M-pressive M-Commerce

Taking the office out of the back-office

Scottsdale, AZ  June 26, 2001  Phone China Fun for a take-out order of Mongolian beef and update the request for quote (RFQ) for that new high-tension widget made of unobtainium in a secret location in Kazakhstan, all from your mobile phone or PDA? It might sound far-fetched, but so did e-mail not too long ago. And if some companies can bridge the e-gap they're aiming to conquer, such mobile miracles won't be far-fetched for long.

JDA Software Group today announced the expansion of its strategic alliance with Symbol Technologies to include the marketing and support of complete mobile commerce solutions for the retail and consumer packaged goods industries. According to the announcement, the companies shared a belief in the significant revenue, productivity and customer service gains that retailers can realize by adopting next-generation wireless solutions.

JDA now serves as a Symbol Integrator with the rights to use Symbol's suite of software tools, including its application development environment, WaveWorks. Under the terms of the contract, JDA can also resell Symbol's market-leading handheld computers to its worldwide clients, providing them with a one-stop approach to procure hardware, software, services and support.

"There are countless opportunities in the fast-emerging mobile Internet market to help our clients put dollars on their bottom lines while driving customer loyalty," said Scott Hines, senior vice president of In-Store Systems and chief technology officer. "Our first offering, Internet Store Portals, accessible via Symbol's hand-held computers, will have broad appeal because it will put power in the hands of the people who are closest to the customer to work faster, make more informed decisions and better achieve their sales goals."

"JDA's expertise in global retail enterprise solutions is a great match with Symbol's wireless computing solutions," said Stanley Jaworski, Jr., vice president and general manager, Symbol Worldwide Channels and Alliances. "Together, Symbol and JDA enable point-of-activity solutions that bring customers inherent efficiencies, cost savings and customer satisfaction."

Internet Store Portals, which are to be deployed on Symbol wireless handheld computers, will boost operational efficiency by making the store a real-time extension of a retailer's head office merchandising system. Store associates will gain access to inventory positions, price checks, transfer requests, purchase orders and numerous other business functions. Because they can use the M-commerce solution from anywhere in the store, sales associates can remain available on the floor helping customers versus in a back office. The innovative Symbol/JDA solution will also enable retailers to leverage their sizable investment in merchandising and inventory systems at corporate by extending secure access to associates at the store level.

Partners to Tackle Planogram Compliance Challenge

According to a study by the National Association for Retail Merchandising Services (NARMS), retailers and CPG companies are systematically losing sales because of inadequate attention to inventory and display issues. JDA and Symbol plan to provide a solution to this need by incorporating JDA's Intactix space management functions on a Symbol handheld computer. This revolutionary new offering will streamline the process of receiving and shelving merchandise and accelerate planogram placements and resets.

"The surge in category management, coupled with thousands of new consumer products being introduced every year, has resulted in tremendous demand from both sides of the supply chain to increase planogram compliance," commented Kevin Stadler, JDA's senior vice president, collaborative solutions. "By addressing this sore spot for retailers and brand marketers alike, our clients will be able to implement new planograms faster and more accurately than ever before. Studies have repeatedly proven that this combination immediately translates to increased sales and profits."

JDA is currently in development with this new solution and expects to begin previewing functions in 2002.