SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

September 08, 2009 10:00 ET

ERP Provides Critical Process Visibility for Mid-Market Firms

Top Performers Slash Costs and Gain Valuable Insight

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 8, 2009) - In the annual "ERP Mid-Market" study announced by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), increased global competition combined with rising costs drove mid-size companies (companies with revenues between $50 million and $1 billion) to use resources more efficiently, meet tighter delivery schedules, and improve overall responsiveness. Adding to the complexity of the mid-market business environment, mid-market businesses are becoming more distributed. The average number of operating locations within the mid-market supported by ERP grew year over year by 39%, from 4 to 5.6. We see the number of operating locations increasing steadily up to the $250 million threshold and then hitting a plateau as companies scale to $1 billion. For growing companies in the lower end of the mid-market, this signals a hotbed of change complete with opportunities as well as challenges.

While greater operational distribution can negatively impact internal costs, top performing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementations eliminated (or redeployed) 13 full time employees and reduced both administrative and manufacturing operational costs by 17%.

"Faced with increasing complexity, top performing mid-size companies look to ERP solutions to drive more value by standardizing, streamlining, and automating critical processes while providing the visibility they need to make well-informed decisions quickly and efficiently," said Cindy Jutras, vice president and research fellow, Aberdeen. "Without effective visibility into processes, mid-market companies are severely limited in their ability to adapt to and maneuver within an increasingly complex and dynamic competitive environment."

The study goes on to reveal that only the top performing companies significantly improved in providing full visibility into the status of all processes from quote to cash (40% had this capability last year compared to 53% this year). The remaining 80% of survey respondents made virtually no progress year over year in achieving this capability (30% last year compared to 31% this year.) Moving forward, it is important for mid-market companies to not lose sight of the importance of process visibility nor ERP's role in providing that visibility.

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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.

© 2009 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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