SAS helps retailers and consumer goods manufacturers anticipate shipping disruptions and shopper demand

With the global supply chain crisis still raging, the need for agile, accurate demand planning has never been greater. With SAS Cloud for Intelligent Planning, retailers and consumer goods manufacturers can anticipate shopper needs and shipping disruptions more effectively. The software-as-a-service solution is available now in private preview exclusively on Microsoft Azure. SAS is part of integrating the new Microsoft Cloud for Retail launch, helping businesses build resilient supply chains.  

Brian Kilcourse, managing partner at Retail Systems Research, said the pandemic has pushed retailers and consumer goods companies to their limit in terms of anticipating demand. “There’s still massive pressure,” Kilcourse continued. “And SAS helps relieve that pressure. SAS’ collaboration with Microsoft gives companies needed agility in a use-as-needed delivery model. Now with the benefits of the industry cloud, retailers will get access to more timely data, increasing supply chain transparency.”   SAS Cloud for Intelligent Planning helps users:    

  • Use artificial intelligence (AI) to create self-tuning plans to make sure the right products are in the right place at the right time.
  • Stay ahead of consumers with short-term demand sensing that turns consumer insight into action. 
  • Balance, scale commercial goals across every department in your organisation.
  • Visualise a forecast in any way on any device – spreadsheets, reports, dashboards, tablets, smartphones.  
  • Pay for the horsepower you need when you need – bump up for holiday planning or when you move into different regions.  

The SAS solution predicts forward-looking demand signals: When, where and how sales will happen. By using comprehensive shopper data, the software recommends balanced, profitable commercial plans across a retailer’s channels and customers. Automated with machine learning, the cloud offering is always up to date to help users remain on top of their business.  

Andrew Fowkes, from the SAS Global Retail Practice, said SAS can help a retailer realise as much as a five per cent revenue improvement because of its agile, short-term forecasting capabilities. “What this effectively means is better decision-making leading to better on-shelf availability and a maximum return on investment for your inventory costs,” Fowkes added. “The solution on Azure will help boost shelf performance by up to 50 per cent and enables you to complete a forecast faster than ever before.”

“Microsoft Cloud for Retail partners provide more integrated solutions to reduce risk across the ecosystem, identify opportunities, and decrease time to market to better serve our customers,” said Shelley Bransten, Corporate Vice President, WW Retail & Consumer Goods Industries, Microsoft. “Partners such as SAS can drive innovation, extending and enabling the value of the platform to address the most pressing challenges retailers face today.”