New Cognos Performance Solution Helps Manufacturers Optimize Sales and Operations Planning: - Cognos S&OP Executive Review Blueprint offers manufacturing executives a unified sales, supply chain and finance view, facilitating planning and right-time decision-making -

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Cognos(R) (NASDAQ: COGN) (TSX: CSN), the world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions, continues to extend its manufacturing market leadership, announcing today the launch of a new performance solution designed to help executives gain a single view of cross-functional sales and operations plans in order to better respond to customer demand and integrate financial planning into the planning process.

The Cognos S&OP Executive Review Blueprint provides a strategic view of organization-wide information that empowers executives to react quickly to ad hoc exceptions and maintain firm performance targets. This Blueprint represents a major step forward in enabling sustainable performance management practices for improved profitability.

    Manufacturers today are struggling to effectively shape customer demand planning using supply chain networks that are becoming progressively more global. Relying on multiple, disjointed transactional systems and spreadsheets, organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to react quickly to changing market conditions, and model the effect of meeting demand on the company's supply capabilities and financial goals.

The Cognos Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) Executive Review Blueprint offers a complete set of planning and decision-making processes designed to help manufacturing executives regularly review their S&OP plan, identify changes in customer demand and supply plans, and simulate the impact of demand, supply, inventory, and operating cost performance on financial statements. Various operating and financial metrics are provided and graphically tracked to monitor actual performance and identify the potential impact of simulated changes to the S&OP plan.

"Cross-functional S&OP plan alignment is unfortunately not as common a practice in today's manufacturing market as one would believe. Many firms do not have the proper technology to support it. As a result, top-level S&OP meetings fail to account for all demand, supply and capacity imbalances, address multiple lines of business or brands, and reconcile financial plans with on-going operational plans. Yet, simple steps like producing plan-vs-actual reports as part of a top-level reporting process can lead to very strong gains in gross margin and customer satisfaction," said Colin Snow, vice-president and research director of operational and supply chain performance management at Ventana Research. "The Cognos S&OP Executive Review Blueprint provides a strategic view of organization-wide information that empowers executives to react quickly to ad hoc exceptions and maintain firm performance targets. This Blueprint represents a major step forward in enabling sustainable performance management practices for improved profitability."

Using out-of-the-box functionality from Cognos 8 Planning and Cognos 8 Business Intelligence (BI) - including dashboards, analytical reports and a pre-configured data model - and encompassing manufacturing industry best practices, the Cognos S&OP Executive Review Blueprint lets executives:

-- Conduct "what-if" analysis to simulate the effect of S&OP scenarios on Balance Sheet and P&L performance or utilize financial statement targets to drive sales and operating plans

-- Use customer demand to drive supply plans and evaluate the effect of various scenarios on critical production and supply chain resources to determine the best balance between customer demand and operational performance

-- Measure plan versus actual performance for sales, revenue, cost of goods sold (COGS), inventory, customer delivery metrics, and gross margin

-- Easily analyze and drive performance by category, division, geography, production facility or for the entire enterprise

-- Deliver consistent plan performance visibility across all functional units, improving collaboration and consensus planning across the organization

Available immediately to customers, the Cognos S&OP Executive Review Blueprint complements the Cognos Sales & Operations Planning Blueprint, released in June 2006. Together, the two Blueprints facilitate both the initial creation of a sales and operations plan, as well as a monthly executive review and adjustment process. Organizations can now collaboratively develop a single statement of demand, and utilize that demand to create a multi-plant Master Production Schedule that considers enterprise-wide production, contractor, and supplier constraints in order to allocate demand across multiple facilities. Plant specific constraints and costs are used to generate pro-forma plant level P&L statements. Using the Cognos S&OP Executive Review Blueprint, manufacturers can then evaluate the plan in light of financial goals, with any changes immediately reflected in graphically simulated financial statements.

"Planning is the critical link between strategy and execution. Improving S&OP processes ultimately leads to enhanced organizational performance and competitiveness," said Paul Hoy, global manufacturing industry director at Cognos. "With our latest Blueprint, customers benefit from a proven planning and performance review model designed to improve coordination and communication, increase visibility across the entire supply chain, reduce costs, and deliver faster, more efficient customer service, all supporting and driven by corporate financial strategy."

Cognos is a recognized leader in delivering performance management solutions for the manufacturing industry. Currently, 19 of the top 20 consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers, 9 of the top 10 high tech companies, and all of the top 10 automakers use Cognos to improve sales and operations performance, marketing effectiveness, and supply chain management. For more information on Cognos solutions for the manufacturing industry, please visit

Note to Editors:

Cognos will be demonstrating the Cognos S&OP Executive Review Blueprint at the 2007 APICS Conference, Booth # 602, Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO, October 22-23, 2007.

About Cognos Performance Blueprints:

Cognos offers a full suite of Performance Blueprints to address planning and performance management process areas that directly impact an organization's ability to create business value. Both functional and industry-specific process areas can now be automated, streamlined and transformed to help organizations quickly create more business value. Developed by the Cognos Innovation Center for Performance Management, the Cognos Performance Blueprints are a key component within the Cognos Performance Management System, which combines technology, best practices, analytical applications and solutions, and a broad network of partners into a single performance management solution. For further information on the Cognos Performance Blueprints see

About Cognos:

Cognos, the world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions, provides world-class enterprise planning and BI software and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance.

Cognos brings together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers a complete performance system. The Cognos performance system is an open and adaptive solution that leverages an organization's ERP, packaged applications, and database investments. It gives customers the ability to answer the questions -- How are we doing? Why are we on or off track? What should we do about it? - and enables them to understand and monitor current performance while planning future business strategies.

Cognos serves more than 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries, and its top 100 enterprise customers consistently outperform market indexes. Cognos 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. Note to Editors: Copies of previous Cognos press releases and Corporate and product information are available on the Cognos Web site at

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