American Greetings Base Case

By Sean Gallagher  |  Posted 2003-03-01 Email Print this article Print

Every year, American Greetings churns out 20,000 new cards to meet every need of "social expression" it can imagine. But the life and death of each of those cards is hardly determined by the pen of an artist and the gut of a chief executive.

American Greetings Base Case

Headquarters: 1 American Road, Cleveland, OH 44144

Phone: (216) 252-7300

Business: Creation, design and sales of everyday and seasonal greeting cards, gift-wrap and related products.

Chief Information Officer: Bruce Petro

Financials: $2.4 billion of net sales in fiscal year ended Feb. 2002; Net loss of $122.3 million, or -5.2% on sales

Challenge: Streamline the management of products by digitizing creative materials, manage printing and production with computer systems, and link into retailers' information systems through bar-code scanning BASELINE GOALS:

  • Turn inventory more than 2.6 times a year
  • Improve market share from 40% of "social expressions" (greeting card) market
  • Broaden customer base (five customers account for 37% of revenue)
  • Reduce debt, which totaled $853.1 million at end of fiscal 2002

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    Sean Gallagher is editor of Ziff Davis Internet's enterprise verticals group. Previously, Gallagher was technology editor for Baseline, before joining Ziff Davis, he was editorial director of Fawcette Technical Publications' enterprise developer publications group, and the Labs managing editor of CMP's InformationWeek. A former naval officer and former systems integrator, Gallagher lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.

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