In order to help consumer goods companies and retailers better meet consumer demand during the pandemic, analytics provider SAS is waiving fees for its Retail & CPG Cloud Analytics Quickstart services for 90 days.
The solution is engineered to automate data connectors that provide access to external data sources with COVID-19 immunological, stringency and mobility data and events. The real-time information, combined with sales and inventory data, retunes forecast models for rapid inventory adjustments.
SAS will launch a standard configuration of the solution in the Microsoft Azure cloud environment.
The Retail & CPG Cloud Analytics Quickstart offering also provides access to SAS Viya, SAS Visual Forecasting, SAS Intelligent Planning Suite, SAS Intelligent Decisioning, and SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning. Once the 90-day period expires, customers can license the components they need. Existing SAS customers can experiment with SAS Intelligent Planning Suite in the cloud to augment their current licenses.
Russian online grocer Utkonos recently tapped SAS to manage its demand planning during the health crisis. Mikhail Tolokonnikov, Utkonos chief commercial officer, noted that product out-of-stocks is a significant issue for today’s retailers.
"With so much uncertainty in retail due to COVID-19, consumers want to be sure their favorite retailers have the items they need in stock when they are ready to buy," Tolokonnikov said. "For online retail companies such as Utkonos, this leads to a decrease in customer satisfaction, increased delivery acceptance refusals and, ultimately, an increase in customer churn rate.”
The company turned to SAS, appreciating the solution’s ability to be delivered through a “quick start” program, as well as its flexibility, ease of use, design and its discovery of relevant product substitution combinations.
Tolokonnikov anticipates revenue and profit margin increases of up to 0.8% and order fulfillment increases of up to 75% as the company deploys SAS solutions across all product assortments.
"We automated the process, and now we can solve our out-of-stock problem with the help of innovative and intelligent solutions from SAS," said Tolokonnikov. "This has been especially important from the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic through to the recovery period."