Datalliance Winter 2010 Newsletter

 Featured Article
 News & Announcements
 Expert Updates

          User Forum

May 18 & 19, 2010
Mark your calendar for the 2010 Datalliance User Forum. More details to follow
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

           Future Events

Datalliance will attended the following Industry Events

  • GHX 2010 Supply Chain Summit
  • Kitchen/Bath Industry Show
  • Truck Pride
  • BSA Convention 2010
  • NAAUD Annual Meeting
  • 2010 PTDA Canadian Conference
  • 2010 SWA Convention

          Featured Media

White Papers
The State of SPAs in the Electrical Distribution Industry

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is Not Just for "A" Items

Why Would I Let a Supplier Manage My Inventory? - An Introduction to Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) for Distributors

President's Update

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2010. 2009 was a strong year for Datalliance as we realized substantial growth in several key areas. The Datalliance customer base grew by 28%, individual customer locations increased to 28,000, and total SKU’s managed increased 33% to 13.6 million. This growth was a combination of organizations implementing VMI for the first time, existing customers expanding their VMI programs to include additional partner locations, and organizations that selected Datalliance for their “second generation” VMI program platform. New customers represent a broad range of industries including consumer goods, electrical, plumbing, heavy duty, automotive, and industrial manufacturers.

Please mark your calendar for the Datalliance User Forum, May 18-19, to be held at the Marriott Rivercenter, just across the river from downtown Cincinnati. The Forum is the annual meeting for both suppliers and their customers (e.g. manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and OEM’s). Attendees share experiences through interactive panel and discussion sessions, gain insights from industry experts, and learn about new and planned capabilities of the Datalliance collaborative commerce services. For more information, or to register for the Forum, please go to the Datalliance website

In this issue of our newsletter we highlight the success of E1 Entertainment - a leading international independent entertainment business operating in Canada, the UK, Holland, Belgium and the United States. The company is the largest wholesaler of DVDs, CDs and video games in Canada and is the largest independent music and video distributor in North America. E1 implemented Datalliance VMI as the foundation for their new business model with a focus on increasing sales volume and expanding distribution channels. I encourage you to read the feature article below.

We were fortunate to have VMI and Datalliance featured in the press recently. In the February issue of The Wholesaler magazine we had an article titled VMI on the Rise in Plumbing – Reasons to Let a Supplier Manage Your Inventory and then TED (The Electrical Distributor) Magazine, featured Kirby Risk’s success with VMI on their technology blog on February 4 Kirby Risk Finds Efficiencies and Productivity Increases with VMI Implementation.

Please feel free to contact me at Visit for more information on Vendor Managed Inventory and other collaborative commerce applications from Datalliance.

- Carl Hall
President, Datalliance

Featured Article

E1 Entertainment Uses VMI to Grow Retail Business

E1 Entertainment, a leading international independent entertainment business recently implemented Datalliance VMI as the foundation for their new business model.

Debby MacFarlane, Director of Process Development, recalled E1 Entertainment’s motivation for exploring a new business model. “We wanted to improve the way we do business. We were looking for ways to increase sales volume through expanded retail distribution channels.”

E1 Entertainment researched multiple technology options and selected the Datalliance VMI service as the core platform to support their new VMI business model. “Using Datalliance, we now have ready access to store level information to make better decisions about order quantities and replenishment orders,” said MacFarlane. “On a weekly basis, we drill down, store-by-store, item-by-item, to analyze consumer demand for the previous week – resulting in timely and accurate replenishment orders. This detailed analysis has resulted in significant sales increases for E1 Entertainment and our retailers. Because we have the right product at the right retail location, at the right time, we don’t lose sales opportunities.”

“Before using Datalliance, our analysts spent countless hours of manual work painstakingly trying to figure out the details of retail replenishment orders. Now, Datalliance calculates the replenishment orders, and our time has been reduced by 75%. For retailers, the benefit is that re-orders are not only much more accurate, but their purchasing department doesn’t need to get involved. That saves them considerable time and effort. We’ve streamlined the process, made it much more accurate, with a significant reduction in effort – a pretty good result by any standard.”

Because E1 Entertainment can analyze product demand at an individual store level based on customer demand every week, their retail partners’ stockout scenarios are drastically reduced. “We’re providing better customer service to our retailers and they in turn are providing better service to their consumers,” described MacFarlane. “With a better handle on retailer demand, we can manage and therefore minimize our overall inventory across retail locations. This is really the key for us. We’re increasing sales but doing so with a significantly lower investment in inventory. Improving the efficiency of the supply chain lowers inventory costs, increases margins and ultimately improves profits.”

Read the complete article.

News & Announcements
VMI on the rise in plumbing – Reasons to Let a Supplier Manage Your Inventory article courtesy of The Wholesaler
Datalliance Realizes Record Year in 2009
E1 Entertainment Implements Datalliance Vendor Managed Inventory as Foundation for New Business Model
Weldon Parts, Inc. Uses Vendor Managed Inventory to Increase Sales and Improve Order Process Efficiency
Heavy Duty Industry Distributor Improves Bottom Line Results with Datalliance Vendor Managed Inventory
Velvac Successfully Implements Vendor Managed Inventory to Support Heavy Duty Industry Distributors
Bracco Diagnostics Selects Datalliance VMI as Platform for Vendor Managed Inventory Program
Datalliance to Present Vendor Managed Inventory at Bearing Specialists Association Meeting
Datalliance Announces New Collaborative Special Pricing Reconciliation Service
Datalliance Ranked Highest in “Business Factors” in Latest Industry Report on Vendor Managed Inventory
Sunny Delight Beverages Co. Selects Datalliance Vendor Managed Inventory Service
CommScope, Inc. Selects Datalliance VMI

Expert Updates
Operations/Data Center Update
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team members, the Operations group closed out 2009 with no unscheduled outages to production and customer facing systems. We’re looking to replicate this success over the coming year by continuing our investment in best-in-class systems and architectures....
Customer Care Tip
Managing Inventory in an Improving Economy
Several suppliers have recently reported that their distributors are either experiencing an increase in demand or are making specific requests to build up inventory in anticipation of increased demand. Over the past 12-24 months many distributors worked with their suppliers to reduce the overall inventory levels they maintain. Unfortunately, reducing inventory levels can result in stock-outs and reduced customer service levels as demand rebounds if the supplier and distributor do not anticipate and collaborate on appropriate adjustments to the replenishment model. Datalliance VMI offers a variety of functionality that allows VMI Planners to boost inventory levels to ensure high customer service levels when future demand is expected to significantly outpace historical demand.

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