Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, David Green, XebiaLabs Blog

News Feed Item

IBM Helps MarineMax Drive Smarter Retail Operations

Business analytics reduces planning cycles from months to weeks, improves marketing spend, and cuts inventory costs

NEW YORK, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 2010 NRF CONFERENCE -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that MarineMax, (NYSE: HZO), the largest recreational boat retailer in the United States, is using IBM business analytics to streamline operational planning, improve decision-making, and enforce more consistent, collaborative information access across the company. Since implementing the solutions, the retailer has been able to cut inventory costs, improve return on marketing spending, and reduce overall planning cycles from months to just a few weeks, among other benefits.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO)

Over the past decade, MarineMax has experienced tremendous growth. Today, the company can be found in 55 locations across the United States, with a multi-channel retail model that includes showrooms, catalogs, a call center and a full-service online presence. With this expansion came the need for stronger, more collaborative information management across the enterprise. Previously, critical data was trapped in many disparate spreadsheets and systems, making it very difficult for business leaders and frontline employees to access and share information on sales, costs and inventory.

With IBM business analytics software in place, MarineMax has benefited from significant operational efficiencies across all levels of the company. Store managers now capitalize on self-service reporting and faster access to their store performance, helping them make better decisions about their merchandising and promotions. Finance is able to enforce a more consistent company-wide budgeting process to ensure forecast accuracy, and can focus on long-term planning and strategic performance analysis. Additionally, senior executives gain a holistic, real-time view of historical, current and projected enterprise performance to ensure company objectives are always on target.

A more efficient budgeting, forecasting and analysis process was, in fact, the primary driver for the new IBM system. Prior solutions were unstable and lacked key functionality such as re-forecasting, and "what if" scenario modeling to determine the impact of business decisions. With IBM, operational units across MarineMax can now easily work together from the same numbers to build integrated budgets and plans - a process that today only takes weeks instead of months - and evaluate performance against plans.

These new-found forecasting efficiencies were especially critical in the area of demand planning. Generally, global retailers experience lead times as long as 6 to 10 months, forcing them to make substantial bets on inventory, consumer trends and economic conditions. This challenge is magnified in the world of retail boating, where inaccurate commitment planning of luxury boats can inflate inventory costs. Using IBM business analytics, MarineMax can tap into multiple years of sales history, enabling managers to better understand customer demand trends and more confidently establish future commitments, adjusting forecasts throughout the year based on sales activities.

Similar efficiencies have been experienced in the Marketing department. MarineMax participates in hundreds of key marketing and sales events every year, such as boat shows, which require considerable labor and material resources to run effectively. IBM analytics provides marketing executives stronger visibility into the true cost and return on investment of each event. By easily identifying top and bottom performing events, MarineMax can focus efforts only on those events that drive greater returns, and has reduced their annual marketing costs significantly while still maintaining industry leading market share.

IBM also underpins the company's Management By Objectives (MBO) program for employee performance, which helps employees clearly understand corporate objectives and identify their individual or team responsibilities. Using IBM technology, store managers can establish individual goals, monitor team member performance, take corrective measures when necessary, then roll information up to the store, region and company levels to quickly determine the impact on payroll.

"IBM business analytics and performance management is helping us achieve a smarter and more efficient operational model," said Jeremy Wilson, Vice President of Information Technology at MarineMax. "The company is now better able to strengthen collaboration between finance, human resources, marketing, and store operations, ensuring MarineMax remains agile in responding to market challenges, capitalizing on new opportunities and providing the best shopping experience for our customers."

In the retail world, success is premised on building customer loyalty and trust by getting the right product into the hands of the consumer at the right time. Yet every year, the retail industry loses $93 billion in missed sales due to not having the right products in stock.

"IBM analytics helps chains like Marine Max eliminate inefficiency and align supply with demand, putting them in a stronger position to better serve the new breed of empowered consumer," said Patricia Vekich Waldron, worldwide distribution sector executive at IBM.

This effort with MarineMax reflects IBM's focus on helping retailers use their information as a strategic asset. IBM recently created a new Business Analytics & Optimization services organization, with 4,000 consultants who can help clients get up and running with deep analytics capabilities, and made significant acquisitions in the analytics space such as the recent $1.2 billion acquisition of SPSS and the $4.9 billion purchase of Cognos in 2008.

MarineMax's analytics and performance management system includes IBM Cognos BI and IBM Cognos Planning, IBM Infosphere Master Data Management Server, IBM Websphere Commerce and IBM Websphere DataStage.

About MarineMax:

Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, MarineMax is the nation's largest recreational boat and yacht retailer. Focused on premium brands, MarineMax sells new and used recreational boats and related marine products, and provides yacht brokerage services in 55 retail locations within 18 states across the country. For more information, please visit http://www.marinemax.com


    Contact:

    David DeRosa
    IBM Media Relations
    613-356-6033
    613-796-2970 mobile
    [email protected]


SOURCE IBM

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...

Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?

"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.

They are not.

One is about the application. The other, the network. T...

As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
The following fictional case study is a composite of actual horror stories I’ve heard over the years. Unfortunately, this scenario often occurs when in-house integration teams take on the complexities of DevOps and ALM integration with an enterprise service bus (ESB) or custom integration. It is written from the perspective of an enterprise architect tasked with leading an organization’s effort to adopt Agile to become more competitive. The company has turned to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as ...
If you are within a stones throw of the DevOps marketplace you have undoubtably noticed the growing trend in Microservices. Whether you have been staying up to date with the latest articles and blogs or you just read the definition for the first time, these 5 Microservices Resources You Need In Your Life will guide you through the ins and outs of Microservices in today’s world.
This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project. This post assumes that you...
This complete kit provides a proven process and customizable documents that will help you evaluate rapid application delivery platforms and select the ideal partner for building mobile and web apps for your organization.
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
Sharding has become a popular means of achieving scalability in application architectures in which read/write data separation is not only possible, but desirable to achieve new heights of concurrency. The premise is that by splitting up read and write duties, it is possible to get better overall performance at the cost of a slight delay in consistency. That is, it takes a bit of time to replicate changes initiated by a "write" to the read-only master database. It's eventually consistent, and it'...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
A company’s collection of online systems is like a delicate ecosystem – all components must integrate with and complement each other, and one single malfunction in any of them can bring the entire system to a screeching halt. That’s why, when monitoring and analyzing the health of your online systems, you need a broad arsenal of different tools for your different needs. In addition to a wide-angle lens that provides a snapshot of the overall health of your system, you must also have precise, ...
It's been a busy time for tech's ongoing infatuation with containers. Amazon just announced EC2 Container Registry to simply container management. The new Azure container service taps into Microsoft's partnership with Docker and Mesosphere. You know when there's a standard for containers on the table there's money on the table, too. Everyone is talking containers because they reduce a ton of development-related challenges and make it much easier to move across production and testing environm...
Node.js and io.js are increasingly being used to run JavaScript on the server side for many types of applications, such as websites, real-time messaging and controllers for small devices with limited resources. For DevOps it is crucial to monitor the whole application stack and Node.js is rapidly becoming an important part of the stack in many organizations. Sematext has historically had a strong support for monitoring big data applications such as Elastic (aka Elasticsearch), Cassandra, Solr, S...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
There's a lot of things we do to improve the performance of web and mobile applications. We use caching. We use compression. We offload security (SSL and TLS) to a proxy with greater compute capacity. We apply image optimization and minification to content. We do all that because performance is king. Failure to perform can be, for many businesses, equivalent to an outage with increased abandonment rates and angry customers taking to the Internet to express their extreme displeasure.
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...