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Archive for April, 2008

SaaS EDI Visionary, Jim Frome, Named a 2008 Pro to Know by Supply&Demand Chain Executive

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Minneapolis, MN, March 19, 2008 – SPS Commerce, the leading provider of SaaS EDI services, today announced that its Chief Strategy Officer, Jim Frome, has again been named a Provider Pro to Know by Supply & Demand Chain Executive.The Supply & Demand Chain Executive Provider Pros to Know is a listing of individuals from a software firm or service provider, consultancy, or analyst or research firm who have a vision for the 21st century supply chain and have personally helped clients apply technology or processes to modernize their supply chains.This past year, Mr. Frome has been a frequent speaker and author of published articles on visionary topics including globalization, SaaS EDI, and Trading Partner Integration Centers.“This year’s Provider Pros to Know have shown themselves to be thought-leaders in their respective supply chain segments,” said Andrew K. Reese, editor of Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “Their efforts in developing the tools and processes necessary for supply chain transformation, and in promoting new approaches to supply chain enablement, are helping raise Supply Chain’s status within the enterprise and have earned them a place on this year’s Provider Pros listing.”The full listing of the 2008 Pros to Know is available in the February/March 2008 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine and on the Supply & Demand Chain Executive web site at www.SDCExec.com/2008Pros.“Jim Frome’s vision and leadership has led many of our CPG and retail customers to advance their use of B2B integration to electronically connect with global trading partners such as freight forwarders, sourcing agents, 3PLs and more, resulting in improved supply chain visibility and shorter fulfillment cycles,” stated Archie Black, president and CEO of SPS Commerce. “Only with a SaaS model, like the one used by SPS Commerce, could these supply chain partners connect and share necessary order and shipment information without any infrastructure requirements. We are pleased that Mr. Frome has been again recognized for his contribution to our industry.”To view Mr. Frome’s latest whitepaper, please visit http://www.spscommerce.com/n_news/wp/overview.shtml.About Supply & Demand Chain ExecutiveSupply & Demand Chain Executive is the executive’s user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, utilizing hard-hitting analysis, viewpoints and unbiased case studies to steer executives and supply management professionals through the complicated, yet critical, world of supply and demand chain enablement to gain competitive advantage. On the Web at www.SDCExec.com.About SPS CommerceSPS Commerce is the leader in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) B2B integration, connecting every partner in the supply chain. Retailers, manufacturers and 3PLs have selected SPS Commerce as their outsourced provider to automate and integrate their trading relationships. Using the SaaS model, SPS Commerce dramatically lowers setup and on-going costs, along with the time and risks of traditional EDI software by outsourcing the entire B2B communication process. The company’s offerings leverage its multi-tenant architecture, multi-party sharing, comprehensive knowledge of thousands of retailer’s business processes and specifications and integration expertise with a variety of systems for accounting (Great Plains, Quickbooks, MAS series), ERP (Oracle, NetSuite, SAP), packing and shipping (Agile, InSite, Scancode), and WMS (HighJump, Infor, Manhattan Associates). SPS Commerce is the recognized SaaS leader in B2B integration with more than 10,000 recurring revenue customers, pre-built integrations spanning 2,700 unique fulfillment workflows across 1,200 retailers, grocers and distributors, a customer satisfaction rate of 93% and the most comprehensive SaaS product suite available. SPS Commerce is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For additional information, please contact SPS Commerce at 866-245-8100 or visit www.spscommerce.com.SPS Commerce is a registered trademark of SPS Commerce Inc. SPSCommerce.net and the SPS Commerce logo are the property of SPS Commerce, Inc. All other names and trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

From the Horse's Mouth: 11 Tips for Pitching Reporters

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Afternoon Sessions 002

One of the most valuable resources at an event like the recent Media Relations Summit conference in San Francisco is the opportunity to listen to what journalists themselves have to say about how they interact with PR people. I attended several panels with reporters from publications ranging from the New York Times to CNET. The reporters were fairly candid about works and what does not. Here are some key tips I gleaned from the summit reporter sessions.

  • Reporters STILL hate PR spam and irrelevant pitches. Such tactics are unlikely to generate coverage, it turns out. Shocking, I know.
  • The press release is still important. With all the talk about new media, I was surprised to hear virtually every reporter sing the praises of the good old fashioned press release, which they use to ensure accuracy and to organize information.
  • Print journalists are no longer breaking news. This is a major change that has happened over the last several years. Now, more than ever, journalists are looking for stories that analyze recent news trends. Online media, on the other hand, can be fiercely competitive for breaking stories.

