New Value Chain Analytics from SAS

Version 6 of business intelligence solution aims to provide financial transparency across the retail/CPG value chain

Cary, NC — May 14, 2003 — Business intelligence specialist SAS this week took the wraps off the latest version of its BI solution for retailers, distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers in the consumer package goods (CPG) and retail industries.

SAS said that Value Chain Analytics 6.0 includes such new capabilities as the ability to quickly view and model distribution systems, as well as analyze complete distribution systems, including each product and customer or supplier. By providing financial transparency across the value chain, the provider said, the SAS solution allows organizations working in the value chain to reduce product costs and increase profitability from post-production to retail check-out.

According to industry analysts, the two most important issues for companies are the pressure to reduce overall supply chain costs as well as collaborate more effectively with internal and external partners. Yet traditionally, organizations have lacked an objective, easily repeatable means of determining how sales, marketing, logistics and other decisions affect product cost and profitability. SAS said that Value Chain Analytics 6.0 uses the provider's data access and analytics capabilities to determine quickly and accurately the financial impact of decisions on product cost and profitability.

"Organizations need to have accurate, fact-based financial data about their distribution systems so they can make informed management decisions," said Joe Andraski a senior vice president at OMI International and vice chair of the Voluntary Inter-Industry Commerce Standards (VICS) Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment Committee.

Commenting on the challenges between retailers and CPG suppliers, and the value that SAS VCA provides Andraski, who is intimately involved in the development of collaborative business practices and technology for industry, said that the SAS solution provides unbiased, ongoing cost transparency and analysis. "This delivers the insight trading partners need to understand potential cost savings before implementation, as well as move toward processes that will increase overall supply chain efficiency while satisfying customer needs," Andraski concluded.

SAS said that version 6.0 delivers two significant new capabilities. First, traditionally, modeling and viewing distribution systems for analysis was performed manually and took extensive time and resources. A unique new interface automates the process, reducing that build time to as little as five minutes by taking advantage of information already stored in an organization's procurement, warehousing, logistics, category management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The solution allows companies to view and navigate their unique value chains from both graphical and hierarchical standpoints, which SAS said could reduce time to analysis, subsequent cost savings and return on investment.

In addition, previous versions of the SAS solution monitored and analyzed representative value chain data samples. In these engagements, the results typically found inefficiencies of 5 to 10 percent of gross sales value. The software now supports all products and customers/suppliers in a distribution system. Further, calculation speeds are now 200 times faster than previous versions. This enables retailers and suppliers to quickly identify and understand the costs of every product at any point of the chain, SAS said.