SAS to Extend Its Supply Chain Offerings

Suite of analytics offerings pits SAS against a new set of competitors-pure supply chain management software vendors.

SAS Institute Inc. on Monday will announce an extension of its existing supply chain analytics applications, company officials confirmed. The SAS Supply Chain Intelligence suite will bring the business intelligence software developer into direct competition with supply chain management software vendors.

SAS Chairman and CEO James Goodnight promised such a move in an exclusive interview with eWEEK last September.

SAS Supply Chain Intelligence will consist of four solution sets: SAS Supplier Relationship Management; SAS Value Chain Analytics; SAS Demand Intelligence; and SAS Process Intelligence. Of those, only Demand Intelligence is a completely new solution, while the other three were existing SAS technologies. Value Chain Analytics repackages Oros Value Chain Analyzer, which SAS gained in its acquisition of ABC Technologies Inc. last March.

Demand Intelligence, forecasts customer demand patterns and allows companies to shape demand through pricing and promotions, while ensuring high customer service levels, said SAS officials, in Cary, N.C. The new software allows companies to optimize promotions, pricing and production plans and provides a view of the influences and immediate effects of consumer demand.

SAS Demand Intelligence includes integrated solutions for Demand Planning, Inventory Replenishment Planning and Pricing Optimization.

All products are built on the SAS 9 analytical platform and will include SAS services. The new suite is expected to compete with existing offerings from supply chain management and analytics applications vendors.

"I would say that they are offering a unique packaging of their suite compared to other vendors," said Mark Smith, senior vice president of research and CEO of Ventana Research, in Belmont, Calif. "Theyre offering more capabilities than the [other] BI vendors, more in line with the ERP [enterprise resource planning software] vendors. It is not catch up, just them really entering the market as a [supply chain management] suite provider."

Some of the products in the Supply Chain Intelligence suite are available now though a SAS spokesman described the new offerings as being in "different states of availability."

This story was modified after its original posting to correctly characterize where the Demand Planning, Inventory Replenishment Planning and Pricing Optimization applications fall within SASs offerings.