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ShowCase® Suite from SPSS

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Analytics for the iSeries

The ShowCase Suite from SPSS Inc.helps organizations that use the IBM® eServer™ iSeries™
(AS/400®) computing platform leverage historical data to make better, faster decisions

the
classic definition of business intelligence. Fo
r more than 10 years, the ShowCase Suite has been
the leading analytical solution for iSeries users, delivering real, measurable
benefits
.

All components of the ShowCase Suite are fully integrated f
or faster, more efficient
implementation.



ShowCase Query

and
ShowCase Report Writer

provide your organization’s decision makers with
efficient tools to access d
ata and create reports



ShowCase Enterprise Reporting

helps decision
makers in every area benefit from advanced
business intelligence capabilities through browser
-
based reporting



ShowCase Essbase

brings the power of the leading
online analytical reporting (OLAP) solution to the
iSeries. Essbase enables your organization to
organize operational data in customized applications
and perform both simple and co
mplex calculations
on this data. You can analyze data from multiple
perspectives, develop scenarios to support strategic
planning, and monitor results.



ShowCase Analyzer

enables your business users to
explore
and interact with data using a graphical
interface that helps focus attention on key metrics



ShowCase Warehouse Builder

supports the building
of both relational and multidimensional databases,
while
ShowCase Warehouse Manager

makes it
easier for you to protect data integrity, manager
user access and privileges, and optimize system
resources

You can also add advanced analytics to the ShowCase Suite

through SPSS' popular
Clementine
®
data mining workbench, which runs natively on the iSeries.

Future
-
oriented

SPSS continues to enhance the capabilities of the ShowCase Suite.
New capabilities in the
ShowCase Suite 7.0

provide users with increased power and flexibility.

The ShowCase Suite's reporting and OLAP capabilities complement the predictive analytics
capabilities found in other offerings from SPSS.
Our text mining, Web analytics, and predictive
analytics solutions integrate with numerous technology platforms and software solutions, so
they're easy and cost
-
effective to deploy.

You can use the ShowCase Suite in combination with other SPSS applications

to transform your
organization into a Predictive Enterprise

one that has the tools to shape its own future.
Predictive Enterprises anticipate trends and develop strategies that maximize their ability to
both avoid risk and benefit from emerging opportunit
ies.

Supported by an expert team

SPSS Inc. supports you with unmatched
service

and
technical support
. We use proven
methodologies to design, ins
tall, and upgrade your information systems. We offer customized
consultations, including the use of
ShowCase Deployment Accelerator
™ techniques, so that
you obtain the fastest possible return on your investment in th
e ShowCase Suite.

To transfer our expert knowledge to your staff, we offer expert
training

online, at customer
facilities, and at convenient locations worldwide.

Read more about
system requirements

for the ShowCase Suite.

To learn more about how you can benefit from the ShowCase Suite, contact an SPSS sales
representative.





Gain the Insight You Need

With
ShowCase Query
, people in all areas of your organ
ization can access the information they
need on their own, so your IT staff can focus on more strategic projects.

ShowCase Query is part of the ShowCase Suite from SPSS, the leading business intelligence
solution for companies using the IBM® eServer™ iSer
ies™ (AS/400®) computing platform.

ShowCase Query helps users build SQL statements easily and manage queries efficiently. It
enables your managers and staff to:



Run both scheduled and ad hoc queries



Streamline the building and execution of SQL statement
s



View data in ways that help them understand conditions more clearly



Support responsive, informed decision making

To create a complete reporting solution, use ShowCase Query in combination with
ShowCa
se
ReportWriter
™ to create reports with customized formatting for greater visual impact. Then,
to provide secure, central management of queries and reports and browser
-
based access to
reports, enterprise
-
wide add ShowCase Enterprise Reporting.

The fully integrated ShowC
ase Warehouse Manager™ helps you protect database security and
optimize system resources, as you use the ShowCase Suite.

Automatically Populate Spreadsheet Programs

Spreadsheet programs are a basic management tool, but having your staff re
-
key data into
in
dividual workbooks not only takes time, it’s also likely to lead to errors. ShowCase Query
enables users to export data directly to Microsoft® Excel™ or Lotus® 1
-
2
-
3®. For greater time
savings, you can refresh results each time a workbook is opened while p
reserving embedded
formulas, macros, and formatting by using the ShowCase Query “add
-
in” features.

Stay in Control with ShowCase Warehouse Manager

Manage queries and other important tasks easily through ShowCase Warehouse Manager.
Database administrators
can:



Define and manage database security, aliases, and user profiles and privileges



Secure data by user or group of users



Set job priorities to optimize system resources



Monitor system usage for improved performance and optimal data access

Read more ab
out
Warehouse Manager
.

Streamline Information Distribution with Enterprise Reporting


With this component of the ShowCase Suite, your organization can create a central, secure,
searchable repository fo
r queries and reports. You can store new and existing queries and
reports in this repository and share query and report definitions among many users.

Business users can schedule reports or run them as needed. You can automate the scheduling
and distributi
on of routine reports, optimizing both system and staff resources. You can also
schedule alerts and notifications, so report “consumers” know when information they need has
been updated. Learn more about
Enterprise Reporting
.

Create Reports to Support Decision Making

By enabling decision makers to quickly locate and focus on key metrics, ShowCase Report
Writer helps your organization accomplish its goals more efficiently.

ShowCase Report Writer is pa
rt of the ShowCase Suite from SPSS, the leading business
intelligence solution for companies using the IBM® eServer™ iSeries™ (AS/400®) computing
platform.

Used in combination with
ShowCase Query
, ShowCase Report
Writer supports self
-
service
reporting and helps your organization optimize both staff time and computing resources. To
provide secure, central management of queries and reports and browser
-
based access to
reports, enterprise
-
wide, add ShowCase Enterprise
Reporting.

Easier Report Generation for All

Business users can create their own reports and even automate the formatting of reports that
they routinely update. Easy
-
to
-
use features enable business users to:



Create a variety of report types, including cross
tabs



Save time by using one of several report templates



Use summary fields to create subtotals, averages,
counts, etc.



Format fonts, colors, styles, as well as column and
row sizes and alignment



Introduce graphics and images into reports



Choose from a

variety of printing options, including
the ability to create PDF files without the need to
purchase additional software.

Advanced Features for Report Developers

Those responsible for generating reports for others can take advantage of additional features
.
They can use Report Writer to:



Customize reports by using a Visual Basic
-
like macro
language



Create style sheets that can be applied department
-

or enterprise
-
wide



Access multiple reports simultaneously, for even
greater efficiency in creating and form
atting reports



Access additional databases, using ODBC and JDBC
capabilities

Streamline Information Distribution with Enterprise Reporting

With this component of the ShowCase Suite, your organization can create a central, secure,
searchable repository fo
r queries and reports. You can store new and existing queries and
reports in this repository and share query and report definitions among many users.

Business users can schedule reports or run them as needed. You can automate the scheduling
and distributio
n of routine reports, optimizing both system and staff resources. You can also
schedule alerts and notifications, so report “consumers” know when information they need has
been updated


ShowCase Enterprise Reporting

Efficiently Deliver Critical Information

Today, it's essential that your organization be able to provide information to decision makers
throughout your organization quickly and cost effectively. ShowCase Enterprise Reporting
enables you to do this.

ShowCase Enterprise Reporting is part of the Sh
owCase Suite from SPSS, the leading business
intelligence solution for companies using the IBM® eServer™ iSeries™ (AS/400®) computing
platform. SPSS Inc. also offers Enterprise Reporting for Windows® for organizations that choose
to run this component on t
hat platform.

