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Yearly Archives


Data Profits’ iKIS Now Provides Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility

Speed, Data Granularity, and Groups Combined with Actionable Customization Will Drive Profits in 2013

Atlanta, December 19, 2012 – In 2013, mid-tier retailers, distributors, and grocers will increasingly need real-time actionable insight their into supply chain to drive behavior changes and profitability. Data Profits’ (https://www.data-profits.com/) iKIS supply chain visibility solution provides actionable insights, allowing companies to access granular data across both internal and supplier and/or logistics data sources, translating big data into analysis based on computer generated statistics which is coupled with human intellect. The alerts and recommendations are actionable within the Data Profits’ SaaS (software as a service) solution without opening several legacy applications.
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Predictions on the Future of Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility - A Reality in 2013

Future direction of Supply Chain Visibility

We all love the Best of 2012 Lists and Predictions for 2013. So as we prepare for 2013, I have been taking a look at the predictions for supply chain in 2013 including IDC’s Top Ten Predictions for 2013 Supply Chain and Supply Chain Management and Review’s Five Supply Chain Trends That Shaped 2012. Several topics are leading the look back and predictions including big data, visibility, visualization, virtualization, efficient and effective supply chains, cloud, mobile and communication and collaboration.

As an industry how do we take these predictions and put them in action for our customers and help them drive change and profitability.
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Demand Forecast Seasonal Index Disasters To Avoid My recent Fox News interview highlighted my attention to an opportunity last Wednesday. What would sell Black Friday? What issues might derail the supply chain and how would that effect shoppers’ opinion and sales? It was 6:00 PM the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, a major sales event for most restaurants. I took my family to a large restaurant chain where the tables were full and it appeared the restaurant had brought in extra people in expectation of holiday business. After being quickly seated, I ordered one of their key menu items: the Prime Rib. A few minutes later, our server returned and explained they had no more prime rib tonight. They were sold out as of 6:15 PM. Read More

Little Known Leverage Strategies for Lost Sales Reductions - Part 3

Data Profits’ Predictions for 2012 that Retailers need to Know Now

The official holiday shopping and Christmas season kicks-off this weekend, and is considered a bellwether for the retail industry, as this is the time of year when retailers earn up to 40% of their annual profits. Everyone is watching to see:  will post-election results and the continuing shaky global economy drive shoppers back into their recessionary, frugal spending habits or will they be more willing to loosen purse strings?

Another major trend that industry insiders are speculating about is the influence of social media and ecommerce on this year’s holiday shopping season. Will consumers seek and find the best deals from their sofas by using their device of choice, avoiding the mob scenes at the Malls all together? With so many big questions looming, what can retailers do on the eve of the 2012 Holiday Shopping season that will make a strategic impact? Read More


drought-strategies-to-successLeverage Your Lost Sales Data to Grow Profits

The key to successful Demand Driven retail is leveraging the right data in the right places. Lost Sales data has a lot of leverage that, when ignored, can be your demise; however, those that successfully measure and leverage Lost Sales data will see sales and profit gains. Our Lost Sales blog today outlines how lost sales data can be used to improve inventory optimization and highlights how all the pieces are interconnected. We also dive into the differences between lost opportunity and lost sales, the differences and impacts between the two, and close with some sobering statistics from Lost Sales data collected from the industry.

Our first blog on Lost Sales highlighted the staggering impact of Lost Sales in most businesses today. We outlined some of the methods used to calculate lost sales, and why these methods do not deliver value. Our second Lost Sales blog reviewed how lost sales can add value to demand forecasting and improve the accuracy and value for the service attained calculation.
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Truth, Lies, and Strategies for Lost Sales - Part 2

Why Lost Sales are Ignored

Our last blog highlighted the staggering impact of Lost Sales in most businesses. We outlined some of the methods used to calculate lost sales, and why these methods do not deliver value. We touched on in-stock and Service Attained as two measures that in the past were acceptable inventory ROI measures but, in the market place today, these methods are dated and focus retail in the wrong direction.

With the advancement of inexpensive hardware, we can calculate a very accurate demand forecast across any block of products in our assortment and measure the business at any individual (or group of) product / locations. We can easily track available inventory for any product/location at a moment’s notice. This makes calculating lost sales a simple calculation: sum demand for the days where available inventory <=0. Today, we will review how lost sales impact demand forecasting, service attained, and inventory optimization.
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The 7 Most Frightening Lost Sales Facts - Part 1

Companies Miss the Staggering Impact of their Lost Sales

Most companies are totally blind to the amount of lost sales they accumulate each year. Without a Lost Sales measure, a company loses significant opportunities to the competition in the forms of repeat business and gross margin dollars. The real impact of lost sales is often further hidden by the false securities of in-stock reports and service level measures that are based on fill rate.

How often do you review a lost sales report? Do you know how the lost sales are calculated and if they are accurate? Most legacy systems lack a true measure of ‘Lost Sales’ for the many reasons listed above. Many companies miss out due to the age of legacy software (often more than 5 years). The hardware cost to run product/location data even 5 years ago would prevent most companies from buying software that needed mega expensive hardware. Legacy software left out these types of calculations as the customer market that could afford to pay for mainframe hardware was extremely small.
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Business Intelligence: Top 3 Challenges To Driving Success Through BI)

Business Intelligence: Top 3 Challenges to Implementation

Is your company struggling with implementing Business Intelligence. Do you have find yourself challenged with any of the following:

  1. Putting the latest theories in analysis, planning and strategy to work in the real world
  2. Using BI effectively in a global market
  3. Breaking down data silos in your company to see the full picture

If so, these are just three of the challenges that will be discussed at the Business Intelligence Summit on November 15 and 16 in Chicago. The Summit provides the opportunity to discuss with industry leaders how to use business intelligence effectively in today’s global market. The Summit will provide BI professionals with real world advice and strategies on how to convert Big Data into actionable insights and better business results. Read More

Big Data & Inventory Optimization: How do you Analyze your Business

Note: This is our second blog in our 2-part series on crunching Big Data. If you find this information interesting, be sure to check out part 1 on Big Data & Product Groups as well.

Many are sold on the idea that Big Data provides Retail Demand Intelligence (RDI) and that employing RDI with demand forecasting and inventory optimization will return retail to profitability. The startling truth is that 70-80% of Big Data BI projects fail; typically, we only learn about these projects when we see multi-million dollar accounting write-offs or when cell phone video of winter fur coats in a Hawaii department store shows up on YouTube.

Why was this happening? Perhaps the better question of “Why?” was rooted in the data analysis tools that were used to group products and locations together for allocation and assortment planning. How do we avoid this situation? Read More

Product Groups: Would you Allocate Winter Coats to Hawaii?

Got Groups? A major department store sent new winter coats every year to Hawaii.

Consumer Centric Retail is Product and Location

Product Groups and Product Ranking are the most utilized feature in legacy ERP systems. Think of the different ways data is grouped to use in the supply chain. Product Groups and Ranking reports are used for planning, allocation, and analysis reporting in most any retail, wholesale, or grocery line of business. Some businesses go further and use these same reports to run replenishment in Excel or other software, and other companies use product grouping and ranking for inventory optimization, price optimization, and exception management. Read More