• May 13, 2003
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

SAS Bolsters CPG and Retail Analysis

Adding to its 12-year history in CPG and retail industry analytics solutions, SAS today introduced some upgrades for faster analysis. The upgrades, introduced at the Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) Europe Conference, in Berlin, are designed to increase calculation speeds and automate modeling and distribution analysis for retailers, distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturers in the consumer package goods and retail industries. The upgrades come bundled in the SAS Value Chain Analytics (VCA) 6.0 solution, slated for generally availability on June 13. "Traditionally, these organizations have lacked an objective, easily repeatable means of determining how sales, marketing, logistics, and other decisions affect product cost and profitability," an SAS release stated. "According to the 2002 Consumer Goods Technology/AMR Research Tech Trends Report, the two most important issues for companies are the pressure to reduce overall supply chain costs and to collaborate more effectively with internal and external partners. Version 6.0 is designed to quickly determine the financial impact of decisions on product cost and profitability." Previously, modeling and viewing distribution systems for analysis was performed manually and took extensive time and resources--as long as six to eight weeks, says Bob Davis, worldwide manager of value chain analytics at SAS. However, a new interface in version 6.0 automates the process, reducing the development time to as few as five minutes by culling information from an organization's procurement, warehousing, logistics, category management, and ERP systems. In the past the analysis was intended for one-time use, but VCA 6.0 enables companies to reuse the data as many times as they need. "Normally what would happen is, every time analysis was done it was a one-off analysis that could not be replicated without a lot of work. But with data warehousing tools, which is SAS's forte, customers can do it once, set it up to run on a regular basis, and replicate the work weekly or monthly," Davis says. According to Davis, the VCA 6.0, which is the next step up from VCA 5.5 (released last year), ranges from $200,000 to $500,000, depending on the number of seats.
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