With either version of ShowCase Enterprise Reporting, you can take existing reports, publish
them to a secure repository, and make them accessible enterprise wide through a Web
browser. In this way, your organization can share information wit
h a virtually unlimited number
of employees, business partners, suppliers, and even customers. You gain the ability to:



Provide decision makers with rapid access to
information while protecting proprietary or sensitive
data



Enable report developers to do
their jobs more
efficiently



Meet reporting deadlines more easily



Avoid the high costs associated with printing and
mailing paper reports

Features to meet your organization's needs

ShowCase Enterprise Reporting completes the ShowCase reporting solution,
which also includes
ShowCase Query

and
ShowCase Report Writer
. With ShowCase Enterprise Reporting, you
develop a central, secure, easily searchable repository f
or reports and other critical
information. With ShowCase Enterprise Reporting, you can:



Automate the scheduling and distribution of routine
reports



Notify individuals or groups automatically by e
-
mail
when certain types of reports or other content are
upd
ated



Link several reports on a single page, without
requiring that report developers do any
programming



Provide for the creation of personal home pages
containing links to frequently needed reports,
documents, and applications

New features available in
ShowCase Suite 7.0 provide:



Expanded report
-
delivery options, including the
ability to publish Microsoft® Excel™ spreadsheets
and refresh them online



Role
-
based security



More efficient processing of reports with charts and
images





ShowCase Essbase

he
lps your organization gain insight into conditions that are critical to your
success. It is an advanced
online analytical processing (OLAP)

solution that enables you to
leverage information you already have in new and more powerful ways. You can improve yo
ur
understanding of customer profitability, product profitability, product quality, and many other
aspects of your operations.

ShowCase Essbase is part of the ShowCase Suite from SPSS, the leading business intelligence
solution for companies using the IBM®

eServer™ iSeries™ (AS/400®) computing platform. With
ShowCase Essbase, you can:



Organize information from different sources to
eliminate information "silos" and the resulting
inconsistencies and added costs



Support the analytical needs of multiple functi
onal
areas from a single platform



Carry out complex analyses, such as multi
-
currency
financial translations and inter
-
departmental budget
allocations



Analyze even the largest datasets efficiently



Provide sub
-
second response time to queries, even if
hund
reds or thousands of individuals are using the
application at the same time



Update data efficiently while protecting information
integrity

ShowCase Essbase offers greater functionality than any other online analytical processing
(OLAP) solution. When cre
ating applications, your organization's project leaders can:



Include thousands of dimensions and attributes, with
up to a million members per dimension



Build applications that automatically deliver
important information such as “top sales territories”
or
“sales below plan” by using metric filtering or
rank analysis



Modify applications to reflect changes in business
structures and conditions



Define multiple variance and exception levels



Set alerts and send notifications automatically when
certain levels
are exceeded

This release makes available to iSeries users the new and enhanced capabilities of Essbase 7.1.
These capabilities include:



The Aggregate Storage Option, which provides new
ways to store and calculate data



Essbase Administration Services, a
new graphical
interface that makes it easier for your staff to
develop and administer analytic applications



Visual Explorer, a new, separately priced feature
that displays multiple dimensions of data graphically



Support for basic data mining



Enhancement
s to Essbase Integration Services, a
separately licensed component that enables your
staff to integrate data or metadata from multiple
data sources



Support for MDX, a powerful data manipulation
language similar to SQL




ShowCase® Analyzer™


Interact wi
th Graphic Views of Data

With ShowCase Analyzer, your organization’s business users can view and interact with
customized reports through a Web browser to help them make the right decisions quickly.

ShowCase Analyzer is part of the ShowCase Suite from SPSS
, the leading business intelligence
solution for companies using the IBM® eServer™ iSeries™ (AS/400®) computing platform.

A Product That Paints a Picture

ShowCase Analyzer enables your organization to leverage all the information contained in
Essbase, the
online analytical processing (OLAP) component of the ShowCase Suite. You can
also access information from relational databases.

By using Analyzer, you can:



Rank, filter, and sort data according to a number of
variables or "dimensions"



Present information
in a variety of graphic formats



Explore both summarized and detailed data in a
variety of ways



Highlight exceptions or variances that point either
to problems or opportunities



Print Analyzer reports or include them in
documents, presentations, or Web pa
ges

Easy to Deploy and Manage

Because ShowCase Analyzer is browser
-
based, it can be deployed easily and cost effectively
throughout your organization. There’s no need to install, maintain, or upgrade client software.
System administrators can manage acces
s, protect database security, and even monitor the
server, through a Web browser. And, thanks to
its Java™
-
based architecture, ShowCase
Analyzer installs smoothly and integrates easily with other applications.









ShowCase Warehouse Builder

Organize Data

and Keep it Current

With ShowCase Warehouse Builder, you can create a data mart that houses a
specific type of
information or meets the needs of a particular functional or geographic area. Or create a data
warehouse bringing together information for your entire organization.

ShowCase Warehouse Builder is part of the ShowCase Suite from SPSS, the le
ading business
intelligence solution for companies using the IBM® eServer™ iSeries™ (AS/400®) computing
platform.

ShowCase Warehouse Builder helps simplify data transformation, loading, and replication, as
well as the building of your data mart or data wa
rehouse.

Access Data from Multiple Sources

Using Warehouse Builder, you can access and consolidate data from a variety of popular
platforms and data sources, including:



IBM® DB2® for iSeries, and DB2 on other platforms



Microsoft® SQL Server™



Oracle® on A
IX™ or on Windows NT® and other Windows® operating systems



Lotus Domino® on the iSeries



Microsoft Excel™ and Access™

Streamline Processes

You can accomplish essential tasks more easily, with ShowCase Warehouse Builder. For
example, you can:



Select speci
fic rows or columns from one or more tables in a transactional database
and move this information to new or existing tables for development



Assign meaningful names to any column or table



Create calculated results columns



Build complex expressions with l
ess likelihood of error and with minimal support from
IT

In addition, ShowCase Warehouse Builder integrates with other components of the ShowCase
Suite, enabling you to:



Populate multidimensional databases automatically, using direct links to Essbase on
e
ither an iSeries server, a Windows NT server, or servers using the Windows 2003 or
Windows 2000 operating systems



Run Essbase routines such as SQL loads, dimension builds, database calculations, and
more



Import Query/400 objects and definitions from Show
Case Query and manipulate them
to define source data

Gain Greater Value from Your ERP Solution

Through ShowCase Warehouse Builder, the ShowCase Suite integrates with a number of leading
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, including JD Edwards Worl
d™ and EnterpriseOne™. This
integration

enables your organization to develop more meaningful reports from your ERP data quickly and
easily.


ShowCase Warehouse Manager

Manage Data and System Resources

ShowCase

Warehouse Manager helps protect both information integrity and system resources.

ShowCase Warehouse Manager is part of the ShowCase Suite from SPSS, the leading business
intelligence solution for companies using the IBM® eServer™ iSeries™ (AS/400®) comput
ing
platform.

Stay in Control

With ShowCase Warehouse Manager, you can tightly control and monitor user access to data
and simplify routine data management tasks. This helps you realize a greater return on your IT
investments.

Through the software's Securi
ty Manager, you can:



Secure data at the collection, library, table/view,
column, and row levels without affecting other
applications



Secure data by user or group of users



Create and manage user and group profiles

By using its Resource Manager and Licens
e Manager features, you can:



Monitor use across multiple ShowCase products



Define the actions that specific users or groups can
take with respect to your data



Set job priorities to optimize resources



Monitor system usage and tune system performance
for
optimal data access

Streamline Your ERP Solution Security

ShowCase Warehouse Manager's security features
integrate

with the security of major ERP
solutions. For example, the limits you've set to specific appl
ications, rows, and columns in your
JD Edwards World™ or EnterpriseOne™ solutions are automatically recognized by ShowCase
Warehouse Manager.











http://www.spss.com/succes
s/search.cfm?option=3&Product_ID=81

Customer Stories: ShowCase® Suite from SPSS



ALPS Electric Europa GmbH

-

Electromechanical
components manufacturer improves billing accuracy
usin
g the ShowCase® Suite from SPSS for sales and
financial analysis.



