Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Apache Authors: Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, Mohamed El-Refaey, Ajay Budhraja, Don MacVittie

News Feed Item

IBM Helps MarineMax Drive Smarter Retail Operations

Business analytics reduces planning cycles from months to weeks, improves marketing spend, and cuts inventory costs

NEW YORK, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 2010 NRF CONFERENCE -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that MarineMax, (NYSE: HZO), the largest recreational boat retailer in the United States, is using IBM business analytics to streamline operational planning, improve decision-making, and enforce more consistent, collaborative information access across the company. Since implementing the solutions, the retailer has been able to cut inventory costs, improve return on marketing spending, and reduce overall planning cycles from months to just a few weeks, among other benefits.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO)

Over the past decade, MarineMax has experienced tremendous growth. Today, the company can be found in 55 locations across the United States, with a multi-channel retail model that includes showrooms, catalogs, a call center and a full-service online presence. With this expansion came the need for stronger, more collaborative information management across the enterprise. Previously, critical data was trapped in many disparate spreadsheets and systems, making it very difficult for business leaders and frontline employees to access and share information on sales, costs and inventory.

With IBM business analytics software in place, MarineMax has benefited from significant operational efficiencies across all levels of the company. Store managers now capitalize on self-service reporting and faster access to their store performance, helping them make better decisions about their merchandising and promotions. Finance is able to enforce a more consistent company-wide budgeting process to ensure forecast accuracy, and can focus on long-term planning and strategic performance analysis. Additionally, senior executives gain a holistic, real-time view of historical, current and projected enterprise performance to ensure company objectives are always on target.

A more efficient budgeting, forecasting and analysis process was, in fact, the primary driver for the new IBM system. Prior solutions were unstable and lacked key functionality such as re-forecasting, and "what if" scenario modeling to determine the impact of business decisions. With IBM, operational units across MarineMax can now easily work together from the same numbers to build integrated budgets and plans - a process that today only takes weeks instead of months - and evaluate performance against plans.

These new-found forecasting efficiencies were especially critical in the area of demand planning. Generally, global retailers experience lead times as long as 6 to 10 months, forcing them to make substantial bets on inventory, consumer trends and economic conditions. This challenge is magnified in the world of retail boating, where inaccurate commitment planning of luxury boats can inflate inventory costs. Using IBM business analytics, MarineMax can tap into multiple years of sales history, enabling managers to better understand customer demand trends and more confidently establish future commitments, adjusting forecasts throughout the year based on sales activities.

Similar efficiencies have been experienced in the Marketing department. MarineMax participates in hundreds of key marketing and sales events every year, such as boat shows, which require considerable labor and material resources to run effectively. IBM analytics provides marketing executives stronger visibility into the true cost and return on investment of each event. By easily identifying top and bottom performing events, MarineMax can focus efforts only on those events that drive greater returns, and has reduced their annual marketing costs significantly while still maintaining industry leading market share.

IBM also underpins the company's Management By Objectives (MBO) program for employee performance, which helps employees clearly understand corporate objectives and identify their individual or team responsibilities. Using IBM technology, store managers can establish individual goals, monitor team member performance, take corrective measures when necessary, then roll information up to the store, region and company levels to quickly determine the impact on payroll.

"IBM business analytics and performance management is helping us achieve a smarter and more efficient operational model," said Jeremy Wilson, Vice President of Information Technology at MarineMax. "The company is now better able to strengthen collaboration between finance, human resources, marketing, and store operations, ensuring MarineMax remains agile in responding to market challenges, capitalizing on new opportunities and providing the best shopping experience for our customers."

In the retail world, success is premised on building customer loyalty and trust by getting the right product into the hands of the consumer at the right time. Yet every year, the retail industry loses $93 billion in missed sales due to not having the right products in stock.

"IBM analytics helps chains like Marine Max eliminate inefficiency and align supply with demand, putting them in a stronger position to better serve the new breed of empowered consumer," said Patricia Vekich Waldron, worldwide distribution sector executive at IBM.

This effort with MarineMax reflects IBM's focus on helping retailers use their information as a strategic asset. IBM recently created a new Business Analytics & Optimization services organization, with 4,000 consultants who can help clients get up and running with deep analytics capabilities, and made significant acquisitions in the analytics space such as the recent $1.2 billion acquisition of SPSS and the $4.9 billion purchase of Cognos in 2008.

MarineMax's analytics and performance management system includes IBM Cognos BI and IBM Cognos Planning, IBM Infosphere Master Data Management Server, IBM Websphere Commerce and IBM Websphere DataStage.

About MarineMax:

Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, MarineMax is the nation's largest recreational boat and yacht retailer. Focused on premium brands, MarineMax sells new and used recreational boats and related marine products, and provides yacht brokerage services in 55 retail locations within 18 states across the country. For more information, please visit http://www.marinemax.com


    Contact:

    David DeRosa
    IBM Media Relations
    613-356-6033
    613-796-2970 mobile
    [email protected]


SOURCE IBM

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...