PLATFORMS: Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0.
BACKGROUND: Littlewoods Stores is one of Britain's largest retailers of high-quality men and women's clothing with over 130 stores and $800 million in projected 1997 revenues.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Littlewoods selected DSS Web as an integral part of a complete IT overhaul in order to resolve inefficiencies in our supply chain. These inefficiencies were resulting in overstocked shelves, forcing us to mark down prices in order to move our merchandise. The goal of the project was to increase profits by 3 percent of sales. Using DSS Web, in conjunction with other merchandising systems, we are achieving this goal through improved distribution and enhanced analysis of information. The vision is that department and store managers, customers and merchandise suppliers will be able to access critical sales and inventory information. By understanding which products are selling out and which are overstocked, we and our manufacturers can quickly adapt to--and even predict--trends in the marketplace.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: DSS Web allows our users to easily access the corporate data warehouse via the Internet and ask complex and interactive questions that address our most pressing business problems. DSS Web requires only a browser to use and delivers all the benefits of using the Web as your network (less maintenance, no client software, support for a diverse community of different operating systems and browsers and anywhere/anytime access). DSS Web provides a user-friendly interface that will enable us to deploy our project with minimal training.
STRENGTHS: We are upgrading to version 5.0 of DSS Web in order to take advantage of its rich feature set: a fully interactive reporting environment, easier navigation and a remarkably intuitive, easy-to-use interface. DSS Web 5.0 enables our users to develop their own customized reporting environments by creating and saving new reports over the Web. The product delivers full drilling functionality enabling our users to access data at the lowest level of detail they require. And if our users wish, they can engage DSS Web's push feature to receive broadcast updates of their chosen reports. The incorporation of ActiveX technology into DSS Web provides a fully interactive environment for creating dynamic reports, while preserving the Windows look and feel that our users are accustomed to.
WEAKNESSES: In order to enjoy 100 percent functionality, DSS Web requires a 32-bit browser-side operating system, which is more than some of our clients have.
SELECTION CRITERIA: MicroStrategy's DSS Web was an easy choice for three key reasons. MicroStrategy has played a leading role in promoting data warehousing across DSS Web and allows hundreds of Web-based users to access a single repository of information--all managed and controlled centrally with sophisticated monitoring software. Finally, MicroStrategy is the only vendor we found with a complete, fully integrated product architecture for enterprise DSS.
DELIVERABLES: DSS Web is helping us improve efficiencies in our supply chain by allowing suppliers to query a central data warehouse and adjust their production levels proactively. Suppliers can tailor their production lines to meet anticipated swings in demand gleaned from interactive and careful analysis of our data. To date, we are experiencing tremendous success with DSS Web, and we feel strongly that we have chosen the right strategy and the right tools.
VENDOR SUPPORT: MicroStrategy has done whatever possible to ensure our success and has been very responsive in resolving any problems we have experienced.
DOCUMENTATION: MicroStrategy maintains a Web site for customer updates, downloads of new releases and details on known issues. This is the mark of a highly professional and responsive software corporation.
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