B/E Aerospace, Inc.

-

Leading supplier to
commercial aviation market uses the ShowCase®
Suite from SPSS to improve

operational efficiencies,
increase staff utilization, and improve customer
relations.



Branion GmbH

-

Office supplier wholesaler based in
Germany makes critical business informatio
n
available to managers using the ShowCase® Suite
from SPSS.



Canon UK

-

UK
-
based electronics manufacturing and
services firm dramatically reduces management
reporting time and prov
ides ad hoc analysts and
reporting capabilities using the ShowCase® Suite
from SPSS



Chase
-
Pitkin Home and Garden

-

Home
improvement vendor deploys the ShowCase Suite®
from SPSS to
monitor and track 45,000 'for sale'
items, significantly improving view of its retail
business.



Contrans

-

Transportation company manages diverse
business units with SPSS Inc. solu
tions



Distribution and Auto Service, Inc. (DAS)

-

Vehicle
distribution company implements financial
performance management solution, increasing
profitability and costs, using the S
howCase® Suite
from SPSS.



Fortis Luxembourg Assurances

-

Insurer meets
complex information needs with SPSS Inc. solutions



Johnsonville Sausage

-

Food manufacturer uses its
data to tasty (and profitable) advantage



Mississippi Chemical Corporation

-

Chemical
company achieves better bus
iness insight using the
ShowCase® Suite from SPSS Inc.



National Textiles, LLC

-

Company cuts quality
problem down to size



PUMA North America

-

Athletic footwear and
apparel company leverages ShowCase Suite® from
SPSS to dramatically reduce management reporting
time



Shenandoah Life Ins
urance Company

-

Insurance
provider implements the ShowCase Suite® from SPSS
to improve customer service, reducing policy issuing
time by twenty percent.

Predictive Analytics

can make your organization

more
successful

Resources



E
-
newsletter




Events




Investor Center




Press Releases


RSS Feeds from SPSS

Learn more about RSS


SPSS Success RSS feed






















*
Distribution and Auto Service,
Inc. (DAS)

Situation

Headquartered near Los Angeles,
California, DAS has operations in
10 cities in the United States and
Canada.
It provid
es a wide
range of services, including
receiving, distribution, vehicle
storage, accessory installation,
damage survey and repair, pre
-
delivery services and systems
support.

Customers include
Nissan, General Motors, Subaru,
Volkswagen, Mercedes
-
Benz, Kia,
Daewoo and Infiniti.

In 1999, DAS began offering
marine survey services at its six
seaport processing centers. It also
formed a subsidiary to provide
terminal and stevedoring
operations for auto carrier
vessels.

Challenge

Speed. Handling. Comfort.
Safety.
All the qualities that
drivers value in their vehicles,
Distribution and Auto Service,
Inc. (DAS) values in its business
intelligence solution from SPSS
Inc.

DAS processes an average of
4,800 vehicles per day for
multiple customers for delivery
throughout
the U.S. and Canada.
Every day, the company has
opportunities to acquire new
business or improve profitability.
To take advantage of these
opportunities, managers and
decision
-
makers need fast, easy
access to critical information.

But at DAS, this valuable

information was getting stuck in
the slow lane. Reports against the
company's financial accounting
solution took three to four days
to prepare, and even then
provided only a single, high
-
level
table of statistics.

Solution

By implementing an SPSS Inc.
bus
iness intelligence solution,
DAS gained the ability to create,
in just a few hours, the detailed
reports its managers and
decision
-
makers need. The
Essbase® online analytical
processing (OLAP) solution from
SPSS leverages the company's
existing investment
in its IBM®
eSe
rver iSeries™(AS/400®)
technology and in its J.D.
Edwards WorldSoftware™ERP
solution.

Deploying the SPSS Inc. solution
was a straightforward process for
the DAS information services (IS)
team. The solution protects the
integrity of the company's data. It
i
s also easy for the IS team to
support, and for company
functional managers to use.
During the initial installation,
SPSS provided two weeks of on
-
site training for DAS managers
and staff, ensuring that all users
were comfortable with the
solution's featur
es and operation.

The DAS business intelligence
initiative began in finance.

This
department created a relational
database containing financial
data from its J.D. Edwards
system. The repository was used
to develop the
multidimensional
databases, or "cubes
,
" that now
support the company's budgeting
and financial reporting processes,
including multi
-
currency
consolidation. The company's
finance staff can now pull data
from Essbase directly into
familiar Microsoft® Excel
spreadsheets for analysis, and can
crea
te reports and budgets.

DAS uses a
second Essbase cube
to measure operational
efficiencies, as well as the costs
associated with the services DAS
provides.

Using a third Essbase cube, DAS
tracks logistics costs and service
performance data received from
ex
ternal sources.

This enables
DAS to analyze and better
manage its logistics cost
structure, which was previously
tracked only at summary level in
a spreadsheet, and monitor
carrier service performance.
Previously, DAS had to rely on the
logistics service p
roviders, such
as

railroads and trucking
companies
, to report on their
own service performance. With
the ability to easily analyze
detailed cost and performance
data, DAS can be
more effective
in its negotiations with logistics
service providers
.

Today,
mo
re than 40 individuals
at DAS use SPSS' Query and
Report Writer to create reports
customized to their needs
. In
addition, the graphical display
capabilities of SPSS' Analyzer
enable DAS to
easily identify and

quickly respond to any changes
in key business
metrics.

"This solution has helped us
better understand our entire
business," says Brendel.
"One
result is that we can now
expand into new ventures with
the confidence that we can do
so profitably."

Our data preparation time saw a
ten
-
fold improvement, our

reporting was much richer and
contained much more
information, and the business
intelligence benefits are almost
impossible to quantify. How do
you quantify the benefit of
having access to information
you've never been able to
access before?

Rai Brendel

D
irector of Finance

DAS




Results
:
With
support from their SPSS Inc.
solution, DAS now:



Provides critical
information to
decision
-
makers
more rapidly



Identifies and
responds to
opportunities as
they occur



Controls costs
effectiv
ely



Has increased its
profitability










Johnsonville Sausage

Situation

In an industry where taste counts for everything, Johnsonville Sausage has created its own
recipe for success. Founded in 1945
,

as a butcher shop in Johnsonville, Wisconsin, Johns
onVille
Sausage Inc. now operates multiple manufacturing facilities in the United States that produce
fresh, smoked and cooked sausage products, breakfast sausage, and snack sausage. The
company, now based in Kohler, Wisconsin, distributes its products nat
ionally and
internationally. Johnsonville was one of the first in its industry to implement an enterprise
resource planning (ERP) backbone to consolidate business systems and share critical business
information.

Challenge

Using its ERP system, Johnsonville
's employees, or "members," had access to the company's
data repository. This data provided them with valuable information about company operations.
However, to shape that information so that managers could easily understand and analyze it
required somewha
t different tools than the ERP solution provided. That's where SPSS entered
the picture.

Solution

With the help of SPSS business intelligence solutions, Johnsonville Sausage managers were able
to analyze critical business information


such as sales and op
erational information


quickly
and accurately.

Johnsonville chose SPSS because its fully integrated suite of products allowed them to
construct a data warehouse and give users controlled access to it, so that they could quickly
build their own printed rep
or
ts right from their desktops. J
ohnsonville also liked the solution's
flexibility and ease of use.

Today, nearly 80 members company
-
wide use SPSS solutions to access operational and financial
data. They can compare sales by customer, region and brand. Wit
h this information, they can
develop more accurate sales forecasts for production and manufacturing scheduling. These
capabilities directly impact the company's cost of doing business their profi
ta
bility.

