American Express Launches Retail Technology Solutions for SMEs

Point-of-Sale and Retail Management offerings target small, midsize enterprises

Point-of-Sale and Retail Management offerings target small, midsize enterprises

New York — January 19, 2005 — American Express subsidiary Tax and Business Services Inc. (TBS) has rolled out two new offerings specifically designed for small to midsize retailers, including SAP Business One - The American Express Edition for Point of Sale and SAP Business One The American Express Edition for Retail Management.

These information technology (IT) solutions are the latest offerings in The American Express Supply Chain Solutions Suite, a range of industry-specific solutions focusing on various phases of the supply chain cycle.

"Small and midsize retailers share many of the same challenges that larger retailers do," noted Harvey Goss, managing director for American Express TBS. "Until now, however, they did not have the same access to enterprise-class IT and supply chain solutions because most are unaffordable to them"

Goss said that American Express has worked to tip these market dynamics in favor of smaller and midsize retailers, bringing together hardware, software and industry-specific functionality with integration and support from a single national organization.

SAP Business One - The American Express Edition for Point of Sale was designed for small specialty retailers, while SAP Business One - The American Express Edition for Retail Management was designed for larger retailers with at least one warehouse or distribution center and more advanced inventory management requirements.

The Point of Sale solution was built to respond to the needs of small and specialty stores offering highly tailored merchandise, American Express said. These retailers are often interested in "turbo charging" their unique knowledge of their customers to generate repeat business, strengthen loyalty and attract new customers.

According to American Express, these retailers can use the Point of Sale solution to match the right promotional offer with an individual customer based on that customer's buying history. That information is sent directly to sales staff for use at checkout or to contact the customer.

The same system also provides employee scheduling information, available inventory at that location or others, as well as handling credit card authorization, and the solution provides a range of Web portal capabilities.

For midsize retailers with warehouse distribution and advanced inventory management needs, the Retail Management solution provides a range of functionality included in the Point of Sale solution, with additional capabilities to manage an extended supply chain. For example, Retail Management includes features that enable wireless warehouse management, automated store replenishment, inventory forecasting and planning, and electronic data interchange (EDI).

"Historically, small and midsize retailers (SMBs) have relied on homegrown supply chain and enterprise applications or cobbled together disparate systems to run their businesses," said Goss. "The American Express Edition provides a better way. Smaller retailers can focus on growing their businesses instead of wasting resources making systems talk to each other."

The American Express Supply Chain Solutions Suite is built on SAP Business One and IBM eServer xSeries as its software and hardware platform. The new retail offerings and the Wholesale Distribution Edition (launched in 2003) are available today in the United States and Canada from American Express TBS and Alliance Program members.

For more information on solutions for mid-market enterprises, see "Stuck in the Middle" in the April/May 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.
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