Farmindustria SA Printed: March 2003 Microsoft Office XP and Discovery-View: Business Intelligence Farmindustria is a leading company in the pharmaceutical industry in Peru. For the sales and marketing executives, everyday information is of vital importance. The demanding market requires fast decision-making. Until very recently, the company had a system that was far from being a business intelligence application. Obtaining information was a long and onerous task. A request from the system would take an average of 25 minutes, and the result was plain data without any type of chart. Today, thanks to a powerful data warehouse-type solution created using Office XP, users are one click away from accessing detailed sales information with charts, anywhere they want. Executive summary With more than 1500 direct customers and 2000 distributed items, FARMINDUSTRIA is the second pharmaceutical lab in Peru. The company processes hundreds of transactions everyday. There is so much information that Sales Executives, Product Managers, Office Managers, and Market Analysts, until very recently, employed their time searching data in the old system. The search process was long: first, because the system was complicated and it was necessary to memorize line codes and products, and they needed some knowledge in computing to use the data from the text files and put it into a spreadsheet. Then, the information they obtained was plain text, it had no charts or graphs, and the average time for a search was 25 minutes. An average user would spend 90 percent of his time searching for information and 10 percent analyzing it. Even then, it was impossible to know information such as sales per channel to assign a fair sales budget for the salespeople, or measuring the impact of advertisement on sales to optimize an investment. The challenge at FARMINDUSTRIA was to provide the users from the Sales and Marketing area with a tool to obtain reliable and detailed information instantly. Solution Overview Customer Profile FARMINDUSTRIA is the industrial branch of an important Peruvian conglomerate. In its big and modern plant, pharmaceutical products, perfumes and personal care products are made and commercialized. It is Peru’s second largest pharmaceutical laboratory, with a 6.62% share over the total of units sold and 5.29% in securities (source: IMS, Dec. 2002). Situation The data in the company was abundant but its processing was complicated and the results were not satisfactory enough. Users needed these tools to exploit the data by themselves and obtain reliable information for decision making. Microsoft products used: Microsoft Office XP Microsoft Access Microsoft Visual Interdev 6.0 Microsoft Visual Studio Microsoft SQL 7.0 Microsoft Front Page Internet Explorer 5.5 Business Challenge Sales and marketing executives need to monitor the key variables of the business constantly: sales, products and most important customers, the impact of advertising strategies on sales, use per product line, etc. By not having timely information, situations like these would occur everyday in FARMINDUSTRIA: • If Marketing received a financial support request from a customer, Market did not have a way of knowing whether the customer’s sales justified the need for support or whether the investment would be profitable or not. • New products would be launched without an instrument to measure results. • Difficulty in the performance evaluation for the sales force. • It was difficult to identify the most important customers to take particularly good care of them. All the above represented a higher probability of making late decisions, losing business opportunities, creating opportunities for the company’s competitors and running few resources, among others. A year ago, Luis Damián from FARMINDUSTRIA took up the challenge of creating a business intelligence tool to handle large volumes of information with a minimum response time. Luis’s idea included a data warehouse with sales information providing as much detail as possible and a wide range of possibilities for flexible, multiple-variable analysis including graphs and allowing the final user to write the final report based on his own needs. Luis was aware of the fact that the tool needed to be friendly and easy to operate, but the high cost associated with a data warehouse solution did not allow him to develop this idea. Some time ago, Luis noticed that the new Office XP was the platform he was looking for to develop his idea at a low cost. With a new set of technologies, Office XP provides the companies with the possibility to build solutions faster using pre-built components. Discovery View: Sales Management Portal was the name given by Luis to the solution developed using Office XP. Discovery View is a business intelligence tool that delivers detailed sales information from the last 3 years. Since it is developed on Office XP, the environment is highly user friendly. The need for training and support has been has been minimal. Another characteristic is that this development has been achieved without implying a high development time and cost for FARMINDUSTRIA, normally associated with such a data warehouse development. In fact, the entire development took only one month! Key attributes for the solution Discovery View exploits one of the most fascinating new technologies in Office