Our users needed customized reports beyond the stan
dardized set of formats available on the
iSeries computing platform. Before we implemented the SPSS solution, MIS had to extract and
compile this information. It was a very labor
-
intensive process. Now we have the tools we need
to pursue new and better way
s to expand the business.

Ron Gilson

MIS Director

Johnsonville Sausage




Results

By using their SPSS solution, Johsonville Sausage:



Increased productivity



Optimzed production and manufacturing processes



More effectively retained and leveraged customers



Freed up MIS resources that had been previously
devoted to compiling information

Additional Applications

The human resources department at Johnsonville uses SPSS solutions to track turnover,
separations, statistical payroll information and statistics for
active members. Johnsonville also
uses SPSS tools on the production side to help make planning more efficient.

"Before we implemented our SPSS solution, manufacturing could only access up to 60 days'
worth of information on shop orders, which drive product
ion. We wanted to be able to give
them a longer period of history and deliver it to them faster so they could schedule future
production runs," says Denise Daley, Johnsonville's data warehouse architect. "Now that we can
offer them two years worth of infor
mation, they can plan much more accurately."

Johnsonville sees unlimited potential for business intelligence solutions within its organization.
In the future, the company hopes to use ShowCase solutions to expand its customer
-
oriented
applications. For exa
mple, Web
-
based technology might allow Johnsonville's customers across
the country the benefit of timely, accurate information


on customer order status, for
example, or regional sales totals


with just the click of a mouse.













*
ALPS Electric Eu
ropa GmbH

Situation

A subsidiary of Tokyo
-
based ALPS
Electric Co., Ltd., ALPS Electric
Europa specializes in passive and
electromechanical components
and supplies, offering
more than
170,000 different products

that
address a wide spectrum of
customer needs
.

Challenge

With thousands of products sold
throughout Europe through
multiple channels,
closely
monitoring sales to ensure
continued profitabilit
y was
critical to ALPS Electric Europa
GmbH. But the company found
this very challenging to
accomplish.

Hans B
urg, Head of IT, explains
that his department was always
very busy generating customized
reports on sales. "
This was always
a tedious process that involved
many different approval steps.
For this reason, many of our sales
people simply stopped requesting
r
eports. Clearly, this was
unacceptable
," says Burg.

ALPS started searching for a
solution that would include a
centralized database that staff
could access on their own to print
out the reports they needed. "In
addition to freeing up IT
resources, we were
looking to
establish one common pool of
data as a way to ensure that
everyone obtained reliable
information," Burg adds.

His team began taking a closer
look at the solutions that the
market had to offer. Because
ALPS was already using the IBM®
eServer iSer
ies™ (AS/400®) as its
platform of choice, it seemed
logical to stay with this platform.

"It was important to us that we be
able to leverage the advantages
offered by the iSeries, such as its
scalability and reliability. We also
wanted to take advantage of
our
employees' expertise in working
with the platform," Burg explains.

ALPS evaluated several vendors,
then selected the ShowCase®
Suite from SPSS because of its
integration with the iSeries. The
project was implemented with
help from the company's busines
s
partner, Cubus.

Solution

"To meet the needs of
management, we wanted a
solution that would support the
decision
-
making process. In terms
of both cost
-
effectiveness and
flexibility, we were convinced
that the ShowCase Suite would be
the right choice. At t
he same
time, we were interested in
retaining Microsoft® Excel™ as
our front end, simply because our
staff was accustomed to using it.

"We wanted to provide our users
with a flexible tool that would
allow them to produce their own
reports, using Excel, wit
hout help
from the IT department," says
Burg. "We had already been using
ShowCase Query as an interface
to the iSeries to transfer reports
to our file network. Therefore,
we already knew the company
and felt comfortable working with
them," Burg summarizes.

Another critical requirement of
the business intelligence solution
was that it provide
s

secure
central information access to
ALPS' many European distributors,
which use conventional phone
lines to connect to ALPS
headquarters in Düsseldorf,
Germany.

"For
this reason, we decided in
favor of a
multidimensional

solution. The values contained in
our
database cubes

were all
pre
-
calculated
. Calculation in Essbase
initially took about three hours,
but once this was done, the
information was available to dial
-
up c
lients extremely quickly,
because nothing more had to be
calculated.
Had we elected to
use a two
-
dimensional database,
these calculations would have
had to be performed again by
the clients, significantly
lengthening the amount of time
required," Burg expl
ains.

Burg says he was also convinced
by the almost limitless scalability
that the ShowCase Suite offered,
as well as its ability to work with
Essbase dimension attributes and
to allow users to drill down to
obtain further details. The ability
to purchase
concurrent licenses
also made the ShowCase Suite
cost
-
effective.

Regardless of the indicators used
to reach a conclusion, our people
always obtain the same results.
Also, because we are able to
monitor payments more
accurately, we benefit financially
in a
very substantial way. As all of
this might suggest, we're very
pleased with the solution now in
place.

Hans Burg
,
Head of IT
,
ALPS
Electric Europa GmbH



Results

The ShowCase Suite has been in
use at ALPS since the spring of
2001, both in
sales

and in the
finance

department. Integrating
the solution into the existing
architecture was easy. There was
no need to purchase any new
hardware or additional software.
From the very outset, user
acceptance was high, primarily
due to the retention of Microsoft
Excel.
Immediately following
initial training, staff members
were able to work with the
system without difficulty.

ALPS uses the ShowCase Suite
to
analyze monthly sales
.
The so
-
called billings (i.e., anything that
has been invoiced) are compared
to the bookings (
incoming orders)
from the current month
. ALPS
management is then able to take
a closer look at this information
in a highly detailed manner. At
the departmental level, the
company is able to analyze this
data as it relates to
specific
customers
.

In another

application, the
finance department
generates
reports on customer payment
habits
. "Every invoice that we
send includes
payment deadlines

that generally
vary

from country
to country and customer to
customer. With the help of these
reports, we are able to d
etermine
whether a customer pays on time
or not
. This allows us to more
accurately document payments
and associate them with specific
customers and/or projects.
This,
in turn, helps us determine
whether we are facing a quality
issue," Burg explains.

Additi
onal information

A new application will soon be
put into place to more carefully
analyze how the financial module
has performed over time. This
represents important information
for the management team and
serves as an early indicator of
business performanc
e.

"
Today, both our management
and sales staff are able to easily
generate their own reports
whenever they are needed, and
we know that we can rely on our
data
.
Our IT department is able
to perform more important tasks
than report generation
.
Regardless of

the indicators used
to reach a conclusion, our people
always obtain the same results.
Also, because we are able to
monitor payments more
accurately, we benefit financially
in a very substantial way. As all of
this might suggest, we're very
pleased with th
e solution now in
place," Burg concludes.



*
B/E Aerospace, Inc.

Situation

The world's leading manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products, and a leading aftermarket
distributor of aircraft component parts, B/E Aerospace, Inc. serves virtually all of
the world's
airlines and aircraft manufacturers. The company designs, develops, manufactures, sells and
services a broad line of passenger cabin interior products for both commercial aircraft and
business jets,

and provides interior design,
configuration a
nd conversion services to its
customers throughout the world.

Challenge

B/E Aerospace is a leading supplier to the commercial aviation market. Business challenges
arise from the fact that this is a global market, with a diverse customer base, in a highly
c
yclical industry. Additional challenges come from the company's history of acquisitions. From
1987 through early 2001, B/E Aerospace acquired 22 businesses, many of which had decades of
experience in the industry and their own established practices.

