July 11 , 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.

Larry Ferrere Joins JDA Software as CMO

JDA Software announced this week that long time supply chain software exec Larry Ferrere has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Product Management and Chief Marketing Officer.

Many will know Ferrere from his most recent spot as CMO for Manhattan Associates. Before that, he had leading positions at Yantra, Vastera, and JD Edwards.

We’re glad to see Larry back in the saddle at JDA, which has some momentum going, and acquired Manugistics last year.

Still Trying to Figure Out the RFID Market Disconnect

Most studies still show a sizable market and projections for enormous growth in the RFID market, but RFID system and solution vendors don’t seem real happy yet, though many appear to be emerging out of the “trough of disillusionment” of 2006.

For example, recent estimates by Venture Development Corp. (VDC) show a total RFID market of $2.3 billion in 2006, with projected growth in both North America and Europe of 31%.

But as Phil Alling from Bear Stearns recently noted, “RFID industry participants remain frustrated about lower than expected tag volume growth in the retail supply chain, in particular for WMT related mandate activity. While the retail giant continues adding suppliers to its pallet and case level tracking rollout, and more stores, the number of SKUs tagged by most participating suppliers remains low, according to industry observers.” At recent software user conferences (e.g., Manhattan, RedPrairie), RFID-related content was very hard to find, versus lots of hype just a couple of years ago, and vendors like Intermec have stopped breaking out RFID results.

So what’s the real deal? While we think some of the analyst numbers are too high, the real answer seems to be that the action – and buying – is occurring outside of the consumer goods-to-Wal-Mart chain. For example, “Transportation,” which includes the increasingly ubiquitous “fast pass” toll booths, represents 38% of the current market. Government accounts for another 15%, and automotive – mostly closed loop manufacturing systems, is 16%, according to VDC….

Improving Your QA through Informal In-House Teams – and a Little Fun?

Manufacturing and software companies have formal QA processes, but we really liked this approach from NewsGator, which builds software and web sites for RSS feeds/news aggregation and more. Recently, the company’s VP of Engineering started weekly Friday afternoon QA “power hours.” Basically, employees across many areas of the company get together and “beat on the apps that are about to be released or go into beta.” The company says there are a lot of benefits – more thorough testing, implicit training, idea stimulation, motivation, team building, etc.

This approach could be especially valuable early in the process, or at various design phases, to quickly and rather easily obtain valuable insight that might save time or improve the end result, whether it’s software, a physical product, or even new consulting or service offering. Just bring pizza.

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.

Are You Getting the Most From Your Website?

Website design has improved dramatically over the last few years, as designers focus their efforts on delivering value to users.  Unfortunately, these days, navigation of the larger sites has become complex as content grows.  According to Wall Street Journal tech writer, Lee Gomes, good website design starts with a good home page and is the key to simplifying navigation issues.  How does a website creator recognize a good home page design?  The design is good when the user feels confident that he can accomplish the task at hand and is reassured that he is making progress along the way.  Want to improve your website design?  Consider the following questions and you’ll be off to a good start.

  1. Who are your target users?
  2. What are their goals?
  3. How can you help them achieve their goals?

In the end, give the customers what they need. The bottom line: Do you regularly experience your website from your visitor's or prospect's perspective?

Are Rising Salaries Killing Advantage of Outsourcing Development? Silicon Valley is Bringing Work Back

In the last few years, it was perceived a company was at a competitive disadvantage if it didn’t outsource its development to India, taking advantage of the low costs and talented resources.

Now, a Wall Street Journal page 1 story says spiraling costs are leading many Silicon Valley companies to stop or reduce Indian development efforts. Two years ago, by some accounts, Indian salaries were already at 50% of US levels. Last year, it was 75%.

"Taking into account the time difference with India, we weren't saving any money by being there anymore," said Munjal Shah, CEO of software company Riya. He soon shut down the company’s Bangalore office and offered half of its engineers a chance to move to San Mateo, CA.

While overall India’s IT sector continues to thrive, the rising costs are causing many companies to change offshore development strategies. The article says that for top-level talent, the wage disparity between the US and India has shrunk dramatically, and may soon disappear altogether.

Will that mean more development jobs back in the US? Maybe, but some companies are also looking for the “next India,” such as Vietnam.


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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