Supply Chain Priority in 2009: Perfect Order, Happy Customer

Can Your Supply Chain Compete With Best-in-Class Supply Chains During a Shifting Business Climate? Best-in-Class Companies Reduce Inventory Levels & Decrease Order-to-Delivery Cycle Faster Than Their Peers

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2009) - The order-to-delivery cycle is a critical process during this time of economic uncertainty due to its close interaction with the customer. The order-to-delivery cycle is an important determinant of the level of customer satisfaction -- if the delivery process is poor in any way it will impact customer satisfaction negatively. Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), explores in its most recent benchmark study, "Perfect Order, Happy Customer: Managing the Order-to-Delivery Cycle" how Best-in-Class companies are streamlining internal processes, providing cost and inventory data upfront, and leveraging technology to optimize the order-to-delivery lifecycle. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit:

The report benchmarks the following sub-processes within order-to-delivery: Request for Quote, Order Promising, Order Capture, Order Scheduling and Order Fulfillment. The cycle presents many opportunities for reducing error and waste; and, as a result, almost 90% of Best-in-Class companies have an order-to-delivery initiative in place. Their commitment to the process is driving the performance improvement in inventory as a percentage of sales and customer service levels; for example, Best-in-Class achieved a 4% decrease in inventory as a percentage of sales over the last 2-year period (order-to-delivery lead times, logistics costs as a percentage of sales, out-of-stock inventory occurrence, and perfect order rates are also benchmarked in the report).

The top pressure forcing companies to invest resources to improving the order-to-delivery cycle is customer mandates for faster and more unique fulfillment. While this might suggest customer service reflects primarily fulfillment capabilities, Aberdeen's report shows the entire process, from beginning (quoting) to fulfillment brings performance improvement. For example, Best-in-Class companies have a strong ability to support a single quoting process to customers, irrespective of the sales channel, and they also have a strong ability to provide a single view of inventory across multiple facilities. These are just some of the processes discussed in the report.

"The order-to-delivery process is a somewhat neglected process compared to others. The predominant vehicle companies utilize to balance supply and demand is Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP), which leaves demand planning to a monthly or quarterly exercise. However the fact that the order capture process is actually the point of true matching of supply and demand is ignored. The problem with this is that there is no visibility connecting real-time demand with the supply capabilities of the organization," said Nari Viswanathan, Vice President / Principal Analyst, Aberdeen.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Infor and Syncron. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit:

For additional access to complimentary Supply Chain Management Research, please visit

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 or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to

© 2009 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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Contact Information: Media Contact: Nari Viswanathan Aberdeen Harte-Hanks (617) 854-5293