These
acquisitions resulted in an organization that today employs more than 3,500 people and
operates 11 principal manufacturing facilities in Europe and North America. This growth
necessitated the integration of a variety of legacy systems. B/E Aerospace met th
is challenge
by deploying a J.D. Edwards World Vision ERP solution on the IBM® eServer iSeries™ (AS/400®)
computing platform. However, the company found itself with more complex reporting needs
than this system could satisfy. The system did not allow manag
ers to simply access key
company data or easily create ad hoc queries and reports. B/E Aerospace needed a scalable
solution that could integrate with its ERP system; provide reports to managers throughout its
diverse, global operations; offer personalized
user interaction; and perform in real time.

"Our products are on virtually every commercial aircraft in the world and, since airlines view
cabin interiors as a way to differentiate their brands, each fleet is equipped differently. So the
ability to have im
mediate access to different configuration information is mission
-
critical,"
explains Roman Ptakowski, group vice president and general manager, B/E Aerospace. "Also,
because the aviation market is extremely cost
-
conscious, it's imperative that B/E's IT
dep
artment create a ‘zero
-
friction' environment to facilitate efficient, cost
-
effective
operations. To achieve this, we needed a solution that would provide users with instantaneous
information, improve the efficiency of B/E's business processes, increase the

velocity of B/E's
fulfillment cycle, as well as support more informed business decisions that would ultimately
have a positive impact on our bottom line."

Solution

By implementing a business intelligence solution using the ShowCase® Suite from SPSS from
S
PSS, B/E Aerospace was able to run routine reports against its ERP system and also create ad
hoc reports, providing managers with immediate access to company information in real time.

Almost immediately, our investment in the ShowCase Suite paid for itself
. We feel that we have
only scratched the surface with this SPSS technology, and look forward to continued results
once the application is implemented in additional departments and facilities.

Roman Ptakowski

Group VP and General Manager

B/E Aerospace, Inc
.




Results

With support from the ShowCase Suite technology, B/E Aerospace has accomplished the
following key business objectives:



1200% ROI in one year on the implementation in its
aftermarket sales operation, due to improved
product margins



Immediate a
ccess to critical information that has
enabled the company to save money for its
customers



Reduction in time spent by the IT department on
report generation, resulting in better staff
utilization



Ability to provide the CEO with up
-
to
-
theminute
informatio
n on company operations

"Our criteria in selecting this solution were that it be able to gather information from a variety
of sources and work with a variety of tools, that it be easy and intuitive for users with a wide
range of computer literacy, and that

it show a positive ROI by reducing costs and improving
margins. The ShowCase Suite from SPSS fully met these criteria."

Initial applications

B/E Aerospace first deployed the ShowCase Suite to support the information needs of its
aftermarket sales efforts.

Almost two
-
thirds of the company's revenues come from upgrades,
refurbishments and spare parts for existing aircraft. Since commercial aircraft stay in service
for decades, B/E Aerospace must maintain a large inventory of FAA
-
approved replacement
parts. U
sing the Essbase component of the ShowCase Suite, B/E Aerospace created a
m
ultidimensional database, or "cube," that allowed it to analyze both the pricing of its
replacement parts and its customers' ordering patterns. This analysis allowed the company
to
show its customers how changing their ordering patterns would save them money. As a
result, B/E Aerospace was able to improve margins in this critical business area while
maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.

A second application was in the co
mpany's marketing/sales department
. Here, the ShowCase
Suite enabled B/E Aerospace to monitor orders, revenue and backlog data, and track previously
unavailable metrics, including:



On
-
time shipment performance against promised
date



On
-
time shipment perfor
mance against customer
request date



Average number of days to ship

By using the solution's Analyzer component, B/E Aerospace managers were able to create views
of data simply by pointing and clicking on relevant details. Analyzer even allowed users to
fil
ter data according to their own needs, and sort, rank and graph results. Through these
detailed analyses, B/E Aerospace was able to improve its business processes, and
simultaneously save money for its customers and improve its own bottom line.

Currently,
the company has five or six "power users" of the solution, while an additional 40 key
managers in a variety of functional areas at nine plants use it to analyze specific reports. B/E
Aerospace also uses the solution's Enterprise Reporting component to make

reports available to
more than a hundred staff members worldwide over a company intranet. In each of these
applications, B/E Aerospace used Essbase to develop what
-
if scenarios that enabled managers
to better anticipate the impact that changes in customer

or market dynamics might have on
their operations. These scenarios enabled the company to be more proactive in its planning and
forecasting and, therefore, manage resources more effectively.

Internally, B/E Aerospace bestowed a special name, MIDAS, on thi
s SPSS solution. The purpose
of the new name, according to Ptakowski, was to emphasize to the user community that the
solution was "My Data Source"


designed to meet their analytical needs


and to remind them
that with it they could turn data into gold f
or their company!

Additional applications

Under development is an application for the purchasing department that will enable B/E
Aerospace
to analyze its use of raw materials and pre
-
assembled parts, and finetune its
processes for acquiring, distributing a
nd storing these critical product components.

The
goal of this application is to achieve a 15% reduction in expenditures. The company also plans
to implement the ShowCase Suite at additional plant locations.

Over the next two years, the company intends to
fully deploy the ShowCase Suite at its
remaining facilities. Also, B/E Aerospace is looking to expand the solution's use to other areas
of the business, including finance and inventory.

"Almost immediately, our investment in the ShowCase Suite paid for its
elf," said Ptakowski. "We
feel that we have only scratched the surface with this SPSS technology, and look forward to
continued results once the application is implemented in additional departments and
facilities."














Canon UK

Situation

Canon is
a world leader in imaging products and solutions for digital home and office
environments, including digital imaging devices, digital and analog copiers, image filing
systems, printers, fax machines, bubble jet printers, scanners, cameras, video cameras,
b
inoculars and calculators. Canon also provides complete network solutions, from IT consulting
to installation of voice/data networks, including computers and telephone systems.

Challenge

Managing the operations of Canon UK calls for careful attention to de
tail. The challenge for
managers was to master the details and be able to respond to changing conditions
appropriately and quickly.

Analysts formerly had to gather information from different sources and then merge and
manipulate the data in Microsoft® Exce
l® spreadsheets. This took up a large amount of their
time. Now, they are using business intelligence solutions from SPSS for a range of applications,
the first of which was called MIDAS, to address the question,
Must I Do Another Spreadsheet?

Solution

Can
on wanted to drastically reduce the time required to produce management reports, and to
provide ad
-
hoc reporting and analysis capabilities for a range of business applications.

A management reporting tool was needed that would be fed from their Intentia® M
o
vex® ERP
system running on the IBM® eServer iSeries™(AS/400®), and would address a number of areas:



Production of the monthly financial report pack was
a full
-
time job, with four days being spent re
-
keying
data, and two people taking five days to produce
t
he profitability report



The monthly consumer sales and marketing report
took two days to produce



Business and financial analysts required the ability
to analyze up
-
to
-
date company information and
produce ad
-
hoc reports without the support of the
IT depar
tment



Management of service level contracts was difficult


more detail was required, as well as a greater
level of analysis



A single data warehouse was required to ensure that
all users were making decisions based upon the
same set of figures

The soluti
on was a SPSS data warehouse, which Canon used to improve several key elements of
its business operations.

Being more than satisfied with the reliability and performance of the iSeries platform, it was
important to Canon that the solution should run on the

same platform, to minimize any
problems feeding data from Movex. In addition, Canon wanted to take advantage of their in
-
house iSeries skills.

SPSS Inc. seemed the natural choice because of its specialization in the iSeries platform, and
its ability to ea
sily extract data from Movex. Canon was also impressed that the entire toolset
could be provided by SPSS


the relational data warehouse, the world
-
class Essbase OLAP
database, the ETL tools, the Query and Report Writer facility, as well as the ability to
deploy
over the Web. Another huge appeal was that once the initial investment was made with SPSS,
there was no restriction on the number or nature of applications that could be created using
the technology.

