Smith-Gardner and Applied Digital Solutions Partner to Offer a
Seamlessly Integrated Solution for Multi-Channel Retailers
DELRAY BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 31, 2000--Smith-Gardner (Nasdaq:SGAI), a leader in end-to-end software solutions for e-commerce, and Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADSX), a single-source provider of e-business solutions, today announced a partnership to provide integrated in-store and e-commerce solutions
tailored to specialty retailers' multi-channel requirements. Under the arrangements of the partnership, the two companies will integrate Applied Digital's TradeWind(R) point-of-sale and enterprise connectivity applications with Smith-Gardner's Ecometry(TM), a universal suite of e-business applications. The new partnership allows Smith-Gardner and Applied Digital Solutions to jointly offer a customer-centric solution aimed at satisfying the brick-and-mortar, e-retailing and direct marketing needs of the growing ranks of multi-channel specialty retailers.
Numerous Benefits to Retailers
The combined solution provides the front-end and back-end functions that enable a specialty retailer to operate multiple sales channels from one common set of customer and transaction information. Customer knowledge is a key differentiation tool for multi-channel retailers. It is critical to have a single database to manage all customer information and to provide the ability to recognize shoppers, regardless of how or where they have purchased in the past. Whether the customer is being serviced in the store via a POS unit, or online from a retail web site, or from a telemarketer at a call center, a single view of the customer is provided. This translates to a more responsive, personalized customer shopping experience.
John F. Shaw, Jr., director of IS development and support for Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq:CWTR), and a joint client of Smith-Gardner and Applied Digital, explained the benefits of the combined solution. "In order to provide the customer service that Coldwater Creek is known for, we need a truly integrated environment. That means all of our partners working together to create a seamless interface into all systems. It's the only way that we can continue to grow as a true multi-channel retailer."
The details of the integration involve a single repository of customer and item information residing within Smith-Gardner's Ecometry system. Applied Digital's TradeWind POS and TradeRoute(TM) connectivity applications interface with Ecometry in real-time -- over a retailer's virtual private network (VPN) -- to search for, locate and display information to store personnel. To provide high levels of customer service, sales associates have the ability to:
-- Access a customer's purchase history for all sales channels -- Locate a specific item at any store in the chain or in the distribution center -- Facilitate returns and exchanges regardless of purchase origin -- Offer cross channel and upsell/cross-sell suggestions -- Personalize customer communications based on customer profile information, such as recency, frequency and monetary value
Commenting on the announcement, Applied Digital's chairman and CEO Richard J. Sullivan said: "The ascent of the multi-channel retail concept has been remarkable. The ability of these retailers to offer today's shopper a choice of purchase methods is the key to their growth and success. We're excited to be partnering with Smith-Gardner to release an integrated solution that delivers the customer visibility and customer focus that multi-channel retailers require to continue to differentiate themselves."
"Our partnership with Applied Digital enables us to complete our multi-channel solution set for specialty retailers," said Gary Hegna, chairman, president and CEO of Smith-Gardner. "Applied Digital offers a leading solution for point-of-sale and connectivity applications which extends the total package offering of our Ecometry suite. Together we empower retailers to provide their customers with a new level of personalized customer service."
About Applied Digital Solutions, Inc.
Applied Digital Solutions is a leading-edge, single-source provider of e-business solutions. The company differentiates itself in the marketplace by enabling e-business through Computer Telephony Internet Integration (CTII). With five-year revenue growth (from 1994 to 1998) of 64,012%, Applied Digital Solutions is ranked as the fifth fastest-growing technology company by Deloitte & Touche in its 1999 Technology Fast 500 listing. For more information, visit the Company's web site at www.adsx.com.
Applied Digital Solutions' Retail Systems business unit develops and markets in-store systems, corporate data tools, and enterprise connectivity solutions to the retail industry. It has more than 15,000 contracted installations in a client base of internationally recognized specialty retail companies, including Bata Limited, Cole-Haan, Inc., Dexter Shoe Company, Donna Karan Company, Estee Lauder Companies, Frederick's of Hollywood, Jos. A Bank Clothiers, Noodle Kidoodle, Stride Rite Children's Retail Group, and Things Remembered.
Smith-Gardner is the premier provider of end-to-end e-commerce solutions worldwide. Smith-Gardner's family of products ensures customer satisfaction throughout the multi-channel shopping and buying experience. Headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, the Company was founded in 1988 and has several hundred clients in 17 countries. Smith-Gardner operates regional headquarters throughout the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. The Company's global client base includes Nordstrom.com, Hickory Farms, MicroWarehouse, KBkids.com, Nine West, Coldwater Creek, Outpost.com, Urban Outfitters and Zales. Smith-Gardner products earned Best of Comdex awards in 1998 and 1999, a Citation of Innovation at Internet and Electronic Commerce Expo in '99, and an award for Best New e-Commerce and Internet Product of the Year at The International Direct Marketing Fair in March. For more information on Smith-Gardner, visit the Company's web site at www.smith-gardner.com.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements regarding the Company's business. Such statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including those risks set forth in the prospectus dated January 29, 1999, which was used in connection with the Company's initial public stock offering, which may cause results to
differ from management's current expectations.