Richmond, Va.

"Christmas in July" promotions are not a new retail concept, but stores and malls appear to be kicking it up a notch this year in order to spur sales in an otherwise sluggish time of the year. Retailers and mall operators are turning to "Christmas in July" events to provide an opportunity to offer sales that are "not simply a price promotion." Instead, these sales become more of a social event.

At the recent National Conference on Operations & Fulfillment in Las Vegas, Curt Barry, president of the Richmond, Va.-based multichannel operations and fulfillment consultancy F. Curtis Barry & Co., presented 15 tips on how to reduce expenses in the warehouse. Here's a rundown of his presentation:

With the Internet fast becoming the vehicle of choice for catalog shoppers to place orders, catalogers face the challenge of identifying what inspired those buys to begin with. The more marketing channels available, the more ways companies can reach existing clients and prospects. But unless a buyer purchases the old-fashioned way — via phone, fax or mail — or types the key code of a catalog into the Web order form, it’s tough to determine whether that sale was driven by the catalog, an e-newsletter, a Google search or an intentional visit to your site. Earlier this year, Catalog Success polled multichannel merchants to

By Curt Barry Save cash in your contact center, distribution center and more. Today, many operations professionals are being asked to reduce costs and increase productivity and efficiency. Following are 15 tactics to try in your contact center, inventory control area and distribution center. In the Contact Center 1. Focus on agent scheduling. In general, contact center managers do a good job setting customer service reps' (CSRs') schedules based on projected call volumes. But then what happens? Review your original agent schedule against actual call volume and agents who worked. This simple task often provides insight into a schedule's effectiveness. Takeaway tip: Try

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