Financial analysis application

Provides faster re
porting and enables greater depth of analysis

The financial analysis application provides information about the daily and monthly sales of all
Canon's products sold by the various channels in different geographic regions. Each month, a
financial reporting
pack is prepared and delivered to approximately 40 of Canon's managers.
Preparing this report used to take three weeks but now only takes two days.

Canon's business and financial analysts use the ShowCase® Suite from SPSS financial solution on
a daily basi
s, creating ad
-
hoc reports which provide details of products sold across the various
regions. For instance, the Average Selling Price report shows which products have been the
most heavily discounted and in which geographic regions. Prior to the ShowCase S
uite
application, this report simply could not be produced. Now, the very latest product discount
information can be produced by clicking on one button, at any point in the month.

Terence Allmark, consulting planning and analysis manager, says of the finan
cial analysis
capabilities, "Not only has this drastically improved the efficiency with which we can view and
analyze the data but, by adopting SPSS's
single version of the truth

approach, we also have the
confidence that the entire organization is viewing

and acting on the same set of data."

Budgeting application

Allows a greater degree of analytical involvement by all budget holders

About 150 users at Canon UK are involved in the budgeting process, which formerly required
the time
-
consuming and error
-
pron
e task of re
-
keying data. Because of the huge volumes of
data involved


the marketing department, for example, had more than 20 spreadsheets to be
linked


it was only at the end of the process that the whole picture was presented, leaving
very little tim
e to carry out any budgetary analysis. Searching through these spreadsheets for
the source of any problems was incredibly laborious and there was no scope to incorporate any
historic element into the budgeting process.

It took three internal staff only thr
ee weeks to customize the ShowCase Suite solution to meet
Canon's budgeting needs. The company was able to use this solution for the budgeting cycle
that began in November 2000. By incorporating historic trends from previous years, the
budgeting software a
llows budget holders to analyze their own cost center data before
submitting it, which in turn involves an automatic checking and validation process. Because this
process is so streamlined, it's far easier now for Canon to perform a budget review six month
s
into the year.

By having more time to work with the budget, staff are able to provide greater input into the
budgeting process, which not only ensures that the final budget is realistic, but also brings staff
closer to the running of the business.

Servic
e application

Helps managers monitor customer service information and the performance of Canon
technicians

Canon has a large number of active customer service contracts at any one time, with
technicians making 50,000 visits per month. Information about eac
h service visit is entered into
the ERP system and then the information is analyzed to ensure that the required levels of
service are maintained.

Previously, this information was held in a Microsoft Access® database, which took five days to
update each mon
th. The underlying code was so complex that maintenance and ad
-
hoc
amendments to the system were extremely difficult. The resulting report lacked detail, and
service level information could not easily be provided for an individual customer or technician.

T
o replace the Access system, an SPSS application was built which holds information about
each service visit. The application allows Canon's service managers to manage the logistics of
their teams of engineers more effectively, in order to cater to areas wh
ere demand is greater,
and to establish training requirements. Any aspect of a customer visit can be analyzed with
respect to the technician, the customer, the location or purpose of the call, right down to a
detailed level, e.g., the number of copies made

since the last visit.

The service application also makes certain trends visible. For example, it came to light that a
significant amount of time was wasted due to technicians arriving for scheduled maintenance
visits when no one was there to meet them. A
solution was soon implemented: Mobile phones
were given to each technician in order to call ahead prior to each visit. As a result, there has
been significant time savings due to far fewer wasted visits.

The service application is also used to help calcula
te the bonus paid to the service engineers.
This is dependent on various factors, including the number of jobs per day, the cost per million
copies, the number of copies between visits and whether one visit resulted in another visit.
The SPSS Inc. software

solution has resulted in a more objective approach to awarding bonuses.

Web
-
based reporting and analysis

Utilizes ShowCase Enterprise Reporting

Since August 2001, 80 users have been taking advantage of Enterprise Reporting, which is used
to view a series
of 70 pre
-
formatted daily, weekly and monthly reports, delivered over the Web
and presented in Excel or PDF format. Some reports have selection criteria to allow the users
to choose on which product, region, date, etc. the report will be based and where ap
propriate,
to specify limits and ranges.

Some examples of where Enterprise Reporting has proven to be extremely beneficial:



Credit controllers can view reports to show the very
latest debt situation, and specify criteria


e.g.,
debts over £1000 and more t
han 60 days old


for a
more focused and efficient approach to chasing
creditors



Customer
-
facing staff, who often work remotely,
can quickly and easily get a current report on any
customer prior to visiting them



Customer training officers can access a re
port with
forthcoming machine installations in their region,
which acts as a trigger for setting up training
sessions with their customers

We can easily focus on specifics, allowing identification of risk areas at early stages in the
planning process, whi
ch is invaluable to any business. Being an Excel
-
based system, the time
taken to train new users is minimal
-

it is definitely one of the easiest systems I have used in
my career to date.

Bobi Howard

Finance Planning & Analysis Manager

Canon UK


Results



Su
per
-
fast production of reports:



The profitability report used to take 10 man
-
days


now it takes two minutes



The monthly senior management financial
reporting pack used to take weeks to
prepare


it now takes just two days



Four days of data entry are no

longer
required



Minimal preparation required by executives for
board meetings



Wider range of available analysis for sales of
products through the various channels across the
geographic regions, e.g., sales trends, product
profitability



The ability to pr
oduce ad
-
hoc reports without having
to depend upon the IT department



A more streamlined budgeting process, which allows
full analysis by the budget holder using historical
trends, prior to submitting



A budget that can be easily revised during the year
to

take into account actual results



Full visibility for Service Managers to all service visit
information


trends can be easily spotted, which
helps to manage resources more effectively and deal
with problems quickly, helping maximize customer
satisfaction




The ability to calculate Technicians' bonus payments
objectively using real facts and figures

Additional applications

As a result of the success of the initial ShowCase Suite applications, there are a number of
additional applications in the pipeline, in
cluding:



Sales reporting for 30
-
40 users to provide live daily
sales information more quickly



Enhancements to the service application to provide
predictive capabilities for forecasting service
requirements



Sales forecasting



Balance sheet reporting



Conv
erting many of the Movex reports to the
ShowCase Suite reports to facilitate more complex
analysis



*
Branion GmbH

Situation

In 1999, Büro Actuell eG and Soennecken eG, which were both founded in 1926, joined forces
to form one of the world's leading purch
asing and marketing cooperatives in the area of office
supplies. Today,
B
ranion acts as a full
-
service hub for more than 800 office supply stores,
offering them combined resources in areas such as service, purchasing, sales, logistics,
marketing, consultin
g and IT.

Challenge

Office supplier Branion, based in Overath near Cologne, provides support to business partners,
which include more than 800 office supply stores. The company processes three million
invoices from member firms, totalling several billion E
uros, each year. Revenue is then linked
to the respective member and supplier based on various criteria. Branion's existing
decentralized statistical methods for product tracking were not suited to the task of providing
centralized billing with the type of

detailed information the company required.

"The challenge was to establish a common standard for methodology and structures," says
Harald Wallukat, the company's head of IT.

The company developed a detailed list of requirements that would have to be met b
y Branion's
future solution. According to Andrea Köhler, the individual responsible for the data
warehousing project, these requirements included that the solution be Web
-
based and offer
integration capabilities with Microsoft® Office® products, such as Ex
cel,® which Branion
already used. But it also needed to include graphic display capabilities.

Because Branion's primary sources of data and storage media, such as centralized regulation
and enterprise resource planning systems, are based on the IBM® eServe
r iSeries™(AS/400®)
computing platform, access to this platform was extremely important. At the same time,
Branion was looking for a solution that could accommodate possible migration to a different
platform in the future.

Solution

The data warehousing pro
ject started in early 2000 with the replacement of an older
information system used for centralized regulation. Today, the new solution is being used in all
of Branion's departments, with the primary focus on resource planning and centralized payment
proce
ssing.

