SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

March 06, 2007 12:59 ET

Synchronizing BOM Configurations Across Product Lifecycle Helps Manufacturers Hit Metrics Driving Product Profitability 89% or More of the Time

Top Performers Expanding Configuration Management Beyond Bills of Material -- Including More Product Information and Reaching Further Upstream and Downstream in the Product Lifecycle

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 6, 2007 -- Manufacturers that are best-in-class at configuration management (CM) achieve higher metrics in key targets that drive product profitability, according to a new study, "The Configuration Management Benchmark Report: Formalizing and Extending CM to Drive Quality" from Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS). On average, compared to the poorest performers, the best-in-class are twice as likely to meet their product quality targets, 125% more likely to meet their product launch dates, and almost three times more likely to hit their product lifecycle cost targets.

"Three practices are driving this competitive advantage," said Jim Brown, Vice President of Aberdeen's Product Innovation research and report author. "These leaders are expanding CM beyond bills of material (BOMs) to upstream and downstream stages in the product lifecycle and to more product-related information, for example, to product documentation, manufacturing instructions, electronic design, and specifications. They also are formalizing CM processes and automating them with product lifecycle management (PLM) and specialty CM solutions."

In particular, report findings show that best-in-class companies are:

--  Twice as likely to leverage centralized product data to control
    product configurations and to use specialty CM solutions.
--  38% more likely to have standardized processes for developing and
    maintaining product data such as BOMs
--  Twice as likely to have standardized processes for managing product
--  80% more likely to have formal, standardized processes for
    communicating BOM and product configuration changes downstream.
The report is made available to the public for free through the underwriting of CMstat, IIS, Omnify Software, PTC, SAP, and UGS. To download a complimentary copy of the report, please 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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