SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

May 03, 2007 11:42 ET

Seventy Percent (70%) of Best-in-Class Companies Use Integrated ERP to Optimize the Order to Cash Cycle

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 3, 2007 -- The majority (70%) of Best-in-Class (BIC) enterprises take an integrated approach to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation, including order entry, procurement, production (or fulfillment), and financial management, according to a new report from Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS). The latest ERP benchmark report from Aberdeen, titled "The Order to Cash Cycle: Integrating Business Processes to Improve Operational Performance" also found that (77%) of BIC companies are using automated workflows to initiate steps in the order to cash cycle such as converting quotes to orders, credit checking, releasing orders to production or fulfillment, scheduling shipments, invoicing, and cash collection.

"Many companies today still operate in functional or departmental silos. Wherever there is a hand off between departments, functional areas, or even individuals, there is the potential for the ball to be dropped," said Cindy Jutras, vice president and service director for ERP, Aberdeen. "In order to ensure this does not happen, the following questions must be addressed: When an order is entered, what triggers the production planners to incorporate the actual demand into the production schedule or the service into the delivery schedule? When an order is completed, what triggers the delivery? When a product is shipped, what triggers the invoicing process and the collection of cash? Each of these functions will involve different departments, and thus, different individuals."

Best-in-Class enterprises showed improvement in the following four key performance indicator (KPI) areas over the past year with current results averaging:

--  97% complete and on-time shipments
--  98% inventory accuracy
--  51% have a days sales outstanding (DSO) rate of less than 30 days and
    80% have a DSO rate of less than 40 days
--  37% are able to invoice within one day of completed work and 80% are
    able to invoice within three days
To achieve Best-in-Class performance, enterprises must:
--  Take an integrated approach to ERP implementation
--  Standardize enterprise-wide procedures for order and credit
    management, planning and production (or fulfillment), and cash management
--  Replace manual hand-offs between individuals and departments with
    automated workflows
This study is made available to the public through the underwriting of: Exact Software, Infor, SAP and Lawson.

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.

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) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to

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