Branion extracts data overnight from its ERP system and loads it into the data warehouse.
Approximately 30 employees work with the system at Branion's headquarters. However, many
other employees, as well as Branion's member firms and customers, bene
fit from the results of
the analysis.

"In sales, we conduct analysis based on specific products so that our salespeople can
recognize not only how many invoices and credits a member has been issued across the
various revenue categories, but also what produ
cts have been sold. In purchasing, we look
at the same information, but from a profit perspective. Our management is primarily
interested in the total amounts," says Andrea Köhler
.

While examining the marketplace, Branion learned about the solutions offere
d by SPSS Inc.
Factors influencing the final selection of SPSS' software included the fact that, although the
software was developed specifically for use on the iSeries, it was also suited for use on other
platforms. In addition, Harald Wallukat was alread
y experienced in working with IBM and,
therefore, had indirect contact with SPSS Inc. Finally, Branion management took time to speak
with another company that worked with SPSS, and were pleased with what they learned.

We view SPSS Inc.'s solution as the ri
ght choice for us. We're extremely satisfied, and view this
software as very useful to our entire company. Had we tackled this project earlier, we would
have saved ourselves a lot of hard work developing custom applications to manage IT tasks.

Harald Wallu
kat, Head of IT, Branion GmbH




Results

With the help of SPSS solutions, Branion has succeeded in creating unified structures and
methods that eliminated "islands" of non
-
related data and met the needs of managers at all
levels of the company. Much of the

information that was previously available, but on a
decentralized basis, is now available centrally and can be viewed by all authorized users.

Branion employees are able to work more independently and more efficiently, requiring less
support from the IT d
epartment.

"More importantly, SPSS Inc. puts us in a position to review all of our company's resources
whenever we want to. We were able to do away with time
-
consuming statistical methods. In
fact, because we can now provide
analytical results

wherever nee
ded via standard Web
browsers, we no longer need to print out reports. We have achieved real improvements in our
cost structures," says Wallukat.

Additional applications

The system is continually being expanded to cover additional areas, such as
finance,
m
arketing and electronic commerce. Branion now plans to use the information contained in
its data warehouse to answer individual questions from members, customers and suppliers
over the company's Web site
.






National Textiles, LLC

Situation

National Text
iles provides yarn, fabric and "cut parts"

fabric cut into pieces for sewing into
garments. Its largest customers are the apparel divisions of Sara Lee Corp. that make familiar
Sara Lee brands such as Champion,® Hanes™, Hanes Beefy
-
T,® Hanes Her Way® and J
ust My
Size.® National Textiles is the third
-
largest consumer of cotton in North America, operating
nine manufacturing facilities and a cotton distribution center, all located in the southeast. The
company is on the "Forbes 500" list of the largest private
ly held U.S. companies.

Challenge

Founded in 1998 as a spin
-
off from Sara Lee Branded Apparel, National Textiles is a young
company with a long history in its industry. National Textiles' core competency is making high
-
quality, low
-
cost cotton yarn and kni
t fabrics in large quantities. Due to the low unit cost of
these items and the highly competitive nature of the industry, the company's strategy is to
maintain competitive advantage through operational efficiency. A critical component of
operational effici
ency is quality.

Traditionally, quality has not been a top priority in the textile/apparel industry, but it is fast
becoming a primary driver of operational success. Poor quality is unacceptable to customers,
since higher product costs as a result of waste

and inefficiency in the production process must
be passed along to the customer. But quality management is particularly challenging for
National Textiles. Cotton, like other agricultural products, possesses many different attributes,
all of which can vary

a great deal from crop to crop, and can only be controlled within certain
limits. As a result, quality management requires continuous attention from the National
Textiles management team.

Solution

For two years after National Textiles' creation, the IT de
partment evaluated and consolidated
existing business software applications. These included a legacy supply chain planning and
tracking application, shared between National Textiles and its two largest Sara Lee customers,
and an advanced planning and sched
uling system that constrains production according to
textile and apparel manufacturing capacity. These systems, while they kept inventory records
accurate, did not enable National Textiles or its customers to track quality efficiently.

Starting at the begi
nning

As a result, IT became involved in helping the company's Quality Department improve the
effectiveness of the company's quality control. Beginning in 1998, National Textiles initiated a
series of projects resulting in a custom
-
developed quality monito
ring, analysis and reporting
framework that delivers impressive business results. Several components have already been
completed. Additional components are in the process of being implemented, while still others
are planned for the future.

SPSS Inc. soluti
ons were integral to this effort from the beginning. Using SPSS' Warehouse
Builder, National Textiles first created a data warehouse containing detailed information about
product performance, such as weight, shrinkage and flammability. Reports developed us
ing
SPSS' Query and Report Writer provided basic information on quality to company management.

Meeting quality challenges step by step

Soon a second need arose. Management found that the "process technicians" hired to monitor
and record operational states
on the plant floor were unable to manually record all the data
they observed. This became a bottleneck that prevented effective action to correct out
-
of
-
standard conditions. SPSS Inc. solutions enabled National Textiles managers to create a data
warehouse
containing detailed quality audit data, and then access and analyze that data
quickly and easily.

IT began by conducting design sessions to develop a framework for this "in process" system. The
team decided that data entry would be done through a combinati
on of wireless hand
-
held
scanners and traditional terminal
-
based entry programs.

Using this system, both process technicians and machine operators can compare audit values to
standard values for each test and receive a response from the system, ranging fro
m "OK" to
"Stop the process until this problem is resolved." Each night, the day's audit data is sent to an
IBM® eServer iSeries™ (AS/400®) server for storage in a quality data warehouse. SPSS analytical
tools are then used to provide the visible, actionab
le data that users require.

National Textiles managers use this data to monitor the "state of the quality" at each plant.
The multidimensional analysis capability provided by Essbase from SPSS enables management
to "drill down" and quickly determine the ca
use of quality issues. This means that problems can
often be corrected before shipment to customers. The visual display capabilities of SPSS'
Analyzer, such as "traffic lighting," highlight "out
-
of
-
bounds" performance levels, making quick
assessment and co
mparative analysis of results easier than ever before.

A third
-
party software package designed for the same purpose was evaluated for comparison
purposes, but was rejected due to its high cost and the effort required to customize it for the
company's envir
onment. The internally developed quality project using SPSS Inc. software was
approved, built and implemented in four textile plants between April 2000 and February 2001.

It is rare for an IT project to deliver significant business impact, technical sophis
tication, and
true ease of use. This project has been extraordinary.

Barry Markus

CIO

National Textiles


Results

National Textiles reduced the overall defect levels reported by its customers to nearly 50% of
the levels reported before the first components
of this system were implemented. As a result,
National Textiles can give its customers better products at a lower cost, and profitability
improvements are measured in millions of dollars per year. This directly benefits National
Textiles customers. Additio
nally, reducing defect levels creates cost reductions throughout the
company's supply chain, extending to the ultimate consumer.

National Textiles employees also benefit. Those charged with monitoring quality report greater
job satisfaction, knowing that t
heir observations will lead to action. And employees who
formerly produced reports using spreadsheets or PC
-
based databases appreciate the much
greater availability of data and the more efficient reporting the new system provides.

Because of its close ties

to its Sara Lee customers, National Textiles receives a large amount of
detailed information on product quality. All parties realize that it is in their mutual best
interest to correctly identify whether a defect in a garment occurred during the sewing pr
ocess
or during one of the textile manufacturing processes. So, from each of the three Sara Lee
divisions it supplies, National Textiles receives extensive weekly reports on half
-
a
-
million
dozens of finished products, detailing defects by type, by product
and by plant.

