Retail intelligence from an IT perspective is getting to be a crowed sector in this new age of BIG DATA. But ATLAS Technology Group in Bentonville has muscled its way upward in the past year adding staff, growing sales and doubling its physical space.
The company is barely five years old. Founder Nick Dozier began customizing business intelligence software for a handful of Wal-Mart suppliers in 2008.
“A year ago we had 25 customers, growing by referral only, and today we are at 60. Revenue has grown 600% in the same time period,” said Pete Louree, marketing director, and one of two new executives to join ATLAS earlier this month.
Louree spent more than two decades at Henkel Consumer Goods, the company behind Dial, Purex and Right Guard. He held leadership roles in sales, shopper marketing, category management and retail operations. Most recently Louree, served as director on Henkel’s global Walmart team.
He said last week ATLAS moved from a 3,000-square-foot facility to a 6,500-square-foot office on 28th Street in Bentonville.
“We are already out of space and are adding 1,500 square feet in the next month,” Louree said.
This time last year, ATLAS had 6 employees, all software engineers working directly with consumer product companies customizing the applications that automate the myriad of sales, inventory, replenishment and market data reports they run each week. Louree said next week the the employee count will be 22, with plans to add 10 more technology engineers and business professions in the coming weeks.
Also recently joining the firm is Pat Lockridge He brings 30 years of consumer goods and retail sales experience to his role as senior vice president of sales at ATLAS. Lockridge held leadership roles at Campbell’s Soup, Crossmark, and most recently Premium Retail Services, a merchandising service provider. He is also one of 12 members of the Wal-Mart retail operations SPARC Project committee.
“ATLAS is experiencing tremendous growth over the past year, and with the addition of Pat and Pete, we expect to continue that growth and increase our service offerings to help our retail and manufacturer partners improve performance,” said Dozier.
Corporate business intelligence and analytics software generated $13.1 billion in revenue last year, according to Gartner, an information technology research company. ATLAS is one of several firms in Northwest Arkansas that develops and sells business intelligence software. It’s a sector that is growing as access to data is more readily available and retailer expectations continue to rise in a hyper-competitive climate for consumer dollars.
A study earlier this year by Dresner Advisory Group found dashboards and end user “self service” as the two top priorities for businesses investing in IT software analytics this year. ATLAS said it fits squarely in that group that can provide dashboards which delivers "at-a-glance insight” into the organization’s performance. In addition, ATLAS is known for its customization of software that provides end users the ability to automate the running of their reports.
Dresner cites the level of business intelligence software adoption being particularly high among retail and wholesale companies in 2014. The study also indicates manufacturers will lag in their adoption next year.
“We see tremendous growth opportunity serving Wal-Mart suppliers as there is so much data to consider,” Lockridge said.
ATLAS takes Retail Link, third party information from Nielsen, weather, census, space planning and shopper marketing then process that through algorithms to give clients the concise reports they need to spot trouble before the shelf is empty, he added.