SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

April 19, 2007 10:31 ET

Executive Visibility of Plant Floor Data Is a Key Differentiator for Improving Performance

Automated Data Collection, Real Time Visibility, ERP Integration, and Executive Visibility Facilitate Best-in-Class Performance

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 19, 2007 -- Through the analysis of over 150 plant floor data management initiatives, a new benchmark report titled, "The Enterprise Value of Plant Floor Visibility," by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), has correlated very specific business capabilities to Best-in-Class operational performance. For the purposes of this study, Aberdeen has evaluated and classified manufacturers based on five key performance indicators: On Time Delivery, Average Number of Stock Outs, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Direct Material Usage Variance, and Throughput. Best-in-Class manufacturers are defined as the top 20% of performers in a weighted average across the aforementioned five KPIs and results show that Best-in-Class manufacturers are:

--  31% more likely than other manufacturers to have integrated plant
    floor data with ERP.
--  26% more likely than other manufacturers to be providing plant floor
    data to executive decision makers.
--  Four times more likely than other manufacturers to be utilizing MI/MPM
    and 40% more likely to have real time plant floor data capabilities.
    
Putting these findings in context Matthew Littlefield, a Manufacturing Research Analyst with the Aberdeen Group, states, "Best-in-Class manufacturers are 15% more likely to be utilizing plant floor data that has been collected from an automated source. This data is 40% more likely to have been collected in real time and 31% more likely to have been integrated with ERP. Best-in-Class manufacturers, in regards to enterprise organization and knowledge management, are 13% more likely to manage plant floor data initiatives at the corporate level and are 26% more likely to give executive decision makers plant floor visibility."

Based on the above findings Littlefield adds the following recommendations for action:

--  To solidify corporate buy in and ownership of plant floor data
    management initiatives collected data should be integrated with ERP.
--  Manufacturers should utilize an automated visualization and analytics
    solution to provide plant floor visibility to executive decision makers.
--  Manufacturers should utilize an automated plant floor data collection
    solution to provide real time plant floor data visibility.
--  Best-in-Class manufacturers are four times more likely to be utilizing
    Manufacturing Intelligence solutions.  Manufacturers should consider
    adopting this type of solution and utilizing the technology to implement
    the above three recommendations.
    
More than 150 manufacturers participated in the study, including: Ford, Intel, NCR Corporation, Unisys, Bose, Philips, Merck Pharmaceutical, Bombardier, Pfizer, Kraft Foods, Inc. Bosch Rxroth GmbH, The Washington Post.

This study is made available to the public through the underwriting of: SAP, Plexus, Invensys, Rockwell Automation, Shoplogix.

To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=3950

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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