27 February 2003 | Robin Parker
Business intelligence software specialist SAS has launched applications to make supply chains profitable by making procurement more efficient and improving sales forecasts.
The company said customers are asking for help to provide deeper understanding and analysis of supply chain decisions that go beyond automating enterprise resource planning and demand forecasting.
The tools aim to give users analytical insight into their supplier relationships, customer demand, spend patterns, finance and production processes.
SAS Supply Chain Intelligence is made up of the Internet-enabled supplier relationship management, value chain analytics and software to help companies improve forecasts and process efficiencies.
Demand Intelligence aims to optimise promotions, pricing and production plans to anticipate customer demand.
The accompanying Process Intelligence is designed to improve product quality and cut production and logistics times by monitoring supply chain processes.
Both are available on a limited basis, ahead of a wider roll-out in the final quarter of 2003.
SAS argues that Supply Chain Intelligence has a strategic role to play in manufacturing, where economic pressure is forcing companies to cut production costs while maintaining quality.
Jim Davis, SAS's senior vice-president and chief marketing officer, said customers wanted help to address the shortcomings of automated supply chain management systems.
"This offering enables organisations to generate meaningful insights, deliver them to decision-makers at the right time, and take the actions necessary to enable performance improvements," he said.
The company has also formed an advisory division to help customers implement the software more quickly.
The move aims to address concerns, identified last year by Forrester Research, that two-thirds of firms find implementations more difficult than expected.