If it’s a trade show, you can be sure the industry vendors are out in abundance with products and services. This year is no different.
* Atlanta-based supply chain solutions provider Manhattan Associates has a new stand-alone forecasting product that helps companies balance inventory levels and customer demand.
The Demand Forecasting product analyzes seasonal profiling and exceptions processes to optimize demand history and create more-accurate forecasts, enabling businesses to increase efficiency, reduce inventory levels, and decrease stock-outs. It also helps with analyze demand anomalies caused by promotional activities, entry errors, markdowns, weather, and outside events that can cause out-of-the-ordinary spikes or dips in sales patterns.
According to Rod Daugherty, Manhattan Associates’ director of product strategy forecasting, the product is designed for businesses that have at least $250 million in annual sales. Costs of the system run in the six figures but vary depending on the business’s size and volume.
The user can also set rules based on seasonal change in its business. For example, an office supply company during tax time might have an eight-week spike in its business. You could tell the system to update every week from December through March and be sensitive to changes in demand. After the season passes, the forecast can change every four weeks.
* Not to be outdone, Atlanta-based ABOL Software has partnered with Palo Alto, CA-based Endicia Label Server to allow customers to produce prepaid USPS shipping labels with tracking and postage from any computer with a Web browser and printer.
ABOL has providing software solutions to the logistics and transportation industry for more than a decade, specializing in custom manifest systems as well as tracking, billing, customer service, business support, and data exchange services through complementary product and service offerings.
The Endicia Label Server uses XML Web services, which allow ABOL to support USPS shipping without forcing end users to install new software or change their workflow. The system produces an integrated label image, complete with postage, delivery/return addresses, and delivery confirmation or Express Mail barcodes.
* Totowa, NJ-based Dydacomp, the makers of the Mail Order Manager software, unveils an address correction and verification service that helps users mail more accurately. The address correction and verification service integrates with Mail Order Manager during order entry and order imports for preparation of mailing campaigns. The address correction service uses logic to compare the entered mailing address details against the Postal Service databases to identify and correct incorrect addresses.
* Skyrocketing fuel surcharges and supplemental charges from carriers getting you down? Looking Glass Technologies’ Prism product details line-item charges. The company says the product will uncover billing discrepancies and identify self-inflicted and external errors. Prism can handle reporting across the following categories: address corrections, commercial-to-residential rating adjustments and additional handling charges, carrier account usage, and third-party account usage. * The March merger between Denver-based Cadre Technologies and Lenexa, KS-based LDS Corp. has created the largest software provider to the third-party logistics industry, with more than 200 North American customers. Cadre Technologies’ Cadence is a single system that consolidates logistics activities such as warehouse management, order entry, transportation management, and activity billing. Cadence also integrates speech-directed warehouse activities with barcode scanning and browser-based keypad input on a single wireless mobile computer. LDS’s AccuPlus is a warehouse logistics system that manages warehouse operations, activity billing, inventory, and shipments; LogiView is a Microsoft.NET-based hosted Web application that provides real-time inventory-monitoring information across multiple warehouses and shipments; and Verus is a Microsoft-based warehouse management system.
* Miami-based Computer Solutions, an order management software provider, had its first installation of its Windows-based software solution for mail order and catalog companies, Direct 500. Like MAS 500 from Sage Software, with which Computer Solutions partnered, Direct 500 is designed and built with Microsoft tools, technology, and architecture. The software is deployed with an SQL server. All Direct 500 enhancements were developed in the MAS 500 toolset.
* Easton, PA-based SI Systems, a leading supplier of “smart” material-handling solutions, has introduced a sophisticated software tool that maximizes efficiencies in every picking system housed in a distribution center. DC Xcellerator analyzes the full range of picking systems–manual, semiautomatic, and automatic. The system recommends adjustments in product placement, machinery, and personnel to optimize picking configurations. The system also reviews information throughout the day and imports orders and data, as well as saves historical data and tracks them to the day level, the product level, the location level, and the machine level. The software can analyze data for an entire year or over a specific time period.