Catepillar Inc. has been honored for its work with data analytics, as the 2016 ANNY Award winner at IIA’s Analytics Symposium in Boston.

The ANNY Award is presented annually by The International Institute for Analytics (IIA), the leading independent research and advisory firm focused exclusively on helping organizations leverage the capabilities of analytics.

Caterpillar’s Global Supply Network team won the award for its supply network optimization project – the Assurance of Supply Center (ASC), a platform developed internally by the company and first launched four years ago. According to the IIA, “the data analytics and visualization platform solves issues of outdated processes, data unavailability and network complexity. It collects supply network data and transforms it into powerful tools used to drive decisions.”

The IIA said these tools include dashboards and reports, supply network alerts, interactive and comprehensive inventory monitors for both production parts and finished goods, a situation and events communication portal, network modeling with complex algorithms and what-if analyses, a root cause identification tool, and supplier footprint maps.

“The goal of the ASC’s analytics capability is to improve overall business performance and profitability,” said Tori Rollings, Caterpillar assurance of supply manager. “We do this through unparalleled visibility, continuous monitoring and supply network simulation and optimization, which enable our users to fix problems in minutes rather than months.”

Since implementing the ASC in 2012, Catepillar noted the capability has been used by nearly 10,000 users to dramatically improve the supply network performance to all-time highs. This includes a 25-percentage point improvement in shipping performance and a 50 percent reduction in supplier quality defects. Using the comprehensive network modeling tools has enabled the company to see a significant reduction in transportation costs and transport time.

“Caterpillar’s supply network optimization project is a shining example of how analytics can provide critical insights and make processes more efficient,” said IIA Co-Founder and CEO Jack Phillips. “Congratulations to Caterpillar for creating such an innovative and successful analytics strategy.”

The ANNY award recognizes organizations’ dedication to using analytics to improve business results at the project or organizational level, Phillips explained. The other six finalists for the 2016 ANNY were Hallmark Cards, Inc.; Lenovo; Owens Corning; Sydney Water Corp. together with Data61 and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; UnityPoint Health; and the University of Utah Healthcare.

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