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SAS® Analytics takes guesswork out of forecasting

Updated SAS® Demand-Driven Forecasting facilitates new product forecasting with 'structured judgment'

CARY, NC  (05 Jun. 2012)  – For manufacturers launching new products, the ability to more accurately answer "What will happen if ...?" is a significant competitive advantage. SAS, the leader in business analytics, delivers that advantage with enhanced SAS® Demand-Driven Forecasting software that helps manufacturers create more accurate sales and operations plans bolstered by efficient distribution networks.

"Our forecast accuracy improved immediately when we switched to SAS," said Arnaud Joliff, Nestlé Director of Supply Chain Integration. "There is no second guessing now. Forecasting accuracy reduces safety stock, inventory days on hand, storage costs and freight costs. Gaining a few points of accuracy at the national level generates supply chain savings immediately. We can know what kind of lift is generated by a particular deal with a retailer and immediately adjust the supply chain."

Traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) systems can't deliver the forecast accuracy needed by manufacturers. Lackluster forecasting leaves scars: lost sales, over-allocated budgets, obsolete products and overstocks. SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting automatically tracks variations between forecast and actual numbers to guide sales and operations planning. SAS combines historical shipments, customer and other upstream data, and causal data like holidays and marketing promotions to derive a demand plan to maximize profits, market share and customer satisfaction. A new product forecasting workbench gives customers unparalleled ability to integrate new product forecasts into the planning process.

Because new products have no sales history, the forecasting workbench uses "like items" – historical data of groups of existing products with similar attributes - to create an objective forecast. Powerful SAS analytics automates the selection of like items, facilitates the review and clustering of past product introductions, and creates meaningful statistical forecasts. The results help allocate supply chain resources, establish inventory levels and schedule sales promotions before a launch.

"There is so much uncertainty around new products," said Mike Newkirk, SAS Director, Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain Product Marketing. "SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting helps customers drive down the risk of a new product introduction. SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting addresses this needed capability by using a patent-pending methodology called ‘structured judgment.’"  

About SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting

SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting is part of SAS Demand-Driven Planning and Optimization, a modular suite of products that improves demand and inventory management using advanced analytics, data integration, alerting, workflow, dashboards and reports. Common foundational components and interfaces (SAS Demand-Driven Planning and Optimization Foundation) combined with optional modules (Forecast Analyst Workbench, Inventory Optimization Workbench, Consensus Planning, New Product Forecasting and Forecasting for SAP/APO) enable customers to address immediate business challenges and add future capabilities while protecting current investments.

For more details, please visit the SAS web site or call Mike Newkirk at 919-531-1809.

About SAS® for Manufacturing

Whether a manufacturer is working to solve complex problems involving supply and demand, customer insights, production, profitability management, service or sustainability, SAS® for Manufacturing can help. Manufacturers as diverse as BGF Industries, Dow Chemical and Hewlett-Packard look to SAS for the insights that help them enhance operations, performance and profits. Stay connected by following SAS for Manufacturing on Twitter at @SASMFG.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions delivered within an integrated framework, SAS helps customers at more than 50,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.

The Canadian subsidiary of SAS has been in operation for 21 years. Headquartered in Toronto, SAS employs 240 people across the country at its Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montréal offices.

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