Forecasting Technology, Focusing on Process Re-Engineering Initiatives Are the Top Three Focus Areas Within the Executive S&OP

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - July 11, 2007) - A recent benchmark report by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS) on the Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) practices of 380 companies delivered findings on the differentiating characteristics of those companies with respect to their executive S&OP processes that are able to achieve a simultaneous reduction in costs as well as increase in top line revenue. This report is a continuation of Aberdeen's research on how companies need to evolve their S&OP processes toward Integrated Business Planning.

Best-in-Class companies were defined based on improvements in key metrics like gross margin, logistics costs as a % of sales, complete order fill rate and average forecast accuracy at a product family level. Best-in-Class companies were identified as having the following differentiating characteristics:

--  Best-in-Class companies are nearly 2 times as likely as the rest to
    have a monthly cycle of S&OP planning as compared to all others.
--  Best-in-Class companies are 2 times more likely to have the ability to
    create multiple scenarios to analyze the S&OP plan than all others.
--  Best-in-Class companies are nearly 4 times as likely as the rest to
    have a well integrated S&OP architecture as compared to all others.
--  Best-in-Class companies are 1.8 times more likely than all others to
    have a full-time S&OP coordinator managing the S&OP process.
--  Best-in-Class companies are 2.2 times more likely than all others to
    have the ability to continuously monitor the S&OP output to ensure plan

"The executive S&OP process is an area where companies are getting a significant competitive differentiator," says Nari Viswanathan, research director of the supply chain and logistics practice for Aberdeen. "It is important for companies to be aware of the process capabilities like scenario analysis, constraint management and business simulation that these Best-in-Class companies have invested in to achieve these advantages."

This study is made available to the public through the underwriting of: Atos Consulting, Infor, Kineticsware, Steelwedge Software, and Symphony Metreo.

To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit:

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.

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