XP: Web components. Web components allow building personalized business intelligence applications online, taking advantage of Excel’s powerful analysis tools. Web components use dynamic, interactive spreadsheets, graphs and charts that can be updated from web applications such as a Corporate Intranet. Web components can be used to upload interactive data on the Internet, perform complicated analyses from a Web browser and recover data from the Internet for local use. In FARMINDUSTRIA, they have made it possible to manipulate and analyze sales information from the Corporate Intranet. Solution Discovery View resides in the Company’s Intranet. It exploits sales data from the last three years. It uses Access as a data repository and Internet Explorer as a browser. Using Office XP’s web components, users can access different Excel spreadsheets to use dynamic tables, generate charts, etc. Discovery-View also includes OLAP technology, a powerful business intelligence tool that users can access to create, manipulate and access data cubes. A data cube is a way of showing data in a multidimensional way for user to select his own views. Any type of corporate information stored in a database can be transformed into a multidimensional data cube. Cubes store different views and combinations for data. In Discovery View, cubes can be created based on queries or pre-defined requests. This way, response time is minimal (less than 1 minute). Analysis is normally graphic and interactive, as well as very intuitive. Users are one click away from searching and using data and numbers, accessing the core of the information and going from general to specific information (drill down) and vice versa (roll-up). (see Chart 1 and 2). Chart 1: Channel Sales Chart 2: By clicking on the “Chain” channel bar, the details of this channel’s sales are shown Solution is portable; cubes can be carried in a CD, can be sent by e-mail or FTP, and can work in any Windows 98 or Office XP-based PC. This portability allows regional managers to access this solution. Thanks to Luis’s vision, and investing minimal developing costs, FARMINDUSTRIA has now a powerful business intelligent application, based on the familiar Office XP interface, which allows users to exploit existing data and generate their own reports instantly, with the level of detail they need, on the friendly Office environment. Office XP solution provides agility to the business Agility is key to respond to the demands of the market. Using Discovery View in FARMINDUSTRIA, a search that would have normally taken 25 minutes is now done in just a few seconds. Discovery View has also allowed an extraordinary decentralization of knowledge, from the analysts to the executives responsible for the decision-making process. They can now immediately access information and create as many views or reports they need on their own, using detailed information to create charts suited to their needs. Information can also be accessed online, anytime, anywhere. The solution allows the user to personally monitor critical variables for the business: daily and monthly sales; the impact of marketing advertising strategies on sales; profitability per product line, etc. It provides executives with instant access to the information, which allows them to make the right decisions on time. This is vital in such a changing market. The development of the solution in Office XP has translated into less development costs, due to how fast the application was developed, as minimum training and support costs, since it is built over a platform that is completely familiar to the user. The implementation of the solution has been successful. Some examples include: • Today, FARMINDUSTRIA is investing its marketing budget with a full knowledge of its effects and making the right decisions. • The company can now quickly correct its product penetration strategies, reducing costs or reacting quickly towards competitors. • Has increased the motivation and productivity of the sales force. • Its resource management is more focused on the customer satisfaction and business opportunity development. “Unlike other data warehousing solutions, this system did not have a costly development process because it is built on Office XP.” Luis Damián Systems Manager FARMINDUSTRIA For more information 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. If you need more information about Microsoft’s products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Resource Center at (800) 563-9048. Customers with hearing disabilities can access the text phone services through (800) 892-5234 in the United States or at (905) 568-9641. Outside of the United States and Canada, contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information online, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/office/ If you need more information about FARMINDUSTRIA, visit: http://www.drokasa.com.pe/farmin.htm This case study is for informative purposes only. MICROSOFT HEREBY DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY GUARRANTEE, EXPLICIT OR IMPLICIT. Microsoft Office XP, the Office XP logo, Microsoft Office XP, Access, Microsoft Visual Interdev 6.0, Visual Studio, Microsoft SQL 7.0, Front Page and Internet Explorer 5.5 are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. 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