Cognos Extends Retail Industry Leadership, Launches New Performance Solution to Help Improve Merchandise Planning
– Cognos Strategic Merchandise Planning Blueprint enables retailers to drive more effective revenue, gross margin and stock planning; integrates with other Cognos retail solutions to deliver cross-departmental alignment with financial goals and objectives –
2007 NRF CONFERENCE, BOOTH # 1943, NEW YORK, January 15, 2007— Cognos (Nasdaq: COGN; TSX: CSN), the world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions, continues to extend its retail market leadership, announcing today the launch of a new retail performance solution – its fourth over the past year – designed to help chains improve top-down, bottom-up planning for merchandise sales, margin and gross profit by division, channel, department or category.
The Cognos Strategic Merchandise Planning Blueprint provides a complete performance management framework – including planning, metrics and reporting – that helps retail managers and executives meet sales objectives and profitability goals through an improved merchandise planning process that is fully synchronized with other parts of the organization, particularly finance, operations and marketing. Using a single performance management system ensures bottom-up planning across the enterprise to support business strategies for growth, margins, market share and customer satisfaction.
“Success in retail depends on the chain’s ability to balance supply and demand to meet customer needs while protecting margins. Chains that have an integrated process and give merchandise planners a single tool to complete top-down and bottom-up planning have a significantly higher chance of success,” said Brian Hume, president of Martec International, a leading consulting and training firm that specializes in merchandise management, supply chain management and store operations business processes. “Building a solid, integrated merchandise planning process that links merchandisers with marketing, operations and finance ensures that the chain is managing to common financial goals and business objectives. This helps pave the way for higher sales, improved inventory turnover, fewer markdowns, and by extension, higher profits.”
Anchored on Cognos 8 Planning and Cognos 8 BI and based on retail industry best practices, the Cognos Strategic Merchandise Planning Blueprint delivers an intuitive planning and reporting environment where retailers can capitalize on:
* Top-down target-setting capabilities to forecast annual sales and gross profit for divisions or channels
* Calendaring adjustments to accommodate year-over-year changes in holidays to smooth demand patterns
* The ability to spread top-down targets across departments or categories based on historical data
* Department or category-level planning for key financial indicators, including sales, returns, markdowns, promotions, shrink, cost of goods, gross margin, supply chain costs and gross profit
* Pre-season stock planning to manage the value of inventory at the department or category level
* Exception-based planning to adjust line items
* Break-back capabilities to pro-rate costs to meet profitability requirements that support sales and margin targets
* Seamless visibility into plans from other parts of the organization, eliminating possible discrepancies and organizational silos
* Embedded, integrated workflow, complete with visual scorecard and alerting capabilities, that enables managers to easily determine latest plan status, drive collaboration to plan completion, and uphold accountability
* Calculated metrics summarization and links to scorecards and reports that help accurately measure and compare planned versus actual performance of merchandise by department, category and/or channel
"The analytical, modeling, workflow and planning capabilities found in Cognos have made a difference in the way we operate and make decisions. Greater visibility into merchandise sales and profitability enabled us to better manage our Fall 2007 Season for our merchandising, sourcing, sales and retail operations,” said Craig Valero, director of financial operations at Columbia Sportswear, one of the world’s largest outerwear brands and the leading seller of skiwear in the United States.
Available immediately to customers, the Cognos Strategic Promotions Planning Blueprint is the fourth retail solution launched by Cognos in the past year, joining the Cognos Store Operations (P&L) Planning Blueprint, which helps retail chains build top-down and bottom-up budgets and performance reports for comprehensive profit and loss management; the Cognos Store Development Blueprint, which helps retailers more effectively plan capital-intensive projects like new store construction, remodels and upgrades; and the Cognos Strategic Promotions Planning Blueprint, which is designed to help chains optimize the effectiveness and return for both retailer- and vendor-funded promotional activities. Together, these retail solutions integrate all operational silos – including operations, marketing, merchandising and finance – to ensure all parts of the organization are planning to a single set of financial goals and business objectives.
“The need for integrated strategic merchandise planning is becoming increasingly important. Retailers have traditionally experienced difficulty in planning, managing and evaluating merchandise performance for a variety of reasons – limited modeling and forecasting abilities; functional and information silos; and poor plan synchronization between top-down and bottom-up processes,” said Patricia Vekich Waldron, retail industry director at Cognos. “Our new Blueprint delivers the kind of enhanced visibility retailers need to accurately and swiftly respond to inevitable fluctuations in merchandise supply and demand that can have a profound impact on cash flow and profitability as well as other operational areas like marketing and store operations.”
Cognos is a recognized leader in delivering business intelligence and performance management solutions for the retail industry. In fact, 30 per cent of the world’s top 250 retailers, and over 300 retail chains worldwide, are already Cognos customers. Retail customers include Steak N Shake, Burlington Coat Factory, Amazon.com, American Eagle Outfitters, LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics, and 7-Eleven. More information about Cognos solutions for retail can be found at http://www.cognos.com/solutions/industry/retail/index.html.
About Cogns Performance Blueprints:
Cognos offers a full suite of Performance Blueprints to address planning and performance management process areas that directly impact an organization’s ability to create business value. Both functional and industry-specific process areas can now be automated, streamlined and transformed to help organizations quickly create more business value. Developed by the Cognos Innovation Center for Performance Management, the Cognos Performance Blueprints are a key component within the Cognos Performance Management System, which combines technology, best practices, analytical applications and solutions, and a broad network of partners into a single performance management solution. For further information on the Cognos Performance Blueprints see http://www.cognos.com/innovationcenter/blueprint.html.
Cognos, the world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions, provides world-class enterprise planning and BI software and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance.
Cognos brings together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers a complete performance system. The Cognos performance system is an open and adaptive solution that leverages an organization’s ERP, packaged applications, and database investments. It gives customers the ability to answer the questions -- How are we doing? Why are we on or off track? What should we do about it? – and enables them to understand and monitor current performance while planning future business strategies.
Cognos serves more than 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries, and its top 100 enterprise customers consistently outperform market indexes. Cognos performance management solutions and services are also available from more than 3,000 worldwide partners and resellers. For more information, visit the Cognos Web site at http://www.cognos.com.
Cognos and the Cognos logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cognos Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
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- Cognos Incorporated
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