Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Suspension of this blog

Publication of this blog has been suspended since the introduction of topicUS, an electronic newsletter for those seriously interested in adding sales, profits and value to their companies by selling in the US.

To receive a sample issue of topicUS, free of charge and with no obligation, please email Roger Frampton at ExportAction (rogerf@exportaction.com).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Biggest gains in US employment - November 2011

Unemployment in the US  dropped sharply to 8.6 percent in November, its lowest level in two-and-a-half years, from nine percent the month before, official figures show.

The Department of Labor said the US economy added 120,000 new jobs in November. The number of jobs created in September and October was revised up by 72,000.

The private sector added 140,000 jobs during the month, while government employment continued to fall.
The retail sector saw the biggest gains, with 50,000 jobs added, while the leisure and hospitality, business services and healthcare sectors also saw strong gains.

At ExportAction we interpret these statistics as being good news for our clients selling into the growth sectors.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Home improvement outperforms other consumer sectors

On November 30, 2011, Bloomberg reported shares of Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos. -- the two largest U.S. home-improvement retailers -- are outperforming other consumer discretionary stocks as the worst of the declines in the housing market may be over.

Americans are on pace to spend $337.3 billion on their homes, with annualized private-residential fixed investment rising 3 percent from 2010 for the three months ended Sept. 30, Bureau of Economic Analysis data show. This is only the second such increase since 2006 and unlike 2010, wasn’t boosted by government tax-credit stimulus programs including one for appliances, said Scot Ciccarelli, a New York-based analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

$816 million online sales in one day

Black Friday Internet sales in the US totalled $816m, a 26% gain on last year, claimed Comscore. IBM Coremetrics put the rise at 24%. By comparison, Visa Europe said it believed November 28, 2011 will be the UK's busiest Internet shopping day, with £303m spent online.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is treated by many retailers as the start of the Christmas shopping season. They offer one-off discounts to mark the occasion.
Amazon was the most popular destination, with 50% more visitors than any other retailer.Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple were next in line, said the analytics company. Around 50 million Americans visited online retail sites on Friday, November 25, 2011, according to Comscore.

Close to 123 million Americans planned to make an online purchase on Cyber Monday (November 28, 2011) according to a survey commissioned by the US National Retail Federation, an industry lobby group. That would be a 15% increase on last year.

November snapshot: security

NOV 2011:  The Department of Homeland Security has awarded ManTech International Corporation a contract valued at $5.9 million to provide a wide range of information technology services that support the congressionally mandated Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology Act of 2002 (SAFETY Act). The award has a base period of performance of one year and three option years.

NOV 2011:  The US Department of Defense has awarded V-Tech Solutions, Inc. (V-Tech) a $4.1 million contract to provide forensic accounting services to the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, in support of Task Force (TF) 2010. It provides commanders and acquisition teams with situational understanding regarding the flow of contract funds and recommends actions to deny insurgents the opportunity to benefit from illicit revenue.

Nov 2011:  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has selected CACI International Inc. as one of three prime contractors to provide background investigation fieldwork services. The indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract is for a ten-month base period and four option years and has a ceiling value of $2.5 billion.
NOV 2011:  The U.S. Missile Defense Agency awarded CSC a task order to provide systems engineering support for all MDA-funded ballistic missile defense systems. The task order, which has a one-year base period and a one-year option, has an estimated total two-year value of $80 million.
NOV 2011:  The City of Atlanta has awarded a contract to Motorola to integrate disparate public and private surveillance camera systems into one common operational environment in the Video Integration Center (VIC). Motorola’s Global Services organization leads a team including ADT Commercial Security, a Tyco International company and CIBER, Inc. to provide a comprehensive solution for the city.  Motorola and ADT Commercial Security have completed the implementation of the first phase of the project by upgrading the city’s existing cameras from analog to digital, and from leased line to wireless backhaul. ADT Government Services Division managed the installation of the wireless network and pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) cameras in the downtown Atlanta Metro area. 

Veteran Affairs

NOV 2011:  The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs of the State has purchased a First Response Water System from PureSafe Water Systems, Inc. The purchase of the system is part of an overall disaster response initiative implemented by the Governor of Alaska. The system will be delivered per contract in January 2012.

Nov 2011:  The Department of Veteran Affairs has selected Virtual Corporation’s Sustainable Planner® software program to manage and maintain over 100 disaster recovery and contingency plans. The program will support Business Continuity in within the Region 2 and 3 Interim Data Centers. 

