BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : MAY 8, 2000 ISSUE
COVER STORY

Squeezing Savings out of an E-Business


Tom Scott and Tom First started off in business on Nantucket in 1989 by delivering supplies to visiting yachts. When they added fresh juice to their repertoire, Nantucket Nectars was born. Now, the company is installing Oracle software to help it keep growing at 40% a year.


1.
SUPPLIERS
In the past, Nantucket Nectars communicated with its 900 suppliers the old-fashioned way--by phone and fax. Besides being slow and costly, the system didn't keep track of inventories or demand well. Oracle software allows them to create more accurate forecasts and will enable them to forge close links with the likes of Ocean Spray.


2.
BOTTLERS
Nantucket Nectar's six bottlers are also its warehouses. With better forecasting and Web links, the company can alert bottlers to rev up production lines. It enables bottlers to better plan so their plants aren't idle. Nantucket Nectars also can size up inventories at the warehouses and ship juices from one if stocks are low at another.


3.
HEADQUARTERS
Anybody in sales, marketing, or operations can tap into the computer system via a Web browser and check on the status of orders, inventory levels, and changes in demand. Executives like the two Toms and sales managers can dice sales data by region, distributor, and salesperson. If somebody is asleep at the switch, they'll know it instantly.


4.
SALES FORCE
Each morning, Nantucket Nectars' 85 field salespeople can log on to the Internet from their homes and tap into NectarNet, the company's business Web site. If they see that Orange Mango has to be substituted for Pineapple Orange Guava in a shipment, they'll be able to warn the customer. Plus, they can track promotions at sports events.


5.
DISTRIBUTORS
The 150 distributors can log into NectarNet to place and check orders. If a drink is out of stock, they can avoid an unwanted substitution by specifying what they'd like instead. Nantucket's marketers can check promotional budgets to see if distributors have kept up their commitments to pass out coolers to retailers


6.
RETAILERS
The company uses sales-analysis software to help retailers figure out how to stock the right juices. Marketers at headquarters can review sales records for various distributors in a given region and rate which combination of drinks does best. The company alerts distributors, who pass the info on to mom-and-pop shops.


7.
WEB SITE
Nantucket Nectars sells T-shirts, hats, and frisbees decorated with its logo on its Web site www.Juiceguys.com. It's planning a major overhaul that will turn the Web site into a real store and is sizing up Oracle's iStore software to power the site. Possible merchandise: Juice blenders, herbs, nutrition items, and health aids.



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