BACKGROUND: Sears Canada one of the largest retailers in Canada. The company offers more than 200 brick-and-mortar stores in a variety of product and service formats, and serves over 4 million households with a mix of general and promotional catalogs. Sears Canada continues to develop its Web presence to complement and enhance its existing channels while exploring new opportunities.

PLATFORMS: We run NuEdge Systems Archer 5.0 on Microsoft Windows and are converting to Windows NT.

PROBLEM SOLVED: At Sears Canada, we implemented Archer 5.0 more to seize an opportunity rather than respond to a problem. We had more than 6 million customer names and addresses in a number of unconnected and redundant databases. We lacked a consolidated view and action toolkit to readily understand and act on customers' behaviors such as when they had last shopped and their respective spending levels. Archer 5.0 enabled us to develop a comprehensive view of our customers and was an important first step in realizing our goal of improving the return on investment of our catalog marketing efforts. A second and more strategic objective was to understand the overall behaviors of customers in our many sales channels to further optimize not only our marketing efforts, but the total allocation of expenses. Archer has enabled us to accomplish these things quickly and efficiently.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We use Archer for a variety of critical applications, including data hygiene of our mailings lists, cross-selling and up-selling reports, and credit and merchandising reports.

STRENGTHS: Archer 5.0 is a powerful solution. Some of its strengths include open architecture, speed, flexible query capability, total campaign management (analysis, implementation and measurement) and ease of use.

WEAKNESSES: At the time of our implementation, Archer's design did not include tools designed specifically for catalogers. NuEdge Systems responded by designing a catalog module that automates daily tasks specific to the industry. Archer's campaign management capabilities are not designed specifically for use in Canada.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We reviewed several customer relationship management and marketing automation applications when we began looking for a solution. We chose Archer based on it robust platform, ease of use, speed and campaign management capabilities. NuEdge Systems' commitment to training our employees and their extensive retail expertise were also key differentiators.

DELIVEERABLES: We use Archer to create, implement and measure the effectiveness of our catalog marketing campaigns. We rely on the solution's data analysis and query capabilities to manage lists and provide performance measurement for these campaigns. Some of the key deliverables from Archer include mailing list management for specific catalogs, merchandise reports reflecting customer behavior, response rate reports, and channel and category cross-shopping analysis.

VENDOR SUPPORT: NuEdge Systems consulting support is excellent. The company's industry experts have been very helpful in working with us to meet our goals.

DOCUMENTATION: User guides and how-to manuals are easy to understand and use. They are customized to our business to give users a complete source for the information they need.

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