Miles Kimball to switch to Junction Solutions software

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In a move intended to help drive growth, cataloger Miles Kimball Co. said it will replace its current retail enterprise software system from Ecometry with one from Junction Solutions.

Miles Kimball, which is owned by Blyth Inc., mails approximately 120 million catalogs annually under the brand names Miles Kimball, Walter Drake, Easy Comforts, Exposures and Home Marketplace. One of the first things president Stan Krangel did when he took over the company this spring was to assess its growth strategy.

"We need to put ourselves in a position where we can fuel growth," Mr. Krangel said. "Our systems were not in a position to do that."

The problem was that over time, the requirements for multichannel integration grew at a pace that the Ecometry system couldn't keep up with.

"We have to modify as we see the Internet becoming a bigger component of the business," Mr. Krangel said.

He said that the company needs a system that can offer greater data accuracy, multichannel integration and greater efficiency throughout the entire organization.

As a result of the switch to Junction Solutions' platform, Miles Kimball expects all areas of its business to benefit.

In addition, Mr. Krangel said the move will facilitate Greenwich, CT-based Miles Kimball's expansion into Canada as well as internationally.

The switch to the Junction Solutions platform will begin next year and won't be completed until 2008.

Junction Solutions' JunctionMCRT offers multichannel retail-specific tools that have been built on top of Microsoft's ERP application, Microsoft DynamicsT AX. Since Microsoft is building the basic application, Junction Solutions, Lincolnshire, IL, is able to focus exclusively on "providing the functional enhancements that are valuable to retailers," said Junction Solutions CEO Brian L. Carpizo.

Some of the ways that retailers benefit from being on a Microsoft technology platform include its scalability, easy-to-use interface and ability to process data efficiently, Mr. Carpizo said.

"Miles Kimball will be able to do analytics that weren't even possible before and other information that they were struggling to get before will come much easier," he said.

In addition, call center personnel will have significantly more information at their fingertips than they had before.

"Within one or two clicks, they will be able to get what they need to get about products, availability and customers," Mr. Carpizo said.

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