SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

September 10, 2008 11:00 ET

Process Collaboration in Multi-Enterprise Supply Chains

Best-in-Class Companies Are Two Times More Likely to Excel in Process Collaboration

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 10, 2008) - Businesses are finding an increasing need for multi-enterprise supply chains, or business networks, to be focused on process integration and collaboration, according to the benchmark report titled "Process Collaboration in Multi-Enterprise Supply Chains" by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS). This is due to a variety of business pressures such as rising costs, global competition, and the need for reduced cycle times. Working in a multi-enterprise supply chain world requires bi-directional electronic connectivity (referred to as process integration in our research), as well as process collaboration to succeed. Process collaboration is an advanced stage of process integration which includes not just data transfer but also includes business processes that span the collaborating enterprises. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5291.

Illustrating the importance of these dynamics, benchmark data from a recent survey of over 117 companies shows the following trends:

--  68% of companies reported an increased emphasis on customer
    collaboration over the last two years whereas 2% reported a decrease
    
--  74% of companies reported an increased emphasis on supplier
    collaboration over the last two years whereas 0% reported a decrease
    

Best-in-Class companies are determined based on business performance and are:

--  Two times as likely to have stronger capabilities in collaborating
    with suppliers and customers
    
--  Two times as likely to have ability to support unique business
    processes for selective product categories, customers or channels
    
--  1.5 times as likely to look at process integration and collaboration
    in a holistic approach rather than in a siloed manner
    
--  Four times as likely to have enhanced visibility into the performance
    of business processes
    

Best-in-Class companies are ahead in terms of both process integration (data connectivity) as well as process collaboration (enabling business processes across multiple enterprises) as compared to all other companies.

"The lengthening of supply chains at both the suppliers and the customers' side of the equation has resulted in an increased need for both structured and unstructured collaboration. Structured collaboration refers to traditional approaches of creating a standardized and parameterized business process for which electronic connectivity approaches such as EDI, XML, AS2, etc., are used. Unstructured collaboration refers to creating semi-standardized business processes using internet and telecommunication tools," according to Nari Viswanathan, Research Director, Supply Chain Management and author of the report.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Extol and Crossgate. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5291.

To access all of Aberdeen's complimentary research please visit http://research.aberdeen.com.

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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