Table: Crunching Numbers

Utz Quality Foods, the nation's No. 3 potato chip maker, is using the Internet to slice data as finely as the 0.057-inch-thick chips it sells.

PROBLEM SOLUTION

Assessing promotions: Sales New software spins out daily sales reports took up to a month reports so future promotions can to generate, so execs were be instantly matched against current slow to pick up promotion results. duds.

Wasted in-store displays: If Every product is tracked by store, and shelves are bare, the thousands daily e-mails target problems. A Super spent every week on in-store Bowl promo was salvaged in a day after displays can be largely wasted. stores finally got their shipments.

Poor forecasting: Outdated Plans are in the works to generate sales data lead to expensive up-to-the-minute data on the usage gluts of ingredients and sup- of ingredients. Goal: Plants at 85% plies. Execs estimate factory efficiency. efficiency is only 60% to 70%.

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