NOV 2011:  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded DFINE, Inc. a five-year Federal Supply Schedule contract.  According to the terms of the contract, DFINE will supply the StabiliT® Radiofrequency Targeted Vertebral Augmentation™ (RF-TVA) System and all related products to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) to the V.A. system, representing 950 facilities throughout the country.

Nov 2011:  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded By Light Professional IT Service Inc. a contract for the Omaha Regional Medical Center. By Light and team members World Wide Technology (WWT) and Ekahau will implement an Ekahau Real-Time Location Tracking System (RTLS) Sensor platform over a Cisco 802.11 Wireless network to automatically monitor and manage environmentally sensitive medications, supplies, foods, and other items in the VA Nebraska - Western Iowa Health Care System. The facilities covered by the award include the Omaha Nebraska VA Medical Center and seven Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) in Nebraska: Bellevue, Grand Island, Holdrege, Lincoln, Norfolk, North Platte, O’Neill, and one in Shenandoah, Iowa. 

November snapshot: US Navy

Nov 2011:  The Naval Supply Systems Command has selected CACI International Inc. as a prime contractor to provide technical support services that will help (NAVSUP) facilitate the development, testing, and deployment of the U.S. Navy’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Single Supply Solution program. This indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract has a ceiling value of $36.7 million and is for one base year and four option years. 

November snapshot: US Army

NOV 2011:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers  has awarded Tetra Tech, Inc. a $225 million contract to provide a broad spectrum of environmental restoration and remediation services for the Louisville District. Five large business teams will share in the contract ceiling value. The new program has a two-year base period and two four-year options periods. Under the Environmental Restoration Services Contract (ERSC), Tetra Tech will provide a full range of environmental services including investigations, studies, design, remediation, environmental dredging, ecosystem restoration, operation and maintenance, and emergency and/or time-critical response activities.

November snapshot: USAF

Nov 2011:  The U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency has granted AECOM Technology Corporation a task order contract worth $16.9 million. Under the task order, AECOM will provide design-build services to complete the design and facility repairs at Little Rock Air Force Base. Due to tornado damage that occurred during April 2011, repairs will be made to seven buildings, including structural metal roofing replacement, exterior finishes and siding repair, interior renovations, and mechanical and electrical repairs.

NOV 2011:  The U.S. Air Force has placed a $15 million order from Harris Corporation for additional Falcon III® AN/PRC-117G multiband manpack radio systems. The AN/PRC-117G will provide Air Force personnel with tactical communication capabilities for a range of applications, such as precision air support. Harris received this order in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

NOV 2011:  The General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded ManTech International Corporation a task order under its Alliant Government-Wide Acquisition Contract vehicle to provide cyber defense support to the U.S. Air Force 90th Information Operations Squadron. The award is valued at $7.1 million with a one year base period of performance and one option year. Under the task order, ManTech will provide software development solutions that support the U.S. Air Force Cyber Command’s cyber defense technology development, integration, and fielding support services. 

November snapshot: transportation

NOV 2011:  A transit operating authority located in the Southeast has placed a $2.2 million order with DRI Corporation for Digital Recorders® automatic vehicle location (“AVL”) systems.

Nov 2011:  The U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Government-wide Policy has awarded Mercury Associates, Inc., a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for services to support Federal agencies in fulfilling the requirements of Presidential Memorandum - Federal Fleet Performance. The contract term is for as many as five years and has a potential value of $5 million. The Federal Government operates the largest fleet in America, with more than 650,000 vehicles.
NOV 2011:  Missouri Department of Transportation awards TransCore a $3.3 million contract to replace their existing traffic management software system and integrate TransCore’s TransSuite® traffic management software into the Gateway Guide program, a system designed to relieve congestion and improve safety in the St. Louis area, the state’s largest city and the 16th-largest urban area in the country. The system cutover will be complete by April 2012.

November snapshot: state government

NOV 2011:  The State of Kansas has awarded Accenture a five-year contract to develop and implement a new benefits eligibility system known as the Kansas Eligibility and Enforcement System (KEES). The new system will provide Kansas with greater integration across human service programs and better meet citizen needs by providing online access to human services and eligibility information as an alternative to office visits.
NOV 2011:  The State of Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) has awarded Time Warner Cable Business Class a multi-year services contract with making the company’s suite of next generation network and internet solutions available to all state agencies.

November snapshot: software

NOV 2011:  Horizon Beverage has selected the HighJump warehouse management system (WMS) to manage its new 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Norton, Mass. Horizon Beverage distributes wine, spirits and beer in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

NOV 2011:  Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics has selected Zix Corporation to replace its previous email security solution in a new, four-year contract.