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   Aug. 1 , 2007                                                                                        Subscribe to SCDigest

Supply Chain Marketing Newsletter

This newsletter is brought to you by Supply Chain Digest, exclusively for executives and marketers at supply chain/logistics related product and service companies.
Supply Chain Digest Announces New "On-Target" Newsletter

The Good News: Supply Chain Digest now generates more content than we can fit in even one weekly newsletter.

More Good News: In September, we're launching a second weekly newsletter - Supply Chain Digest On-Target - that will cover seven key topic categories each week.

  • Supply Chain Issues and Trends
  • Distribution and Material Handling
  • Transportation Management
  • RFID and Automatic Identification
  • Global Supply Chain and Logistics
  • Sourcing and Procurement
  • Manufacturing

Each section of SCDigest On-Target will offer one exclusive category sponsorship adjacent to the editorial.

Each topical section will have a single category sponsorship, offered at very attractice rates. The newsletter/e-magazine will be delivered to SCDigest's existing, loyal readership bases of 36,000+. These sponsorship slots are offered at an attractive price, and offer substantial value

For more information, including an On-Target Media Kit , contact account manager Jason Stegent, or call him at 713-783-1139.

Wal-Mart RFID Compliance - Where's the Business?

We still can't quite reconcile what's happening with the Wal-Mart RFID rollout, and the apparent lack of business from vendors that were previously chasing Wal-Mart compliance deals.

The latest monthly RFID report from financial firm Robert W. Baird is bullish on Wal-Mart's efforts, noting in its July issue that “Most industry participants, and certainly most external observers, believe Wal-Mart has curtailed their RFID efforts, particularly given little in the way of new communication from the retail giant. However, we believe the primary reason for the lack of communication is the transfer of RFID responsibility to logistic operations within Wal-Mart from IT." It also said that "We further understand that Wal-Mart has recently sent a series of letters inquiring of some vendors their lack of compliance, suggesting that their external communication efforts are targeted.”

We've had informal conversations with many providers of RFID compliance systems, and add it up any way you want, the numbers from all of them in terms of systems deployed don't come anywhere close to the number of vendors and shipping points supposedly tagging products for Wal-Mart.

The only conclusion: many Consumer Goods vendors are "rolling their own" with a minimalist approach for now to get compliance done as cheaply as possible, using simple tools and internal resources.

The next Y2K bonanza, as many vendors were hoping, it has certainly not been
.


Timing of McGrath's Departure from i2 a Little Mysterious

As we report this week in SCDigest, Mike McGath's earlier than expected departure as CEO of software solution provider i2 caught us a little off guard, as the implication earlier in the year was that he would leave in a more orderly fashion at year's end after a successor was found (See i2 CEO McGrath Resigns, Months Earlier than Originally Expected).

Our discussions with i2'ers earlier this year were fairly consistent - a lot of respect for McGrath as a person, his integrity, and for getting the company back to financial health, but the feeling a more aggressive leader was needed to get the company back to growth and clear market leadership again.

So why the sudded departure? We're not sure, but one source told us there was some friction between McGrath and founder and chairman Sanjiv Sidhu about where the company should go now. Regardless, for two years McGrath did what was needed to get i2 back on track.


Consider Adding Regular Mail Delivery for White Papers and other Content

It may sound like something from the dark ages, but we liked this advice from from Marketing Sherpa that suggests responders registering for white papers and related content on your web site should be given the option of also requesting a hard copy also be mailed.

The main point: reaching people through multiple channels increases your chances of generating a response.

"Direct mail is still a great way to reach prospects, and a sizable portion of your audience still wants to receive printed materials. So, when offering white papers as PDF downloads, add a checkbox to your registration form that lets users ask to get a printed copy, too. In the recent survey, 44% of users said they would choose to receive a print version if the option were available," according to Sherpa.

It adds that "a printed version of the white paper offers another touchpoint a few days after prospects have filled out the registration form (and maybe forgotten to even look at the PDF). It’s also a good excuse for a follow-up call: “Did you receive the printed version of the white paper as you requested?”"

One thing left out in our view: this only works if you have developed a very automated process, such as having the registration data needed for mailing go right to the database that can print mailing labels. Too much manual work will kill this idea, no matter how correct.

Fall Videocast Series Now Being Scheduled

We continue to enjoy great success with our Supply Chain Videocast series -- now scheduling our Fall events

We have a number of "pre-configured" events, or will of course work with you to develop the right broadcast for your needs.

Many advantages: turnkey approach, large audience, live plus on-demand viewing, much more. Only from Supply Chain Digest!

Softeon's Badri Devanathan, on our "The RFID-Enabled WMS Videocast," which attracted 450 registrants.

We're also doing more and more striaght video production.

For more information, including a video tutorial of just how Videocasts work, or to discuss other video projects, contact account manager Jason Stegent, or call him at 713-783-1139.

Getting Blogs Right

More and more supply chain vendors are starting to include blogs on their web sites, but many aren't getting them quite right, in our opinion. Too many feel like formal columns for a published magazine, or seem to always have a pretty obvious agenda.

One thing we've learned at Supply Chain Digest is pretty simple: if it isn't good, people won't read it. That's the first principal to remember, so keep the commercialism low. Second, blogs should be relatively "light," short as possible, and have an informal feel. In our view, you should just try to capture on key point or idea per entry. The acid question: if you had the choice, would you really read this piece? Why?

Remembering PDF417

For an upcoming piece we're doing on the two-dimensional bar code PDF417, we tracked down Jo Martell, who in the early to mid-1990s was Symbol's lead product marketer for what was at the time a new and much hyped technlology, which never reached expectations, in our opinion. She spent a lot of time on the road pitching PDF417 to customers, partners and other technology developers.

Most recently, Martell was at spend management vendor Avotus, but told us she was leaving the technology area completely for a new career in health care.

We get that feeling sometimes too.

Do You Need a Speaker or Moderator for Your User Conference or Other Event?

SCDigest Editor Dan Gilmore and Contributing Editor Mark Fralick are excellent and available for your events.. Both can speak on a wide range of topics. Mr. Gilmore is also well-known for his ability to successfully moderate panels and other discuss groups. Contact Jason Stegent.

 

Send Us Article/Case Study Ideas, New Product Announcements - Looking for Best New Products in the First Half of 2007!

We’re ramping this area us….send your article ideas and or case study opportunities to info@scdigest.com.

 

Have a comment on this issue's Supply Chain Technology Marketing topics? Email your comments now.

 

About SupplyChainDigest


Supply Chain Digest™ is the industry’s premier interactive knowledge source, providing timely, relevant, in-context information. Reaching tens of thousands of supply chain and logistics decision-makers each week, our flagship publications - Supply Chain Digest and Supply Chain Digest On-Target, and web site (www.scdigest.com) deliver news, opinions and information to help end users improve supply chain processes and find technology solutions.

Services include: on-line advertising and packaged programs, Videocast seminars, white papers and reports, direct emails and list rental, and other programs.

For more information, email us at sales@scdigest.com.

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