BI Tackles Information Overload

By Adam Blair — November 04, 2010

Retailers are dealing with a veritable flood of data, both structured (such as VL1110b.jpgcustomer information and transaction records) and unstructured (such as the “chatter” about a retailer’s brand that can be gleaned from social networks). Leading-edge retailers are realizing that the intersection point where “traditional” data meets these newer information sources could be where they discover the next big thing for their business.

This is one reason that both the “power users” and line-of-business executives within retail enterprises are seeking robust, flexible, easy-to-use BI tools. More and more people want access to BI solutions that can provide them with role-based information, presented in graphically simple dashboards tracking the key performance indicators that are most crucial to each person and job title.
This month’s Vendor Landscape focuses on business intelligence solutions. RIS lists some of the major BI vendors and highlights some recent retailer deployments.

Location Scouting
TCBY, the nation’s largest purveyor of frozen yogurt, recently chose Buxton’s analytical tools to develop a predictive sales model that will introduce a successful expansion strategy for the 800-store chain. “With Buxton’s analytical tools, we will be able to evaluate our existing locations, verify our most loyal customers, and determine future locations,” said Rob Streett, senior vice president of TCBY.

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Optimizing Inventory

Ripley Chile, an apparel, accessories and home furnishings company that is part of one of the largest retailers in Chile and Peru, recently selected ARC Merchandise Analytics from Manthan Systems. The comprehensive performance management solution will help Ripley optimize inventory levels and in-stock positions, improve assortments, review competitive positioning and better manage in-store operations.

Go West, Young Man
Shepler’s, an apparel retailer that has become synonymous with a country/western lifestyle, chose MI9 Merchant to deliver a 360-degree view of its 19 stores, its e-commerce channel and its catalog. “With the implementation of MI9 Merchant we will be able to consolidate merchandising and operational functions into one highly efficient system for product management, pricing and replenishment for our multi-channel operation, ensuring the best service and assortment wherever our customers shop,” said Jim Ritter, executive vice president and CFO of Sheplers.

Tech Retailer Localizes Assortments
Teknosa, Turkey’s leading technology retailer, is using solutions from Oracle Retail to optimize its retail space and help improve revenue by localizing and tailoring assortment, price and promotions within its 256 stores. Increased management visibility to stores will allow Teknosa to maintain better compliance with corporate plans by reallocating floor space for high-margin items, improving assortments by tailoring inventory to local demographics, and creating more streamlined store stocking practices.

Making Stores Shipshape
The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) is implementing the QuantiSense analytic and BI application for its global network of nearly 300 stores and 1,200 service operations across 104 naval installations. QuantiSense will help NEXCOM reduce overstocks, a key challenge since some of NEXCOM’s products are required to be in stock over 90% of the time, without maintaining excess inventory.

Analyzing Customer Purchase Patterns
Staples analyzes the purchasing patterns of its core customers in multiple channels to target them with relevant, profit-generating offers. The retailer uses SAS Analytics for predictive modeling and customer insight and SAS Marketing Automation to fine-tune its marketing campaigns. With well over 25 million customer records, customer data and information has helped strengthen synergies among the online, retail, catalog, loyalty marketing and merchandising groups. 

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