Inovis and afterBOT, Inc. Partner to Drive Supply Chain Collaboration with Point-of-Sale Data Visibility-- Long-standing Inovis client, Dillard's, contracts with afterBOT to become first retailer to leverage joint solution --
ATLANTA/CHICAGO (Retail Systems 2006 Conference & Exposition - Booth #532) (May 22, 2006) - Inovis and afterBOT® Inc. today announced a strategic partnership to give retailers and suppliers greater visibility of point-of-sale (POS) activity across the supply chain. The joint solution, which integrates Inovis Catalogue&trade, Inovisworks&trade and afterBOT's TransAccess platform, will enable retailers and suppliers to link real-time POS data with accurate item attribute information in the Inovis Catalogue.
Dillard's, Inc., one of the nation's largest department stores, will be the first retailer to use the joint solution to extend its existing supplier extranet. With the hosted solution, retailers and suppliers will be able to more effectively collaborate through web access to a broader scope of more detailed sales, stock and product attribute data. The combination of these data sources and additional analytic capabilities will deliver better fulfillment, trending, sales velocity, and overall store-level visibility for all supply chain participants.
"Inovis seeks opportunities to innovate and extend the benefits of our services and solutions across broad supply chains," said Sean Feeney, president and CEO of Inovis. "The afterBOT partnership capitalizes on the core strength of data synchronization within our retail industry leading data pool - accurate product data on over 100 million items. The value of this clean data in combination with afterBOT's technology is that retailers and suppliers will be able to more fully leverage sales activity data collection for shared benefits in supply chain collaboration, operational efficiency and business planning."
"The partnership with Inovis is a solid fit because both organizations focus on connecting retailers and vendors to streamline process and data management as well as delivery and communication," said John Simon, CEO of afterBOT, Inc. "Inovis' strong roster of brand name retailers gives us an opportunity to deploy the solution with multiple retailers, which will give suppliers access to an industry standard extranet to see their sales and stock performance across retailers, markets and products. The new relationship between afterBOT and a forward thinking technology leader like Dillard's is an important step towards executing the vision we share with Inovis."
Industry-wide Collaboration Breakdowns
In a November 2005 report titled "The State Of Manufacturer And Retailer Collaboration - A Shared Strategy Study With Consumer Goods Technology And RIS News" Forrester comments that data sharing is the next frontier, because "the real value - and test - of collaboration occurs when manufacturers and retailers share more sensitive information that creates 'entwined' outcomes." In the study, sixty-eight percent of manufacturers think that retailers don't share the right types of data, and nearly half of retailers believe the same thing about manufacturers. And over two-thirds of retailers and suppliers believe that they suffer adverse business effects due to a lack of collaboration with trading partners.
Today, most suppliers do not have systems that consolidate, distribute or enable use of retail sales and stock data. And when data has been shared across the supply chain there has been no way to ensure that it is accurate - leading to a "garbage-in, garbage-out" problem.
Shared Supply Chain Benefits of Accurate POS Data Visibility
Together, Inovis and afterBOT are providing an integrated solution that gives suppliers more visibility into point-of-sale activity and another opportunity to further optimize supply chain management and performance. The centralization and synchronization of POS and Catalogue data provides a number of benefits throughout the supply chain.
Retailers can reduce time-to-sale by making the last mile of the supply chain more demand-driven. In addition, these organizations can minimize mark-downs on slower moving merchandise by better managing store-level transaction activity and inventory. Retailers can drive greater operational savings and accelerate current vendor managed inventory initiatives. Retailers can also gain a better view into what assortment of products and styles is selling at each location.
The solution gives vendors a portal-based view into centralized store- and stock-level transactional activity across multiple retailers. This centralization will allow suppliers to more effectively manage and track promotions and events at each retail location. Ultimately vendors will be able use the joint solution for product high-level performance viewing, reporting and management across multiple retailer relationships. In addition, vendors can prioritize fulfillment activities based on real-time, store-level data as well as minimize operational and implementation costs to support retailers' POS data.
Joint Inovis-afterBOT Solution
Inovis Catalogue is the North American retail industry's leading centralized repository with information on over 100 million unique products. Inovis Catalogue provides powerful data synchronization that enables retailers and vendors to exchange accurate product data, such as price, style, color, size and more, among a complex network of relationships. By automating business processes, such as item set-up and maintenance, Inovis Catalogue helps customers achieve increased revenue and greater productivity.
afterBOT's TransAccess solution benefits the entire retail value chain by streamlining post-transaction customer relations; with service providers and suppliers becoming a key component in building the collaborative relationships needed to satisfy the consumer. Implementation allows retailers to easily integrate transaction receipts and customer data, web-enable customer access (reducing expenses and improving customer service), and improve targeted online marketing by both retailers and manufacturers. Through the re-engineering of post-sale customer service processes, the TransAccess solution facilitates a greater understanding between retailers and their chosen trading partners by providing a direct and repeatable link to the consumer.
afterBOT Inc. is the innovator and leading provider post-sales business process re-engineering solutions based on digital receipt technology. afterBOT's TransAccess application is a web based offering designed to improve operational efficiency, increase marketing effectiveness and drive retail performance through enhanced supplier collaboration. . For more information visit us at www.afterBOT.com. afterBOT was founded in 2000 and is privately held. Investors include Chrysalis Ventures, Prosperitas Investment Partners, and e-RM Ventures.
Inovis is a leading provider of business-to-business solutions that optimize supply chain management. With more than 20 years of experience, the company's comprehensive line of B2B solutions help more than 20,000 companies speed transaction flows, synchronize product information and improve supply chain processes. Inovis was recently named a "Company on the Move" by Consumer Goods Technology, and was included in Supply & Demand Chain Executive's "2005 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100" and Inbound Logistics Magazine's "Top 100 Logistics IT Providers." For more information, visit www.inovis.com.
Inovis is a trademark of Inovis, Inc.