Information management gets smart

By Ephraim Schwartz, InfoWorld |  Software

"Our technology can be used for classic inventory and logistical problems," Smith says. GreyStone is soon to announce a deal with a major company in the parts-supply sector to set up distribution routes and delivery schedules that can be modified on the fly.

"Retailers lose money all the time when a customer comes in and asks for something that the store doesn't have," Smith explains. "If the retailer were able to say, 'I can have it by tomorrow,' instead of telling the customer that his next shipment isn't for 10 days, the retailer would have a chance at keeping the customer."

The parts supplier, using GreyStone's technology, will be able to collect information on all of its routes, delivery trucks, and truck locations through GPS systems and warehouse content and inventory, and adapt the distribution routes and schedules by communicating directly with the route driver -- via wireless devices if necessary -- to reroute not only that driver's schedule, but to alert and alter all the other affected routes as well.

"If you just changed one driver, you would leave a giant hole where he has been pulled off the route," Smith notes. "You have to readapt with a minimum of perturbation."

Indeed, savvy managers are catching on to the important role that intelligent content management can play in their business, according to IDC's Feldman -- they are being far more careful about what they wish for.

"The reason to make a collection of things is not just to find things once," Feldman says. "The end goal is to find it again and use it for some purpose."

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