Kamino International Logistics Strengthens Its Supply Chain Solutions to Its 3PLCustomers with SPS Commerce’s Outsourced EDI

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Outsourced EDI Services Delivers Improved Supply Chain Visibility to Suppliers and a Competitive Advantage to KaminoMinneapolis, Minn., April 9, 2008 – SPS Commerce, the leading provider of SaaS EDI services, today announces that its partnership with Kamino International Logistics, a leading 3PL in North America and worldwide, has successfully teamed SPS’ outsourced EDI capabilities with Kamino’s global supply chain solutions for small and medium-sized American enterprises importing and selling goods to major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target and other U.S. retailers.Today, Kamino offers vendors a flexible, outsourced logistics solution to the traditional fixed costs of physical, company-owned warehouses as well as global visibility into their supply chain using SPS’ SaaS EDI services to ensure data compliance with their retail customers.By partnering and outsourcing Kamino’s EDI department to SPS Commerce, Kamino is able to provide competitive and flexible solutions to its 3PL customers. Electronic documents such as purchase orders, advance ship notices (ASNs) and UCC 128 barcode label data can now be sent to thousands of supplier/retailer combinations with ease and confidence of data integrity.“Consumer packaged goods manufacturers face a double-edged sword when dealing with big box stores,” said Lesley Hume, Vice President Sales and Marketing – USA at Kamino. “Of course they want to grow their business and sell to the big-name retailers, yet owning and maintaining the necessary EDI software to interface with these large and complex organizations can break the bank. Kamino has freed itself, and its 3PL customers, from the restrictive software EDI model by opting to outsource our EDI to SPS Commerce and using their pre-built maps already in use by other vendors.”By leveraging SPS’ EDI services, Kamino has:- Increased market share in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) vertical- Improved its ability to compete with major logistics companies- Created the ability to sell a complete supply chain solution including an EDI component to the Retail Vertical Market Sector quickly and economically- Enabled its customer to focus more on selling their products and not worry about logistics, fines, mis-ships and chargebacks- Reduced internal IT costs- Provided green or environmentally-friendly options using outsourced EDI to significantly reduce traditional high paper volume and transportation usage“The collaboration/integration between Kamino and SPS Commerce’s outsourced EDI solution is innovative because it has created a robust, flexible and competitive solution to SME businesses that they may not have had, or would have to pay prohibitive pricing for that would create a barrier to enter the marketplace,” said Lesley Hume.“We are pleased to have Kamino as a strategic partner within SPS’ ecosystem,” said Archie Black, president and CEO of SPS Commerce. “We have seen the combined solution benefit many suppliers, including Body Glide, to improve their supply chain visibility and compliance with important retail customers. SPS is honored to be an integrated part of this leading 3PL’s logistics solution to the CPG industry.”Download SPS’ latest whitepaper on SaaS EDI.About Kamino International LogisticsKamino is an award-winning global logistics provider and freight forwarder founded in New York in 1969. The company operates 32 facilities in major global markets. Combine these with an extensive network of agent partners and Kamino provides global supply chain solutions tailored to meet our clients’ specific and unique needs.Not only is Kamino an industry leader in freight forwarding, customs brokerage, warehousing and logistics and distribution, but its global approach to supply chain includes its awareness of the environment and the local communities where we live and work.Kamino is committed to the protection of the environment by controlling the impact of our operations. Kamino has to use trucks and airplanes to facilitate its business, but we only use approved ENV suppliers when possible and continually search new service applications to reduce the impact of our activity on the environment. For more information, visit www.kamino.com.About SPS CommerceSPS Commerce is the leader in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) B2B integration, connecting every partner in the supply chain. Retailers, manufacturers and 3PLs have selected SPS Commerce as their outsourced provider to automate and integrate their trading relationships. Using the SaaS model, SPS Commerce dramatically lowers setup and on-going costs, along with the time and risks of traditional EDI software by outsourcing the entire B2B communication process. The company’s offerings leverage its multi-tenant architecture, multi-party sharing, comprehensive knowledge of thousands of retailer’s business processes and specifications and integration expertise with a variety of systems for accounting (Great Plains, Quickbooks, MAS series), ERP (Oracle, NetSuite, SAP), packing and shipping (Agile, InSite, Scancode), and WMS (HighJump, Infor, Manhattan Associates). SPS Commerce is the recognized SaaS leader in B2B integration with more than 10,000 recurring revenue customers, pre-built integrations spanning 2,700 unique fulfillment workflows across 1,200 retailers, grocers and distributors, a customer satisfaction rate of 93% and the most comprehensive SaaS product suite available. SPS Commerce is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For additional information, please contact SPS Commerce at 866-245-8100 or visit www.spscommerce.com.SPS Commerce is a registered trademark of SPS Commerce Inc. SPSCommerce.net and the SPS Commerce logo are the property of SPS Commerce, Inc. All other names and trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

Do it Wrong, Stupid! Mike Moran Keynote

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

“Do it Wrong Quickly: What Corporations Need from PR in Today’s Transforming Marketplace”Mike Moran begins the afternoon keynote with what is perhaps the most salient point of the whole conference. We don’t need to be the expert in new media or blogs. We need to be the expert in how to solve our client’s problems. Otherwise, we might as well give up. We’ll never be the blog expert because the blog experts exist, and they’re not getting any dumber.

Moran’s tone is optimistic, and not at all condescending, which is a refreshing change from many speakers on this topic, who seem to want to tsk-tsk us for not having discovered social networking years ago. Oh, and they are eager to inform you that whichever social media platform you have succeeded in engaging was obsolete in 1999. Moran eschews alarmism to good effect.

