4/25/2003 - Extended Systems (Nasdaq: XTND), a leading provider of mobile information management solutions for the enterprise, is helping to improve retail DVD and VHS product merchandise tracking at 680 Toys "R" Us stores across the nation.
National Marketing Services (NMS), a global merchandising service organization, has equipped field representatives responsible for VHS and DVD product merchandising at Toys "R" Us stores with handheld computers and a mobile retail merchandise tracking application powered by Extended Systems' synchronization software.
The application, known as FieldTrac, was designed to improve in-store presence and increase sales for NMS clients such as Warner Home Video, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, and Columbia Tristar Home Video. FieldTrac enables National Marketing Service's field representatives to quickly enter product-merchandising data retrieved from each Toys "R" Us visit onto an Intermec 700 Pocket PC device. Data typically includes inventory status, returns and credits, point-of-purchase display conformance and merchandising placement. Once entered, data is then synchronized and posted to a central server via the Internet, thanks to mobile data synchronization and management capabilities from Extended Systems.
The retail merchandising application, developed and hosted by Unique Solutions in Wilkesboro, N.C., gives NMS field representatives the ability to respond more quickly to retailer needs, presenting an opportunity to increase product sales, while at the same time reducing multiple points of data entry, which limits the potential for reporting errors.
"National Marketing Services now sets the standard for the industry with customized reporting available in multiple formats including 'real-time,'" explained Steve Workman, NMS's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "Our customers are assured of timely information which allows them to make rapid decisions regarding inventory, store placement and many other factors that help to contribute to significant increases in profitability."
During the first months of its initial pilot phase, the company reported significant time savings using the FieldTrac mobile application. Now in full deployment to several hundred NMS field representatives serving 680 Toys "R" Us stores, product and merchandising display needs are addressed the same day they are reported (as opposed to a 36-hour lag time) and inventory replenishment has been reduced from four days to next-day service. NMS field reps now have more time to conduct revenue-producing activities at each retail outlet they visit and, while this is a substantial initial investment, long-term results are expected to give NMS a distinctive market advantage among its competitors.
"We've shown this solution to every studio we represent," said Workman, "and they are all very excited about its potential. It's definitely going to allow us to grow our business."
About Extended Systems
Extended Systems provides the expertise, strategy and solutions to help enterprise organizations streamline their business processes through mobile technology. The company's mobile software suite enables companies to mobilize critical enterprise applications such as e-mail, field service, sales force automation (SFA), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and customer relationship management (CRM). In addition, the company offers Bluetooth and IrDA wireless connectivity software and client/server database management systems. Extended Systems has more than 2,500 enterprise customers worldwide; and key alliance relationships with Ericsson, Handspring, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Sharp, Siemens and Toshiba.
Founded in 1984, Extended Systems has offices and subsidiaries in the United States and worldwide. For more information, visit the company Web site at www.extendedsystems.com.
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