By David Sims
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Robert Earl Keen, Jr.’s “For Love,” the song of the year for 2005 as far as I’m concerned:
INation’s NationBuilder CRM platform is now partnered with portfolio accounting and performance reporting from Albridge Solutions.
The partnership allows subscribers to iNation’s NationBuilder CRM tool to access Albridge Solutions’ consolidated customer account information via one Web portal.
Gary Bennett, president of iNation says financial advisors can now “segment their book of business by searching and sorting using a number of variables.” For example, an advisor could look at all clients invested in a particular investment, with a certain account size, who live in the same area and have common interests, and then use that data to automatically send e-mail communications or a mail campaign to a targeted group.
INation’s NationBuilder product was launched in 2005, designed specifically for financial advisors and other sales professionals.
Kind of an FYI, “gee-whiz” news piece, but the Japan Economic Newswire is reporting this morning that Konica Minolta Holdings Inc. will withdraw from the camera business at the end of March, selling its digital single-lens reflex camera division to Sony. The company will dump 3,700 employees as well, just over ten percent of the workforce.
I know it’s a business decision and all that, the company says they want to focus – sorry – on such products as copiers and electronic components, but still, for those of us who’ve had Minolta cameras, the news that there won’t be any more of them, it’s kind of, well, maybe my father felt this way when Volkswagen stopped producing the Beetle.
The news reports say that the shift from film cameras to digital cameras knocked Konica Minolta for a loop, being more of a pure optical technology firm they weren’t really in the league anymore.
Oh well, time moves on.
Datamonitor’s done another one of their studies, this time finding that business for third-party logistics providers looks “very promising.”
In their recently published “European Logistics House View,” the tech research firm finds that expenditure on outsourced 3PL provision across the Automotive, Consumer, Hi-Tech, Pharmaceutical, and Retail industries is “set to increase significantly over the coming four years.”
In Europe’s automotive industry for example, what Datamonitor calls “continual pressure on costs” will mean 3PLs “account for 60% of overall expenditure on logistics services by 2010,” Datamonitor thinks.
But they do warn that 3PLs must “understand the factors driving the outsourcing trend in respective industries if they are intent on winning new business,” presumably by purchasing a Datamonitor report.
Overall logistics spend in the European retail market will increase by $12 billion by 2010, the report says: “A
lthough the grocery retail sector is largely nationalistic due to differing domestic tastes within Europe, the largest European markets are reaching saturation point.”
Companies moving eastwards will present opportunities to 3PLs as well, Datamonitor thinks, finding that w
ithin the consumer grocery sector “European companies are shifting their gaze eastwards due to competitive pressures caused by an increase in private labeling and a rise in discounters,” says Chris Morgan, Datamonitor logistics analyst and author of the research.