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Small and midsized firms hot for SAS® Analytics

SAS business analytic solutions are helping more and more small or midsized businesses (SMBs) succeed in hypercompetitive markets. A clear understanding of what will happen in the future is even more critical to businesses in this troubled economy.

SMBs, generally defined as less than 500 employees or with annual sales under $500 million, have hungered for the same powerful business analytics more commonly found in the largest corporations. SAS BI for Midsize Business is a trusted, high-value solution for those companies.

Among the current SAS customer base, SMBs account for more than 20 percent of total organisations, including companies such as ImpactRX, Catalina Marketing and United Pipe and Supply. SAS recently announced SMB customers Oxford Global Resources and International Planning and Research, and today announced BGF Industries.

“The world’s largest corporations have long depended on powerful business analytics and the significant advantage of insight into what the future holds is becoming starkly evident to midmarket companies,” said Michael Schiff, principal of MAS Strategies, a BI and data warehousing consulting firm in Reston, VA. “In the current challenging economy, analytics can be the difference between success and coming up short.”

Forest2Market (F2M), a 15-person forest and wood products information company, relies on its SAS solution to collect millions of data points, analyse them for quality and relevance, and then quickly deliver market-pricing studies via print and online to customers including Weyerhaeuser, Louisiana Pacific and Boise Cascade LLC.

“Volatility and variability are very much a part of the forest products market. Using SAS speeds delivery of our price analysis to our customers, as a result they are able to take advantage of market volatility,” said Susanne Hearn, manager of sales and marketing at the company. “Before we brought in SAS, we were spending too much time working around Microsoft Excel’s record limits.”

When clients are buying 900,000 acres or more of timberland, at more than $1,000 per acre, the F2M market price forecasts are crucial to the price negotiations. Buyers and sellers alike trust F2M’s price data and routinely use it in business negotiations for land deals and timber supply agreements.

“Residential construction has slowed and when homes aren’t being built, lumber isn’t being consumed. These are times when strategic information is critical to our customers and they turn to Forest2Market to manage their raw material costs,” said Daniel Stuber IV, Forest2Market operations manager. “As much as 70 percent of their cost of goods sold are for raw materials, and with SAS we can give our customers timely and accurate market price data.”

F2M, based in Charlotte, NC, sought the help of Lucid Analytics of Cornelius, NC, to deploy the BI solution that includes SAS Enterprise Guide®, a graphical interface to SAS Analytics. Lucid Analytics, a SAS channel partner, helps enterprises such as F2M achieve a competitive edge with analytics and decision support systems.

Today’s announcement came at The The Premier Business Leadership Series event in Las Vegas, a business conference presented by SAS that brings together more than 500 attendees from the public and private sectors to share ideas on critical business issues.