Ingram Micro: World’s Best Analytics Teams Compete for INFORMS Franz Edelman Award in Huntington Beach, CA

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Ashley Smith
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HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, April 8, 2015 – The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®), the leading professional association in advanced analytics, will host six finalist organizations competing for the 2015 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award. The competition takes place on Monday, April 13 during the 2015 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. The prize is the world’s most prestigious recognition for excellence in applying advanced analytics to benefit business and humanitarian outcomes. 

Ingram Micro is one of the six finalist organizations, with a submission titled, “End-to-End Business Analytics and Optimization in Ingram Micro’s Two-Tier Distribution Business.”

Ingram Micro, the world’s largest technology distributor, operates in a high volume/low margin environment. The company started its Business Intelligence & Analytics practice in its North America (NA) company about six years ago. Since then the group has built and deployed a scalable, highly innovative price optimization engine, imprimeTM, for NA’s $8 billion spot business, a set of analytics apps, IMSmartTM for its internal sales organization, and an integrated digital marketing platform, intelligence.ingrammicro.com,to run data-driven marketing campaigns to its customers and end customers.

Ingram Micro is the largest broadline two-tier IT distributor, with a presence in 39 countries worldwide, presenting approximately 1,400 suppliers, and serving more than 200,000 solution providers and value added resellers in approximately 170 countries, reaching eight million end users/businesses with over 100 million orders processed every year. A Fortune 100 Company, Ingram Micro operates globally with revenues over $43 billion.

With margins less than 2%, the use of data to create value and mitigate risk in decision making becomes crucial. Ingram Micro arguably has the richest data assets in the IT distribution and manufacturing world. Ingram didn’t have any systemic approach to generate actionable, forward-looking insights from this valuable data. Initially, Ingram Micro NA started a Business Intelligence & Analytics center of excellence with a small infrastructure and two analysts. Since then, the group has grown to more than 40 quant analysts and rapid product developers, more than 90% of them with advanced degrees in O.R., statistics, machine learning, economics, computer science, and psychology. This center is a key differentiator for the company.

Ingram Micro NA developed and deployed three applications:

  • imprimeTM,a patent pending, scalable, B2B pricing optimization engine that generates data-driven price setting, including the list or matrix price, as well as data-driven negotiation guidance for high transaction volume environment (representing more than 450 million price calls per year and $8 billion in revenue for Ingram Micro NA). 
  • intelligence.ingrammicro.com,an integrated, analytics-driven digital marketing platform to activate the data insights at the customer and end-customer levels
  • IMSmartTM,a data-driven mobile app for sales teams to find account level opportunities

Since 2011, these products and analytical programs have yielded a cumulative benefit of $1.12 billion in incremental product revenue and $28 million in incremental gross profit.

This year’s finalists are:

  1. IBM for “Predictive Cloud Computing with Big Data: Professional Golf and Tennis Forecasting”
  2. Ingram Micro for “End-to-End Business Analytics and Optimization in Ingram Micro’s Two-Tier Distribution Business”
  3. LMI/Defense Logistics Agency for “Peak and Next Gen: Effective Inventory Control for Items with Infrequent or Frequent, Highly Variable Demand”
  4. Saudi Arabia Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs for “A Decision Support System for Hajj Crowd Management”
  5. Syngenta for “Good Growth through Advanced Analytics”
  6. U.S. Army and Sandia National Laboratories for “Maximizing the Army’s Future Contribution to Global Security Using the Capability Portfolio Analysis Tool (CPAT)”

Additional information about the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award and Competition can be found online at https://www.informs.org/About-INFORMS/News-Room/Press-Releases/2015-Edelman-Finalists.

About INFORMS

INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in analytics and operations research (O.R.). INFORMS advances research, and develops and promotes best practices in analytics and O.R. through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and professional development. INFORMS helps business, government, and other organization professionals make better decisions to drive value to their organizations and society. Our certification program (CAP®), highly cited publications, educational meetings and conferences, continuing education, industry and process-focused networking communities, competitions, and recognition provide professionals with the knowledge and connections they need to achieve ever greater value for their organizations. Further information about INFORMS, analytics, and operations research is at www.informs.org or @informs.

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