SAS, the leader in analytics, has helped the UK’s leading chain of builders’ merchants optimise decision-making as to what products to stock in each branch, without cumbersome number-crunching.

Travis Perkins is now able to manage its extensive product range, often available on short lead times within its supply chain, to identify and stock those products most important to its customers across 2,000 branches nationwide.

Travis Perkins sells over 200,000 products: ranging from plumbing and heating products to tiles, roofing and insulation. The challenge is that many of the goods are bulky, and space in physical stores limited. Not only that but there is an extensive product range available on short lead times, yet the group needs to identify and stock in branch the products most important to customers for immediate supply.

The group decided to transform its approach to inventory management using SAS and CoreCompete, a SAS partner specialising in analytics. CoreCompete used its knowledge of SAS solutions to work with Travis Perkins on implementing the software.

With the data now in a single repository, category managers can slice and dice it from a category, branch, supplier or customer perspective using SAS Visual Analytics. This means it can make better and quicker decisions about which products to stock in each branch. Previously, inventory was managed using spreadsheets. To decide which products to stock at each branch, managers had to sift through thousands of rows of data, which was time-consuming and gaining insight was arduous.

“Most range management solutions available on the market would not have been able to deal with the volume of products we stock or the complexity of our organisation,” said Peter Brewer, Supply Chain Development Manager at Travis Perkins. “SAS and CoreCompete proposed a robust solution that could cope with the size and diversity of our business, and allowed us to layer sophisticated analytics over traditional range-management capabilities. We were particularly impressed with the purpose-built dashboards and user interface of the SAS offering.”

“We’re delighted to have delivered this solution for Travis Perkins, working closely with our trusted partner CoreCompete,” said Charles Senabulya, Vice President and Country Manager, SAS UK & Ireland. “This solution demonstrates how a large mix of products can be stocked in an optimal way in branches right across the country, where customers need to purchase products immediately. It has also enabled Travis Perkins to gain deeper insights into its supply chain, so it can better understand its relationships with suppliers.”