SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

October 09, 2008 16:08 ET

Visibility Plays a Key Role in Building a Responsive Supply Chain, Finds a New Research Study

Aberdeen Surveys 349 Companies to Identify Their Levels of Supply Chain Agility and Responsiveness, and the Impact of Visibility on These Key Operational Elements

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - October 9, 2008) - A new research study announced by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), shows that visibility into inventory, supplier and order events, and trade documents, among other milestones, helps companies make their supply chain execution processes more flexible and responsive.

"Visibility-empowered supply chain managers can be more flexible in performing the necessary 'agility actions' -- such as shipment re-routing due to demand changes or infrastructure disruptions, expedited shipping of late shipments, cross-docking and distribution center by-pass strategies, vendor-managed inventory programs and more," said Viktoriya Sadlovska, research analyst, Aberdeen. "In addition, these companies are better able to inform or warn their customers about potential delivery delays, capacity issues and other supply chain disruptions, allowing them to work out acceptable issue resolution while maintaining high customer service levels."

To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5300.

This study's findings show that granular supply chain visibility is a key component of the infrastructure needed to build an agile and responsive supply chain network.

Best-in-Class companies in this study are more likely to:

--  Access the needed supply chain information in a timely matter,
    
--  Report a higher quality of data collected,
    
--  Have visibility into in-transit shipments, supply chain disruptions
    and accrued supply chain costs.
    

Best-in-Class companies have more flexibility in enabling a responsive supply chain execution process; they are:

--  About 30% more likely than Laggards to have the ability to do cross-
    docking or treat in-transit inventory as available for safety stock
    calculation purposes
    
--  37% more likely than Laggards to have the ability to redirect in-
    transit shipments to higher points of demand and 28% more likely than
    Laggards to have the ability to carry out threshold-enabled supply chain
    decision making
    

The report provides recommendations for companies on:

--  Finding points in the supply chain network where increased flexibility
    and responsiveness could bring the most operational improvement
    
--  Using visibility data to enable "agility actions" for responsive
    supply chain execution
    
--  Using visibility data for improving supply chain risk management and
    reducing supply chain disruptions
    

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part to the following underwriters: CargoSmart, GT Nexus, ClearTrack, Inovis, Manhattan Associates. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5300.

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.

© 2008 AberdeenGroup, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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Boston, Massachusetts  02210-1928
Telephone: (617)854-5200
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