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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 1996
HOWARD W. SAMS & COMPANY MOVES FROM PAPER TO THE
Sams, Recently Acquired by Bell Atlantic, Celebrates
its 50th Year by
Electronic Catalogs for Wholesalers
and Distributors-and Their
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Howard W. Sams & Company (Sams), a Bell
company, today announces a range of electronic commerce solutions-from
CD-ROM applications to on-line catalog delivery systems-for
wholesalers and distributors, and their customers. With the debut of
the Datahost family of products, Sams is leading the way in expanding
paper-based ordering and acquisition to an Internet-based platform.
Sams, which was recently acquired by Bell Atlantic Directory Graphics
(Directory Graphics), is a leading technical publisher of over 125
business-to-business catalogs.The core of the new offering is
Datahost, a five million item relational database composed of
manufacturers' product listings that Sams reformatted and
standardized. Datahost gives Sams the unique capability of meeting
customer needs for CD-ROM, on-line and print catalogs and other
applications, all from a single source of product information.
"In the current economic environment, wholesalers and distributors,
along with manufacturers, are under intense pressure to reduce
operating expenses, improve productivity and deliver superior
Datahost family of products, including Dataview(tm) and DataROM(tm),
are designed to help achieve these objectives."
Dataview, the on-line catalog component of Datahost, allows a customer
to connect to a distributor's on-line catalog to view and search the
complete product line. The customer can view a product and its
technical description and access information about its availability
and cost. After finding the appropriate item, the user creates and
enters an electronic purchase order and can follow up periodically on
the order's delivery status. By capturing all system log-ons,
inquiries and purchases, Dataview gives distributors the information
they need to make more intelligent product decisions and helps them to
stock the most effective products in their inventories.
DataROM, the CD-ROM component of Datahost, allows a manufacturer or a
distributor to convert their catalogs onto a CD-ROM. DataROM provides
rapid access to product information, complete technical specifications
and allows the user to search the information contained on the CD from
a single, inclusive screen.
Sams' move to electronic commerce is based on extensive market
research that polled top-ranking executives from the distribution
industry, including distributors and end-users. Of the end-users
surveyed, 68.3 percent reported that they would likely adopt an
on-line catalog within one year of its availability.
"With Datahost, Sams is changing the landscape of the distribution
industry," said Dan Gomez, president, Bell Atlantic Directory
Graphics. "Sams' 50 years of industry knowledge, in combination with
Directory Graphics' access to advanced technology, creates a strong
partnership. This partnership has resulted in the development of a
system that allows distributors to build closer ties to their
customers, to gain market share and to move aggressively toward the
Rick Prohammer, senior manager, business consulting practice, Arthur
Andersen, LLP, said, "Dataview's immediate effect will be to
the need for that 'wall of catalogs' and the problems associated with
out-of-date information. This will provide a tremendous boost to the
efficiency of inside sales people, and, at the same time, wholesalers
can leverage the direct on-line capabilities of the system to allow an
even bigger shift from outside to inside sales. The impact of that
change will be tremendous."
Established in 1946 in Indianapolis, Ind., Howard W. Sams & Company
is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Sams publishes nearly 125
catalogs annually for its customers in the electrical, electronic,
HVAC/R, industrial, janitorial, paper and plumbing supplies markets.
Sams is the nation's largest provider of after-market service data for
the television/VCR repair industry in the form of the PHOTOFACT® and
VCRfact® subscription services. In addition, the company owns
Masters Press, which publishes sport fitness and reference books. In
the fall of 1995, Sams was acquired by Directory Graphics, a member of
the Bell Atlantic family.
Based in Valley Forge, Pa., Directory Graphics provides complete
graphics services, database design, typesetting, pagination and
state-of-the-art electronic database publishing, multimedia and CD-ROM
applications for Bell Atlantic and other Yellow Pages and catalog
Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.
for more information, contact:
- Rob Blumenthal, Young & Associates, 301-309-9404