Kurt Peters , Executive Editor
Industry-leading retailer leverages PowerCenter data integration software to improve product assortment, optimize pricing and build customer loyalty
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., September 9, 2003 - Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ: INFA), a leading provider of data integration and business intelligence software, today announced that Ace Hardware Corp. has improved both corporate and individual retailer performance through its implementation of Informatica PowerCenterRT and Informatica PowerConnect for IBM MQSeries. As the data integration backbone for Ace`s enterprise data warehouse running on an NCR Teradata database, Informatica PowerCenter and PowerConnect helped Ace gain a competitive advantage by improving product-pricing strategies, lowering inventory costs, optimizing product assortment, maximizing product promotions and increasing customer loyalty.
With more than 4,900 independently owned stores that sell 65,000 different products in 50 states and 72 countries, Ace previously found it challenging to gain an integrated, up-to-the-minute view of its entire retail operation. With the company`s point of sale (POS) and inventory data locked in disparate systems across various geographic regions, it was challenging to quickly and accurately react to customer needs. Furthermore, from an IT perspective, creating simple, standardized reports required a labor-intensive, time-consuming integration process. To further solidify its leadership in the convenience hardware marketplace, Ace found the need to accelerate its inventory management decisions increasingly critical.
“Ace Hardware has distinguished itself from the `big box` retailers as a customer-centric, neighborhood retailer. To continue our tradition, it was essential that we have an accurate view of our business data across the board,” said Mark Cothron, data warehouse architect at Ace Hardware Corp. “Informatica offered the most robust and efficient platform to manage the data flow into and out of our analytic infrastructure. Informatica`s data integration strengths, especially its high performance and scalability, allowed us to gain a comprehensive view of all our data - from sales to inventory - ultimately impacting how we make decisions at both a wholesale and retail level.”
Using Informatica in its enterprise data warehouse, Ace has integrated billions of POS rows and hundreds of millions of rows of store replenishment data to create a comprehensive view of the company`s business. Armed with this information, Ace can more effectively guide its thousands of individually-owned stores to optimize pricing, improve product assortment and maximize product promotion. Informatica PowerCenter is helping Ace more effectively develop and implement both regional and national marketing campaigns. With the ability to view POS data from previous product sales and campaigns, Ace can now determine which customers will respond best to future campaigns and promotions. Similarly, Ace can analyze customers` buying habits through historical data analysis and trend detection, allowing the company to further leverage its customer-loyalty program, Helpful Hardware Club.
In addition, Ace relies on PowerCenter to support its e-commerce site as the integration vehicle for retrieving the Web site`s order, payment and return data, and updating its pricing and store data. By also incorporating Informatica PowerCenter into Ace`s new “EagleVision” corporate inventory management system, Ace can centrally manage its accounts payable, accounts receivables and reorder data. Over the next few years, PowerCenter and EagleVision will help Ace to manage all inventory status and pricing changes, and load POS data from stores in a near real-time environment. As a result, Ace retailers and corporate management will have hourly access to sales information by product, location, product category, promotional code and SKU.
“Ace`s successful implementation highlights how robust data integration can provide retailers with significant business advantage in a highly competitive industry by rapidly tying customer buying patterns at the point of sale with the retailer`s inventory information,” said Sanjay Poonen, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Informatica. “It is exciting to play such a broad role in helping a leading retail innovator like Ace Hardware to better manage many aspects of its business.”
Founded in 1924, Ace Hardware Corp. is headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., and is a cooperative wholly owned by its 4,900 independent hardware, home center, lumber and building materials retailers. Ace currently operates 15 distribution centers in the United States and has retail sales that exceed $13 billion. More information on Ace can be found at www.acehardware.com, where consumers also have the ability to order products online.
Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ: INFA) is a leading provider of data integration and business intelligence software. Using Informatica products, Global 2000 companies can leverage their existing information assets for enterprise insight that helps them improve business performance, increase customer profitability, streamline supply chain operations and proactively manage regulatory compliance. More than 1,800 companies worldwide rely on Informatica to meet their end-to-end needs for enterprise data integration and business intelligence. For more information, call 1.650.385.5000 (1.800.970.1179 in the U.S.), or visit the Informatica Web site at http://www.informatica.com/.
Note: Informatica, PowerCenter and PowerConnect are trademarks or registered trademarks of Informatica Corporation in the United States and in jurisdictions throughout the world. All other company and product names may be trade names or trademarks of their respective owners.