News - Great Response to Interactive Communications Network (ICN)|
Source Information Management Signs, Links 15 Major Publishers 50 Key Retailers in New Internet Commerce Network
Source's ICN Network Gives Publishers and Retailers Powerful Infomedia Tool; E-Commerce Revolutionizes Business-to-Business Interactivity, Increases Efficiency
Proprietary System Includes 569 Magazine Titles, Is Expandable to Other Merchandise
ST. LOUIS, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Source Information Management Company (NASDAQ:SORC) said 15 major publishers, representing 569 magazine titles, have contracted to use the company's ground-breaking internet Interactive Communications Network (ICN) enabling two-way commerce between publishers and retailers throughout North America. Some of the major publishers include Time, Hearst, Ziff Davis, American Media, Times-Mirror, Wenner Media and Globe Communications.
Source Chairman Leslie Flegel said, "ICN is receiving extraordinary acceptance from publishers and retailers because the network marries the internet with Source's proprietary software and information base -- the Periodic Information Network -- creating a powerful e-commerce interactivity tool and elevating e-commerce to a new level. We are pleased to be leading that advance."
More Publishers, Retailers Expected to Join Network
Flegel said that within coming months indications are Source will sign up many more publishers, and it already is adding significant numbers of major retailers to the 50 key retailers already on line. Retailers already on line include Kmart, King Soopers, A&P, Rite-Aid, Southland, Eckerd's and Walgreens.
Source said ICN enables a range of critical pricing and planning steps to be automated. Through the ICN system, retailers can automatically download constantly changing magazine prices, order new titles, instantly take advantage of special promotions, and easily change orders to meet local and chain-wide needs. Publishers can promote special targeted incentives, advertise and display special editions, new publications, and coming covers which may be attractive to certain retailers in regional markets. It also provides specific sales information by title on a chain-by-chain basis.
ICN originally was developed to enable retailers to accurately receive constantly changing Uniform Product Codes created by a variety of factors, including price changes and new title introductions. It also enabled retailers to better manage "authorized list" updates. It has evolved into a comprehensive category-management tool for all components of the magazine industry. Retailers on average go to The Source site several times each day to download the price changes, and now are accessing it more frequently to acquire other information as well.
ICN also is a "one-click" system. As a result, any change made by a retailer automatically is routed to all applicable wholesalers, publishers and national distributors, regardless of whether they subscribe to ICN. The system also enables publishers, wholesalers, national distributors and retailers to communicate via e-mail without maintaining an e-mail address book.
Source's ICN includes encryption systems so that competing vendors or retailers cannot view each others proprietary information. "All these attributes immediately create efficiencies and profitability at
both retailers and publishers," Flegel said.
Source said it will receive annual fees from each publisher, as well as other fees such as from advertising, promotions, and special programs.
Leadership Position Leveraged to Build Web-Based Information Exchange
Flegel also said Source "is in an exceptionally advantageous position to establish the network because of our long relationships with publishers and retailers. Source has been the major intermediary for sales rebates which flow from publishers and retailers, as well as the largest manufacturer of front-end display racks located at checkout counters, representing about 60 percent of all front-end manufacturing."
ICN, Flegel said, facilitates negotiations between retailers and publishers, and other manufacturers for coveted positions on checkout counter racks since position often determines impulse buying at the counters, and, therefore, is very competitive.
"We have leveraged our leadership positions to build a web-based information exchange and interactive e-commerce solution for retailers and a wide array of vendors," Flegel said.
"Much of the information, such as the rack manufacturing schedules, planograms, and shipping and arrival dates is proprietary to The Source."
System Adaptable to Other Merchandise; Active Talks Being Held
Source can easily adapt ICN to other vendors who sell products from racks at checkout counters.
The company is in active talks with major manufacturers of confectionaries and general merchandise products such as batteries, razors and film about adapting ICN to their needs and signing them as clients.
Flegel explained, "ICN takes the relationship between publishers and retailers out of the present dark-age environment in which neither knows what is selling on a timely basis, what new magazines, special editions or incentives are available, or when retailers are changing rack configurations." Retailers typically change racks every three years in all their stores.
"Publishers historically haven't known on a timely basis when a retailer has decided to discontinue a title, and couldn't react quickly to product deletion. That all changes with ICN because subscribing publishers are alerted immediately through the ICN network via automatic e-mail."
Source is an innovative "infomediary" company which provides front-end rebate collection and information services to about 825 retailers in the United States and Canada through nine offices. It also is the largest manufacturer in North America of display racks located at checkout counters. From its base businesses, knowledge and relationships in retailing and publishing, Source has evolved into an internet-based company through its ICN communication network which uses innovative, state-of-the-art technology to give retailers and their vendors a cutting-edge system for communicating and conducting e-commerce.
The information contained in this release includes statements regarding matters which are not historical facts (including statements regarding the plans, beliefs or expectations of The Source Information Management Company) which are forward-looking statements.......