SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

July 10, 2007 14:00 ET

Optimizing Inventory Management and Supply Chain Finance Practices Improves Working Capital Metrics; Technology Plays an Important Role

Sixty-Five Percent of 400 Supply Chain and Finance Professionals Surveyed Say Working Capital Optimization Is a High Priority for Their Company

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - July 10, 2007) - Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), has just released the latest benchmark report on working capital optimization based on a survey of 400 supply chain and finance professionals. This report helps companies identify best practices in moving from working capital optimization theory to practical initiatives that can improve their corporate financial performance.

The top 20% of performers (named Best-in-Class) exhibit noticeable differences in financial metrics compared to the rest of survey respondents (Industry Average and Laggard firms): the cash conversion cycle of the Best-in-Class companies in this study is 5-6 times shorter than that of Average and Lagging companies.

Best-in-Class companies differ significantly in their use of innovative supply chain/inventory and finance strategies and new-generation technologies.

Best-in-Class companies are:

--  Almost twice as likely as Laggards to be using an inventory
    optimization tool
--  2.4 times as likely as Laggards to be using inventory collaboration
    technology
--  1.6 times as likely as Laggards to be using supply chain/inventory
    visibility technology
--  More than twice as likely as Laggards to be using working capital/
    cash management tools and the supporting business analytics
--  Twice as likely as Laggards to have access to
    receivables/payables/inventory financing at various stages in their supply
    chains.
    
"Supply chain, procurement and finance professionals have an opportunity to use new approaches to working capital management to create a business advantage for their companies. Based on the survey results, technology has emerged as a very important factor in driving long-term working capital improvement," says Viktoriya Sadlovska, supply chain finance and global trade research analyst at Aberdeen. "The top performers are using working capital optimization to fuel growth initiatives at their organizations."

This study is made available to the public through the underwriting of: ABN AMRO, TradeBeam, BMO Capital Markets, Citi, IBM Global Financing, Ariba.

Download a complimentary report copy at: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=3996

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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