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More insight, better decisions

This article appears in the issue April 2004 (100 Companies) [Volume 13, Issue 4]

Emco, a large Canadian distributor and manufacturer of building materials, wanted better visibility to all the information essential to making sound business decisions.

"Despite receiving hundreds of reports and spreadsheets from our existing information systems, it is difficult for us to quickly see which customer segments, branches and product lines are meeting their margin targets--and more importantly why," explains Rick Fantham, president, Emco Distribution.

"Our business users cannot easily obtain the critical information they need without relying on our IT staff to produce it for them or having to write their own complicated queries. This bottleneck reduces our speed and results. Additionally we have invested more resources in analysis than action, and action is what delivers results."

Emco decided to license Visual Net from Antarctica to help analyze and manage profit margins--an important factor in the performance of any distribution organization. The solution enables users to drill down through a series of visual maps to gain a deeper understanding of what's going on in the business, according to Antarctica Systems.

Business users will be able to see where they are not meeting their margin targets and quickly drill down into areas that they want to investigate.

"Our first application has been deployed," says Fantham, "and we expect it to have a real bottom-line impact within one quarter. We expect improved margins, as well as real cost savings by eliminating hundreds of reports and redeploying resources currently consumed with the production and distribution of those reports.

"In the coming months, we plan to roll out multiple applications in the areas of procurement, finance, logistics and customer support to as many as 1,700 users. Ultimately we hope to extend the application to our customers and vendors as well. It is all about speed and execution to deliver results."


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