Barclays Bank has awarded Royal Mail a minimum three-year contract to provide an internal mail service for all pieces of mail travelling between offices and branches within Barclays, following a review of external suppliers for internal mail services across the group. The new deal follows the completion of a five-year contract, also performed by Royal Mail, covering more than 2,300 Barclays sites in the UK and will include an option for selected offshore locations such as Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. On average, 4.7 million items of mail – including internal correspondence, internal marketing material and stationery – will pass through this service every year.
Two-thirds of UK manufacturers think that widespread RFID adoption will not be achieved for at least two years, according to a survey by Ross Systems UK, a provider of enterprise software solutions for process manufacturers. Only 11% thought that the industry could expect to see widespread RFID adoption within the next year. The survey of UK manufacturers questioned respondents on the pressures facing the manufacturing sector. Nearly 70% of those questioned blamed the lack of consensus on a common industry standard as the main reason preventing RFID adoption. A further 22% thought that cost was the main barrier to RFID, with 11% blaming conflicting demands from retailers.
PD Ports is to operate the Hull Container Port (HCT) having reached an agreement with Associated British Ports (ABP). The company’s existing contract expires in December 2004, and has been extended until further notice. Record numbers of containers were handled at HCT in the year ending March 31, 2004, which saw an almost 20% growth over 2003. Jerry Hopkinson, managing director of PD Ports, adds: “Naturally we are delighted that the agreement to operate HCT has been extended. Increasing support from principal clients such as Bulcon, Geest North Sea Line, Euroafrica Lines, Finnlines, McAndrews and OOCL has led to record volumes.
Argos is now live with i2 Technologies’ Demand Planner which enabling it to forecast demand for more than 10,000 product items and allow product availability for customers using its catalogues, online storefront and 560-plus shops in the UK and Ireland. Caroline Bell, supply chain programme manager for integrated planning at Argos, says: “We need to be sharp at predicting what customers want and make sure that we supply it in the right volumes.” i2 Demand Planner helps companies more accurately model and predict customer demand. It can be tailored to the forecasting needs of different product categories to address fast and slow moving items, seasonal and promotional lines.