Each weekend, customers upload this information onto an FTP site, and National Textiles
downloads it into their data warehouse, adding another week's data to its Essbase quality cube.
On Monday morning, managers at all plants can access the l
atest information simply by calling
up a "dashboard" built by National Textiles' IT staff, using SPSS' Analyzer for the Web.

The company found Analyzer for the Web a particularly cost
-
effective tool for this, since no
additional software needed to be loade
d onto client PCs. Also, managers found it easy to learn.
"In a single, two
-
hour training session, our plant managers became familiar enough with its
features that they could use Analyzer for the Web with complete confidence," says Barry
Markus, National T
extiles CIO.

Two other applications associated with quality control recently went into production. One was
an application that automates Actual Quality Level (AQL) audits. These audits capture all
product defects in fabric lots waiting to be shipped to cus
tomers. AQL audits are designed to
indicate the quality levels that customers will experience. A second application extends lot
-
history data beyond the 45 days the company used to retain, in order to provide better support
for quality level tracking.

Addit
ional applications

Two more applications are currently planned or under development. One will capture the
results of knit fabric inspections. A second will combine information related to the company's
yarn manufacturing process, supporting improved quality

control at that critical phase of
production.

Although National Textiles has made great progress, customer expectations continue to raise
the bar on quality measures. Company management continues to approve quality systems
projects, and holds operations a
ccountable for using the new tools as they are delivered.
Information technology has been a powerful enabler for National Textiles, but only because the
company's Operations people have embraced the tools and used them to improve quality
practices througho
ut their supply chain.



*
Shenandoah Life Insurance Company

Situation

Mutual insurer Shenandoah Life Insurance Company provides a variety of insurance and
financial products, including life, dental, disability, and annuities. The company operates in 31
sta
tes and the District of Columbia.

Challenge

Shenandoah Life prides itself on delivering outstanding customer service and is always
searching for new ways to improve service. As a part of its continuous self
-
assessment process,
the company identified its po
licy underwriting and issue function as an area for potential
enhancement. The policy approval process was paper
-
based and cumbersome. Paper copies of
prospect applications were routed for approval to various departments within the company's
home office, r
esulting in bottlenecks and delays.

Solution

Shenandoah Life implemented an imaging/workflow system to improve the policy approval
process, eliminating delays associated with the previous paperbased routing system. With the
new system, new business personn
el could perform a real
-
time check of the status of any
policy in the approval process. To maximize the effectiveness of the workflow systems, the
company turned to SPSS' ShowCase Suite of business intelligence products to provide
administrative and execut
ive reporting.

Interested in Shenandoah Life Insurance Company?
Download the PDF

Results



Empowered management with current information
on pending policies




Reduced the time required to issue certain
policies by 20 percent




Improved underwriting and employee
performance review processes


Mutual insurer Shenandoah Life Insurance Company provides a variety of insurance and
financial products,

including life, dental, disability, and annuities. The company, with
corporate headquarters in Roanoke, Virginia, operates in 31 states and the District of
Columbia. By the end of 2003, the company had tallied record sales and a fourth consecutive
year of

exceptionally strong growth.

Shenandoah Life attributes its growth to a continuous focus on improving customer service. For
this insurer, excellent policyholder service begins as soon as a prospect fills out a policy
application. Shenandoah Life sought to

reduce the time required to issue its policies and
identified the policy application process as an area for potential improvement.

The policy approval process was paper
-
based, which caused bottlenecks and delays. To solve
this problem, the home office imp
lemented an imaging/workflow system that would enable
employees to scan each application, making this information available on a company
-
wide
basis. While this solution eliminated certain bottlenecks associated with the paper
-
based
system, others remained.

Management turned to reporting analyst Kaffa Shank to provide
analysis and reporting that would assist in minimizing these delays.

As documents moved through the workflow queue, files were created to capture the timing of
each step in the process. Shank u
sed SPSS ShowCase products to examine these files and
produce "time service" reports that revealed how long a policy took to move through the
system.

With the file that is created from the workflow system, we can use ShowCase to monitor specific
tasks and
determine if those tasks are being performed in a timely manner. By tweaking these
tasks, we can reduce the cost and time it takes to approve a policy, thereby improving the
overall customer experience.

Kaffa Shank

Reporting Analyst

Shenandoah Life Insuran
ce Company





Empowered management with current information on pending policies

The time service report that shows pending business is particularly important to management.
The data for this report is produced on a daily basis using ShowCase Query, ShowCa
se
Warehouse Builder, and IBM® eServer iSeries™ scheduling software. The final product is
presented to management in Excel using the ShowCase Query Add
-
In feature, which offers a
current view of Shenandoah's new business and helps to identify where bottlen
ecks are
occurring.

"With the file that is created from the workflow system, we can use ShowCase to monitor
specific tasks and determine if those tasks are being performed in a timely manner," said
Shank. "By tweaking these tasks, we can reduce the cost an
d time it takes to approve a policy,
thereby improving the overall customer experience."

Reduced the time required to issue certain policies by 20 percent

Shank's time service reports give Shenandoah Life's management the ability to monitor policies,
locat
e bottlenecks, and devote additional resources to improve productivity.

As a result, Shenandoah Life was able to reduce the approval process time for policies with
face values of less than $100,000 by 20 percent, from seven business days to less than six d
ays.

Improved underwriting and employee performance review processes

Underwriters are now doing research on how the company can lower overall costs by reducing
spending on medical vendors. They are using ShowCase to explore dimensions such as policy
type a
nd age bracket to determine if they can eliminate certain medical tests, which will
further streamline issuing new policies.

The company is also able to supplement performance review and goal setting information with
data provided on the time service repor
ts.

Shenandoah Life's investment in imaging/workflow and SPSS' ShowCase Suite demonstrates the
premium the organization places on technology to help improve customer service. With this
kind of commitment, Shenandoah Life can undoubtedly look forward to ano
ther year of growth.





Chase
-
Pitkin Home and Garden

Situation

Chase
-
Pitkin Home and Garden, a division of supermarket chain Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.,
operates 15 home improvement stores throughout upstate New York and has more than 2,600
employees.

Cha
llenge

Chase
-
Pitkin faced a problem known in the retail industry as "shrink"

an unexplained absence
of product. Shrink can occur a variety of ways, such as through theft or a clerical error in
receiving. To reduce the occurrence of shrink, Chase
-
Pitkin's I
T department, led by
CIO/Controller T. Christopher Dorsey, searched for a business information system that could
track items and uncover sources of shrink.

Solution

Chase
-
Pitkin implemented the ShowCase Suite from SPSS, a user
-
friendly, interdepartmental
s
oftware solution that enabled users to track items and calculate shrink. The ShowCase Suite is
now used corporate
-
wide as the source for all store information, enabling departments to
uncover trends and make quicker, more strategic decisions.

Chase
-
Pitkin
Home and Garden


In The News

Reacting to Demand

by Lisa Terry,
RIS/Retail Info Systems News
, September 01, 2004

Make Short Work Of Shrink

by Julie Ritzer Ross,
Integrated Solutions for Retailers
, September 01, 2004

Interested in Chase
-
Pitkin Home and Garden?
Download the PDF

Results



Reduced shrink




Increased

corporate
-
wide visibility of store data




Improved supply
-
chain practices


Chase
-
Pitkin Home & Garden, a division of supermarket chain Wegmans Food Mar
kets, Inc., is
based in Rochester, New York. Established in 1974, the company operates 15 home
improvement stores in upstate New York. It also has a Commercial Sales division that sells
commercial and industrial products to businesses, as well as an Instal
led Services division that
installs home furnishings such as kitchens, baths, and doors.

Chase
-
Pitkin faced a problem known in the retail industry as "shrink:" not all products in the
general ledger make it to the shelves or become part of a legitimate cus
tomer transaction. The
amount of product lost represents shrink as well as a loss of potential sales revenue.