3/30/2004 - Extended Systems (Nasdaq: XTND), a leading provider of mobile application solutions for the enterprise, announced that Stewart's Shops has deployed its OneBridge Mobile Solutions platform to its 315 convenience store locations. OneBridge has enabled store managers to order product stock on mobile devices, replacing a legacy paper-based system. The mobile solution has helped Stewart's Shops increase order accuracy, reduce out-of-stock products, and save substantial man hours devoted to inventory ordering and delivery at each of its 315 locations.
Keeping costs down and removing inefficiency is vital in the convenience store business. By not stocking inventory at each of its 315 locations, Stewart's has kept stores small to reduce site costs. But this business model - not stocking inventory on site – requires store managers to accurately forecast product needs well in advance. With a legacy paper-based system, over-ordering and out-of-stocks were sometimes an issue, resulting in lost sales and potentially lost customers.
By implementing a mobile system based on Extended Systems' OneBridge Mobile Solutions platform, Stewart's Shops managers can now order inventory on HP iPAQ devices utilizing Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system. A custom application resides on the handheld and gives each manager a snapshot of their store by food type, food section and named products. Managers input additional stock requests directly into the mobile device. The information is then synchronized over a phone line – which is shared with a credit card authorization machine – to the central distribution center where the products are loaded onto a truck and delivered to the site. A task that took 5 hours per week, per store to perform has now been reduced to minutes.
"Installing Extended Systems' OneBridge Mobile Solutions platform as part of our new ordering system will save Stewart's Shops more than 100,000 man hours per year," said Rick Cobello, Director Information Solutions at Stewart's Shops. "Accuracy is up and lead time is down. Out-of-stock orders were reduced and we were even able to decrease the number of people required to process orders and reassign them to other aspects of the business."
"The ROI and business value that Stewart's Shops has realized epitomizes Extended Systems' vision for empowering mobile workers and creating efficient work-flow processes for businesses of all sizes and types," said Senthil Krishnapillai, senior product manager Mobile Solutions Platform at Extended Systems.
About Stewart's Shops
Stewart's Shops has 315 convenience stores spread over a wide area of upstate New York and Vermont. It's a privately held, nearly 1/3 employee owned company with annual sales of $808 million and after tax profits of $34 million. Stewart's produces many of its own products at its own processing and distribution center in Saratoga Springs, NY. There are 4000 employees and an IT team of 10 people.
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 OneBridge mobile solutions 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). Extended Systems has more than 2,500 enterprise customers worldwide and key alliance relationships with Avaya, EDS, HP, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, palmOne, PalmSource, Sharp, Siemens, Software AG, Sony Ericsson, Symbian and Toshiba. Founded in 1984, Extended Systems has offices and subsidiaries in the United States and worldwide. For more information, call 1-800-235-7576 or visit www.extendedsystems.com
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