Cognos offers new performance blueprint for the retail industry

-- Store Operations (P&L) Planning Blueprint provides greater planning consistency, collaboration, and accountability for retail operations --

NATL RETAIL FEDERATION CONF., NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2006 -- Cognos (Nasdaq: COGN; TSX: CSN), the world leader in business intelligence and corporate performance management (CPM), today announced the launch of a new Performance Blueprint* designed to help retail chains build top-down and bottom-up budgets and performance reports for comprehensive profit and loss management for retail operations, including store, district, region or division.

Developed by the Cognos Innovation Center for Performance Management, the Store Operations (P&L) Planning Blueprint offers chains a complete range of documented, pre-defined data, process and policy models based on proven best- practices in retail operational planning. The new Performance Blueprint consists of integrated financial planning capabilities specific to the retail industry, including driver-based planning for key revenue and expense lines; profile-driven controllable expense and revenue planning; localized initiative planning, such as store promotional programs and limited time offers; exempt and non-exempt headcount position-level planning; and 'what-if' modeling and analysis. Calculated information is linked to built-in scorecards and reports, enabling flexible measurement, reporting and analysis of key performance indicators.

For retailers, the Store Operations (P&L) Planning Blueprint provides an intuitive, best-practices approach to integrating the planning process across the enterprise, so that all departments are working toward common strategic goals and benchmarks. Capitalizing on 'what-if' analysis, all plans can be seamlessly updated to reflect sudden or evolving changes in market conditions, such as competitive pressures, business interruptions, or economic changes. Furthermore, embedded workflow capabilities streamline the approval and monitoring process, facilitating cross-operational "Voice of the Store" collaboration, and driving greater accountability and visibility at all levels of the chain.

"Aside from the obvious productivity improvements to be realized from using Cognos' new retail Performance Blueprint, the real value lies in the alignment, integration, and measurement of store level plans and actions with overall company-wide objectives," said David Axson, founder and president of The Sonax Group, a research and advisory firm that helps clients improve the effectiveness of their business management practices. Mr. Axson, an advisor to the Cognos Innovation Center, was previously a principal with benchmarking authority The Hackett Group, and is the renowned author of the popular book Best Practices in Planning and Management Reporting -- from Data to Decisions. "The ability to track store-level initiatives and evaluate their impact upon overall results allows management to dynamically adjust tactics in response to opportunities or threats in the marketplace. This capability goes far beyond even the most ambitious spreadsheet based planning model."

"Cognos has partnered with a large number of global retail chains to help deliver improved store performance, increased profit margins and more effective operational cost management. These valuable relationships have enabled us to develop significant thought leadership in the retail industry," said Patricia Waldron, retail industry director at Cognos. "Retailers can now tap into this industry expertise, together with critical performance management leadership from the Cognos Innovation Center, through a high-value, best-practices environment that defines all of the necessary technology and process design choices retailers need to quickly deploy an effective business planning, reporting and analysis process."

Cognos is a recognized leader in delivering business intelligence and corporate performance management solutions for the retail industry. In fact, 25 per cent of the world's top 250 retailers, and over 300 retail chains worldwide, are already Cognos customers. Retail customers include, American Eagle Outfitters, and 7-Eleven. More information about Cognos solutions for retail can be found at

Available for free to Cognos customers, the launch of the Store Operations (P&L) Planning Blueprint is the first in a series of retail-specific Blueprints planned by Cognos. It also brings the total number of Cognos Performance Blueprints to 12, covering a wide spectrum of planning focus areas such as capital projects; discretionary capital expenditures; headcount and compensation; expense planning and control; sales planning and forecasting; strategic financial planning and forecasting; allocations; risk analysis; sales compensation; initiative planning; and strategic long range planning.

* - formerly known as Cognos Plan-to-Perform Blueprints


The Cognos Innovation Center for Performance Management was established in June 2004 to advance the understanding of proven planning and performance management techniques, technologies and practices. Staffed by experts in planning, management, and technology, the Innovation Center partners with Cognos customers, academics, industry leaders, and others seeking to accelerate adoption, reduce risk, and maximize the impact of technology- enabled performance management practices. For more information, please visit:


Cognos, the world leader in business intelligence and corporate performance management, delivers software and services that help companies drive, monitor and understand corporate performance.

Cognos delivers the next level of competitive advantage -- Corporate Performance Management (CPM) -- achieved through the strategic application of BI on an enterprise scale. Our integrated CPM solution helps customers drive performance through planning; monitor performance through scorecarding; and understand performance through business intelligence.

Cognos serves more than 23,000 customers in over 135 countries. Cognos enterprise business intelligence and performance management solutions and services are also available from more than 3,000 worldwide partners and resellers. For more information, visit the Cognos Web site at

Cognos and the Cognos logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cognos Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Media Contacts:
    David DeRosa
    Cognos, 613-738-1338 ext. 3317

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