PR types tend to view new media as a sort of death knell for Public Relations. Moran sees them as an opportunity. The new model allows Public Relations to deliver hard results where we know we are making an impact on behalf of our clients. We can target more closely, measure results more accurately, and respond more quickly to customer feedback.

Blogginz Yer Presentationz – Scoblizin Yer Paradigmz

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

So, between Lee Odden losing his camera in the bay, and my failure to bring a charger to town, this will be less-than-visual post. Feel free to Google for a stock photo image of Robert Scoble, if you want the full effect.Scoble begins by informing us that he doesn’t have slides, but rather wants to give us a glimpse into his life. This sets the tone for a very informal presentation that introduces a variety of new social media platforms (even I wasn’t familiar with FriendFeed, but then, I’m something of a dinosaur). As such, I’ll give you all a very informal blog post.

Among his Twitter friends are none other than Barack Obama, yet more proof that his campaign is making an earnest effort to engage new media. I suppose all the campaigns have some social media presence, but Obama seems to be the only one effectively using it. A blog is just a blog until someone reads it. Then it becomes a tactic.

I am familiar with sliderocket, but Scoble illuminates perhaps its most valuable feature, which is version control. Presentations tend to be collaborative efforts, and revamping existing presentations to accommodate edits can be a chore. PowerPoint in real-time is a powerful idea, I think.

Evergreen Magic: How To Make News When There’s No News

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Afternoon Sessions 008

“Evergreen Magic: How To Make News When There’s No News”

This session is being introduced as PR for the “little guy”. That’s apropos. After a series of case studies highlighting all the great work Disney was able to do great things (on a shoestring budget, or so we were told), it’s hard not to wonder what a company with lesser brand awareness can do to create ripples.

Sandra Fathi begins by citing a familiar dilemma. Company a buys company b and launches product x gives reporter z’s, unless your company happens to be Microsoft (or, say, Disney). Her advice is to marry the message to the reporters needs. This should seem obvious, but it is vitally important to sell the importance of this to the client.

To the specific advice, Sandra proposes that smaller companies “ride the wave of trends”. Well, yeah. Isn’t that what public relations people do? Easier said than done, though, eh? Sorry, I’ll keep the cynicism in check. So what does she propose?

Disney's Duncan Wardle and the Future of Public Relations

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Morning Session 015

“The Future of PR: How New Technologies Will Transform the Way We Communicate

Duncan Wardle, VP of Global Pr for Disney Parks begins with a classic “Googlezon” 7 minute video (EPIC 2014) laying the groundwork for the death of “the fourth estate”. In the news (Google-run) future, media has ceased to be about reporting or news, and has become simply a collection of information. It’s an interesting (albeit histrionic) warning, and one that is all the more relevant in light of Charlie Rose’s admonition about ethics and authenticity. The video concludes with a world in which all news has been reduced to mere trivia.

Morning Session 014

As we engage social media, media relations folks are taking a larger role in crafting the message. The very credibility that makes earned media so valuable is potentially, as Ms. Shapiro would say, “up for grabs”. At a meetup of social media experts last night, one noted the trend of companies outsourcing social media efforts to India. Talk about defeating the purpose.

MR Summit: Charlie Rose and the Death of the VNR

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Todd Grossman – VP Sales, MultiVu
Todd begins by Introducing to YouTube, and online video media. The VNR is dead, he declares. He’s right, of course (VNRs as a tactic had been on life support anyway), but where’s the news here? New media are certainly exciting, but I think we need to transcend this “aw shucks” paradigm when it comes to new technology. It exists. It’s awesome. But our industry doesn’t have time to gawk at the spectacle.

That’s not a knock on Todd, who does a good job keeping us up to date, but a general industry observation.

Faye Shapiro – “Why PR Needs a New Narrative”
Stepping in for Jim Sinkinson, Ms. Shapiro declared earned, unpaid media to be up for grabs. Public Relations managers are being retitled Chief Conversation Officers, she informs us. That is just the sort of thing that social networkers love to make fun of. She declares that this is a brand new direction for PR. Is this true? Does a change of tactics (wholesale thought they may be) constitute a new direction? Are the fundamentals changing? I’m not sure that’s a settled question.

“The Art of the Story: Finding the Heart of Drama”

Media Relations Summit 2008: A Preview

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Ghirardelli

With the Media Relations Summit 2008 beginning in earnest tomorrow, I’m like a kid in a candy store. A very adult candy store, mind you, though there is candy available for an astronomical fee in the hotel wet bar. But for someone who digs this stuff (and I dig this stuff), the opportunity to pick and choose amongst a smorgasbord of interesting and important topics in the PR industry is like, well, see above.

That the Summit is held in San Francisco doesn’t hurt either.

The summit kicks off with one wail of a bag of chocolates, a keynote address by Charlie Rose entitled “The Art of the Story: Finding the Heart of Drama”. In an industry that often forgets what it is supposed to be offering (to clients and journalists alike), what better way to begin than by reminding us. We can talk about the latest tactics and the new media we can’t ignore, but it’s useless without the basics. Oh, and I happen to be a fan.

 
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